Things To Do This Week In Lisbon: 23-27 October 2017

Monday 23 October

Children Yoga: From 5.30pm to 7.30pm, children ages 1 to 5 will learn yoga and develop their physical, emotional and mental well being, through games and stories.  Parents can join too. The trial lesson is €15. Book this class here.

Ready, set, go: Organized by Decathlon, there’s a running club gathering every Monday at 7.30pm, right in front of the store. This activity is free, there are 5 different levels of training, depending on your level. The training starts in Avenida António Augusto Aguiar n. 29 and goes up to Parque Eduardo Sétimo. Event here.

Build your own piece of furniture: At this carpentry workshop, taking place in Volta, you will be able to make your own piece of furniture while learning about different types of wood, how to plan a project, amongst many other things. The workshop takes 3 hours, from 7pm to 10pm and it costs €30. For more info or if you want to book it go here.

Tuesday 24 October

Community lunch: Take one of your favourite homecooked meals to Impact Hub Lisbon and share your thoughts and favourite flavours with this community. Tim Leberecht, from House of Beautiful Business, will host this event where the focus will be technology and humanity. It’s from 1pm to 4pm, it’s free and you can take a friend. Info here.

Wim Wenders gets an award: The acclaimed filmmaker comes to Portugal to receive an award for all the work done to promote Europe and its history. If you’re a fan of the director known for movies like Buena Vista Social Club or Paris, Texas this is your chance to see him live and for free. More info here.

Wednesday 25 October

Rooftop Yoga: From 9am to 12pm at Jardim do Torel. Tickets cost €5 and it usually gets sold out. Book it here.

90s Celebration: If you’re up for a late night, remember the classics from the 90s at the best old school disco in town: Plateau. The party starts at 11.45pm and it goes until 6am. Ah and did I say women get 3 free drinks? Add your name to the guest list here.

Thursday 26 October

Do the Cha Cha: Try this open Cha Cha dance session for free. Take your partner or a friend and move to the rhythms of Cuba.  From 7.30pm to 8.30pm in Fábrica Braço de Prata. More info here.

Laughter Yoga: This type of yoga strengthens your immune system, reduces pain and lowers stress. Every Thursday from 7pm to 8pm. Tickets here.

Friday 27 October

Dinner and guided tour to the mosque: [SOLD OUT] Take a guided tour with the Lisbon Mosque Sheik, David Munir, and have a traditional dinner while trying the best of Islamic cuisine.  The visit starts at 8.15pm and it costs €20, dinner is included in the price. Buy your tickets here.

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Things To Do This Weekend In Lisbon: 21-22 October 2017 – Children’s Edition

Things To Do This Weekend In Lisbon: 21-22 October 2017 – Children’s Edition

SATURDAY


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MUSIC FOR BABIES: It happens every third Saturday of the month and each time there’s a special guest. Through songs and musical games, your kids will develop motor, cognitive and linguistic skills.  Starts at 4pm and ends at 5pm. For children from 9 months old to 4 years old. Price is €15 for one baby and two adults. Sign up.

COLLAGE CREATIVE WORKSHOP: Visit the new MAAT Museum (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) while your children enjoy this creative workshop making collages with different materials. Starts at 4pm and ends at 6pm. For ages 9 to 12 years old. €5 per child. 50% off for the second child. Get tickets.

LASER TAG: Looking for a unique experience, filled with adrenaline? Discover the biggest laser tag in Lisbon and Spain. When you enter the  300 m2 arena you’ll feel like you’ve entered another galaxy. Take your children and a group of their friends and have a fun adventure. Ticket prices start at €8 per game. Book your tickets here.

RIDE ON A BUS/BOAT: HIPPOtrip, is both a bus and a boat tour that will surely marvel your children. Driving in the Lisbon streets or plunging into the Tagus river, while learning interesting stories about the city, all without leaving their sits. Adults pay €25 and children and seniors €15. Tickets here.

SUNDAY

MUSICAL THEATRE FOR BABIES: Produced in the Children’s Lisbon Theatre, this play introduces children to Mozart through sounds, lights, shapes and a lot of sensorial experiences. You can see a small teaser here. The play is for children aged 6 months to 4 years old. Sessions start at 11am and a family ticket is €20. Get tickets.

COOKING WITH SOLAR ENERGY: Learn how to cook a pizza and even a sweet apple dessert with solar energy. The class happens in São Pedro do Estoril, 20 minutes train ride from Lisbon. From 11th to 17th and it’s free. More info here.

BOUNCE: Jump, jump, jump, jump around. Have a fun Sunday jumping around with your children at Bounce. A complex filled with 100 trampolines. For children aged 3 and above. Prices: €10 for the first session and €8 for the next ones. More info here.

THE TROUBADOR, A PUPPET OPERA: An opera, that’s also a love story told with masterfully done puppetry. You can find some samples of the Compagnia Marionettistica Carlo Colla & figli work here. The music is from Giuseppe Verdi, the opera is in Italian but with Portuguese subtitles. Sunday at 4pm in Teatro Trindade (there are tickets for this Friday and Saturday at 8pm if you prefer). Tickets start at €10, they also sell family packages. Ages 6 and above. Tickets here.

 

Looking to Adopt a Pet in Portugal?

Looking to Adopt a Pet in Portugal?

Every year, more than 10 000 animals are abandoned in Portugal and most of them are dogs. The kennels and animal shelters are completely overwhelmed in part due to the lack of funding. It’s a sad reality which you can help improve either through donations or by adopting a pet instead of buying one. Here are some websites where you can try and find your new best friend.

Dogs of Portugal

A site with the goal of rehoming Portuguese dogs. On their website, you will find a description with pictures and even videos of some of the dogs up for adoption. There’s also their Facebook page where you can look for your new dog or even read about some of the pet’s happy endings.

Adopta-me

Unfortunately, this website is only in Portuguese but it’s easy to navigate and you can use google translator. You can choose by region.

Encontra-me

A page dedicated to finding your lost pet or trying to find the rightful owner. This website has a big list of adoption associations distributed around the country.

O Cantinho da Milu

They also have a Facebook page, updated almost daily with new dogs.

Bianca

Open adoptions every Saturday from 12pm to 17pm. All the animals are fully vaccinated, dewormed, chipped and the adults are sterilized. They’re located in Sesimbra.

Their Facebook is constantly updated with dogs and cats up for adoption.

Facebook Groups

Caes para adoptar

Pure Bread Dogs

Cães de raça para adoptar por donos de raça

You can also look for animal shelters by region on Yelp.

Take a look at this checklist from Petfinder where you can find all the questions you should ask yourself before moving forward and adopting a pet. Make sure you make a conscious decision on what’s better for you, your family and your pet.

New Years Eve In Madeira – Best Hotels in Funchal 2017

New Years Eve In Madeira – Best Hotels in Funchal 2017

Madeira, the pearl of the Atlantic, the birthplace of football legend Cristiano Ronaldo, the home of a prehistoric forest, classified as UNESCO World Heritage. And that’s not all. There’s also the Madeira Wine, the gastronomy, the incredible landscapes, the amazing hotels, the lovely people. All packed on an island with its own subtropical climate, the eternal spring, as CNN has called it.

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And this brings me to New Years Eve. Have you thought about what you’re going to do for 2017/2018 New Years celebrations?

New Year Fireworks Madeira
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Well, Funchal in Madeira might be just what you need. In the mix of the multiple tourism awards, Madeira has also been voted as the “Best Destination to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Europe”, an award given by European Best Destinations. New Year’s Eve in Madeira includes a fabulous display of fireworks, once recognized by the Guinness World Records as the largest in the world. A display that can be seen in the centre of Funchal, the capital, which transforms into a beautiful multi-coloured amphitheatre on that special night.

Here are the top 5 hotels where to spend new years eve in Madeira this year:

1. Madeira Regency Club

hotel madeira

Choose this hotel for the sea view, the proximity to the beach, the salt-water pool with a private sea access, the free transportation to two different golf courses and the delicious breakfasts. Book now and you’ll only pay €480 for a 4-night stay during the new years eve weekend.

Book it here before the prices increase or save the link and make the decision later.

       2. Enotel Quinta do Sol

enotel quinta

Stay here for the lovely room with sea views (ask for a room with a balcony), for the comfy beds, for the staff who will go out of their way to help you with anything you may want. Then there’s also the location, it’s near the old city centre, and the São Martinho Boardwalks, perfect for a morning walk or a run. There’s also an abundant breakfast included in the bill and a lively piano bar with reasonably priced drinks. Right now it’s €744 for 4-nights.

Book it now before the prices increase or save the link and make the decision later.

   3. Pestana Bay Ocean Aparthotel – All Inclusive

pestana ocean bay

The all-inclusive experience. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks with an option to take picnics when you’re away on tours. All paid for once you book this hotel. And then there’s the beach, literally one minute away, the gardens, the staff, the amazing pool, the late check-out, and the free shuttles to the centre of Funchal. 4 nights will cost you €988 but trust me, it will be worth it.

Book it now before the prices increase or save the link and make the decision later.

4. Tiles Madeira Hotel

View from balcony Madeira

Visit if you’d like to stay in a brand new hotel, inaugurated less than a month ago, or if you want to have a front row to this year’s fireworks. The rooftop is amazing and the ponchas highly alcoholic and very sweet, as one would expect

€769 for four nights.

Book it now before the prices increase or save the link and make the decision later.

5. Quinta Splendida Wellness & Botanical Garden

splendida.jpg

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live inside a botanical garden, this is your chance. Quinta Splendida Wellness & Botanical Garden  in Caniço, is only 15 minutes away by car from Funchal and it’s so worth the drive. Quinta is known for having one of the biggest spas in Madeira and a botanical garden so rich you will want to photograph every single plant and flower. Four days here will cost you €824.

Book it now before the prices increase or save the link and make the decision later.

Monte Beato – A peaceful rest in deep Alentejo

Monte Beato – A peaceful rest in deep Alentejo

With summer insisting not to be over and a bank holiday on its way, my partner and I decided to take some time off and continue exploring Alentejo. The idea was to find a location where we could rest, eat well and have some peace and quiet while lounging by the pool. All on a budget. And that’s what we found in the town of Almodôvar in a little agro farm called Monte Beato.

Monte Beato Farm is actually a working farm, but they’ve opened it to the public and built two lovely typical farmhouses with cosy modern rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, for guests who want to do some cooking, a massive living room and an amazing pool.

We ended up never using the pool because it was windy and overcast but we did go for walks and even took the bikes, which you can get there for free, and went for a spin around the small lakes in the farm.

There’s a lot of farmland to explore and it was, even more, fun to do it with an Alentejo Mastim dog, the owner’s pet who insisted on following us on our tours.

We walked around the recently planted cork trees, they will take 10 years to mature, and we also saw the growing almond and pomegranate trees. The owner has planted all of this so he can start selling in the future. The whole farm is 100% run on clean energy. The solar panels provide all the energy for the houses on the farm and all the water comes from a well, which is purified, making everything clean and safe.

Almodôvar Highlights

If you want something more to do than just relax by the pool, the centre of Almodôvar is only 2 km away. Almodôvar is a relatively big town with a few restaurants and bakeries which you should definitely try. There are also beautiful churches to visit and a theatre that also works as a cinema.

The highlight for me though was something that is very beloved in Portugal, the roundabouts. We love our roundabouts and we don’t miss a chance to have something emblematic in the middle of them, may it be a fountain or a piece of art. And this one is certainly one you can’t miss. It’s a homage to all the shoemakers of the village. There was a point in time where there were more than 200 artisans working in the region. The design was made by the sculptor Aureliano Aguiar who made the statue with recovered pieces of metal.

Sapateiro de Almodôvar

Where to eat 

Breakfast

Folhadinhos-de-Maçã

Start with a visit to the village’s best bakery Pastelaria Sarita, try their delicious apple custard cake. You can thank me later.

Lunch and Dinner Almodôvar

Tasquinha O Medronho – €3.50 for a 1-liter jar of sangria, €6 for fried chicken, octopus salad, crispy cod with a marvellous onion sauce, black pork cheeks, grilled spicy quail, cuttlefish and many more petiscos (appetizers).

O Moinho – We went to this restaurant for dinner. The tuna steak with pepper sauce was marvellous but I would encourage you to try any other of their specialities. And don’t forget the dessert, this restaurant has served me the best Baba de Camelo of my life. This very typical Portuguese dessert, made of caramel cooked with cream was special. Why? They added cookies to the mix which made it divine.

What to do

Explore Beja, 50 minutes away. Next to Santarém, in the Ribatejo Region, this city had the biggest Jewish community in Portugal in times. There’s a lot of history to discover out there.

The medieval Beja castle

Spend a day in Mértola, strategically located on a hill over the Guadiana River. It’s only 40 minutes away from Almodôvar.

Have a beer in one of Mertola’s many cafes while enjoying time go time.

As you can see, there is so much you can pack into a single weekend. Take a mini break and discover the best of Alentejo. You can book a weekend in November for only €104 in Monte Beato with breakfast included.  Book your mini-break here or save the link, think about it and book it later!

 

 

 

Escape room – Saw – The review

Escape room – Saw – The review

game over.jpg

I love immersive experiences. In London, I went crazy with Secret Cinema, Future Cinema, Edible Cinema and different types of immersive theatre. And in the midst of all this, I also had to try escape rooms.

jigsaw escape roomAfter trying one escape room when I lived in London, which I loved, and another one in Lisbon when I first arrived, which I found lacklustre, I kind of forgot about it all until some friends invited me to go again. This time I tried a franchise: Saw from Escape Game Over and I really liked it. We were taken blindfolded into a room and were then handcuffed to a pipe or a chair or something in the set. Once the door closed we could take the blindfolds and from then on we had 60 minutes to free ourselves.

saw escape rooom
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I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I have to say it was great fun and scary, after all, we were ‘reliving’ the Saw experience and we even got to see Jigsaw. The set was very realistic and impressive. In terms of gimmicks, there weren’t as many as in London. In here most of the challenges involved opening a padlock first which isn’t to say it wasn’t fun. I was genuinely scared in some parts and time passed too quickly although we did manage to escape around the 51-minute mark. As for everything else, the waiting room is quite cosy, there are free coffee, water and even some candy. The people working there were really nice and fun. As for the location, Bairro Alto, it couldn’t get any better!

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Would I go back again? For sure. They’re potentially opening two new rooms, one being themed after Game of Thrones!

Regarding the price, it was €13.50 per person, we were 6 so it was pretty reasonable.

You can book your tickets here.