So, you’re in Lisbon searching for a unique gift, an exclusive keepsake, or a special souvenir to remind you of your visit to Portugal. But where do you go? Here are some places your shopping basket will love.
Occupying a former warehouse building on a quiet side street in the city’s trendy Chiado district, A Vida Portuguesa celebrates the country’s traditional retail heritage by only selling products made in Portugal.
First manufactured in 1887, Ach. Brito/Claus Porto Soaps are handmade using only natural ingredients. Each bar is carefully wrapped in colourful and highly detailed retro packaging that makes these fragrant and luxurious items a shopping list favourite.
Among the various liquors, syrups and Port wine on sale is the rare and precious Moura Alves vinegar: Production is limited to just 1500 bottles a year! This fresh, aromatic condiment is also adorned with a beautifully illustrated and vibrant label.
Look out for Arcádia chocolates, handmade in Porto since 1933, Triunfo and Saloio olive oils, distributed since 1878, and – especially for the gentlemen – the Semogue shaving brushes, made in Granja since 1955 and crafted out of badger hair or natural bristle.
Before you leave (no doubt laden with all sorts of goodies), be sure to note the quirky ceramic dinnerware designed by the renowned 19th-century Portuguese caricaturist Rafael Bordelo Pinheiro.
His symbolic and decorative swallows are also for sale along with the popular Zé Povinho, the wonderfully expressive Everyman figurines that exemplify the long-suffering Portuguese working-class.
Portuguese seafaring tradition is faithfully upheld at Conserveira de Lisboa, a remarkable little store found in the city’s Baixa (downtown district).
Here you can buy tins of sardines and other fish and seafood, variously garnished, with each can hand wrapped on the premises.
The artwork is faithfully reproduced from the original labels that first appeared in the 1940s, designed to illustrate the company’s Tricana brand. Today, the smiling fishwife logo remains an endearing emblem of an industry now in serious decline.
Looking for something sticky and sugar coated? The deliciously decadent and calorie busting confectionary at Confeitaria Nacional is rich, reverential and totally irresistible.
This lovely antique cake shop overlooking Praça da Figueira was founded in 1829 and has been tempting the sweet-toothed ever since.
Nip in for a coffee and a plate of crunchy almond cookies before ordering a gift box to go crammed full of doces and pastéis – anything from bonbons and macaroons to chocolate gateaux and the traditional bolo-rei, a rich fruitcake made to a secret recipe.
All images © www.paulbernhardtphoto.com