Azambuja & Lisbon, Portugal


June 2016

As traditions go, in June 2016 I returned to Portugal with Andy and Fon’s girlfriend, Steph, for another birthday celebration. I was the last to arrive, and was picked up from the airport by my newly licensed friend, where we then proceeded to drive to his family country villa in Azambuja for a night.

When I say family villa, I mean it could fit his entire extended family- the similarities in size to the ‘Love Island’ villa were astounding, and safe to say we spent the first few hours in awe of the estate; especially after the tour of the farm, wine cellar, lemon grove, and private pool.  If planning a trip to Portugal and you want to stay off the beaten track, I highly recommend countryside-villa-renting. We spent the night drinking and playing cards, with occasional bursts of drunken night swimming and ABBA ballets.

The next day we drove back to Fons’ house in Cas Cais, and proceeded to get ready for his birthday celebration. We went back out into Lisbon, which was as charming and lively as my first time visiting. The old battered streets were filled with young people drinking, dancing, and preparing for a night-out that would last well into the morning; and the juxtaposition of old and young made for an indescribable type of energy that I so fondly remembered from the year before. We feasted on traditional Portuguese food in a buffet style restaurant with unlimited sangria, and rambunctiously spilled into the street, only stopping at midnight to sing a bilingual version of ‘happy birthday’ to my good friend. We proceeded to go out to the hottest club in Lisboa, Urban, and danced until the sun came up-and our uber arrived.

The next day, we made our way to the beach in Cas Cais to catch up on our sleep in the warm sun. Later that night we went to a fancy restaurant with Fon’s family featuring vistas of the sea, and had a traditional Portuguesa meal of Bife a Portuguesa for Afonso’s birthday meal. It was a perfect end to a spectacular trip. The next day I boarded a plane back to England- where I was to have a few more weeks before moving to Germany.

Borrowed clothes: For this trip I brought along with me one of my favorite borrows; a black tank top that is mostly backless, and ties around the neck. I got this from none other than Jenna McCredie, who I am pretty sure borrowed it from her mother. Thanks!

Pro-travel tips:

  • Look into renting a villa/countryside Airbnb for a unique experience in Portugal
  • When traveling with friends make an effort to book flights around the same time- we encountered this problem on our departure day, resulting in lots of trips to the airport…

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