Vegans on Tour | Lisbon
After losing several pounds on our accidental-weight-loss holiday, Gaz and I were keen to undo the goodness by stuffing our faces and getting pissed in Lisbon. Because what's the point in being thin and healthy when you can be hungover, bloated and grouchy instead.
Lisbon was a little stunner. We don't go on any adventures now without researching how well we'll be fed, so we knew it wouldn't disappoint on the food front. There are 15 vegan restaurants in Lisbon. FIFTEEN! No pressure Bristol, (six) or Bath, (one) or anywhere nearer where I live, but come on.
We stayed in the Epic Sana hotel, which was indeed epic. With a rooftop pool and a basement gym, sauna and another pool, the decadent side of my brain was catered for. I ordered a cocktail while sitting by the pool watching planes fly overhead. In Lisbon, they really do fly over your head.
The hotel didn't really get the 'vegan' thing - although there's a few morsels vegans can poke about for in a hotel's buffet breakfast, when they asked if we wanted to order anything and I dropped the v-bomb, I was brought half a tomato.
It is not fair of me to even tell you about the half-a-tomato incident, because it was the most wonderful hotel. They'd thought of (almost) all the little details to make guests happy. The staff were smiley and thoughtful, there were glasses of iced tea available all over the place. Our room, one of the cheapest, was brilliant - the wall between the bathroom and the bedroom was made of glass - I love a novelty wall! Pretty fruit awaited us in our room (devoured) and beautiful orchids bloomed resplendent in the foyer (instagrammed).
After tomato-gate, we ate out a lot. Within a stone's throw of our hotel was Foodprintz. A light and bright cafe with cheery staff and an adorable in-house rescue dog which I took full responsibility for petting for a good half an hour.
Our many fresh smoothies and meals here were bang on. Foodprintz make all their own cheese and run yoga classes downstairs too. Ten out of ten!
We strolled to São Jorge castle and wandered around feeling European (which is a good thing, Brexit jerks). On the castle wall I discovered previous tourists had stuck stickers all over whatever the below metal structure is. I happened to have a vegan sticker about my person, so I did some vegan graffiti. Vraffiti, if you will.
There were peacocks knocking about and like all the other tourists I papped them, because they are beautiful.
Gaz sat down to take a photo of his favourite thing in Lisbon. He loves bins.
Jokes. He was just looking through his photos. Still, it's possibly my favourite ever photo of my husband, the professional photographer, intently focusing on a bin like it's a work of art. He had no interest in the peacocks, but this picture makes it look like he just has a thing about bins.
For lunch we visited The Food Temple in Beco Do Jasmin. A buffet of plant based delights had us scoffing within minutes. Always a bit embarrassing to sit down, eat and leave while the people next to you are still casually chatting away over a preliminary glass of wine, but what can I say, we eat fast.
We dined at Jardim das Cerejas. (These meals aren't all on the same day, we're not that rapacious) (I had to get my thesaurus out for that) (it's just that I don't want to say 'we're not complete pigs' because I don't like describing animals in a derogatory way. Pigs are beautiful creatures. Try eating off the floor with no hands and see how greedy you look) (I'm done with the brackets now.)
Jardim das Cerejas served the most delicious burgers. I enjoy a Linda McCartney vegan burger, but this was another level.
I loved the cave-like vibe of the venue and I especially loved watching Gaz get a bit raspy after forgetting he's allergic to melon and ordering a melon juice. He wasn't reaching for an EpiPen while going into anaphylactic shock. It wasn't that bad. Just a mildly amusing allergy, is my mildly amused diagnosis.
We didn't have the time to sample any other vegan eateries but any excuse to return to Lisbon. The walls were white, the roof tops orange, the sun shone and the vegans were well fed. Eu Te Amo, Lisboa!