Euro crisis be damned: Portugal’s capital city is loaded with style, sophistication, and old-world pleasures. For the ultimate insider tour, we turned to Alexandra Champalimaud, a Lisbon native and the interior designer who recently revamped L.A.’s Hotel Bel-Air and is working on London’s Dorchester. Her first stop? Taberna Moderna (18A Rua dos Bacalhoeiros; $$), a Portuguese and Galician tapas restaurant in the historic Alfama district. Scroll down for more of Champalimaud’s expert picks.
“When visitors can’t fit in my apartment I have them stay at Chiado16 (16-17 Largo da Academia Nacional de Belas Artes; $), a guesthouse perched on a hill in the Chiado district.”
“The wonderfully unfussy Kaffeehaus (3 Rua Anchieta; $$) is the place for brunch. Order a galão (a foamy espresso).”
“I appease my sweet tooth at Pastéis de Belém (84-92 Rua de Belém) a cozy café known for its traditional custard tarts.”
“A new restaurant in the Museum of Pharmacy, Pharmacia (1 Rua Marechal Saldanha; 351/213-462-146; $$) has inventive dishes and drinks. Get the Ibuprofen cocktail, with cachaça and lemon juice.”
“I buy my pillowcases at linen shop Paris em Lisboa (77 Rua Garrett); they also make beautiful hand-embroidered sheets.”
“Furniture carving is now a rare art. At Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva Foundation Workshop (2 Largo das Portas do Sol), learn to hand-tool a reproduction of an 18th-century piece—or buy one.”
“Palácio Fronteira (1 Largo de São Domingos de Benfica) belongs to friends of mine and was the setting for my 50th birthday (a masquerade ball!). I adore the Della Robia sculptures and Versailles-esque garden.”