This visit was for my friend S's wedding and the city provided a stunning backdrop for a beautiful and perfect wedding ceremony and party. I also had a chance to explore some areas of the city I missed on my last visit and I proved to myself that "solo wedding guesting" is both do-able and enjoyable (even if there is no one to help zip up your dress in 34 degree heat - thank goodness I do yoga).
I stayed at the super cute Casa Das Janelas Com Vista guesthouse in Barrio Alto. My room was small but perfectly formed and the lounge area was so cute. The staff were really friendly and recommended places for massages and manicures nearby and even offered to help me with booking them the week before I arrived. The breakfast table was amazing - it felt like having breakfast at a friend's house rather than an impersonal chain hotel and, because I can't put my phone down ever, there was free and decent wifi in the lounge and in my room.
|The B&B reception and lounge.|
|Comfiest bed and my own little balcony.|
|Breakfast coffee and vintage crockery.|
|There was fruit at the other end of the table...|
Shopping - because holiday spending doesn't count, right?! As well as huge branches of Zara, Mango and Massimo Dutti there are some cute Lisbon finds - check out El Dorado on Rua do Norta for vintage dresses and records and the Entre Tanto indoor market for unique gift ideas and a juice bar downstairs for a refreshing coconut water.
|El Dorado - check out the choc-ice print sweatshirt.|
|The indoor market - an old converted building split into mini boutiques.|
Mude was top of my list of museums to visit. I much prefer wandering around sunny streets than being inside museums on hot days but Mude did not disappoint - entry is free and there are four floors to explore. My favourite was a Christian Lacroix exhibition in the basement. The museum is in a former bank building so seeing Lacroix's creations in the old bank vaults made for a rather different museum experience (sadly no photos allowed).
There are beautiful buildings everywhere you look and catch a ride on a tram if the steep hills are getting the better of you! If you're feeling intrepid, climb the stairs of the Rua de Augusta arch (on the same street as Mude) for an amazing view of the city.
|Beautiful building in Barrio Alto.|
|The Bica tram - I didn't actually take any of the trams but in Alfama I was tempted as the roads are so steep and slippery!|
|Worth the spiral staircase climb to the top.|
Having breakfast at my B&B and dinners at the wedding events there wasn't a huge amount of time for foodie exploring but food is not a problem in Lisbon - there are bakeries everywhere selling the pasteis de belem custard tarts, beautiful cakes and fresh bread for food on the go as well as seafood restaurants with outdoor tables given the proximity to the sea. In the taxi en route to the wedding I spotted a cute little vegan cafe and had to find it on Sunday for a green juice and vegan empanadas. The view from this spot isn't bad either! My B&B recommended Quinoa as a good veggie cafe - it's on my list for my next visit. Being veggie isn't that difficult in Lisbon but they do seem to be rather keen on ham!
|Cutest little cafe - vegan pizzas and empanadas.|
|Green juice and catching up on some reading.|
|Can't get enough of these views. The wedding venue was in the courtyard of the church in the top left of the photo.|
The wedding! A Friday night pre-party and a Saturday wedding - all outdoors - were the reason for my trip. The wedding was perfect, the ceremony was beautiful and the venue was absolutely breathtaking. I still think of my university friends as "new" friends but I've known S for nearly eight years now - from meeting on the first night of freshers' week to seeing her walk down the aisle, I'm not sure where those eight years have gone. I guess we really are grown-ups now but if this is grown-up life then I have no complaints. Portuguese weddings go on so much later than British ones - after dinner and speeches the dancing continued long into the night, fuelled by goblet-sized G&Ts and a table laden with custard tarts. The happiest of nights and the hugest congratulations to S and J.
|Dress is from John Lewis Weekend Collection. Yes I'm standing on the bed and taking a photo in the bathroom mirror.|
|Pineapple table centre piece at the pre-wedding party.|
|My wedding outfit - my dress is from Joy, shoes are Kurt Geiger and bag is Marc by Marc Jacobs.|
|The venue - you can just about see the cake. In the interests of protecting my friends' anonymity, the happy couple are behind the flower arrangement.|