where to eat, sweat and catch up on email
we make our clothes here. and drink vino verde here. and generally want to live here. "here" is Porto, Portugal, and here are some of Hannah's favorite places in one of her favorite places.
i started going to Portugal for work years ago. i immediately and completely fell in love with the Portuguese people and the lifestyle. (i failed with the language, but thankfully i'm not afraid to embarrass myself trying.)
my first evening ever in Porto, i made friends with literally everyone in the bar. (and got shunned for drinking vino verde; apparently, it's something only tourists would dare drink at night. it's a lunchtime wine, for crying out loud!) the music was incredible. the next day, i shamelessly ran around snapping photos of tiles and graffiti like the Instagram professional i am. (please read sarcasm here.) but seriously, the architecture: WOW. and at one point, i nearly lost it when a curly brunette who looked suspiciously like Hermoine walked past me down the street in A BLACK CAPE. (i'm not entirely convinced she did not have a wand.) apparently, it is a school uniform. another reason to love the lifestyle here: capes.
then there was the fish: i never thought i was a fish person, but i could eat bacalhau for every meal. the steamed vegetables covered in olive oil and sea salt made it a religious experience. it was served family-style, and it felt sinful to not finish it. then the bill arrived, and i closed my eyes in fear: 30 euro.
yea, this all happens in Portugal.
lucky for me, two of our amazing factories are located just outside of Porto, so i get to go back quite a bit. here, where to find that magic when you go.
everywhere and anywhere, really, but here's where to start:
coffee: walk theRua de Santa Catarina, the main shopping street, to the Majestic Café, an Art Deco spot that will blow your mind. you'll find lots of old storefonts and shops off the side streets here, too.
breakfast: my favorite breakfast spot is época Porto on Rua do Rosário, partly because of the name (heh) and mostly because it is fresh, tasty, organic, farm-to-table food!! with all the vibes, too. i tried eating breakfast elsewhere but every day i was drawn right back here! and, yes, the coffee is amazing.
lunch: Rota do Chá on Rua de Miguel Bombarda is located in a renovated home, so it feels like you are having lunch in your living room with friends. it's vegetarian-friendly and you could just stay here all day.
aperitivo: you MUST visit the Aduela Taberna on Rua das Oliveiras. killer cocktails under an olive tree, a very international crowd, and a guarantee to make new friends by the end of the evening. you might even end up dancing in the alley down the road to tambourine and accordion music. Kanye has nothing on Portuguese alley music.
and dinner: vegan just doesn't get more rose gold than EM Carne Via on Avenida da Boavista.
take a yoga class at the cozy, woman-owned (woot woot) lotus studio. or run across the river Douro to Foz. or bike from Foz to Ribeira across the bridge D. Luis to Gaia. any way you go, you'll be a happy little camper!
skip the email, and just explore! ok, kidding (kind of), we know a girl's got to get it done. set up shop at the aforementioned Rota do Chá on Rua de Miguel Bombarda. it has a glorious patio for soaking up the sun and an incredible tea selection.
check out the Porto Ribeira riverfont, where you can also ride the old-school city tram out along the river to the sea. it is a nice 20-30 minute ride by the water, where you then have the promenade by the ocean.
walk up to the Clérigos Church and go to the very top of the tower for the ultimate view of Porto.
close to Clérigos is the Harry Potter bookstore (actual name: Livraria Lello; J.K. Rowling used to frequent this gorgeous shop when she taught English in Porto) and the nice open squares around the university. (home, no doubt, to the Hermione i saw earlier.)
the Rua Miguel Bombarda boasts the biggest concentration of art galleries, and near that is the Crystal Palace. think al fresco music, outdoor book sellers, rose gardens and peacocks with a view of the river. PEACOCKS. need i say more.
and the Casa da Música, a modern, geometric block of a building where they hold concerts and events. it is wildly Instagram-worthy. and the music is pretty fab, too.
the flux top and the orion leggings for working out.
the evolve dress for day tripping (and, fine, working).
the evolve dress and the form jacket for aperitivo and beyond. (think San Francisco weather.)
... and, who knows, you might run in to one of the women who made your outfit here.
always looking for new places to try. (and go!)