Things I’ve learnt in March

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Hi everyone, how’ve you been?

As my little title picture might suggest, there is some sort of spring feeling, at least from an astronomical perspective, if not meteorologically just yet… Here’s hoping, though, especially now that we’ve changed to British summer time!

On the other hand, March has passed so quickly, and sadly, very little sewing has taken place in my atelier… So this post might end up being a bit more of a travel log than a sewing related round-up, but hope you’ll still find something to enjoy…

So here are some of the the highlights of this month.

1.I love Lisbon

This is actually a bit of a cheat, as I already knew that, from my previous visit there in 2009. But undeniably, I do love Lisbon, and I was so happy to return and share this amazing place with my husband!

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We did all the usual touristy things, like walking aimelesly through the maze in Alfama, the old Moorish quarter, queuing for ages to go inside Torre de Belem, eating pastel de nata from Belen, plus a great day trip in Sintra, visiting the 1001 palaces. To feel like I’ve seen something new, we also went to Cabo da Roca, continental Europe’s most Western point, where practically one will fall off the map, according to the ancient Romans & Greeks. I really loved wearing my Mona biker jacket too 🙂

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But perhaps my favourite place was Monserrate Palace in Sintra, the summer residence of the Portuguese nobility. Completely restored by a very rich British textile merchant, sir Francis Cook, in 1858 on the site of a previous palace, it is an exquisite palatial villa in oriental style, with the most beautiful arabesque decorations. It has been recently renovated and it really is worth a visit, especially since it’s a bit out of the way and you will get away from the hoards of tourists. Bring a picnic and enjoy the luxuriant gardens if the weather is nice.

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2. Great fabric shopping in Lisbon

We did a bit of wine and cheese shopping, as you do (and I totally recommend it, super great value!)… But I managed to find 4 fabric shops within less than a square km area and of course I helped myself. If you happen to visit, I recommend this place, called Feira dos Tecidos, in Rossio. I spent about £25 for over 15 metres of fabric and I really had a lot of trouble carrying it all home :). Try this places as well, Ouro Têxteis, on Rua Aurea, a bit more expensive, but nice things are to be found!

Here’s my loot! The plaid and the green fabrics have already been made into scarves and worn loads!

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3. A few tried recommendations

Lastly, I wanted to share a few recommendations of places we’ve been and loved and which would definitely be worth a visit if you go to Lisbon yourself.

Brown’s hotel – excellent location, in the middle of the historical centre, with the most beautiful art deco bar and really great decor.

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Officina do Ducque – the best restaurant we tried in Lisbon, with very surprising and extremely tasty takes on classical Portuguese dishes and very friendly staff (and prices).

Santini Ice Cream in Cascais –  the best ice cream in Portugal, recommended to us by a local, it really did not disappoint. Their boast to be the finest ice cream in the world, and I must confess it definitely was the finest both of us have ever tried.

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Hope you enjoyed my little snap-shot of the Portuguese capital and don’t worry, regular programming will soon resume. I have been quite diligent in April already and finished a project this weekend, with another awaiting to sort out fitting issues, and hoping to blog them soon.

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In the meantime, happy spring and have a great week!

Alex x

 

 

 

 

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8 comments

    1. Thank you, Annina! My husband complained a bit, but since I don’t buy clothes anymore, I feel it’s a fair trade off :). Btw, where are you based? I tried to figure it out from your blog, but no luck :).

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      1. Haha, yes my family also mind waiting in and around fabric shops, in return I wait in and around their hobby shops 😉
        I live just outside Brussels, I’m originally Swiss but also grew up in Sweden and Norway. Hence the knitting, and loving your photos of snowy Oslo! I’ve also lived and worked in the NL for a dozen years. Can’t blame you for not figuring it out, I sometimes don’t know where I’m from… or at 🙂

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  1. I love this! I am so looking forward to my own holiday in Lisbon this Autumn. No longer feels a bit daunting as I can use your suggestions to start planning my own trip. 🙂

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    1. You will love it!! I have loads more suggestions, ha ha. Best thing though, buy online tickets for everything you can, the queues were atrocious. Btw, if you come to London in the meantime, I want to give you the oyster equivalent, we have two that are valid for a year.

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