Unique Experiences in Lisbon

I have tried some special activities during my solo trip in Portugal: baking class with Cooking Lisbon, and a night photography tour with Lisbon Photo.

First up, the baking class with Cooking Lisbon. Small group, friendly chef, great space, clear instructions, hands-on experiences. If you love cooking, please leave half day for this unique experience.

Cooking space:

Eating space:

Super nice chef:
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Hands-on:
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Voilà:
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Secondly, four hour night photo tour with Miguel from Lisbon Photo. Private tour, great photo spots, with history and story behind them, we shoot from 8pm to 12am! If you love photography, this is a must have!

Chiado at night

Relaxing Days in Colorful Lisbon – 1

After a quick shopping trip in the morning at Covent Garden in London, I rushed to Gatwick airport and flied to Lisbon, Portugal. And this has been waiting for me:

During my 6 days of stay in Portugal, the weather has been sunny and cloudless like this every single day. As a Torontonian, who suffered two polar vortex winter and cool summers, I couldn’t ask for more!

Well, let’s start with some attractions:

Belem Tower

Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Jerónimos Monastery

Maybe you’ve visited hundreds of museums, but I bet Coach museum and Tiles museum is not one of them. I am not a museum person, however, I enjoyed every moment of these two:

While in the area, one simply cannot miss the famous Pastéis de Belém, started in 1837. Don’t line up for take out, have a seat, and enjoy the custard tart with a glass of lemonade, or beer.

2 1/2 days in London UK

One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things. – Henry Miller

I am back from my third solo trip!
It was a short stay in London, because I decided to spend most of my time in Portugal. But I underestimated its charm, I’ll definitely return in the future. Although it drizzles a little bit every morning, I still loved it. Here are some highlights of my time in London:

Food:
I booked a Secret Food Tour London after learning my flight was on time, because my flight was schedule to arrive Gatwick airport at 7:50am, and the tour was scheduled to start at 11am at London Bridge station. After dropping off my luggage at airbnb place, I met with the tour leader Raj and 2 other people, and started our food tour at Borough Market.

Boston Sausage, I wish I could bring some back to Canada. It was very tasty, although mustard was a little bit overpowering.
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Fish and chips, the most fresh fish fillet that I ever ate.

Ale and pie, very tasty steak pie.
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Oyster, torched seaweed butter oyster.
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And there were more, cheese and wine, English tea with dessert. I am glad I joined the tour, I didn’t have to spend time on deciding which food to try. Cost: 60 pound.

Architecture:

Phone booth:

Changing of Guards at Buckingham Palace:

Handcrafts:
As my love for handcrafts, any handmade items were easily capturing my interests, from kitchen items made of juniper, to leather journal, to fabric arts…I love Covent Garden Market!
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I would go back in a heartbeat, I haven’t visited the famous portobello market yet.

Cabbagetown Private Garden Tour

The past Sunday, I joined Hidden Gardens & Private Spaces Tour of Cabbagetown in Toronto. It was ashamed that I’ve never visited this neighbourhood before even though I’ve been living in Toronto for 15+ years. It was a very nice day out visiting some beautiful and lovely private gardens. I am sure this won’t be the last time I visit it.

First up, container gardening, vegetables in containers, totally my cup of tea:

BEAUTIFUL purple double clematis, it was stunning, I’ve been trying to have one of these in my garden:

Seems so effortless, yet very thoughtful:

Quiet zen water garden, my favourite too:

A small collection of succulents:

Vertical wall garden, the container bags are actually made of felt fabric:

Formal garden for a corner house:

Informal garden for the same house, a group of people were playing “Take Five”:

And finally, a rooftop garden:

What I’ve learned from the tour is that gardening takes TIME and PATIENCE, a lot of patience. Some of the owners showed us the picture of the same garden 10 years ago, and how they slowly built it. My garden has a long way to go…