KSW Travels: Portugal

What an amazing trip to Portugal!  It was my first and I fell in love with the wonderful country!
In Lisbon, we stayed at the  It was charming and small and was located in a great spot for walking to antique stores and restaurants.  Of course I loved that the interiors were entirely blue and white! 
There was a bit of construction going on in the hotel that provided a bit of noise but the staff was charming and accommodating.  I’d certainly go back!

This amazing wall treatment in the hotel foyer gave the look of trelliage but was made by placing mirrored tiles on a navy wall.  So clever!  I’m thinking of doing something similar in the powder bathroom of our new house!

The first thing we did after we checked in was hit the Feira da Ladra Flea Market.  It translates to thieve’s market and we found so many treasures!  It is open every Tuesday and Saturday from dawn until dusk.  We made the mistake of going with very few Euros!  No one accepted US Dollars and we wanted to purchase everything in site!

There were so many monogrammed linens around. 

This incredible piece of embroidered silk caught my eye too!

Every street in Lisbon was filled with charm and colorful streamers and cobblestone streets.  We walked and wandered until we got hungry.  We found a little corner cafe and sat down for some pizza (I’ll blame that craving on the jet-lag!)
Lisbon is filled with buildings covered in patterned tiles.  They are not only charming but very practical as they keep the heat inside in the winter.  Some of the patterns are certainly more charming than others but I was captivated by this blue and white example.  
Before I left for the trip I studied up on the history of these tiles, or Azulejo, in this fantastic article.

Since we are renovating our new house, I set out to find something we could use as a backsplash in the butler’s pantry.  Shopping for the tiles was a blast because I went armed with a list of places to check out!  The tiles in the photos above are new but my favorites came from the antique dealers below:
There is a wide variety of options in styles and price points and I tried to take a peek at all of them.  All of the places I visited are on the same walking path.   I started at our hotel, the LX Boutique Hotel and walked up hill on the R. do Alecrim. 

One of my favorite stops was at Dorey Tiles (Rua do Alecrim 68) where Maunel Mantero Capucho, the son of the founder, showed me around their incredible offering of antique tiles or Azulejos Antigos.  I love the modern way they combine a variety of very old tiles together randomly to create the look above! 

At the top of the hill, Solar, which came highly recommended, did not disappoint!  It was filled with rows and rows of Portuguese Tiles organized by time period and style.  I could have wandered in there for hours!  I took 40 pictures but above are two of my favorites.
The view from the top of the hill is stunning!
Our first night in town we were treated to an amazing dinner from my husband’s cousin, Barberine, who took us to Minibar Teatro, Chef Jose Avillez’s restaurant that lived up to his reputation.  Each small dish was a delight and the entire meal was full of surprises.  We gave them an extra challenge when we requested Vegetarian meals and they did not disappoint. Barberine has just opened a new concept store near the beach town of Comporta where she enjoys a vacation home!  I can’t wait to visit on my next trip to Portugal. 
Day 2:
We started our second day with a beautiful drive north to Porto.  We visited a factory for linens and I can’t wait to tell you more about!  Even though day one was full of fun, our trip was technically for work!  If you were following along on Instagram, you might have seen this fun video of a loom at work.
Day 3: 
Our third day was magical – my favorite day of the trip!  We visited the Vista Alegra Factory which is certainly worth the drive to get there. 
 The grounds are beautiful but the museum is not to be missed.  Highlights include the old Kilns (seen here) and the amazing old porcelain samples like the example below with old cyphers and crests.

We drove back to Lisbon after our tour and wandered over the to Time Out Mercado de Ribeira for dinner.  It was full of great stalls and samplings curated from all of Portugal’s best dining spots. It was a bit crowded for me but I’m so glad we went.  There is a booth featuring only items made in Portugal so we made some quick gift purchases to bring back home. 

Have you ever been to Portugal?  I plan to go back and I would love to know what you enjoyed!  Please comment here and share. xo

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