You don’t really realise how big the 25 de Abril bridge is until you are under it. I also love the colour coordination between the bridge and its surroundings.
Lisbon – 2017
Some places are so unique that it hard to describe them! This is the case for Lx Factory, in Lisbon. Lx Factory is not a restaurant, not a food market, not a bar, not a shop or an art gallery… Lx Factory is all of the above!
Nested under the 25 de Abril bridge, Lx Factory used to be an old manufacturing complex which has been transformed into a trendy art and food district. The 23.000 m2 industrial site is now home to some creative companies, restaurants, bars, shops and art galleries. From breakfast to the last drink of the day, Lx Factory will keep you entertained.
We arrived there around lunchtime, after exploring the neighbourhood of Belem in the morning. On the hunt for a light bite to eat, we settled on LXeeseCake which had the most appetising salads on the menu. There are plenty of food options and you will find something for everyone’s’ taste.
Andrew went for a chicken salad, I went for a cheese and berries one. Both delicious and very welcome after days of eating fish, beans, rice and Pasteis de Nata.
We ended our lunch with some delicious yet slightly less healthy deserts. It is all about balance, right? I am not a cheesecake fan (I know, I know, how is that even possible?) but even I enjoyed it!
We went for a digestive walk and explored all the small alleyways of LxFactory.
The street art scene is amazing in Lisbon, the locals fully embrace it and LxFactory really reflect this!
We visited all the shops! Some very trendy some… A lot more quirky!
We ended our visit on the south side and hopped on a train from Alcantara-Mar station back to Lisbon city centre.
Lx Factory is definitely one of the trendiest spots in Lisbon and could easily compete with the very hype Shoreditch or Brooklyn. So make sure to add it to your Lisbon itinerary!
Lisbon is such a vibrant city. It has a lot of shops and restaurants. People are very friendly and open-minded. It definitely has a very trendy and cosmopolitan vibe.
The food scene is also incredible, and, with the very good weather, the city is able to offer very various experiences to visitors, some indoor and some outdoor. Today, I am taking you to two places that are a mixture of both – covered food markets.
I will be talking about a very famous market which is in all the guides, and a lot less famous one where locals go to eat. So, ready for some food adventures? Let’s go!
Time Out Market needs no introductions if you have been to Lisbon or even just read about Lisbon. The giant food market is just next to Cais dos Sodré metro station and a short walk away from Baixa neighbourhood. Inside you will find dozens of food stalls. This place is absolutely huge, I have never seen such a big food market even in London!
I also love the Time Out Market concept. The food vendors have been curated based on Time Out ratings and reviews. One of the chefs even owns a Michelin star restaurant!
The ultimate destination for the foodies. Spy at other people’s plates, walk along the shops to see what’s on offer and enjoy a very tasty meal at a very soft price!
We opted for some octopus (you know me, I never say no to it!) and some risotto.
And for dessert? Make sure to have a pastel de nata at Manteigaria, of course!
If you want to get away from the touristy crowd of Time Out Market, head to Campo de Ourique, a neighbourhood north west of the city centre. It is only 15 minutes on the bus from Baixa. There you will find the eponymous Mercado de Campo de Ourique. This is where the locals (and a very few tourists) go!
The venue is similar to Time Out Market except much smaller. There are a lot of food stalls with a sitting area in the middle.
Again, walk around the place and pick something you fancy! You will find everything from local charcuterie boards to sushi.
Grab a refreshing bottle of rosé and enjoy a tasty meal while people watching.
Two very different food market, two very tasty experiences!
Today’s food destination is a popular one. Ponto Final is in most guides about Lisbon. Why? The food is good and authentic and the views of Lisbon are incredible. When visiting the city most attractions will keep you north of the Tagus. Ponto Final is a great excuse to go to the south bank and enjoy the views of the city centre.
To get there you will need to take the ferry from Cais de Sodre to Cacilhas. It takes about 15 minutes to reach the other side. Once there you will have to walk another 15 minutes along the shore. Be aware that at night, the path is very dark and can look a little bit intimidating, but don’t worry you will only run into other guests of the restaurant and some fishermen.
Make sure to take plenty of pictures on your way to Ponto Final, this is where you will get the best view of Lisbon north bank and the Ponte 25 de Abril.
Keep walking (in the dark, if like us you are going for dinner) and eventually you will be greeted by music, cheery voices and fairy lights. That is it! You have arrived at your destination!
We had booked a table outside but the nights in Lisbon can be quite chilly in the Autumn so we eventually had to move inside. No ones fault just the weather playing against us. It was a little bit of a shame as the view is one of the main reasons people eat at Ponto Final. So we took all the pictures we could and headed inside.
Luckily Ponto Final is also famous for its food! So we knew it wouldn’t be a disappointing evening. The main ingredient here is fish and the food is traditional and rustic. A great place to taste the real flavours of Portuguese food!
If you have been reading my blog for a while you will now that I love octopus, so of course, to start, I went for the octopus salad.
Andrew opted for the Ponto Final soup.
For mains, I went for the mackerel with boiling hot tomato rice and Andrew for the cod fritters with bean rice.
Everything we had was tasty! Portuguese food is simple and unfussy which makes it easily accessible to anyone. You get what is written on the menu, and in a way, it is a nice break from the ‘sounds fancy but not sure what that means‘ menus you can often get in Europe.
It is also good to note that the portions are extremely generous, so if you are a small eater you could easily share a main between two people.
Sticking with the Portuguese food theme, we shared a bottle of vinho verde, a wine only produced in Portugal. It is fresher than a regular white wine, easy to drink, and just delicious!
So if you are in Lisbon, make sure to have some fish at Ponto Final, maybe for lunch though, so it is a bit warmer!
In the very trendy neighbourhood of Principe Real, just north of Lisbon city centre, you will find Banca de Pau a Portuguese tapas restaurant. Multitasking as a deli, a wine shop and an eatery, the place only serves Portuguese products.
I can honestly say that it was one of the best meals we had during our stay in Lisbon. The products are excellent and all sourced locally. The staff is ADORABLE and speaks excellent English (and a bit of French!) and the prices are very reasonable.
Banca de Pau seems to have been recently renovated. The place feels modern and is very easy to navigate. At the table next to ours, there was a guest with visual impairment and they had no problem navigating the space. The staff was also extremely attentive to their specific needs. I thought I would mention it as I am conscious some people have to take those things into consideration when travelling! At Banca de Pau you will be well taken care of!
With a wine shop on site, you can choose a glass or pitcher of any of the bottles they sell. If you need a little bit of help make a decision, the staff will select three wines for you to taste. We both settled for red Portuguese wines, both excellent.
Now let’s talk about the food, I could just write that it was excellent and leave it there, but in case you need a few recommendations here is what we ordered and loved.
For starters, we ordered the tomato mousse and pistachios toats and the cheese and walnuts toasts. The tomato mousse toasts were to die for! The cheese toats were great too, but the tomato ones were just a level above. I wish we would have ordered another serving of these but we wanted to save our appetite for a few other things.
For good measure after many Pastels de Nata during the day, we ordered some greens in the form of broad beans with strawberries and grilled smoked ham. These were tasty and naturally flavoured by the sweetness of the strawberries and the saltiness of the ham.
Of course, we couldn’t eat at a tapas restaurant without ordering the mixed charcuterie and cheese platter. It doesn’t look like much in the picture but the portion was generous and definitely enough for 2 people.
Finally, we ordered the pork sausages with pears and figs. The savoury sausages mixed with the sweetness of the pears and figs made for delicious flavours.
We left full and very satisfied, and our bank account was very happy too! I couldn’t recommend Banca de Pau enough if you are visiting Lisbon, the wine, the food, the staff – you will have a lovely time!
Now this post took me A LONG time to write, not because of the number of words, but because I have a major problem – I take wayyyyyyyy too many pictures. I had to go through the 7000+ photographs I took this year. It was long, it was difficult to choose but I did it! I selected three of my most favourite pictures I took in 2017.
As I mentioned multiple times before, I am not a professional photographer, far from that! I am more of a point and shoot person. What I believe I am good at though is paying attention to the small things. I see moments and I try to take a picture before they vanished away into a crowd.
So please don’t judge my technical skills as they are rather poor, but I hope you will see some sort of beauty into the three pictures below.
Where – Fushimi Inari Taisha
When – In early May 2017 during our trip to Japan
The story – One of this moment where I was just in the right place at the right time. I saw this couple walking ahead of us and was admiring their beautiful traditional outfits. They suddenly turned left heading to a small shrine. I quickly stepped out of the crowd, they were alone so I took a single picture. I usually take at least three shots at least, so I was lucky this one wasn’t completely blurry.
Where – Rua 1º de Maio, Lisbon
When – Late September 2017 during our visit of Lisbon.
The story – We were walking from Jerónimos Monastery to LxFactory and Andrew told me to look to my right, through a metallic fence, we noticed what looked like old traditional tramways. I squeezed my arm through the fence and snapped a few times and, luckily for me, the pictures turned out to be pretty decent.
Where – Chesil Beach
When – In late May when visiting the Jurassic Coast
The story – The weather was absolutely awful that day – rain and fog! We were disappointed of course but I found some magic in the colours. Everything was grey and beige. We drove past Chesil Beach, Andrew parked the car and actually stayed in it. I jumped out, took one step on the bridge and took this picture. It reminds me that even though the weather in England can be pretty terrible, there is so much beauty to be discovered.