Walk around Lisbon
Being the capital of a seafaring country has its rewards: the best seafood from Marisqueira do Lis makes for a wonderful lunch. You should order more buttered toasts before the ones on the table run out, so as not to waste the sauce from the Bulhão Pato-style clams. Walking down the avenue, we stop at Palma in Largo do Intendente’s bustling square for a hibiscus margarita.
The relatively new riverside area, from Campo das Cebolas to Ribeira das Naus, can be covered on foot. Then a visit to Galeria Malapata, where we find illustrations and artefacts by young Portuguese artists. Are they the future of illustration? It may be worth turning an acquisition here into a souvenir to take home. The egg candy cornucopias from the Alcoa pastry shop a little higher up in the Chiado are not easily forgotten.
Lisbon is very much about street life, and among all the shops and kiosks there are places I always make a point of stopping at: the Feeting Room, Pau-Brasil and Quiosque Lisboa. They all involve an upward climb on Rua da Misericórdia, with an obligatory stop-off at the Jesuit Church of São Roque, and a browse of the fabulous antique shops and tempting bars along the way.
Lisbon is also the fusion of centuries of influences, and there’s nothing better than experiencing Goan cuisine at Jesus é Goês, where the amazing dogfish ambotic will make you sweat. For dessert, there’s nothing quite like the taste of a bebinca.
O Topo, in Martim Moniz square, rounds off the evening with a superb view over the Castle.
In the morning at Fábrica Lisboa, where the best croissants are made and served, we stroll the narrow streets of the Alfama heading for the imposing National Pantheon and then on to the Feira da Ladra fleamarket with its hidden treasures. One of them, less itinerant than the fair, is the ceramic shop Armazém das Caldas. We have lunch at Santa Clara dos Cogumelos and climb (once again, but in Lisbon on foot the climbs always have a reward) to the Jardim do Cerco da Graça. We recharge our batteries with a slice of chocolate cake at the Teatro da Garagem café and a visit to the old Mouraria quarter via Rua de São Cristóvão. We dine on typical Portuguese fare at Trigueirinho, which never leaves us wanting, and return to Largo do Intendente, where a cocktail on the top floor of Casa Independente or a lemonade on the terrace takes us to a more alternative, free and fun-loving Lisbon.
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