Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Vogue Cafe in Porto

The last time I visited a magazine-themed cafe was at the Nylon Cafe in Tokyo in 2012. I almost thought that such cafe concepts were only a thing of Japan. You can imagine my surprise and wonder when I discovered the Vogue Cafe while wondering the streets of Porto. I have since learned that there are Vogue Cafes all over the world, but this first one in Porto was still special. 

In the entry way is a small but stylishly designs shop selling books, wine, and other luxury items. Up a short staircase leads one to the cafe. 

From where we sat we had a view of the big screen, which played runway shows and other fashion documentary footage. 

After reviewing the menu and seeing the gorgeous bar counter, it was very tempting to order some cocktails, but I was already 3 months pregnant, so had to settle for some mock-tails. They were both exquisitely crafted and delicious. 

Breaking from my usual cafe tradition in which I only order espresso beverages, I ordered food at this one as well. The menu really tempted me and I wanted to try some of their offerings. My partner and I shared a pesto tagliatelle and rhubarb dessert. 

Unlike the Nylon Cafe in Japan, which was basically just a cool place to read tons of Nylon magazines from all over the world, Vogue cafe was much more about propagating the Vogue brand into all thing luxury. They didn't really have a lot of magazines lying around, and certainly not ones from all over the world. Still, this was a very worthwhile visit and I enjoyed the novelty of this cafe in Porto. 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Rainy Days in Fall

I love this Gap striped dress that I bought from Goodwill years ago so much, but wore it very little due to it being stretchy and me feeling like it accentuated my belly. Now that I'm 7 months pregnant, it's the perfect dress to show off the baby bump. 

I brought it with me on a trip to Taiwan, but the climate was too hot and humid for skin-tight clothes, so I was excited to have a chance to wear it back in Portland with my new Hunter Rain boots (a replacement for the black ones that wore out last year). 

Denim Shirt: Zara from Portugal
Dress: Gap via Goodwill
Tights: Motherhood Maternity
Boots: Hunter
Bag: Taipei MOCA

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Porto Diaries

Decided how many days to spend in Lisbon compared to Porto was a challenge when I initially planned this trip. Porto had come highly recommended to me by someone who owns a shoe manufacturing business there, and travels there often from New York City. But Lisbon as the capital seemed to offer more to do. In the end I decided to divide time equally between the two cities, but in reality, plans took a very different course.

After 3 days in Lisbon we boarded a train to make the easy 3 hours ride north to Porto for another 3 days. We were supposed to leave from there to the Portuguese Algarve, to stay in Lagos and enjoy the beach. Unfortunately my morning sickness from pregnancy was in full force, and I could barely cope of even the short 3-hour train from Lisbon. I threw up constantly on board and by the time we arrived in Porto, my partner suggested we skip the Algarve – which would have meant another 7 hour train ride in three days – and stay longer in Porto to allow me to recover. I welcomed the idea, and it seemed the stars aligned because we were able to extend our airbnb reservation in Porto with ease, change our train tickets for no fee, and cancel our hotel in Lagos without penalty. So we ended up with 6 days in Porto.

Here in this city, having longer to relax and recover, I started taking a few risks. I would go on longer walks, further walks, and hope I didn’t get sick along the way. I was normally sleeping form 8:00pm-8:00am, but a few nights  I stayed up until 10:00pm to have dinner and even check out a local bar. I ate sushi and tasted (just tasted) port wine. I watched a World Cup game from the park amidst thousands of fans. I put on a swimsuit and got in the icy waters of the Atlantic – still unbearably cold in June. I still felt sick every day, but I also felt like I was beginning to heal. The six days allowed me to see Porto, over and over again, so that I knew it’s streets without a map, and the landmarks became familiar to me.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Afternoon Tea at the Majestic in Porto

It's been a long time since I've been to afternoon tea, and even longer since I blogged about it, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found that the Majestic Cafe in Porto, Portugal served afternoon tea. 
I had wanted to visit this cafe for its historic significance and beautiful ambiance, and it was a bonus that I could also enjoy afternoon tea. 

The cafe is a bustling place with a constant line out the door. When we arrived on a weekday afternoon, there were about five people in front on us. We were seated within ten minutes at a lovely table along the wall with a perfect view of the crowd. 

Sitting down gave me a chance to enjoy the splendor of the Majestic close up, instead of hurrying in for a photo. 

My tea set was very traditional and all branded cutlery from the Majestic. My tea was served on a traditional 3-tired tray. 

Another great thing about the Majestic is that their tea is served per person, so you don't have to order for two people and the other person accompanying you can order anything from the menu, which is what my partner did. 

Although the Majestic Cafe was classy and fancy, I wasn't. 

 The sandwiches, scones, and pastries were all delicious, but because we were sitting in the back, I was staring at the dessert case the entire time and could not resist ordering the chocolate cake. It just looked so moist I had to have it. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

What I Ate in Portugal

Portugal at 12 weeks pregnant was touch for me. I was still experiencing morning sickness on a daily basis and my smells and tastes were far from normal. I was also unable to eat many Portuguese staples like Serra da Estrela, a soft cheese made from goat’s milk, or Presunto, Iberian pig (prosciutto) which could be contaminated with listeria. I wish I could have been more adventurous in my eating, but I was just grateful not to be throwing up. Once I found things I liked to eat, I tended to want them every day. Simple, carb-heavy foods like sandwiches, pizza, and pasta were my go-to eats on this trip.

1. Food I wished I had but didn't: soft cheese and cured meat (both pregnancy no-no’s)
2. Food I had but wished I didn't: Franchesina. Once in a lifetime is enough.
3. What should have been on the list: Orange juice and Gelato
4. Biggest surprise: the delicious pizza and pasta we had!
5. Most delicious meal: Pizza from Pizzaria Lisboa or the seafood we had at Ramiro’s

Foreign Food


Italian Food
Pizzamostly from Pizzaria Lisboa

Asian Food
Taiwanese food from Bao in Porto

Japanese curry from Namba in Porto

Pad Thai and Malaysia curry from Boa Bao in Porto

Sushi and Poke from East-West in Belem

Local Eats

Clams and Crab from Ramiro's, Stew from Donna Cafe, and Octopus from Taxa



all vegetarian, from Taxa and Conga in Porto


Egg Tart - Pasteis de Nata


Cookies and Cakes

Orange Juice 


Thursday, February 7, 2019

Fall outfit

I knew that the presses I purchased at Zara in Portugal would come in handy during my pregnancy. This taupe one is so light and comfortable I was able to wear it all summer long and well into fall. Once it got colder, I just started layering. I'm about 7 months pregnant here. 

Dress: from Zara in Portugal
Jacket: Goodwill
Bag: Coach
Scarf: Urban Outfitters
shoes: Target

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Photo Diary: Best of Lisbon

I fell in love with Lisbon at first sight. Even though I was incredibly sick and had just stepped off a flight delayed five hours, I was still in love with the tiny winding streets and tiled walls of the houses. Many of these photos are also from Belem, which is just 20 minutes outside central Lisbon and has it's own history and charm.  

Touchdown Tokyo

Every time I fly to Japan, I have this routine of changing clothes in one of the large, accessible stalls in the arrivals lobby. I would do ...