ask Rita about
fine dining • boutiques • museums • performing arts • cocktail bars • beaches • coffee shop
What do you do and why do you do it?
I started studying drawing and architecture and ended up with a degree in advertising and public relations. I'm a true communicator, love to meet people, share ideas, discover new places and working in PR gives me just that. I'm currently in charge of communication and CSR for a business software company, joining my love for people with my love for social work. I did plenty of volunteering in the past and I'm now in a position to create new projects and support existing ones that aim to support the community and improve the world we all live in. I find that both a privilege and a responsibility.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
Sorry, no need to nurture sadness! When in the mood for soft, peaceful melodies I go for the classics, Mozart and Beethoven are among my favourites. Elton John, Rod Stewart or Pink Floyd all have beautiful ballads but so do many of today's pop stars, like Cold Play or Robbie Williams.
What are the best TV shows of all time?
I'm currently hooked on The Medici: Masters of Florence. I love everything historical or biographical: Victoria, Elizabeth, Downton Abbey, Churchill and many others that portrait interesting times in history or the lives of those that made history. On the other side of the spectrum, I liked watching The Black List, Boston Legal or Designated Survivor. The Oprah show is also an all time favourite.
Name some spots in Lisbon that are good for a Tinder date.
That doesn't sound like me at all, but any romantic spot would have to be cosy, quiet, with great music or a great view: try a walk along the river in Belem with a cappuccino stop at À Margem, a late breakfast at Portas do Sol or an evening drink at Sky Bar, one of Lisbon's most beautiful rooftops. A full day programme would allow you to visit Sintra, the most romantic, fairy tale like village you can imagine, just 30 minutes away from Lisbon.
Who’s your hero and where in Lisbon would you take them out for a serious hang?
I'm not sure I can call them my heroes but I certainly admire Pope Francis for his authenticity and down to earth approach to society, Barack Obama for his integrity and judgement or Prince Agah Kahn for what he has achieved with his Development Network. I would take them to lunch at Aqui há Peixe and for a boat ride on the river Tagus with Seaventy, which should give them an overview of what Lisbon is about.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
I have a true passion for fashion, everything classical with a twist. Thé and Maitté are two of my favourite places to shop as are local markets with one of a kind pieces: The Spot market and Rehabbed are my favourites. For shoes and accessories try Loja das Meias and Fashion Clinic, both with carefully chosen collections from the best international brands, and Scarpin and Zilian for more affordable heels.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
A football stadium! Hate the sport and the spirit, although Portugal is a country passionate about football that has given the world some of its best players.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Visit the city as a tourist! The Lisbon Walker has amazing walking tours and I haven't been to most of the city's monuments for a long, long time. I love to feel the city as an outsider but rarely have the chance.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Lisbon and where did you get it?
I'm picky with my food and never tasted anything that looked decadent. There are many, very simple, plain, small restaurants in Lisbon called Tascas. These are places for no-fuss, tasty, typical food for a very affordable price.
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Lisbon? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
Valverde Hotel is my favourite luxury spot to spend the night in Lisbon but the perfect combination of hotel/spa/restaurant is still The Ritz. A luxury landmark in the hart of the city, with impeccable service, large comfortable rooms, an award winning chef and the best city spa one could wish for. Price? Can't say, Portuguese men are true gentlemen.
Where can you get the best cocktail in Lisbon? Which one do you like?
I'm more of a tea person and Lisbon is full of wonderful places to enjoy a flavoury cup with exquisite pastry: Versalhes, Confeitaria Nacional or Pastelaria Suiça are old time classics. Personally, I like to hang at Nicolau and it's mandatory for every tea lover to visit Companhia Portugueza do Chá, a time travelling experience, where you can buy special blends of the finest teas from around the world and some Portuguese exclusives as well. Did you know that Portugal is the only European country that produces tea, in the Azores Island?
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
They are all fried, delicious and loaded with calories: codfish pataniscas, peixinhos da horta (which are made of green beans and not fish as the name suggests) or shrimp rissóis. On the sweet side, I recommend pasteis de belém, a custard tart like no other you've ever tasted, or a visit to Alcoa, where you'll be introduced to a variety of sweet, ancient recipes from Portuguese monasteries.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Lisbon. How do you spend it?
Knowing myself, I would be packing and double checking my luggage, probably on the phone a lot, and doing some last minute shopping. Ideally, I would arrange to have lunch with my closest friends, in Cascais, by the sea, at Monte Mar. There's no place like the ocean to balance and recharge, both spiritually and emotionally, and I guess the beach would be what I would miss the most. Monte Mar is a superb restaurant for fish and seafood that opened over 30 years ago in the village of Cascais. Nowadays, it has a twin brother of the same name in Lisbon, by the river, that is worth a visit.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
I'm a cultural traveller not a resort kind of person. Probably because I've lived all my life by the sea and the south of Portugal has the most beautiful beaches, I travel to learn. I'm fond of guided tours, museums, art galleries, palaces, cathedrals, gastronomical experiences and shopping sprees. I'm a city person. I travel to go to the opera, to a certain premiering musical, play or concert. I like cities that are constantly reinventing themselves like Paris, London and New York.