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Lisbon – where trendy meets traditional
From charming mosaic lined streets framed by elegant tile-clad buildings, to breath taking views across the Tagus river as it meets the Atlantic after a 1,000 kilometre journey through the Iberian Peninsula – Lisbon has it all. And with the hoards of tourists commonly seen in other European destinations absent from street to street, visitors can take free roam of the city, soaking up the sights, sounds and flavours famed in the Portuguese capital.
Recently revamped, the new look Vintage is where traditional meets trendy. The warm quarters of the upscale property house a vibrant mix of mid century vintage furniture and art that reconciles the hotel’s name. This unique interior style extends to the 56 rooms which are decorated with the rich colour palette of Lisbon and combine time honoured style with modern practicality. Each room comes complete with a complementary bar cart, allowing guests to create personalised Gin and Tonic combos using a trove of local products – an interesting spin on the traditional mini-bar concept.
Heading skywards, the Vintage’s V Rooftop Bar and terrace is home to stunning views across the City, a fantastic spot to soak up a cocktail while marvelling at Castelo de S. Jorge under pristine blue skies.
After a long day exploring, take advantage of the Vintage’s subterranean spa and gym complete with pool (a rare luxury in the city), and where a range of soul nurturing treatments and massages are available.
Located on the ground floor, The Blue Restaurant & Bar delivers on focussed Portuguese flavours and is elegantly decorated to reflect Portugal’s strong association with the sea and nature. Chic but relaxed, this restaurant comes complete with a beautifully bright and green courtyard. A zen space to enjoy breakfast under the morning sky.
Top marks to the Vintage and their fantastic team who have achieved a real sense of balance and cool calm in this trendy and refreshing boutique.
A culinary tourism hotspot – Where to Eat
After marvelling at the late Anthony Bourdain’s visit here as part of the No Reservations series (available on Netflix, other streaming services available) dining at Ramiro was a must. Don’t sweat the compulsory hour wait. This offers time to prepare mentally for what goes on in these four walls, and is made a little easier by the beer dispenser that lives permanently in the waiting area, refreshing soon to be seriously happy diners. No dish recommendations are needed here as you literally can’t go wrong (although sucking the brains out of a giant Atlantic Scarlet prawn head is a good idea). Bom apetite!
Keeping with the theme of crowd pleasers, drop all preconceptions of peri peri and give this spot a try. A no nonsense, no glam eatery serving the real deal when it comes to delicious chicken, indulgent spicy rice and chips – smiles all round.
Wow it’s easy to get drunk here. A great place to indulge on local wines and fantastic plates that embrace super fresh seafood and meats. The pork cheek stew was one of the stand out dishes of the trip. Caution is advised when digestives are served as European free pouring is at its very best here. Book in advance as this is literally somebody’s front room!
Street food markets continue to pull the crowds across the UK, with the likes of Kerb, Boxpark and Dinerama serving up a fast, casual dining experience. The Time Out Lisboa market is no different and is a magnet for hungry visitors seeking both fine dining and casual eats. Here Michelin starred chefs Henrique Sá Pessoa and Alexandre Silva offer diners refined plates, while local smash and grab favourites of bacalhau pastéis (cod cakes) and pastéis de nata sell by the truck load. Authentic Portugal all under one large scale and buzzing roof. Go hungry, try lots!
The most famous pastéis cafe in all of Lisbon has to be Pastéis de Belém and boy does it live up to its reputation. Custard tart lovers, stock up on these crispy sweet treats and don’t forget a generous sprinkle of cinnamon and icing sugar to complete the best foodgasm in town. Expect to queue for these tiny morsels of happiness but fear not, they are worth every second.
A short ferry ride over the river Tagus lies Ponto Final, a true destination restaurant that serves up uninterrupted views of Lisbon. Grab a chilled vinho verde and tuck into a fantastic array of freshly grilled seafood and the refreshing bacalhau salad with chickpeas, or sizzle along with the wholesome monkfish stew. Mind your step!
Brimming with tradition, culture and stunning cuisine it is impossible not to fall in love with Lisbon. The charm and quirk of The Vintage Hotel accentuates the style of the city while adding a touch of luxury – a perfect base camp for any visit here. A unique break full of surprises, have a tipple of Ginjinha and get lost amongst the endless colours, cobbles and tiles.
We were kindly hosted by The Vintage Lisbon during our stay – all opinions are our own.