Author Archives: ritamonjardino66

A taste of Portugal in Notting Hill

There are actually quite a few portuguese restaurants in London but many of them are aimed at the Portuguese living here rather than at anyone else. This may explain why, despite there being a sizeable portuguese community, it’s a cuisine … Continue reading

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The Lacemakers of Peniche (part 2)

One of the great things about the lacemaking festival of Peniche this summer was that there were so many opportunities to chat to the women about a skill which traditionally takes place behind closed doors. Many of the older lacemakers … Continue reading

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Having fun with Joana Vasconcelos

The Portuguese don’t really do museums and galleries, certainly compared to the British, which is a shame because there are are some wonderful places to visit. Joana Vasconcelos’ show in the Palácio da Ajuda in Lisbon has been the exception. By … Continue reading

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The Lacemakers of Peniche (part 1)

A few weeks ago I went to Peniche, a small fishing town an hour’s drive north of Lisbon,  where I spent the day watching dozens of women (and a couple of men) in a local park making intricate lace under … Continue reading

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The Sweet Smell of Success

As you’ve probably guessed, this photo wasn’t taken in London. I’d popped out to the local supermarket to stock up on a few essentials at the start of my holidays in Portugal and returned with a bag full of these. … Continue reading

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A Splash of Colour

I often take my portuguese basket with me to the market or supermarket for my weekly shop and over the years I’ve had quite a few compliments, but I’ve never seen anyone else with one. Last week though I finally spotted … Continue reading

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The Movies

My sister and I spent a few hours immersing ourselves in portuguese films last week in East London. I know nothing about portuguese cinema, so it was with some curiosity that I headed upstairs to a roof garden in Dalston … Continue reading

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Tia Ná’s Blanket

For as long as I can remember, this blanket has been part of my life. It was made by my  great aunt, Tia Ná. She died suddenly when I was eight years old and losing her was my first painful … Continue reading

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Made in Portugal

A lot of the products I’ve written about so far are rooted in Portugal’s past and rely on techniques that often have barely changed at all. That of course is part of their beauty and allure. But can any of … Continue reading

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Carpets of Colour

Arraiolos rugs have been around for hundreds of years and are still frequently seen in portuguese homes. The patterns are often intricate and can look quite busy, not always ideal in a smallish, cluttered flat like mine. But in the right place, … Continue reading

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