Having indulged in some quality gins, we decided to walk off our mild inebriation, with J&S kindly giving us the locals tour and tips: lots of great shops (Lisbon is a shoppers’ paradise, with an eclectic mix of new and vintage: I was actually quite pleased I only brought a small carry on case, as it limited what I could buy – especially when I found that not only do they have a ton of gorgeous, expensive toiletry shops, they also have a Sephora…)
S&J took me to their favourite toiletry store – Claus Porto, which is set in an old pharmacy (many of the cool shops in Lisbon are in one conversion or another, and most have retained some of, it not all, of the original fittings, making it worth going into half of the shops just to enjoy how pretty they look. (They just opened a shop in New York, also, so if you live there, seek them out.) While I managed to resist the toiletries – damn you, carry on rules! – I did of course have to buy at least some notebooks, including from a gorgeous little homewares shop called A Vida Portuguesa, which stocks a diverse and incredibly funky range of goods. I bought a notebook made of old paper tablecloths – J explained to me this was because there used to be a tradition of people writing on them, when restaurants used to have them.
Heading just a little down the road, we went to popular bakery and coffee shop Alcoa to indulge in another Portuguese tradition: the custard tart. I’m not generally a fan of these, but the Lisbon version – enjoyed with a sprinkling of cinnamon and an espresso (the coffee is, of course, very good in Lisbon) – might just convert me.