July 26, 2019

Innovative Portuguese Tiles by Add Fuel

Instagram - Click to watch more of his work

Built in the 1960s, the Torre neighborhood was originally designed as a suburb to relocate fishermen and their families that inhabited the center of the village.
Today it has more than 30 buildings, but many of its original inhabitants and families still reside in there. Usually the wives of fishermen, the “varinas” sold fresh fish brought home by their husbands. With my work around the ceramic “azulejo” tiles I try to bring tradition and Portuguese culture to the present, preserve it, re-think it, but varinas are, unfortunately, a dying tradition, a dying profession.
Shortly after I started this mural, I was told that on this exact same wall, forty-something years ago there was a varina called Helena that sold fish right there, in front of this wall. Happy coincidences.

Add  Fuel

In 2013 Add Fuel (Diogo Machado) created this mural in Figueira da Foz. The city where I live.
So cool! I really like his modern approach to Portuguese Tile Tradition.

Lisboa by André Vicente Gonçalves

Today I invite you to watch Lisbon through the lenses of André Vicente Gonçalves. He is the photographer behind the very well known project Windows of the world and Doors of the world.

July 17, 2019

Lisbon under the stars: a cool experience

Until July 20, with 2 daily sessions, at 9:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m., this show takes place inside the Ruins of Carmo Church. This event will transport the public into an immersive journey through more than 600 years of history the city of Lisbon and Portugal. LISBOA UNDER STARS is a unique spectacle in Lisbon. A multidisciplinary experience was developed for multimedia, virtual writing, and visual effects, to the sound of great names of Portuguese music. The Ruins of Carmo have been the ideal stage for LISBOA UNDER STARS. This is a new way of experiencing more than 600 years of the history of Lisbon and Portugal. You can watch the making of here

July 16, 2019

Quinta da Pacheca Wine Barrels you san sleep in

Can you imagine yourself waking up on the middle of a vineyard, and experience the rurality of one of the most famous wine regions in the world? These wine barrels at Quinta da Pacheca have a bold architectural project and it's an offer of the Wine House hotel.  You can take a winery tour here, enjoy a wine tasting session paired with cheese and jam, have a picnic in the vineyards, or maybe a wine course.

In an idyllic and romantic setting, Wine Barrels will provide you a unique experience of contact with nature and the monumental reality of the Douro Wine Region. It's a perfect spot for a good rest await in the environment of rurality. Lamego is situated in the center of the Douro region and is surrounded by extensive private grounds with vineyards. It's somehow a quirky accommodation option for all the wine lovers out there. The accommodation blends modern design with a historic setting.

July 11, 2019

The Portuguese Chicken Burguer - Voyage of Discovery

McDonald’s Malaysia is taking Malaysians on an exciting taste adventure to another corner of the world with the unveiling of its brand new Portuguese Chicken Burger.

Inspired by  flavours of Portugal, the new burger the Portuguese-inspired burger features a juicy fried chicken patty, dipped in a unique piri-piri sauce, served with a bed of mixed vegetable and fresh lettuce, all sandwiched between a brand new chilli flake bun. The result is a delectable meal bursting with rich flavours and spices that is distinctly Portuguese. The Portuguese Chicken Burger set meal is served with French fries and either a Fanta Grape McFreeze or regular coke, and is priced from RM16.99.
There's also a new Augmented Reality game called Catching Nonando, in which customers would need to “catch” as many Nonando Chickens as they can in 60 seconds to collect points.

Customers will be instantly rewarded with discounts on the Portuguese Chicken Burger, depending on how many Nonandos they catch, and stand a chance to walk away with up to 50,000 AirAsia BIG Points.

July 4, 2019

Portugaba: the summer tote bag by Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin’s love to Portugal - he says this country is his second home - has sent him all over the country in search of artisans with old skills and Portuguese traditions. These are the faces of women and men that made this creation possible. From the north of Portugal to the south, the PORTUGABA unites the remarkable talents of artisans from all over the country. The two handmade summer totes are called “Portugaba”. 10% of the profits will go to the “Associação Portugal A Mão” which protects and promotes Portuguese craftsmanship.

It's called a "sustainaluxe" product skillfully crafted by local artisans. Yes, it has the value of three Portuguese minimum wages but that is worthy for a fans of everything that's handmade with the use of traditional techniques. These bags use old techniques such as puxados and ripado, artisans work by hand on wooden looms. These are the skills and knowledge that keep Portuguese traditions alive. The bags are finished with hand-painted beads adorning the handles.

Inside we can find the brightly colored tiles we get to see all over Portugal. Some more Portuguese traditions and craftsmanship from regions throughout the country are represented. This is the 4th edition in the series, a tribute to various countries that have already seen pieces like the Africaba, the Mexicaba, and the Manilacaba. Inspiration was first found at   Miranda do Douro, where Louboutin found the fabric used to make the  Capas de Honra, an old regional costume. Louboutin then went to Fridão, where he found the puxados thecnique. Then at Cooperativa Tecedeiras de Cervade he got more ideas about weaving techniques. Weavers from Loures and Aboim da Nóbrega, in the north, added the fringe that is present in folklore costumes.  The straps beeds are painted by hand and inspired by tiles. These are made in a small village between  Mafra e Ericeira.

The Vieira sneaker is covered in satin crepe printed with Azulejos, inspired by Portuguese ceramic tiles. The model, set on a rubber sole, is trimmed in a white nappa leather grosgrain piping finish revealing the signature details of the Maison Christian Louboutin.
The Spetsos flat sandal finds inspiration in antique shoes with this feminine version. An Azulejos-printed crepe satin scarf, featuring patterns inspired by Portuguese ceramic tiles, slips between the toes and finishes off by wrapping around the ankle. The leather sole is lined in multi-colored braids.

January 14, 2016

Portuguese floating house is quite a dream

Floating is a modern and beautifully designed boat house.

(Click to watch the video)

"A romantic gateway for two or a mobile house in the middle of a lake for the entire family or a group of friends. Whether you choose to use the floating home as a base camp for numerous outdoor activities such as sailing, paddling, water skiing or fishing, or simply to relax, you’re guaranteed a great living experience." GoFriday

The company's name is GoFriday. "Friday brings together a wide range of design, engineering, certification and marketing competencies focused on creating technologically advanced nautical and water-related leisure devices and equipment." This is all happening 50km away from where I live, in the city of Coimbra. Friday is a spin-off of the University of Coimbra, launched by a team with over 30 years of experience in research and development in the fields of Structural, Electrical, Hydraulic, Marine, Coastal and Mechanical Engineering.

I just watched the video and had to share it. It's from a boat house that is being developed in the central region of Portugal. These are the main characteristics of this alternative real estate product! I am fond of alternative house solutions and this one really caught my eye. Why? Because it's a Portuguese product and also because it has some great design.

- it's 6 meters with and lengths ranging from 10 to 18 meters. It can be what you want - a cozy studio or a fully furnished three-bedroom house;
- it has all you need for great comfort - a fully equipped kitchen for everyday use, heat pump and AC generator, a barbecue on the upper terrace for sunny days and a wine cellar and pellet stove to keep you warm on cold days;
- it's made with low environmentally impactful materials and technologies that reduce its carbon footprint and lower its energy needs. It has a compact activated sludge wastewater treatment plant.
- it's modular design and this means that everything can be easily stored in two standard containers and shipped to almost anywhere on the planet.
- if you want to move away it has two small outboard motors.
- the house is self-sufficient for at least seven days. It produces up to 80% of its annual energy needs (100% for over six months).

I think this project will appeal to those who seek an alternative way of life or those who ever dreamed of living in a boat. These houses require maintenance equivalent to the boats. But I think this house isn't made to sail like a boat. The price might be an issue. I have no idea how much it costs. Another sector that may benefit from such a product is a certain type of touristic business. On the other hand, when I look at the house laying quietly in the waters of Alqueva I fear a scenario where hundreds of these cover the water like a marina! What do you think?

Source material: GoFriday site

October 9, 2015

A Pirate boy themed birthday party!

As you know A Portuguese Love store has also cute products for kids and not just products inspired by the culture and traditions of Portugal! And they are a big success! I invite you to have a look at what's available if you're planning to through a birthday party for your kid! 

For boys there's six themes available: Cowboy, Skater boy, Magician man, Astronaut boy, Rock star and Pirate boy. Here's a sample of the products available at the store for the theme Pirate! Have a look!

October 8, 2015

Fishermen dead in trawler tragedy

Hello friends and followers

Today I am not happy. This fishing trawler named Olívia Ribau has more than 20 meters. Watch the video as she sails gently into the harbor followed by hundreds of os seagulls. It's wonderful to watch these fishing boat arrivals and I have witnessed it many times. As you may remember I live in Figueira da Foz. We have a few great beaches and sardines from these waters are considered very tasty. Unfortunately, this city harbors his famous for its difficulty and for the last days the sea was agitated not making it easy to go up the river. Olivia Ribau sank at the entrance of Figueira da Foz's port on Tuesday at the end of the day. Two men were saved, one didn't make it alive even if he survived to hold to the hull of the boat for some time. Two bodies were found today trapped inside the boat and two are still missing. I love the sea, as you may know. This tragedy happened so close to the shore that several people watched it happening, called for help, took photos, like photographer Paulo Octávio. It's not the first time it happens. Like I said it's a dangerous entry. But the port wasn't closed to navigation. I am deeply sad about the fate of these men. They were so close to home, this was a true tragedy. I hardly can imagine how relatives must be feeling right now. And one of the men who survived is returning to the sea already because he needs to work, of course. How will he cope with such a terrible thing? He had to leave the sinking boat watching a fellow fisherman on the hull. So sad. Fisherman should get more support, that's what I think. Someone must do something. Every year there are people dying in these waters. So close to the shore. I don't understand...I am so disturbed about all this I can't even think straight.

Source photo: Paulo Octávio

Make a Mermaid Girl Themed Birthday Party!

Hello! I think some of you know this already. A Portuguese Love store has also cute products for kids and not just products inspired by Portugal! I invite you to have a look at what's available if you're planning to through a birthday party for your kid!

For girls there's six themes available: Ballerina, Mermaid, Romantic Girl, Geisha, Pop Star Girk, Strawberry, Cake Chocolate and Candy and Princess. Here's a sample of the products available at the store for the theme Mermaid

July 27, 2015

Worst Day Ever?

Chanie Gorkin, who is apparently an 11th grader at Beth Rivkah High School in Crown Heights, submitted a clever poem called “Worst Day Ever? to Poetry Nation. It went viral.After the poetry site posted Gorkin’s submission online, it quickly made its way across the Atlantic. London resident Ronnie Joice “spotted the poem tacked to the wall of a bar in North London,” then posted it to social media. A cute story. Specially for poetry lovers like myself!

June 14, 2015

St. John's Festival Squeaky hammers inspired a contest

Big plastic squeaky hammers inspired a contest that takes place in Porto for four years now. More than 200 proposals are on display until 16th July at an exhibition. These are the ones I sent. the first one is a Paper Toy and the second is a Flip Book.

You can download the Paper Toy model an build the paper toy hammer. Pdf has all the instructions. It's very easy!

The Flip Book hammer:

In this video, you can watch the plastic hammer in action! The author of the video summarized the festival in a few lines: "This was one wild party in Porto, Portugal celebrating the city's patron saint, and we loved every minute of it. The tradition is to eat grilled sardines, drink Super Bock beer, and go around whacking each other with big plastic squeaky hammers. At midnight, they set off fireworks from a whole line of barges anchored in the Douro River-- the best display I've seen. Then the party goes on until 7 am (but not for us). Our apartment was right on the riverfront, so we're glad we brought earplugs for sleeping."

May 13, 2015

Make a pirate themed Birthday Party for your kid!

Hello! I think some of you know this already. A Portuguese Love store has also cute products for kids and not just products inspired by Portugal!  I invite you to have a look at what's available if you're planning to through a birthday party for your kid!

For boys there's six themes available: Cowboy, Skater, Magician, Astronaut, Rock Star and Pirate. Here's a sample of the products available at the store for the theme Pirate. 

December 26, 2014

Portuguese Christmas sweet recipe

Mexidos do Natal or Formigos Recipe


Sugar - 1 tea cup, shallow
Honey - 2.5 dl
1 cinnamon stick
Lemon peel
Port Wine - 1/2 glass wine
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Water - 1.5 lt
1 pinch salt
Pine nuts - 50 g
Walnuts - 50 g
Raisins - 50 g
Bread - 250 g
Optional: cinnamon powder for decoration


First comes blending the bread you kept for a few days and it must be crumbled by hand. Then you put cinnamon, lemon peel, butter, salt, sugar and honey in boiling water. Allow to boil for a few minutes (15 minutes) and then put the walnuts, pine nuts and raisins in. Finally pour the Port wine. Let it boil for three minutes and is ready. (If it looks too liquid you can let it boil a little longer) Don't forget to stir constantly. Place on a plate and serve sprinkled with a little cinnamon powder. Eat cold. You can leave the cinnamon powder out because the flavour is already in the mix!

A friend of mine from Porto was talking about this sweet on Facebook and many were curious about it. So I decided to share the recipe with you here. I lived in Braga when I was a child. This Christmas dessert was my favorite. In this city this sweet is called Mexidos, in Porto it's called Formigos. It's delicious. You can adjust the sugar and honey quantities to your taste, add more or less fruits to it. Don't hesitate to try it. It's easy and it never goes wrong.

Kilograms to Pounds conversion? Try here!

A little tour on Lisbon 2/2

Hello again! Welcome to round number two! Are you ready for what's next? First of all, I want you to meet my new canine friend. His name is Pan. Pan is my friend's dog. Isn't Pan adorable? He's all eyes and tiny nose for my friend, he goes like - Where are you? Where are you going? What are you doing? But when he discovered that I liked him he had no problems asking for petting every minute he could! On the second photo, he's ready to show me his belly once again! Come on, come on, I want more! Too cute!

Oops! It looks like I missed these photos on my first post. It was taken over Saturday's dinner. After a very nice roasted chicken with fries and pinked wine, we indulged ourselves on some more Birthday cake!!! Calories alert!! Calories alert!

The next morning the sky was cloudy but the sun was showing. We visited a Christmas market in Alvalade and then we found this Cabine de Leitura at Praça de Londres - check Cabine de Leitura Facebook page. This isn't an original idea. It was inspired by an example from Britain. Some villagers decided to create a book exchange in a phone booth. Somerset’s Westbury-sub-Mendip residents purchased the phone box from British Telecom for £1.00 and converted it into a library by donating a collection of approximately 100 books. Phone boxes are in the process of becoming extinct now that everyone has a mobile phone so this is a great idea. And what about that red arrow on the trunk of the tree - Árvore dos Desejos?

The arrow is pointing to a tree where people can write cards and leave it hanging on the branches. It's a Wishing Tree. People can write what they want for themselves, for the neighborhood, to Lisbon, to Portugal, to the world on a card the organization provides. It's one of many activities to celebrate Christmas and animate this neighborhood.

After lunch, we went to Lisbon Factory. By now there was three of us. A friend of my friend joined us, a familiar face from college. Lx Factory is located bellow Lisbon's bridge, in Alcântara. What's the story here? In 1846 a threads and fabric company called Companhia de Fiação e Tecidos Lisbonense sets in Alcântara. This 23.000 m2 industrial site was one of the most important manufacturing complexes in Lisbon’s history. Now, this set of old factory buildings is a nest for a small business like restaurants and coffee shops and maybe start-up projects in creative areas such as fashion, publicity, communication, design, architecture or music. We visited a few galleries and stores. On Sunday afternoons there's also a small vintage market street where you can find all kinds of different stuff, mostly crafts, but also upcycled and second-hand clothes, some artistic work, food, plants, it seems to attract numerous visitors to Alcântara. To my surprise, I found lots of graffiti around the place. I am fond of street art so I enjoyed the visit very much. I took photos of it, of course!

Mário Belém e Hugo Makarov
"Muro do Desassossego"
Based on one of Fernando Pessoa's well-known works. Inspired from an excerpt of the text. A faceless crowd walks aimlessly in the woods, towards a cliff. "The analogy with the political and economic situation that Portugal is living was too tempting us not to do anything inspired in it.", words of the authors.

 Bordallo - this guy makes 3D graffiti

I don't know the author of this one.
The Rainbow Guardian - Mar
Street art Projecto+-  de Miguel Januário 
I don't know the author of this one.

Painting and wall decoration inside a gallery called Studioteambox.
Good illustration work from Raquel Costa inspired by  the fears and fantasies of childhood in this exhibition.

This is the poster of the exhibition we visited at this gallery.
 This tree has balls. It's Christmas!

Many of you may remember that Porto's my favorite Portuguese city. But maybe there's something you don't know: I was born in Lisbon. Will I ever be a Lisbon lover?

This is Ler Devagar, it's clearly a bookstore. But there's more to it than just books, books, books. It has a cool industrial vibe. Ler Devagar stocks lots of books across two floors of space. But there's also an art gallery, tables for book readings and lectures. And you can have a cup of coffee...or tea. The bookstore keeps a busy schedule of cultural activities like concerts, book launchings, and art exhibitions. There was an exhibition going on on the top floor where the guy was playing the accordion- Pietro, Objectos cinemáticos.

That afternoon writer Gonçalo M. Tavares was about to launch his new romance called Uma Menina Está Perdida no Seu Século à Procura do Pai. (Can you spot him on one of the photos?) What a big title for a book, Miguel! I can't believe he beat my record for just one word! I have a published short story called Pode um ovo estragado devolver a paz a um homem perdido? I know some of you can't read Portuguese. But never mind. You can count words. Long book titles are silly. I can do it - and say it - thing because I am not a professional writer. And one more thing: he said it all in the title - the girl is lost in her century looking for her father. Period. At least I made a question in my title! So, who will sell more books, Miguel? (I am LOL at this precise moment...it's late and I drunk a lot of wine because is Christmas!)

Sardines! It's an infestation! They took over Lisbon. If no measures are taken soon they will be more famous than Barcelos Rooster! And yes, I was a victim of souvenir merchandise. I bought three chocolate sardines in a cardboard box! A little gift for my nephew. Auntie prefers to eat the real roasted ones!

And this was it! By the end of the day, my friend left me at the bus station. I made a good journey back home. The bus was full but people were quiet. Maybe they were as tired as me! Tired but happy! It was a nice little tour. Don't you agree?