“There’s something in the air about Portugal, I’m really loving it!”, said Preethi after her first day exploring our capital.
When we first started working together on this trip, I wanted to make sure Preethi would experience Portugal the way I do, going to all the right places and do all the right things just as a local. I have to say my job was quite easy since I am working with a “product” that sells itself, Portugal is an amazing country with different stories to tell in each place you visit, and Lisbon is no different.
To make her experience unforgettable, I chose to accommodate Preethi in the cozy and charming guesthouse Alecrim ao Chiado, conveniently located in Rua do Alecrim, between the Cais do Sodré Train Station and the trendy Chiado neighborhood. Alecrim ao Chiado is a quaint hotel offering 10 rooms over two floors, the building was first built in the 1800s and renovated in 2015. The guesthouse is part of the Once Upon a House project which provides their guests with an authentic stay at a private house full of history. The decoration is tastefully simplistic and tones of white and pastel colors give it a soothing ambiance. Rooms are extremely quiet and comfortable and bathrooms are surprisingly spacious. The breakfast is served in the room, complete with your choices made upon the check-in.
Photo credit: @sparklingconcierge
Thursday, July 13th 2017, it’s 9h30am and Francisco from Week Break Tours pulls up to Alecrim ao Chiado where he waits for Preethi. When choosing the local tour operator for Preethi’s visit, I wanted someone who would offer a comfortable experience but also personally connect with her and show her the wonderful treasures Lisbon keeps hidden away. Francisco was the perfect choice, offering to do the tour in a Mercedes Class E complete with A/C, mind you the temperatures rose to 35ºC that day! Francisco’s knowledge of Lisbon is mind-blowing, not only does he know his history but he also uncovers little gems, like restaurants and cafés where locals are known to go, avoiding all tourist traps in such a buzzing city. Francisco took Preethi to all the major sights and showed her the genuine Lisbon we all love!
Photo credit: @sparklingconcierge & @eagertravele
Around 1pm, Preethi joined me at the rooftop of Hotel Memmo Alfama for an exclusive interview for Sparkling Concierge. The view from the terrace is simply breathtaking, amazing shot of the Saint Vincent church, the typical red rooftops and a relaxing view of the Tagus River. Keep posted on our social media for the complete interview coming up in a few days. Here’s a sneak peak!
Video credit: @eagertravele
Preethi continued her discovery of Lisbon throughout the day, exploring every alleyway of the Mouraria, the beautiful views of the Parque Eduardo VII and the iconic monuments of the city like Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Torre de Belém and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
In the evening, I booked a table for Preethi at the newest venture by renowned Portuguese Chef José Avillez called Beco, hidden away in the Páteo do Avillez Restaurant, this treasure is accessible through a concealed passage way and offers its guests a delightful cabaret show and deliciously prepared meal in a 1940s ambiance. The decoration is on point and the meals plated in accordance. More than a restaurant this dining experience playfully messes with your palate as well as your sight! To enjoy a dinner a Beco, I will purchase your ticket that grants you a table reservation. Two services are organized in the evenings, usually at 7h30pm and 10pm. So pick one and travel to a more elegant time where champagne and pearls were all the rage!
Secret passage way to Beco
Photo credit: @eagertravele
1940s inspired Bar
Photo credit: @eagertravele
The following day, Preethi explored Lisbon the best way possible, on foot! Going up and down the seven hills of Lisbon she discovered Saint George’s Castle and the history-filled neighborhood of Alfama. Check out her social media account @eagertravele for more!
This morning, Preethi left Lisbon behind to discover Sintra, the most magical place in Portugal. Its palaces and historical town center are famous worldwide and really represent the core of Portuguese history and culture.
Keep posted for tomorrow’s post where I’ll tell you all about Preethi’s visit.
Don’t forget to follow Sparkling Concierge on social media to receive live updates of Preethi’s discovery of Portugal!
You can also follow Preethi’s adventure on her Instagram (@eagertravele) and twitter (@eagertravele), Facebook (@theeagertraveler) and blog (https://theeagertraveler.wordpress.com).
You should also definitely follow Preethi on social media @eagertravele to discover Portugal through her eyes!
Feature image photo credit: @eagertravele