Lisbon made an impression
I’m finally back and so is international travel. I turned 50 in late May and we’ll celebrate our 25th anniversary this week so it was time high time for a trip. After many ifs and buts and a bit of a planning rut, we chose Lisbon, Portugal. It was a great choice.
Beautiful boutique hotel in Santos
We stayed at Lisbon Boutique Hotel Cheese & Wine in one of their suites with a balcony. They offer 22 suites and 11 serviced apartments. The hotel provided a beautiful suite in an old house and impeccable service. I loved the high ceilings and décor of the room. The bed was comfortable and the shower had great water pressure and a rainfall shower. The towels were big and fluffy which I love. Breakfast offered a good selection of high-quality products and eggs made-to-order. Upon arrival, the hotel serves a half bottle of local wine, cheese and crackers that was waiting in the room. In the evenings the staff brought a sweet treat to your room to wish you good night. I loved the personalized service and the attention to detail. All in all a wonderful place to stay with easy access to many sites and the city in general.
First day exploring the city
We arrived late on Wednesday night and had pre-ordered transportation from the airport to our hotel. After unpacking we settled down to enjoy the cheese and wine provided and then headed to bed. The next morning we got to try the hotel breakfast after which we headed out to explore the city. We walked to a nearby metro station to buy tickets for local transportation. They have a specific short-term travel card model onto which you can load either money (pay-as-you-go), full-day unlimited travel or a single trip. We opted for the pay-as-you-go option. We hopped on the metro and headed to the old bullfighting arena Campo Pequeno that has been converted to a mall and event center. After some metro travel and walking, we ended up at Praça do Comércio. After exploring the surrounding area we stopped for a drink at the historic Café Nicola in operation since 1929 at Praça Dom Pedro.
Lunch at Time Out Market
I had stumbled upon Time Out Market when researching Lisbon before the trip and it sounded like a place I didn’t want to miss. The concept was developed by the Time Out Portugal team in 2014. The market combines 26 restaurants, 8 bars, a dozen shops, and a high-end music venue with some of the city’s best-known (and longest-running) market vendors of meat, fish, fruit, and flowers. While walking to the metro station in the morning we stumbled upon the Time Out Market by chance and I was thrilled to realize it was within walking distance from our hotel. So this is where we headed for a late lunch on our first day in Lisbon. It took us a while to explore all the food on offer and settle on a place to order from. We ended up choosing seafood (I had scallops and hubby prawns) from a place called Sea Me. The food was excellent and I fell in love with the atmosphere at Time Out Market. Definitely two thumbs up for this concept, a must-visit place in Lisbon especially if you are a foodie.
Dinner close to the hotel
I hadn’t made any dinner plans for our first day so we decided to head out and explore the places close to our hotel. After walking around a few blocks and checking out the menus here and there we opted for Mexican food. The place we chose was called El Cabron Tacos y Tequila. We ended up ordering margaritas (I had the mango version and hubby the traditional) and guacamole and chips to start. The guacamole was good but not great and the chips were delicious. Then we both had tacos. I had two shrimp tacos and hubby had two shrimp and two beef tacos. The tacos were great with relatively authentic Mexican flavors. All in all a great first-night dinner and I would eat here again. I was happy with our random choice of restaurant.
Stay tuned for more posts about Lisbon and Portugal.