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48 Hours in Hong Kong: The Pearl of the Orient

A home away from home, Hong Kong is one of my favorite places to spend a few days. Whenever I get the chance to enjoy a layover here, I take the opportunity! I feel like it would take a lifetime to see all that this beautiful region has to offer.

The next time you’re heading off to Beijing, Tokyo, or anywhere else in the region, try to schedule in a few days in Hong Kong and learn why this destination has become known as the “Pearl of the Orient.”

Stay in the Heart of Hong Kong

Given the short amount of time you have in Hong Kong, I recommend staying in a hotel as close to the city center as possible. Some of my absolute favorites in terms of luxury and service include the Four Seasons and the Mandarin Oriental.

While the Four Seasons boasts a well-earned international reputation, an amazing view of Victoria Harbor, and spa services to die for, the Mandarin Oriental offers a more local brand of sophistication. As Mandarin Oriental’s flagship location, it features a world-class spa and a fabulous view of the downtown skyscrapers.

Whichever hotel I stay in, I love to indulge in a massage to ease the stresses of travel before enjoying a healthy breakfast to start my day off reinvigorated.

Take a Stroll Down Cat Street

Don’t let the name fool you! Iconic Upper Lascar Row, better known as Cat Street, is actually a shopping district that specializes in antiques of all kinds, from the kitsch to the classic. If you happen to be a lover of antiques, you may find something as unique as a Qing vase or Ming furniture. After all, this shopping neighborhood has been in existence for 100 years, and some amazing items have yet to sell!

At the end of the street, simply turn right onto Hollywood Road to discovery the majestic Man Mo Temple, created as a tribute to Man, the god of literature, and Mo, the god of martial arts. While the exterior complex looks as urbanized as the rest of the city, the temple itself features a breathtaking design dating back to the mid-19th century.

Nurture Your Artistic Eye

Stop in at Gagosian to take in some amazing contemporary art, including works by such innovators as Urs Fischer, Howard Hodgkin, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, and Walter De Mari. With galleries all over the world, Gagosian has become a well-known name in the visual arts, but this Hong Kong-based location offers a delicious glimpse into local flavor with many artists inspired by regional events and locales.

Just across the street is the fabulous Hanart TZ Gallery, founded by Hong Kong native Tsong-zung “Johnson” Chang. With an Asia-specific art practice dating back decades, Chang’s eye for the visionary and breathtaking ensures a gallery experience completely unique to Hong Kong. Past exhibitions have included works by Luis Chan, Chimmedorj, Chen Beixin, and Xu Longsen.

Dine in Style

For a visual experience almost as gorgeous as the pieces at Hanart and Gagosian galleries, enjoy a delectable dinner at the exquisite SEVVA. Each of their meals is a work of art in itself, with a beautiful taste experience to match. Plus, after all that walking, you’ll have earned one of their signature caramel crunch cakes!

For breakfast, brunch, or lunch, head to the nearby China Tang for sumptuous Chinese cuisine in an elegant atmosphere. For those of us who just want to sample every item on the menu, I highly recommend an early afternoon meal of dim sum—a series of bite-sized portions offering a whole array of delicacies.

For a dinner gathering with friends, or just some late-night drinks, head to Cipriani Hong Kong, the city’s answer to innovative Italian food and cocktails. Be sure to arrive with an empty stomach to savor every delicious bite of their huge multi-course meals.

Remember for a Lifetime 

Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities in the world. It seems like every place I visit in the region boasts a gorgeous mixture of natural beauty, urbanity, and authentic Chinese culture. For example, the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden allows visitors willing to venture a bit farther north the opportunity to interact with exotic birds in a classic Chinese garden setting, all within the atmosphere of a busy shopping area.

With 48 hours, you have just enough time to revel in the wonders of Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient. Let me know about your adventures!

 

 

 

Featured Lifestyle

Switzerland, City by City: 48 Hours in Zurich

Although I feel like a child of the world in many ways, Switzerland will always have a special place in my heart. After all, there’s no place like my home city of Zurich to learn about Switzerland’s rich cultural history, eat like a queen, and get in some shopping while you’re at it!

While one could literally spend a lifetime exploring all that this beautiful city has to offer, I’ve put together the perfect itinerary for a busy but fun 48 hours in Zurich—filled with all of my favorite spots!

There’s no better place to begin your acquaintance with Zurich than the chic Bahnhofstrasse fashion district (more on that later!)—complete with Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Dior. Treat yourself after your shopping spree at one of these delightful restaurants: Rive Gauche in the heart of the city, George Bar & Grill sailing high above the rooftops, and Hiltl vegetarian restaurant in Sihlstrasse—famous for being the longest-running vegetarian restaurant in the world. Finish off your whirlwind 48 hours with coffee and macarons at the decadent Spruengli.

There’s plenty more to see and explore in this luxurious city—voted one of the wealthiest and happiest places in all of Europe! In between the top spots listed above, take your pick of the entertaining activities below to make the most of your two days in Zurich.

Breakfast on the Limmat River

Take in the local scene and the gorgeous Swiss sunrise at an open-air restaurant along the Limmat River. Then, enjoy a sweet treat from one of the many food carts along this striking and breezy river. The bustling pedestrians and bikers combined with the Limmat’s fresh breezes are the perfect welcome to Zurich!

While I highly recommend one of the Limmat River cruises if you’re in town for more than a couple days, walking the length of this river and along Lake Zurich—which feeds the Limmat—can make for a rich experience and a perfect taste of this city’s wonders.

Build an Unbreakable Love at the Muhlesteg Bridge

There’s no time like late morning to revel in love—your early morning sleepiness has dissipated and the day still feels fresh, new, and full of possibilities. After your river stroll, cross the deeply romantic Muhlesteg Bridge with your beloved, one of several love-lock bridges found across Europe. While this bridge serves the practical purpose of taking you to the Bahnhofstrasse shopping district, it gives you the perfect excuse to celebrate your romance along the way!

Bring a padlock with you to act as a symbol of your love. Together, walk this bridge before offering a sweet kiss to one another and the lock before affixing it to the railing. Then toss away the key (in a waste bin please!) to symbolize your love’s eternal nature.

Shop the Luxurious Bahnhofstrasse Promenade

There’s nothing like a little shopping to bring a smile to my face—especially when traveling! I love opening my suitcase after a trip abroad to discover the lovely pieces that I brought home with me. Each item carries with it the memories of the location I visited!

Bahnhofstrasse, the Swiss German word for “station street,” provides the ultimate shopping experience in Zurich with everything from well-known luxury brands to chic local boutiques.

Plus, did I mention that Bahnhofstrasse is both gorgeous and pedestrian friendly? With numerous benches and parks, the promenade provides a welcoming and awe-inspiring outdoor environment. I recommend starting at the Laderach Chocolatiers on Banhofplatz and following the promenade all the way to Tiffany and Co. on Borsenstrasse—a mere 1 kilometer stroll with a well-deserved lunch detour in Altstadt (Old Town).

Rejuvenate in Altstadt

German for “old town,” Altstadt and its architecture date back to before the middle ages—this small area encompassed the entire city up until the late 1800s. With winding streets, local shops, and street side cafés filled with international delights and local delicacies alike, Altstadt offers a Swiss heritage site replete with national and global significance.

Enjoy classic Swiss cuisine at one of the area’s many restaurants before taking in the historic buildings, graveyards, hills, and fountains. Visit St. Peter’s Church to see the largest clock face in the whole of Europe—installed in 1366—before returning to Bahnhofstrasse to continue your fabulous shopping spree.

Grossmunster Church

Local legend says that the breathtakingly beautiful Grossmunster Church was founded when Charlemagne came upon the graves of Saints Felix and Regula. This Romanesque architectural marvel, erected in 1100 AD, is just a short walk across Munsterbrock Bridge from Bahnhofstrasse.

With astounding twin towers, Grossmunster may be the most recognizable feature in all of Zurich—its ancient peaks tower above the skyline, embodying the timeless grandeur of this historic city. Wander the church grounds to find architectural delights in every nook and cranny before stopping in at one of the local eateries, popular among University of Zurich students, for a quick bite.

The Kunsthaus Zurich Art Gallery

Featuring art by such internationally-acclaimed painters as Monet, Chagall, and Picasso, as well as hundreds of local artists, the Kunsthaus Zurich is the foremost art collection in Switzerland and one of the most renowned in all of Europe. Whether you enjoy ancient or contemporary works, or any art period in between, the Kunsthaus is sure to blow you away.

Conveniently located next to a Zurich tram system stop, this gallery is also extremely accessible. Take in the museum’s grand exterior, designed by famed architects Karl Moser and Robert Curjel, before entering. Then, once you’ve explored every exhibit, simply hop on the tram to return to your hotel after a long day of walking and wonder. You may even choose to dine at the elegant and gourmet Kunsthaus Restaurant!

For Art Lovers 

For those of you who are art lovers like me, be sure to also check out Galerie Peter Kilchmann and the Rietberg Museum—and drop into the Starkart Art Gallery in the evening for some amazing contemporary urban art exhibitions. You could fill an entire day just with art!

Plus, if you just happen to be visiting in the fall, consider coordinating your trip with the Contemporary Art Fair Zurich, a stunning display of contemporary art which typically takes place over a weekend in September or October.

Stay for a Day or a Lifetime

While I recommend taking at least a week to roam all of my gorgeous Zurich, this lovely city can also make for a truly romantic (and very busy!) 48 hours. It offers a wonderful glimpse into the whole of Switzerland with highlights in art, history, and cuisine. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Featured Lifestyle Travel

Hottest Travel Destinations

While I love travelling, sometimes figuring out the best place to go to reignite my passion and satisfy my fashion cravings can be difficult. After all, we literally have the whole world to wade through!

Taking style as my guide, I’ve put together a list of six fashion-forward cities that are travel musts for 2017. These six hot destinations offer some of the most beautiful, artistic, and fashionable places on the globe—I’ve already booked my tickets!

Ibiza, Spain

Those who’ve heard Mike Posner’s hit single, “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” know that things can get wild at this gorgeous tourist attraction and party city. While Ibiza is well deserving of this reputation, there is far more to do in this historic town than simply drink and dance. Popular among beautiful people from the world over, this island city is known for its breezy bohemian fashion in addition to being a world heritage site featuring architecture that dates back as early as the 7th century BC.

Sip at a classic Mai Tai and browse the shops—don’t miss Charo Ruiz, Ibiza’s most famous fashion brand—to discover the perfect boho chic ensemble for a night partying under the stars. Plus, the Ibiza Fashion Festival returns this June 9-11!

Tokyo, Japan

Even if you aren’t the “big city” type, Tokyo’s many districts offer a smaller community feel in the midst of this sprawling metropolis. As one of the largest metropolitan regions in the world, Tokyo’s diverse neighborhoods are a dream for any fashion diva! Take in Harajuku street fashion, enjoy a martini at one of the jazz clubs near Tokyo Tower, visit the upscale shopping district of Odaiba, or have a ball at Shibuya’s entertainment district. Chances are that you’ll find plenty of inspiration and more than one on-trend piece to add to your wardrobe while visiting this magnificent city, famous for its street fashion!

The biggest celebration of Japanese style is Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo, coming up this October and featuring the latest in Tokyo street style and top Japanese designers!

Havana, Cuba

One of the more fabulous effects of the U.S. improved relations with Cuba is that the breathtaking capitol of Havana is now open for all tourists to visit! Stepping onto the streets of Havana feels like stepping back in time, with colorful buildings and vintage 1950s automobiles all around. The perfect environment for rocking a pin-up aesthetic, I love drinking a virgin-mojito and waiting for an impromptu street party to begin!

For a day of romance and sightseeing, check out the architecture and history of Habana Vieja (Old Havana), with one of the area’s many walking tours. Or visit the Museum of Rum for a taste of the island’s most popular libation. Who knows, you just might stumble upon a clothing shop offering some killer vintage finds!

To see and be seen in what is perhaps THE hottest travel destination this year, book your ticket for the 19th Habano Cigar Festival, running Feb. 27-March 3.

Hollywood, California, USA

Repopularized with the success of 2016’s La La Land, Hollywood remains as fresh and vibrant as ever. Whether you visit the sets of some of America’s most iconic films, enjoy a scenic hike above the cityscape (Runyon Canyon and Los Leones Trail are two of my frequent haunts), or enjoy a delish meal at one of the city’s posh restaurants (Gwen and Norah are hot right now!), there’s truly something for everyone. I might be a little biased since I call L.A. home these days, but there’s no denying that it’s a trendy city when it comes to the fashion game.

Don’t miss the luxe Rodeo Drive shopping district for VIP treatment from the top luxury brands, and stroll along Melrose Place for access to some of the chicest fashion houses—Marni, Isabel Marant, and Zimmerman among them! While you’re in West Hollywood, be sure to stop by my favorite little coffee shop, Alfred Coffee & Kitchen. After the sun sets, enjoy drinks at one of L.A.’s iconic music venues. Plus, the city’s fashion district is a wonderland of wholesale finds featuring the latest designs at manufacturer prices.

You don’t have to be a movie star to feel like one amidst the glitz and glam of Hollywood!

Melbourne, Australia

Established largely during the 1850s gold rush, Melbourne remains as vibrant as ever with an influential flair for fashion that is quickly catching on the world over. Make sure to check out the the hottest Australian brands this year, from Ellery to Dion Lee and Jac and Jack—shop them and other top Aussie designers at the Bourke Street Mall or High Street Armadale. Visit the majestic Block Arcade in Collins Street to see some of the most beautiful mosaic floors and 19th century architectural details the world has to offer. Fitzroy is also a must-see: an up-and-coming neighborhood known for street art, dive bars, and fabulous music venues.

And, if you want to catch the largest consumer fashion festival in the world, grab tickets for this year’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF), which runs March 1-19, before they sell out!

Tangier, Morocco

Known colloquially as the “door to Africa,” Tangier boasts a rich and complex history dating back millennia. Featuring posh beachfront resorts and mountain views, Tangier has all the beauty of the natural world, as well as some of our favorite urban luxuries. After spending a morning basking by the Mediterranean Sea, get in some amazing shopping and discover great deals on everything from custom-made handbags to ceramic tableware—the stunning Moroccan rugs are my favorite!

Before you head home, you just might want to stop off in Marakesh for a visit to some of the top Moroccan designers, including Bakchic and Kaftan Queen!

 

Travel With Style 

While I like to bring fashion with me wherever I go, there’s absolutely nothing better than building up my wardrobe from inspiration received while travelling abroad. By glimpsing all of the wonder that the world has to offer, we learn about new colors, fabrics, and styles that can help boost our fashion to a whole new level.

Take your fashionista spirit with you as you enjoy the delights that these six destinations have to offer!

Featured Lifestyle Travel

The Intriguing Charm of Abu Dhabi

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The Intriguing Charm of Abu Dhabi

Fusing breath-taking skyscrapers, cosmopolitan scenes and luxury shopping, Abu Dhabi has an air of grandeur. Like many major cities around the world, this stunning location offers you an array of exquisite attractions, whether you’re searching for tranquillity, excitement, or elegance. If you’re planning your next escapade or have a layover, relish the opportunity to explore one of the most decadent places on earth and consider visiting these Abu Dhabi landmarks.

Things to do

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, adorned with marble, semi-precious stones and chandeliers could easily be the eighth wonder of the world. Holding space for 40,000 people, the mosque offers self-guided walks alongside free tours in both English and Arabic. The dress code is Arabic dress or you can loan an abaya on entrance. This magical experience is even more beautiful at night.

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Yas Island

For thrill-seekers, look no further than Yas Island. This exhilarating, adventure land promises attractions that you’ll find nowhere else in the city. Live concerts, formula 1 racing and the world’s largest waterpark are some of the key attractions to visit. Alternatively, head to a haven of serenity with a spa day or dine in one of the 90 restaurants. The stunning beaches and sensational hotels like the Yas Viceroy make the island an idyllic setting for a vacation.

The Galleria Mall

Located on Al Maryah Island, The Galleria is undoubtedly the home of luxury shopping in Abu Dhabi. Featuring the crème de la crème in designer fashion, brands like Balenciaga, Dior, Gucci, and Lanvin are just a handful of notable names occupying the mall. Grab a coffee at Magnolia Bakery as you explore the finest in retail, or partake in a dining experience at Rosewood or Cafe Milano located inside of the four Seasons Hotel next door.

 

Art & Galleries

Art is a popular pastime in Dubai so the N2N Gallery is the perfect place to visit. Combining art collections from Abu Dhabi and Europe, the gallery showcases over 170 pieces from 13 artists. As well as viewing sculptures, contemporary art, and paintings, N2N also offers art classes, providing a pleasant opportunity for you to immerse yourself in the local art scene.
And The Louvre Abu Dhabi, opening in 2017 is a universal museum in the Arab world. It’s  intended to be a place of discovery, exchange and education.

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Where to stay

The Emirates Palace

A regal, seven-star hotel, the Emirates Palace is set in 85 hectares of lush greenery and is the world’s most expensive hotel. Decorated in marble, silver, and gold with Swarovski crystal chandeliers, the 200 fountains, 114 domes and 2000 staff members make this hotel one of the grandest locations in the city. The world-class caviar bar (all though I don’t like caviar) serves a traditional caviar menu with champagne, set against a backdrop of live music, while each room boasts 24-hour butler service, iPad mini, and wi-fi of course. Experience fine dining at one of the 14 restaurants, or relax in the spa and swimming pool.

 

What to wear

The culture of Abu Dhabi is rooted in Arabic traditions. While nationals of UAE wear traditional dress, visitors are welcome to wear liberal clothing. However, any short or tight clothes may be deemed unwelcome so dress appropriately and respectful.

img_4930Btw. This is what not to wear to the Mosque (but for shopping perfectly fine)

 

xoxolisa

 

 

Featured Lifestyle Travel

Ferrari World – Formula 1 in Abu Dhabi

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Speed, Thrills & Fun: Ferrari World – Abu Dhabi

Nico Rosberg’s Championship victory and final race at Abu Dhabi last week wasn’t the only thing that travelled 100+mph. With some time off pre-race, I visited the ‘Middle East’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ and no, it’s not the Burj. Nestled on Yas Island, just 30 minutes by car from the city centre, Ferrari World is the world’s first and only Ferrari branded amusement park.

What is Ferrari World?

The park opened in 2010 and has quickly become a ‘must-visit’ for anyone travelling in the Middle East. The park is roughly the size of 7 football pitches and boasts not only the largest space frame structure ever built but also the world’s fastest roller coaster. The ‘Formula Rossa’ is the crowning jewel of the park with an exhilarating top (and world record holding) speed of 149 mph.
The park is quite surreally magnificent, mainly because everything you see, touch and ride is traditional racing car red with the iconic Ferrari stallion emblazoned across it. Everything is pristine and stylish in design as you would expect from a super-brand like Ferrari. Fortunately for me, on Grand Prix weekend the entire park access, so I was able to enjoy the park to quell my sorrows that Lewis Hamilton didn’t win the championship. Maybe next year…

Lionel's Show at Ferrari GP Formula 1, Abu Dhabi

Lionel’s Show at Yasalam After Race concert, Abu Dhabi

A theme park for the whole family

If you’re after even more speed (as if a Formula 1 race wasn’t enough), Ferrari World has enough rides to satisfy all thrill seeking needs. If you want something a little slower, the park is surprisingly excellent for toddlers and teens with rides, shows and attractions to suit all ages and heights (be aware that height restrictions are strictly enforced so do some planning in advance to avoid waiting in a queue and being disappointed).

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Ferrari World’s Best Attractions

The park really has something for everyone, regardless if you even care about cars or not. My top attractions in no particular order were:
Galleria Ferrari – a Ferrari lover’s dreamland, this exhibition showcased a wide selection of classic and modern Ferraris. I can only describe it as somewhere between an art gallery, a motoring museum and a fashion show.
Tyre Change Show – this might not sound particularly glamorous but it was one of the highlights of my trip. This is an entertaining show with some Italian comics combined with a cpit stophance to try your hand at a F1 pit stop For the record, don’t wear heels when trying to change a formula 1 tyre!
Mamma Rossella – a lovely open-air trattoria for a relatively reasonable cost for lunch/dinner. There’s a wide range of Middle Eastern, African and European food available
Driving Experience – the highlight of the entire trip was a chance to get behind the wheel in a Ferrari California (in red of course) with a trained Ferrari driver. Family can sit in the back so you’re not on your own as you revel in the sheer beauty and opera of a 4.3 litre monster supercar.
Overall, the park is one of the best theme parks I’ve ever been to and had enough to keep everyone entertained.

 

Ferrari World - Abu Dhabi UAE

Ferrari World – Abu Dhabi UAE

xoxolisa

Travel

Traveling the Swiss Alps in style: Glacier Express

Panorama Zug, Glacier Express

Traveling the Swiss Alps in style: Glacier Express

Billed as ‘a train to fall in love with’, the world-famous Glacier Express takes passengers on the ultimate romantic journey through the Swiss Alps. The red-and-white train travels from east to west across a 300km stretch of railway, boasting unrivalled views of magnificent countryside en route. You can expect to see breathtaking mountain passes, glistening glaciers and rushing streams, so sit back, relax and enjoy the journey.

The Glacier Express is over 75 years old, and took its very first trip in 1930 to ferry locals and tourists from one side of the Swiss Alps to the other. Up until 1982, the Glacier Express only ran during the summer months, as the thick winter snow made certain parts of the track impassable. In fact, there are still times during the year where conditions are too severe to travel.

Today’s trains are powered by electricity, but the original steam-powered versions would have followed the same route. This magical 7.5-hour journey begins in the glamorous ski resorts of St Moritz, and snakes through the Albula Valley, Davos Dorf, the Nikolai Valley on its way to Zermatt and the Matterhorn village. You can jump aboard at stops along the way, and indeed catch it going in the opposite direction. Either way, there’s no shortage of stunning Alpine sights.

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Contrary to what ‘Express’ might suggest, this is the world’s slowest train − it travels at an average speed of just 20km/hour − but it would be a sin to rush past such dramatic landscapes, Alpine meadows, narrow valleys and deep gorges at speed. You’ll also conquer 91 tunnels and across 291 bridges in total if you travel the entire route.

 

This is the most relaxing and elegant way to enjoy the picturesque landscape that makes Switzerland so utterly unique. Take a seat, pull out of the station, and you won’t be able to take your eyes off the unimpeded views through the windows of the stylish panoramic carriages. For example, the lengthy Rhaetian Railway (Rhätische Bahn RHB) section, which lies between Thusis and Bergün, is a World Heritage Site and an impressive demonstration of how civil engineering can blend seamlessly with its environment. It looks even better when the sky is blue, so it might be worth checking the weather before you book.

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Landwasser Viaduct

Particular highlights along the 180-mile line include the one-hour ride between Disentis and Andermatt, the stunning six-arch 65m-high Landwasser Viaduct between Chur and Filisur, and the Oberalp Pass with its crystal-clear mountain lake. When you reach the Oberal Pass, you’ll be at the highest geographical point of the journey − it’s over 6,600 feet above sea level.

Chur Graubünden

Chur Graubünden

Some of the climbs are so steep that drinks are served in specially designed tilted glass. 🙂 Well, you wouldn’t want your crisp Swiss white wine to spill, of course. This kind of attention to detail makes your trip even more of a pleasure. As well as indulging in a drink or two, you can also sample a freshly prepared three-course meal in the comfort of your seat or in the vintage dining carriage. This is luxury travel at its finest.

Operalp Pass

Offering a truly unique perspective on the Swiss Alps, and a luxurious experience in total comfort, it’s no wonder the Glacier Express has gained iconic status. Make sure to bring your camera − you’ll want to look back at these fascinating sights forever.

Sion G.

Panorama Zug, Glacier Express

Featured Lifestyle Travel

Five Reasons To Visit Lisbon – Portugal

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Five Reasons To Visit Lisbon

The capital of Portugal, Lisbon (Lisboa in the local language), is a great place to visit for lovers of art, fashion, food, architecture and sport. So, aside from its warm climate, why is it such a wonderful city?

 

A wealth of art galleries

Lisbon is home to a number of world-class art galleries.

Paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet, Van Dyck and Renoir are all on display at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum; while works by Romney and Gainsborough form part of the superb private art collection at the Medeiros e Almeida Museum.

The city also has a number of acclaimed contemporary galleries, such as the Museu Coleção Berardo (which has over 900 works) and the Centro de Arte Moderna.

For something more quirky, why not visit the Coaches Museum, and see the magnificent vehicles in which Europe’s artisans travelled in years gone by.

 

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A fashionista’s dream

Lisbon is not one of Europe’s most expensive cities, so you may find that you can buy designer clothing relatively cheaply. The Avenida da Liberdade in the upmarket Chiado district is perhaps the nearest equivalent to London’s Bond Street. Here you can buy items by Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry Prorsum, Chanel, Gucci, Armani, Versace and Prada.

When you’ve finished shopping, pay a visit to MUDE – the Design and Fashion Museum, which displays items from some 230 designers.

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Foodies will not be left hungry

The Chiado area of the city is home to Belcanto, where the skills of head chef José Avillez have been rewarded with a Michelin star.

Eleven (also the recipient of a Michelin star), Largo, Tavares and 100 Maneiras all serve top quality Portugese and Mediterranean food; Doca Peixe is the go-to dining destination for seafood lovers; while superb French cuisine is on offer at Hotel Fortaleza do Guincho. If you want to sample Brazillian cuisine, then try Estrela da Bica.

 

The architecture is remarkable and hugely varied

Lisbon has everything from the 16th century Jeronimos Monastery to the glass tower blocks of the modern Parque das Nacoes area.

The Basílica da Estrela, the Igreja de São Domingos and the Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora are also fine religious buildings.

Many of the city’s railway stations are especially fine buildings, so if you find yourself catching a train from Gare do Oriente Station or Baixa-Chiado Metro Station, then allow extra time to look around.

Guiding Architects offer bespoke English language tours of the city’s architectural gems.

 

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See the Euro champions play

On July 10 2016, Portugal won the Euro 2016 football tournament. You can watch the newly crowned champions of Europe in home international matches on November 13 2016 and March 25, August 31 and October 10 2017, although it has not yet been confirmed whether all of these matches will be played in Lisbon.

Cristiano Ronaldo, possibly the greatest player of the modern era, captains Portugal.

Lisbon is home to two famous football clubs: Benfica and Sporting. These teams have regular home matches during the football season. Of the victorious Euro 2016 squad, Eliseu plays for Benfica; and Rui Patricio, William Carvalho, Adrien Silva and Joao Mário all play for Sporting.

te vejo em breve….!

 

Featured FOOD Lifestyle Travel

Grotta Palazzese – Most Romantic Restaurant

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Grotta Palazzese

Be enchanted as you enter the magical cavern at Grotta Palazzese, nestled in the cliffs of Polignano in the sublime Italian region of Puglia. With its classic Trullis, its simple land, and Mediterranean feel, Puglia offers a rich, diverse and inspiring experience in itself. However, a visit to Grotta Palazzese will elevate your experience of Puglia to new heights. Create memories and magic alike at this restaurant with a difference.

Grotta Palazzese is like nowhere else on earth. A traveller’s dream, and a truly unique find await you. Dining here happens literally on a cliff edge, whilst nestled within a cave, chiselled in to the rocks, and both exposed and cocooned in Adriatic glory. Having spent your days exploring the Heel of Italy, you will be rewarded with a dining experience that simply cannot be matched.

Winding down the 64 stairs to the restaurant itself, you will realise that your dining experience was just elevated to the incredible and awe-inspiring. Whether you choose to enjoy the hues of dazzling blue contrasting with the cave’s lush green reflections during a daytime visit with the bustle of Italian summer heights, or the spectacular sunsets at twilight mirrored off the sea, or a moonlit after-dark experience with ambient lighting, you simply won’t be disappointed.

 

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Grotta Palazzese is a dining experience of a lifetime. You won’t forget the magical memories made here, they will be etched in your recollections for ever. Open only for the summer months between Easter and October, this is a truly stunning location which is steeped in history. If you’re in Puglia during the summer season then make sure you make time for a visit here, you won’t be disappointed.

Whilst you revel in awe at the setting and views, the dining experience itself is not to be missed. With a diverse range of local seafood such as fresh cod, tuna, mullet, mackerel, salmon and shrimp, paired with the finest local seasonal vegetables, the food here is divine, enhanced only by the incredible setting. In addition to the fruits of the sea there are heartier options of lamb or beef, as well as Puglia’s renowned pasta and rice dishes. Puglia, the ‘breadbasket of Italy’ is the Italian heartland of pasta, so this is an opportunity not to be missed. Finish off with a classic Tiramisu and an Italian coffee as you absorb your last moments in this elegant restaurant.

 

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The menus here are served with true Italian service and Puglian flair. The dishes are presented with an elegant twist that strives to compare to the natural cave setting. There is a tasting menu should it simply be too difficult to make up your mind, and the serving staff are ready to pair the very best wines with your choice of meal.

Without a doubt, Grotta Palazzese is the romance capital of Puglia, if not Italy. Your soul will be moved as you experience the stunning scenery with a vista spreading out over the Adriatic. It is obvious why many travellers choose Grotta Palazzese as their wedding venue, a unique, never-to-be-experienced-elsewhere natural haven of romance and desire. The backdrop of this divine location lends itself to wedding photography that is inspirational, remarkable and one of a kind. For an ocean wedding with a difference, Grotta Palazzese is the place.

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After dining to the sounds of the waves crashing hauntingly on the rocks below, and whilst breathing in the salty sea air, then make your way back up and out of the cave to the enclosed dramatic Sea Lounge. With magnificent windows overlooking the Adriatic, you gain a slightly different perspective than from the cave below. The Sea Lounge is a perfect place to enjoy an after-dinner cocktail and allow yourself to continue your enchanting adventure before relinquishing your experience to memory.

Grotta Palazzese is a truly beautiful dining experience, touching the heart, spirit and soul of every traveller who enters its cavern. No two experiences here are alike as the blend of weather, seas, and light all come in to play to provide a memory and experience that is as unique as you are. Puglia holds a restaurant gem in its hand: be sure to experience it.

 

Ciao !

Featured Lifestyle Travel

Princess Ezurin Khyra’s Fashion Diary

Ezurin Datin princess fashion diary

Photo: Igorfain.com | Glam by @yunniese_g

Welcome to a sneak peak into the world of the lovely Princess Ezurin Khyra’s Fashion Diary. 
Malaysian Royalty, Kind & Sweet A Gorgeous Style Council, A Mother & ‘Our Society’s Fashion Darling’, quote by Prestige Malaysia.

You will love her Fashiondiary … Follow her Instagram @ezurinkhyra and travel the globe with her fashion inspiration and love for design and colors.

fab5 things ezuring

Q: Datin Ezurin, what is your favorite city right now?

  •  LONDON

 

Q: Your Make Up is always flawless…   what’s your Lipstick of choice?

  • LIPFUSION

 

Q: #Currentmood for favorite food?
       

  • JAPANESE

 

Q: Your favorite Fashion Designer of the hour?

  • STELLA MCCARTNEY 

 

Q: And your favorite flowers are?

 

Collage from @ezurinkhyra’s Instagram

 

 

xoxolisa

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOOD Lifestyle Travel

My Top 5 Best Macaron places in the World

macarons blue and pink

Top 5 Best Macaron places in the World

I have been fortuned enough to have traveled a lot and every where I go I look for french treats “Macarons”
From Paris to Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles…

Sometimes I include Macarons in the table decoration (edible decoration) its colorful and for every season.

If you every have the chance to visit any of these cities try to take a brake and enjoy some Macarons and coffee.

pink macarons

  1. Bouchon Bakery Los Angeles, USA
  2. La Belle MietteMelbourne, Australia
  3. Ladurée – Paris, France
  4. Pierre Herme Jardin – Paris, France (“the Picasso of pâtisserie” by Vogue.)
  5. Chantal GuillonSan Francisco 

Where are your favorite Macaron places?

xoxolisa