+++ P.O. (BBG) How to Spend a Perfect Weekend in Europe’s Coolest New Capital

P.O.

In my opinion Lisbon has no match in Europe or in the World for that matter.

The Algarve, a three hour drive from Lisbon, is the best beach destination in Europe,and one of the best in the World.

The location, the climate, it’s history, it’s architecture, it’s gastronomy, the fantastic beaches 20 minutes away from the center make Lisbon unmatchable, but above all the Portuguese an educated and welcoming People that are the best hosts, full stop.

Lisbon was the number one city in the World in the early 16th Century when most of the other European Capitals were still living in the Middle Ages…

Portugal has been named Europe’s best destination at the World Travel Award in 2017.

And…

Portugal is the third safest Country in the World after two Countries that are islands…

Iceland and New Zealand.

Here there are no radical groups, crime and violence are  virtually non existent…

Tolerance is the only way the Portuguese know.

More and more foreigners live in Portugal, namely Madonna that lives in Lisbon.

And you know what…?

Compared to other European capitals it is not expensive at all.

Prices are still a fraction of the other European Capitals prices.

But I have a biased opinion…

I am Portuguese.

And proud of it!

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

(Bloomberg) If everyone you know is thinking about going
to Lisbon, there’s plenty of reason for that. Its meteoric rise
as a culture capital is just one part of the appeal. The city is
also undergoing a luxury hotel boom, and the food scene is hot,
hot, hot. But all that is amplified by Lisbon’s ease of access:
It’s the closest European hub for Americans and offers a worlds-
away feeling for travelers coming from within the Continent as
well.
Whether you’re coming for a long layover or a long weekend,
here’s what to squeeze into a three-day trip.
Day 1
Check into Verride Palácio de Santa Catarina, a new, 18-
room hotel overlooking the Tagus River. It has an old-meets-new
vibe that’s in keeping with today’ best boutique hotels: lots of
marble, vaulted ceilings, and parquet floors, all piled up with
geometric patterned rugs and wicker-back chairs. From there,
it’s a 10-minute taxi ride west to Belem to visit the country’s
most talked about new cultural destination: the Museum for Art,
Architecture and Technology (MAAT). There, you can tour
Portugal’s historic Tejo Power Station, which is part of the
museum, and learn about the history of electricity—or you can
check out Portuguese artist Eduardo Batarda’s latest paintings
as part of his exhibition, Mistoqueros — A Selection of T-Shirt
Fronts, on display until Feb. 27.
Lunch is at Espaço Espelho d’Água, where the menu is
inspired by the reach of Portugal’s historic empire; standouts
include Brazilian moquecas and Japanese teriyaki sauce over
vegetables. Sit in the back room, which is anchored by a
colorful, wall-to-wall mural by Sol LeWitt.
Murals are a theme in downtown Lisbon. Some are made from
centuries-old painted tiles called azulejos, while others are
contemporary street works. Navigate the urban art scene with the
help of Underdogs Gallery, a prominent artists’ collective that
organizes official street art tours that include some of the
city’s top talents.
Book well in advance—we’re talking two months—to get into
Belcanto for dinner. It’s Lisbon’s only two-Michelin-starred
restaurant, and superstar Portuguese chef José Avillez just gave
it a total redo. His menu adds global touches to typical
national recipes such as a modernist, compressed square of
suckling pig that riffs on traditional leitão. A good
alternative? Pateo, the seafood-centric dining room inside
Bairro do Avillez, evokes the intimate feel of a small
neighborhood plaza; it’s the perfect setting for grilled razor
clams and crab-and-lobster rice.
Day 2
Take a day trip to the Tejo wine country just over an hour
away—much closer than the more famous vino verde wineries in
northern Portugal. The best way to get there is with the help of
a Wi-Fi equipped Mercedes and a driver from Amiroad. Tejo
wineries are beginning to export consistently to the American
market; their popularity is growing, thanks to a handful of
expressively juicy whites.
At Quinta do Casal Branco, focus on the winery’s premium
Falcoaria label. It includes a fruity, mineral-packed bottle of
Fernão Pires, which is one of Portugal’s oldest and most planted
varietals. What’s more, the staff can whip up an impressive
seafood lunch, so you can linger over your favorite pour.
A few kilometers away is Quinta da Alorna, a historic
estate built in the 18th century, with a majestic fleet of
Lusitano horses. Feel free to go for a ride before tasting the
vineyard’s Marquesa de Alorna Grande Reserva, a silky red with a
bit of spice. Want to know what grapes are used in these
bottles? Sorry, it’s the winemaker’s secret.
Sober up while you watch the sun set, then make it back to
Lisbon in time for a late dinner at Loco, where chef Alexandre
Silva creates 14- to 18-course menus of cleverly updated
Portuguese classics. The roster changes nightly, but we loved
the smoked and slow-cooked salted duck breast, served with
rhubarb compote and charred kale, when we last ate there.
Day 3
Brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon is a massive
buffet with fresh sushi, cod dumplings, a live grill station,
crispy samosas, and lots of local cheeses—the perfect chance to
catch up on traditional delicacies you haven’t yet tried. Then
it’s time for a little retail therapy. Steer clear of azulejo
tiles you might find in antique shops or flea markets; they were
probably pried off building facades illegally. Instead, head to
the residential neighborhood of Mouraria, where family-owned
Cortiço & Netos sells thousands of discontinued tiles collected
by the merchants’ grandfather.
A 10-minute taxi ride to Cais do Sodré will bring you to
SAL, a concept store from design firm Branco Sobre Branco. It’s
known for swivel armchairs upholstered in velvet and slender
bronze table lamps that look more like supersized jewelry; more
portable purchases include all-natural bergamot candles and
handmade notebooks with beautiful local photographs.
Then it’s off to happy hour at Double9, which specializes
in tea-based cocktails. You can’t go wrong with the bright
crimson Clover T-Club, which blends gin, raspberries, and ginger
with red-fruit tea. Follow it up with dinner at brand-new
Leopold, the first restaurant in the exclusive Palacio Belmonte,
with a dramatic setting at the foot of Castelo de São Jorge.
Chef Tiago Feio obsesses on extracting the cleanest, sharpest
flavors from each ingredient he uses. His plate of raw wild
spinach, crunchy barley malt seeds, and sous-vide turnips is a
study in minimalism and restraint, and it’s a great example of
how far fine dining has come in this city.

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