When you’re married to a chef, not only are you well fed but also well vested in the arts of organising your calendar to fit their sporadic shifts. So when hubby said to me he had a random week off in the middle on February it wasn’t such a massive bother to organise time off from the office so we could do something together.
When I say do something together, I mean go somewhere together. Travelling is something we both love and the best part is, we travel the same way. There’s nothing worse than having different priorities, different tastes and different goals when you’re supposed to share an experience with someone, but I’ve never had to worry about that with Hubby. Starting from the kind of hotels we like, to restaurants we’d like to visit, to wine we want to drink our plans are always in sync. This definitely takes a lot of stress off travelling together.
Lisbon is a perfect place for laid back travelling, by the way. The whole culture is built around eating at a leisurely pace and enjoying drinks a-plenty. And boy, is the food amazing. One thing I would point out is that even restaurants that may not look like much on the outside will have amazing food in them. On the first day we were going by an online recommendation and found ourselves at this little place that mostly had outside seating in discoloured plastic chairs and paper table cloths. But the food, oh, the food. Portugal’s traditional cuisine are sardines and these were spot on, as my pork steak in cream and cognac sauce… with a fried egg on top. That’s right folks, the Portuguese love their fried eggs and will put them on anything they can.
The wine is always delicious as well, but don’t bother trying to find a “shiraz” or “merlot” when ordering wine – just say what kind of wine you like and they will sort you out. I couldn’t find a bottle of wine that I recognized, by name or by grape, but goodness me they were delicious.
Speaking of drinks, the craft beer revolution has hit Lisbon hard as well and they have breweries within the city, as well as numerous craft beer bars serving the local produce. The most notable one we came across was LisBeer, which had by far the biggest selection on tap and in bottles. Definitely worth a visit.
I’m not going to tell you to try the Portuguese tarts and the coffee or port wine, but what I will tell you to try is Ginjinha, a cherry liquor you can buy in shots from little kiosks all over the city. They start selling it around 9 in the morning and stay open until come midnight, and no matter what time it is, these places are always packed. People stop to have one on their way to work, at elevensies, on lunch and after work. These little cherry delights are as much part of Lisbon as the trams and the mosaic floors. Don’t go there without trying one, even if you don’t like cherries. Or liquor.