Friday, 23 December 2016

Xmas Chronicles | Gift Ideas to Buy in Portugal





Don't know about you, but I love to buy local products whenever I travel, both for me and to offer my loved ones. Portugal is loaded with amazing products at excellent prices that are great for you to take home. As we are full speed into Christmas day, after my Gift Ideas for Travelers, give you some gift ideas for what to buy when you visit Portugal that can be nice or original gifts back home.







Maybe you only visit Lisbon, but Portuguese countryside is lovely and, specially in Spring, full of wild flowers. You can take pictures and you can bring some seeds home (check if you can, some countries don't allow travelers to enter the border with foreign seeds or plants) and reproduce some of the beauty of our countryside in your gardens or flower pots. Sementes de Portugal (1) presents a portfolio of about 350  autochthonous species seeds. This unique project permits both Portuguese and visitors to bring to their gardens some of the most emblematic flowers of this country.








Food and drinks are great options for you while visiting this country. Portugal has a diversity of outstanding wines at unbelievable prices. Portuguese olive oil is of top quality. Cheese, ham and chorizos are to die for. Some of the best sea salt is collected here. Cakes, biscuits and traditional sweets won't disappoint you.

So, why not take something sweet like this Paupério biscuits (2)? This traditional brand from 1874, produces artisanal biscuits with high quality ingredients under the higher standards of food safety. They have different packages, all with lovely vintage designs, and a variety of delicious products that reminds us of our granny's cookies. Take one of this with you to offer and surely will be a success.






Portugal has several brands of fine tableware and decorative pieces. My favorite decorative ceramic pieces are from Bordallo Pinheiro (3). In 1884 Bordallo began his ceramics production, developing pieces of great technical, artistic and creative quality, such as azulejos (blue tiles),  pots, table centerpieces, pitchers, plates, vases and ceramic animals, among others. Bordallo's ceramics, where fauna and flora is adopted as decorative inspiration, became well known, especially for its artistic quality, both at a national and international level. I have many antique pieces from Bordallo, but one of my favorite new pieces is the sardine. You can find a multitude of designs and they are a really fun and original gift.






Founded in 1824, the Vista Alegre (5) was the first industrial unit dedicated to producing porcelain in Portugal. Since then, the company has showed a constant effort to adjust to design evolution and art movements, that is reflected in its products. In its portfolio you can find the more traditional designs along with new artistic projects from both Portuguese and foreign artists, architects and designers.






You can also choose a beauty product to bring home to a friend, like creams, colognes and soaps made with natural products according to artisanal methods. That's the case of Cleo Soaps (4) from Tomelo, a eco development company. This creamy hydrating natural soaps are made with donkey's milk permitting to contribute to the preservation of an autochthonous species that is in risk of extinction. The animals are raised free and milked manually. There are other products like facial creams and exfoliating soaps (inside a pure sheep wool bag) that feel great in the skin.






I know you all love our Portuguese tiles. Although I would advise against buying antique azulejos that you are not sure of its origin (some may be product of robbery and vandalism), there are many good reproductions and new artist designs build upon this great Portuguese tradition and art. This gift I present here is something else. You can bring your friends (or yourself) a book about Portuguese tiles. You will find many different editions, with different scopes and for differentiated budgets. This Azulejo em Lisboa (6) from Zest Books presents you the best walks to view the beautiful tiles that cover so many walls in the city. But the editor has many other interesting books on Lisbon and Portugal that will make the perfect gift for someone at home.






All this products are favorite of mine and can be found on line (through the links). Many of them are also available at Vida Portuguesa, a gorgeous shop you can find both in Lisboa and Porto. You can also read, and look at the photos, in our article about it.
















19 comments:

  1. Great ideas, wish I could have gotten sum of this before Christmas.

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    1. Next time you visit Portugal, or you can order from the online stores.

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  2. These are great ideas. When we were in Portugal we brought back ceramic plates & old tiles and Port Wine. Everyone loved both.

    Kelsey
    anelegantencounter.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Kelsey,
      Ceramics and Port are a classic and a must :) and always great presents.

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  3. These are some great souvenir ideas. I love to bring things that I use, rather than just "deco" stuff. It reminds me of my travels, whenever I use it :)

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    1. Me too ;) I'm specially keen for food and cooking books.

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  4. Wonderful ideas, I love those porcelain fish. I recently visited the Azores and brought back quite a few tins of delicious fish. It was a big hit for everyone I gave it to.

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  5. Great gift ideas! I love Lisbon. Such an interesting and gorgeous city. I hope to return again this summer.

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  6. I always seek out local items when traveling. As a ceramicist, I love those tiles. I hope to get to Portugal, perhaps in the upcoming year.

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  7. Wow some really unique souvenirs there. I'm not big on seeds because the weather difference at home means most of the time the seeds don't grow, but the rest of the ideas including locally made ceramics - so colorful - the biscuits, and the tiles are all really cool ideas.

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  8. These are such fun ideas! I've always wanted to visit Portugal, but we just haven't made it there yet. I love the idea of bringing home some treats in one of those fabulous tins; it's like a gift that keeps on giving! And having some tiles would be a really nice idea, thank you for the warning about vandalism. I would hate to promote that due to my own ignorance!

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  9. Nice. I thoroughly enjoyed the porcelain items when I was there. I bought a few actually and still have them.

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  10. Portugal souvenirs are so colorful and so real too, just like the country itself. I was really keen on so many of these, but how much can you fill your house with...so ultimately the one thing we bought was a couple of Azulejos.

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  11. Great ideas! I especially love the biscuits (I do have a sweet tooth though to be fair!) and the seeds! When we visited Amsterdam we bought home some tulip seeds to plant in our garden and it's a longer lasting reminder of a country visited when they bloom :D

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  12. I love all of these ideas! It's so nice when you can bring people something decent rather than a fridge magnet. I love cooking with authentic ingredients so the olive oil, chorizo and sea salt would be top of the list for me!

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  13. Such a beautiful collection of souvenirs. I guess there is something here to the liking of people of all different tastes. I am crazy particularly about freeze magnets and keep collecting some where ever I go

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  14. Great collection of beautiful souvenirs! Portugal is amazing

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  15. We would love to visit Portugal! These look like really cool souvenirs to pick up.

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  16. Portugal is beautiful and these gifts are a perfect souvenir!!

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