Friday, 30 June 2017

Saying Goodbye to June

Months come and go at Warp speed and half of 2017 is gone already. Today we are saying goodbye to June and making a balance of the last 30 days.

I have been around Lisbon most of the time and brought you some suggestions on places to go, like Largo do Carmo, on places to eat, like Bairro do Avillez, and on things to do, like Festas de Lisboa. Although its not usual, bring to you not one but two lists - a hot one on some of my suggestions for Summer, and on what to eat (and drink!) if you're visiting Lisbon.

I'm planning to leave the city for the Summer, but my destination will be a surprise. Until the next monthly wrap-up, leave you with the nine photos that are the Top 9 for June on our Instagram account. You can follow us there for daily photos and tips.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Food Chronicles | Bairro do Avillez (Lisbon)

Dubbed the King of Chiado, Chef José Avillez does not stop creating new spaces to serve his clients. The recent Bairro do Avillez  (Avillez's Neighborhood) is, in their own words, "the most atypical of Lisbon’s neighborhoods", combining different, but complementary concepts. The Bairro, housed in a  1000 square meters venue in the heart of Chiado district, presents a Mercearia (gourmet deli) where you can find some irresistible delicacies, books and some kitchen and cooking accessories, a Taberna (Tavern) where you can share Petiscos with your friends and a Páteo where seafood and fish are king. The Bairro also includes Beco, where you can taste an internationally inspired menu while you watch a cabaret show.

Have been twice at Bairro with a group of friends and both times we opted for the Taberna menu, choosing small portions and sharing the delicious food that was brought to the table. All started with bread, olives and fresh butter from Azores. The beef croquetes with mustard and pickles are to share and die for (better ask for at least two for each person!). The grilled asparagus and mushrooms salad is also a delicious option (fit for vegetarian diet). I've tried the Tuna steak sandwich and the beefsteak sandwich and they are both great, juicy and truly tasty. My friends had the piglet sandwich, the twice cooked veal and the grilled Iberian pork strips and they all loved it. For dessert I've tried the orange and vanilla custard and the Taberna's chocolate cake, both very good and not to sugary.

The restaurante is bright and colorful, with plenty of space and with a gorgeous decoration, specially in Taberna with the tile mural and all the vegetables and fish hanging from the ceiling. The staff could not be more accommodating and attentive, assisting us in the choosing of our dishes and presenting a quick and efficient service.

Bairro do Avillez
Rua Nova da Trindade, 18
1200-303, Lisbon, Portugal


Taberna and Mercearia: from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Páteo: from 12.30 p.m. to 3.00 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 12 p.m.

Bairro do Avillez Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Wanderer's Hot List | 7 Things To Do This Summer

Summer is here and for many of you this is the time for take a break from work or school, to relax, to travel and to do some of the things that have been waiting for a while. This Hot List of mine was made to bring you some suggestions and is mostly based on the things I like. Check it for one or two ideas you feel it will relate to you and, above all, enjoy the brand new season that just arrived today.


You can finally stop worrying about work, you have a lot of time in your hands, the days are longer and you end up in a frenzy trying to check a long list of things you must do to have the perfect Summer?


Relax! If you noticed, there is no "must do" on this list. Actually is just a silly list of things you / I can do. If you want, if you like... My first suggestion: Stop and Relax. Think about what you like and what you want, and then make your plans. But with the flexibility to make it enjoyable, not a list of tasks to do.


There is something invigorating about being close to the sea (for me, at least!). Love to go to the beach all year around, but the long Summer days make it special. I don't like to stay on the sand just sun bathing and prefer to go to the beach early in the morning or late in the afternoon, until the sun sets. You can find me there, walking on the sand, bathing in the ocean (if the water is not ice cold!), photographing and reading.


If there is no beach near you, go to the local swimming pool or to an hotel. Many hotels in the city accept daily visitors to their pools for a fee. Although a pool is not the ocean, usually has many other amenities available and is a nice option for the hot Summer days.


I love picnics all year around, but Summer is perfect to take a basket loaded with treats to the country side or to the beach. A blanket and some pillows are the special touch you need for extra comfort and style. Either a large picnic with a group of friends or a romantic one, just made for two, this is one of my favs for the season.


Most of the times is not so much for the drink as it is for the good company of old friends. Arrange a get together with some friends, head to a bar by the sea or on a rooftop and ask for some drinks. Laughters and cocktails (or mocktails) go perfectly with Summer.


Photo by Hampus Alexander Photography

Take advantage of the good weather and the warm Summer nights and go to a open air concert or to the movies. I have the dearest childhood memories of an open air cinema, where the film was projected on a white sheet stretched in the street. This year in Lisbon you too can go to the movies under the stars, all provided by Ciné Society. To make this experience even better, you can have that drink while you watch the film!


Stay on the beach until night, discover the best spot to wait for sunset in your city or in the city your are visiting, go to a sunset party somewhere and enjoy that perfect moment of color and light. You'll have the guarantee of a total exclusive, for each day will be different from the other. Do it by yourself or in any other good company and see how amazing it is.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Food Chronicles | 10 Things to Eat & Drink in Lisbon

Portugal is a great place for food lovers and Lisbon is no exception. You can find several suggestions for nice places to eat in Lisbon right here o the blog, but you just have to walk around in the city and most probably you'll have a great food experience waiting for you. Of course that with the growing tourism, there can be some tourist traps waiting for you but, most probably you will find good food and drinks at a very pleasant price. On this post I'll be charing with you some of the things that you will not want to miss while visiting the city.


If you visit Lisbon in the Summer, make sure you have some grilled sardines. This time of the year, the fish is loaded with fat (the good kind of fat that you must have!) and flavor. Unfortunately it has also lots of fishbones! Make sure you eat your sardines with a fresh salad and maybe some boiled potatoes. My tip: place the sardine on top of a slice of bread that you can eat in the end.


First let me explain for those  reading that are not Portuguese, what is a "Prego" (nail). If we are talking about food, Prego is a sandwich in which the filling is a beef steak, often spiced with mustard. You can find a good Prego almost anywhere in the city, but one of my favorite is the one at Prego da Peixaria where the beef loin melts down in the mouth and the bread ("bolo do caco", a tradicional bread form Madeira island) is delicious.


In Portugal you can find some of the freshest and tastiest seafood you'll ever eat. Look out for a Marisqueira (a restaurant specialized on seafood) and ask for your favorite seafood. Some of my favs include  Clams (ask for Ameijoas à Bulhão Pato), razor clams (Lingueirão), Grilled Limpets (Lapas) and barnacles (Perceves).


Portuguese love Petiscos! And what are Petiscos, you may ask. Well, Petiscos are a sort of Tapas, small portions of tasty food just made to share with our friends. In some restaurants you can find them on the starters section of the menu, and other places are specialized on this kind of food. Ask for some drinks and different options of food to share. Enjoy it!


No matter what you're eating, if you love a nice glass of wine you must have some Portuguese wine. Red or white, fresh green wine (great with seafood!) or rosé, you'll find lots of great options at amazing prices. Drink it while you're in the country and take some bottles home to remember your Portuguese adventure.


Nothing like a nice glass of Sangria on a Summer afternoon to wash down some tasty Petiscos or a greasy grilled sardine! Either red (my favorite) or white, this drink screams Summer. It must have lots of fruit inside the jug and also some mint and cinnamon sticks. You can also go for the more posh version of it, made with red fruits and champagne. I'm a simple girl and I'll stick by my red wine Sangria anytime I can!


Ginjinha, or simply Ginja, is a liquor obtained from the maceration of tart cherry, with spirit, sugar and cinnamon. Tis is a very popular drink in Portugal, especially in Lisbon. Made with the finest spirit and with local fruits, with  either no preservatives or artificial colorings, the liquor has a beautiful ruby color and a sweet and fruity taste. It can be served pure or with a macerated cherry in the bottom of the glass, what is called a “Ginjinha com elas”, meaning with them (the cherries). In this last few years, it became common to serve the liquor in a small chocolate cup, so if you like chocolate this is the way to try it.


Portuguese cheese is also not to be missed and if you're in Lisbon I suggest a good cheese from Azeitão. This sheep milk cheese is a DOP product and its soft and tasty paste is amazing. You can have it with a fresh white wine from the Setúbal's Peninsula Wine Region or with a Moscatel the Setúbal. Trust me, you'll love it!


No matter the restaurant you will find a long list of desserts to choose from. Some more sophisticated, some more traditional, but you can't get more traditional than choosing an Arroz Doce (Portuguese rice pudding). With lots of cinnamon on top is one of the best ways to taste our love for a sweet way to end our meals.


You can find Pastéis de Nata in almost every coffee shop in Lisbon (and all over Portugal for that matter!), but the original Pastéis de Belém, with its secret recipe, can only be found in Belém. The recipe, first developed by the monks from the Jerónimos Monastery, was sold to the Antiga Confeitaria de Belém in 1837 and since became one of the most famous pastries in Portugal and known world wide as Portuguese Custard Tarts.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Lisbon Chronicles | Santos Populares ( June's Street Parties)

The month of June is a special time of the year in Portugal, with lots of street parties across the country to celebrate its most popular saints - St. Antony, St. John and St. Peter.

Lisbon holds this party mood all month, but the days that precede the 13th are the particularly festive. Eating grilled sardines and drinking sangria (and beer) in one of the many food stalls in the street is part of the party. Walking around the decorated streets of the old town neighborhoods - like Alfama and Bica - is part of the fun. Dancing to the sound of popular music is a must.

If you have a girlfriend or want to impress that special girl, buy her a manjerico. The perfumed plant is embellished with a paper flower and a flag with a small love poem. In the other hand, all the single ladies that want to get married, only have to buy a St. Antony figurine, take it home and display the good saint facing the door. Antony is a celebrated match maker and he'll guarantee that the first guy to cross your door will be your future husband. So, what can I say? Please handle the saint with care and don't open the door to any unpleasant guy!

June 12th in the evening the is a parade (Marchas de Lisboa) at Avenida da Liberdade, a contest where groups from each one of the city's neighborhoods participates with an original song, choreography and original wardrobe.

All that been said, if you're in Lisbon, enjoy a good crowd, lots of smoke and noise, overpriced grilled sardines and bottled sangria, please go ahead and  plunge into this great Lisbon tradition. All the above is truth, but you'll have a lot of fun and, if the saint fancy you,  risk yourself to get an unexpected husband.

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