What now seems like a very long time ago, two very sleep-deprived mamas decided that they needed to plan an escape. Something to keep them going through the endless nights and long days of working and motherhood. They had once said that they would love to go to Lisbon together and so they decided to make this dream a reality.
Planning a trip away for two adults isn’t as easy as one might think. We had a lot going on at the time and so we decided to hand over the responsibility to Travel Counsellors – a travel company that we think are exceptional at what they do… incredibly personal customer service. What we loved was the attention to detail from our Travel Counsellor, as she arranged absolutely everything for us – we didn’t even have to check in for our flight ourselves. She also text us to see if we were happy with everything during the trip and sent us a sweet “Welcome Home” card in the post on Monday evening. Seriously, they were a dream to book with and if you fancy your own Travel Counsellor, you can find them here.
We both want the same thing from our travels – a sense of escape & freedom. We wanted to get lost exploring gorgeous architecture and trying local food, to be immersed in the culture and to just completely unwind. We spent most of our weekend between two gorgeous areas of Lisbon – Chiado & Alfama. We had planned to take the train to Sintra which is the most dreamy village ever but we got so caught up in exploring that we didn’t make it out there. The perfect excuse to go back to visit this gorgeous city.
We got up super early… like 7am early… and jumped on the number 28 tram which luckily for us stopped right outside our hotel in the city centre – Hotel Mundial. You have to do this tram ride if you visit Lisbon but do attempt to get up early to avoid crazy queues – it is worth it!
We headed up to Lisbon’s oldest but most colourful and charming neighbourhood. Alfama is the historic soul of Lisbon and we are absolutely in love with the area. It was a tiled walls, cobbled streets and beautiful doorways kind of heaven for us. There was just so much character to the place with lots of gorgeous little cafes to stop off in along the way for our favourite local custard tarts called Pasteis de Nata. We headed back to our hotel for a little break in a tuk tuk, which are perfect for navigating the narrow streets and such a fun way to experience the city.
We headed back up to Alfama again in the afternoon by tuk tuk to have some food and sample some local wine… lots of local wine. We ate dinner at a gorgeous little spot – Esperanca da Se – right by the Se Cathedral. We also loved the interiors here and our pizza and prawn linguini nero were delish. The two of us were delighted with ourselves sitting outside watching the world go by with some chilled rose wine.
We also loved the area of Chiado, which was more modern and stylish than Alfama. There was lots of beautiful architecture, theatres, charming old bookshops and big international shopping brands and just so much people-watching to be done. The women were beautifully dressed and we sat in a square in the sunshine just taking it all in.
We drank pink gins and ate french fries in a really cool burger place – Honorato. For once, we just could not fit in the most delicious looking burgers after just eating lunch somewhere else but the interiors here were absolutely amazing and we had a great window seat.
We spent Sunday evening in a totally gorgeous bar overlooking the Luís de Camões Square called Le Consulat talking about just how lucky we both felt right at that very moment. The drinks were reasonably priced for somewhere that looked so high-end and the staff were so friendly.
As mamas, we are both guilty of forgetting about ourselves in all of this motherhood malarkey. We decided that this weekend was all about us. We would do exactly what we wanted to do and not feel guilty for one moment of the trip. It takes a village to try and go away for a weekend. There was so much organising to be done at home. The trip to Lisbon made us realise that you do need to escape every so often from the normal every day chores and routine. It is not about escaping your children. You do not have to be a mama to need to escape.
We all need to escape every now and then… so as to not forget about you.
Already dreaming of our next trip,
Images by Joao Nogueira