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PORTUGAL TRAVEL DIARY: FILLED WITH PORT, PASTÉIS DE NATA, PASTEL BUILDINGS & PATTERNS

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

We've been reunited in Portugal after Carla relocated from Johannesburg to Porto in November 2021.

Lucky me had the privilege to enjoy all Portugal had to offer with a local as my tour guide.


Here are a few of our favourite spots to check out if you're planning a trip to Portugal soon.


LISBON

The colourful buildings are nothing short of breathtaking, we had a blast in the vibey pink city. We were there for both work and play (new shoot loading, keep an eye out).


Take a moment for lunch at Amelia. We're super proud to mention that our good friend and collaborator, Mariana Albuquerque of Obvius Design spearheaded the branding of this very trendy lunch spot. Our Romaria collection is also available to shop at Mariana's showroom.

She introduced us to the work of local Portuguese fine artist Tail To Tail, the clever mind behind the character Amelia; the poodle with the best hair day.


Best Pastéis De Nata in town? There is some controversy around this topic.

Most would recommend Pastéis de Belém located in Belém but the queues were madness.

We stopped at Castro instead, a very fancy Pastéis De Nata atelier in Chiado. A picturesque little shop with brass and terrazzo finishes with only two things on their menu; coffee and Pastéis De Nata. Carla says their pastries are 99.9% close to the real deal which is totally fine by me. It was out of this world and a very difficult new addiction to upkeep. ;)

See my happy face below.


The contrast of old versus new juxtaposed in perfect harmony.

We've strolled around the older, traditional streets of Lisbon with high buildings stacked on top of each other divided by narrow cobblestone streets and concluded our day at the modern Maat Museum, thereafter the Champalimaud Foundation - a cancer research centre where we enjoyed a peaceful lunch at Darwin's Café overlooking the river.



DOURO VALLEY - FARMHOUSE QUINTA DE S. BERNARDO

Heading inland to a beyond beautiful boutique wine farm located next to the Douro River in the Douro Valley which is a well known wine region approximately 1,5 hours drive from Porto. Enjoy a farm-to-table lunch and the most insightful wine tasting of all time.



PORTO

Totally saving the best for last. :)


Porto has a lot to offer, it is a city with a calmer rhythm compared to Lisbon and it has a very cool local design scene. The massive Douro River passes through the city and runs through the Douro Valley where we visited the wine farm. Boats travel back and forth from the valley with the purpose of stocking the city with the best wines.


We stayed in Foz and hopped over to different parts of the city from downtown to Gaia.


In Foz, I enjoyed hitting the streets for a peaceful morning jog alongside the river, trying out local choccies at Arcádia and watching the sunset from the lighthouse where the river meets the ocean.



Downtown is where the action happens. On the one side of the river, you can explore historical monuments and buildings with multiple little shops and restaurants, where on the other side you will find the wine region with a variety of restaurants representing the wine farms in the Douro Valley. The WOW (World Of Wine) building is brand new and magnificent. We ended our gallivanting with a drink at The Yeatman Hotel with views to die for.


We've experienced all kinds of weather from to rain to wind and shine. We were always dressed in Romaria and always super comfortable; from the airport rush to a fancy dinner date.

Knitwear is the ultimate travel wear because it folds up well and it doesn't crease. The bonus is of course when a stranger stops you in the streets to ask where you've bought your kimono. :)


In conclusion, there are two common threads from this trip that we are taking away with us;

1. The power of making only one thing but really, really well, and

2. There are always patterns for those who want to see them.




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