We are sitting with my friend Rachel on the terrace in one of the kiosks of Avenida Da Liberdade. It is 6 a.m. We leave Le Baron nightclub. Everything is fine! The famous Parisian club relocated to the Lisbon capital still with the same team André Saraiva and his longtime partner Lionel Bensemoun. We order uma bica (an espresso).
Initially, I had an appointment only this morning at 10 a.m. with Noe – from the city of the seven hills – to take the pulse of a capital that I thought was still lulled by the nostalgic echoes of fado. It is over, the city is shaking off prejudices and setting the scene in London and Barcelona.
2 DAYS / 1 NIGHT
This day promises to be good because Noe will give us a guided tour of the city of 7 hills. Born in Lisbon, the beautiful takes us to her favorite places aboard her racing car, an old school BMW M6. It must be said that Car Culture is omnipresent here and the Portuguese cultivate a real automotive passion. Even the oldest cars are relatively well maintained. It is not trivial to find a lot of concessionaires near the country’s departmental roads because after the last crisis, the population started selling houses, cars…
To return to the model offered by his father for his 28 years, we climb aboard an M635 CSI. This model was produced from 1984 to 198 was produced only 5,855 copies worldwide and between 120 and 160 units in Portugal.
Noe tells me more: “It was 2008, it only had 57 166 miles. The owner had only taken it out once a month to buy bread for several years. During the crisis, his wife told him asked to part with a few cars and this one, more passionate about the Americans than the Germans, chose to part with the M635 CSi, here is the story of this car”.
The night was short, but intense. A real expert coffee with a pasteis de nata is essential, we head to Pastelaria Benard to offer us some tantalizing emotions: freshly squeezed orange juice, very dark coffee and especially famous Portuguese pastries like pasteis de nata (sort of small flans presented in tartlets) and the bolo de arroz (small rice flour muffins). A legendary address that brings together locals and visitors alike every morning.
In Benfica, north of Lisbon and a stone’s throw from the city center, the Fronteira Palace reveals marvelous gardens inspired by the Italian Renaissance. In the middle of pruned yews and traditional azulejos, an old hunting lodge built in 1670 by the first marquis of Fronteira. The library is also open to visitors.
Where to park in Lisbon?
Parking has been regulated for a long time, more often to prohibit or restrict its use on public roads than to organize it… Continue reading
Since the time I come to Lisbon, I have never had the opportunity to visit the Calouste Gulbenkian foundation, founded in 1956 according to the last wishes of the Armenian financier. Named after him, the foundation was designed in Lisbon to display his personal collection of art to the public. work Today, the foundation organizes temporary exhibitions and holds a permanent collection of objects of classical oriental art and European works from the 11th to the 20th century. With its delegations in London and Paris, it is a dynamic cultural center, open to art and the world.
We drive at the rate of Christian Loffler, open windows. Without map or app, we seek to lose ourselves in the footsteps of Pessoa. While crisscrossing the city streets, an iodine breeze dances the laundry hanging on the flowered balconies. Lisbon looks like a southern village. The experience is interesting in the face of the reliefs of the road that sometimes remind those of the roller coaster. I bet on the driving pleasure, while outside, amazed bystanders unsheathe their camera to capture a picture of this pleasant vehicle to watch.
In an old pharmacy, Comoba cares about sustainability and offers organic meals throughout the day. It is no coincidence that Noe takes me here – the good energy is palpable. It is a cosmopolitan space where we want to stay – it is a little bit of the world in Lisbon. Here there are no divisions on the menu and all the dishes can be ordered; if you want a burrito for breakfast, or a tower of pancakes for lunch, it is possible. The idea is that you are free to enjoy whatever you want without rules. Comoba avoids the use of plastic and disposable utensils. The napkins, for example, are not paper, but fabric (created by a local craftswoman), the ingredients are mainly produced in the Lisbon region (supporting local trade and small producers), everything is organic and all dishes are cooked by the attentive staff of the house. Trade is made with small producers, everything is organic and all dishes are cooked by the attentive staff of the house.
The pleasure of the present moment with an impregnable view on the Tage. “Tudo bom?” My friend answers me “Tudo bom”. So drive! Let us enjoy this baroque city, reborn, bright, a bit to the west. Ride again and again to see the time pass on the city in a very tangible way: between the old buildings and the cracks on the hovels, the contrasts are striking. From one neighborhood to another, Lisbon mixes its cobbled streets lined with rickety trams, mamas dressed in black grilling sardines on their doorstep, minimalist all glass and steel restaurants, shops ultra trendy. Carefree of fashion and time, this city is well anchored in reality.
It is now time to ask Santa Clara 1728 for a moment. I have reserved a room in this sublime traditional 18th century residence. Tonight we have dinner at Noe at Belcanto.
but before that a trip to Cascais to enjoy the sunset.
Where to sleep in Lisboa?
At the heart of a traditional 18th century residence, it was the architect Manuel Aires Mateus who took on the decor orders for this intimate hotel, which only has six rooms… Continue reading
The two-star Michelin restaurant, the Belcanto restaurant, is expertly managed by the young chef José Avoulez (past squad of Alain Ducasse and Éric Fréchon at Le Bristol). À la carte, Portuguese cuisine brilliantly revisited, like the sea bass fillet with smoked avocado, pistachio oil and lemon zest. A beautiful table to reserve for an exceptional dinner. I am taking off tomorrow for the south of Portugal.
Noe is accompanying me.