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An impromptu holiday to Lisbon, Portugal
I was recently listening to a podcast with former monk Jay Shetty, and he said that in order to understand what you value, look at your bank accounts to see what you spend your money on. One of the things that my hubby, Andrej, and I have in common is that we both truly value travel. When Andrej saw that there were direct flights from Boston to Lisbon, we decided to take a very impromptu trip to this beautiful city, a place that’s been on both of our wish lists for a few years now. Lisbon exceeded our expectations!
Where We Stayed: Brown’s Avenue Hotel
This centrally located boutique hotel is very stylish and has great service. The highlight for us was the beautiful rooftop pool, where we’d retire after our daily walking explorations.
As we were traveling sans kids, we did appreciate a quiet and splash-free pool, as Brown’s is for adults only.
As recommended by our friend Mary Everard, we took a tuk-tuk tour around the city to get the lay of the land. Our tour was only one hour long because we booked it the night before; we wish we’d booked a two-hour tour to view more scenery.
You can’t write about Portugal and not mention the beautiful tiles that cover walls, sidewalks, and even furniture. As a designer with a history of textile pattern design, being surrounded by patterns galore gives me so much joy.
Favorite Lunch: Lumi Rooftop
An elegantly designed space with delicious food served al fresco.
My personalized pendant, to keep my kids close:Engravable Large Flat Heart Pendant with Adelaide Chain
For a welcome inspiration overload, check out Fashion Clinic.
Whenever we travel, Andrej and I seek out the local flea markets and food markets. Every Tuesday and Saturday in the neighborhood of Alfama, there’s a flea market that offers a large variety of goods, from junk to precious artifacts. If you look, you’ll find some memento of your stay.
Day Trip: Cascais
About 30 minutes from Lisbon center, this fabulous coastal town is a perfect little day-trip getaway when you’re staying in the city.
We wandered into the Museum Condes de Castro Guimarães, a former summer home built in 1900, which is now open to the public and a fun way to see how the rich used to live.
We chose our incredible lunch from the day’s fresh catch at Marisco Na Praca, located in the Cascais Marina.
Cascais personalized bracelet party:
Day Trip: Sintra
Also just 30 minutes outside Lisbon is the town of Sintra, which is home to many opulent castles that are a must-see.
Quinta da Regaleira, built 1904-1910, has many intricate details for such a new(ish) construction. It has the feeling of being very old, but in fact (especially for Europe), it really isn’t. In the animal and nature motifs especially, there are nods to Art Nouveau style, which was en vogue at that time.
The property has two “initiation wells” that were used for ceremonial purposes, which included tarot initiation rites.
Had to show off my new shades (purchased in Cascais), as I prefer their design to that of the Pena Palace behind me! Kind of a hodgepodge of different styles.
Some details that caught my eye:
We will most certainly return to Portugal, perhaps next time with the whole brood in tow. Porto and Lagos are on my list…