Magic fills the air, uplifting both our spirits and the clouds in an otherwise perfectly blue sky. It is the beginning of October here in Lisbon, and we are yet to wander around sun-kissed by summertime. Temperatures day and night are somewhere between 20°C to 30°C, inspiring us to unpack our summer dresses once more, beaming back at all the happy people we meet. And yes, they are happy everywhere here: “It is in our nature as Portuguese people, to welcome our visitors with genuine interest, openness and friendship”, Filipa Valente of Taste Of Lisboa Food Tours tells us, smiling. But let me start from the beginning. First of all, I want to take you on a journey. A journey through Lisbon where my friend Bianca and I simply enjoyed getting lost. To do so, follow me through some of Lisbon’s oldest city districts named Baixa-Chiado, Alfama & Mouraria.
“Taste Of Lisboa: This is my third visit to town already, but never have I felt so accomplished nor strong about Lisbon than during our culinary storytelling tour, dear Filipa!”
Do you know the feeling of “having arrived” in a particular place and time? While I talk to Filipa about my trip to Portugal and further south into the Algarve as a new destination for local crafts & creative tourism in Loulé, I become aware of my increasing passion for Portuguese food, Portuguese people, even the Portuguese language that I have simply picked up and learned speaking over the summer. Encouraged by our exchange, I recite a poem by Fernando Pessoa, prompting Filipa to say: “Mas tens alma portuguesa Elena …!” Warmth spreads through my body, I feel light-hearted and just so honoured by this. Yes, it has happened to me, dear readers. Portugal is in my heart: From a mere day trip to Lisbon all the way to our surf camp in Ericeira and up to a most inspiring culinary exploration of Porto & the Douro valley, I have to tell you this: It must be love. 😀
And so it happens, that during Taste Of Lisboa Food Tours …
… our wonderful Filipa knows exactly how to win us over in a culinary way of exploring the city! Being a former manager at IBM, she really knows what she wants, too: To infuse people like Bianca and me with the same kind of enthusiasm that she has for the culture of her country and for her love of food & drinks here in Portugal. “I am a big eater .. No seriously, I am”, she laughs despite appearing fit and slim. It is only us that are eating during the Taste of Lisboa Food Tour though, and honestly: You can always walk the talk in Lisbon, its many hills naturally decreasing the calorie intake you will have during the three-hour tour. Off we go, therefore, exploring Lisbon the culinary way!
Disclaimer: Thank you, dear Filipa Valente, for offering to invite me on this Taste Of Lisboa Food Tour. All opinions are my own.