BLACK HOUND'S PERSONAL PICKS FOR EUROPE
Take in a stroll through historic Saint James Park and marvel at the view over Buckingham Palace. Walk through the narrow alleyways of Lisbon's Islamic district, listening to the music of singers wafting out of cafe doors. Cause a ruckus in Spain at one of Seville's most prominent Flamenco stages. These are a few of our favorite places to eat, sleep, play and pass-the-time.
... is a city that conjures up the images of kings, queens, art and music. It is a city whose culture reaches wide across the globe and who's people are just as classy as they are quirky, London is an incredible place to lose yourself for days or weeks, whatever your age or interest.
3 days and 2 nights
Flight into London Heathrow
Stayed @ My Bloomsbury and The Ermine Hotel
Begin bright and early and head to St.James Station. There you can walk through the lovely park and past Buckingham Palace before the tourist rush. Stick around the area and take in the Houses of Parliament and along the Thames River. End your day with a visit to the National Art Gallery at Piccadilly Circus and tuck into a meal at Palomar.
Start early again and this time head to Hyde Park and the Serpentine Galleries. If it's the weekend, tuck into brunch at the lovely Magazine Restaurant. Get a little shopping done at one of London's many markets. After dinner, end your night with a drink at the famous American Bar at The Savoy.
Hoof your way to Soho and reveal in the shops and street sights. If you haven't already made your way to the V&A, don't delay! This is also an awesome place to grab a tasty lunch, one that you can eat outdoors in their sunny interior courtyard. After dinner (check Cereal Mag or Time Out London for the latest in food), find yourself a random pub to waste the night away. Your only rule? In needs to have two animals in the name!
My Bloomsbury // myHotel Bloomsbury is perfectly located off of a quiet corner in the heart of London, situated just a brief walk from the bustling streets of Soho and Oxford St. Rooms range from the modest to the magnificent, all boasting Egyptian cotton bedding and quirky mixes of vintage and designer furniture. Gail's Kitchen, Michelin Bib Gourmand Award Winner 2015, is directly adjacent and provides a tasty breakfast fare in a thoroughly modern and design forward setting. Room rates $$-$$$
St.Ermin's Hotel, Autograph Collection // Walking into the lobby of the St.Ermin is like stepping into a scene from a movie. Retaining its classic architecture, evocative Art Nouveau styling and Rococco plasterwork, the St Ermin’s has been given a distinctive, modern and highly textural look and feel . It's not stuffy though, with a warm staff and amply sized rooms (uncommon in many European hotels). This is a business/travel professional minded hotel, so expect a lot of hustle and bustle. The breakfast buffet is superb. Room rates $$$
Eat + Drink
Magazine Restaurant // For those seeking a thoroughly modern setting to pair with their food, look no further than the Magazine Restaurant in Hyde Park. Forming part of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London’s Hyde Park, The Magazine s a culinary delight for the tastebuds and the eyes.
A must stop on your list while in London, this incredibly unique space provides the perfect backdrop for a glass of bubbly or a full meal made by the incredible chef team. Open from breakfast through to lunch and breakfast through to dinner after Easter. The Magazine also serves weekend brunch. $$
The Palomar // Unless your traveling solo, call ahead to snag a seat at this hotly sought after eatery in the heart of Theatreland and Soho. The Palomar serves the food of modern day Jerusalem, a menu influenced by the rich cultures of Southern Spain, North Africa and the Levant. Come prepared to stuff yourself silly. $$-$$$
The American Bar, The Savoy // Fun fact: The term ‘American Bar’ refers to a bar serving mixed or ‘American’ style drinks, more commonly known as cocktails. As transatlantic travel became more popular in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, many American Bars opened throughout London. The American Bar at The Savoy is the longest surviving of these bars and one of the most iconic cocktail bars in the world. Definitely worth a visit. Smart Casual, No Sportswear. $$
Old Spitalfields Market // Located just five minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street Station, Old Spitalfields market is the perfect shopping destination. Open seven-days-per-week, the impressive array of shops and stalls draws in shoppers from all over the South East. $$-$$$$
Dover Street Market // "Owned by Comme des Garçons and known for its daring edit, creative visual merchandising and bi-annual “tachiagari” whereby the interior of the store is completely reborn, Dover Street Market is a multi-brand retail experience rooted in ‘beautiful chaos’ that offers some of the world’s most avant-garde [wear]." Unless you have tons of money to burn, expect a visit mostly for window-shopping.
The Victoria and Albert Museum // "The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A), London, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. If there is one museum you must visit while visiting London, the V&A is it. The collection is solid and it's rotating exhibits are some of the most intriguing and exclusive on the globe. Free and open to the public. Special exhibits $-$$.
Serpentine Galleries // There are two of these when you land in Hyde Park. Both are wonderful stops for more localized and specialized displays. The Sackler Gallery is home to Magazine Restaurant and should not be missed.
The park also offers various recreational activities including open water swimming, boating, cycling, tennis and horse riding. If the sun is shining, make your way here for a little R&R. Free and open to the public.
Paying for a International Data Package // Listen, there is so much WiFi in the air that unless you're in desperate need, you will be able to survive just fine by connecting to one of the many hot spots throughout the city. Download wifi based chat apps, like Facebook Messenger, and stay nearly as connected to the world as you would while home. And what should you do during those brief moments when you are out of WiFi range? Why pull out your camera or simply absorb the place you are in without the distractions of constant texts. You're traveling damn it, soak it in! You can always share later!
...is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, due to it's affordable fare, it's steep history in art and trade, and it's bright, thoroughly European culture. From the densely packed alleys of the Alfama district, to the beautiful views from Belém, Lisboa delivers beauty, taste and old school charm.
4 days and 3 nights in Lisbon
Flight from SEA via London
Stayed @ The Sherton Lisboa
Arrived in the afternoon. Drinks in Alfama with music and dancing in the evening.
Morning walk through the neighborhoods and down to the water front. Traveled to Belem via train (1hr). Spent the afternoon at the art museums and major cathedrals. Dinner back in central Lisboa.
Continued to explore Lisbon on foot. Walked to Castle Jorge, Tuk-Tuk through the remaining neighborhoods.
Breakfast then train to south to Sagres (3hrs)
Royale Café, Baixa // Royale Café offers a creative blend of Portuguese cuisine with Mediterranean ingredients, in a laid back but highly detailed setting. Perfect for a mid-afternoon pick-me up or lunch break. Relax out back in their lush but intimate garden, or cozy up in their charming interior space. Order the Royale Hamburger with the poached egg. Trust us... $$
Cervejaria Ramiro, Intendente // Nicknamed the seafood temple, this is the place to come to indulge in the country's fantastic seafood – glass cabinets display fabulous tiger prawns, huge red scarlet shrimp, spikey shellfish (known as spiny dye-murex), crab, lobster, oysters, and of course, the classics in every Portuguese restaurant: clams and percebes (barnacles). $$
Santo António de Alfama // Be warned, your cabbie cannot drive you here, but that's part of the adventure! To experience this amazing foodie haven of heaven, you'll need to walk into the deepest labyrinths of Lisbon's moorish district Alfama, to find this unassuming but not-to-be-missed-spot. Amazing and simply prepared meats and traditional veggie sides are what you'll find here to satisfy your cravings. Once you've tucked in, take in the sights by lazy navigating the winding corridors back to your hotel. $$
Museu Coleção Berardo, Belém // To get your contemporary art fix, head to this modern museum spot just before lunch to enjoy a wonderful mid-morning stroll. The museum has a refreshing collection of paintings, photography and sculpture to peak the interests of the artistically inclined. During the weekends, there's an artist and makers market, perfect for finding a bespoke take-home. Finish your visit at the beautifully appointed café with a glass of wine. Don't forget to stop by the famous Padrão dos Descobrimentos, one of Lisbon's great symbols of exploration and expedition, in the near by port. Closed Mondays $$
Wine With A View, Castle Jorge // Climbing the steep hills up to Castle Jorge may seem daunting, but what awaits you at the top is worth it. Inside the castle grounds, you'll find a little cycling cart called Wine with a View. For a few euro,. you'll be able to enjoy a fresh glass of some very good wine and even a chilled chocolate, all while you take in the view over the beautiful city of Lisbon. $
Tuk Tuk : Lisbon, Portugal // You'll see these guys all over town, buzzing through the busy streets in their weird half motorcycle/half-car contraptions. Don't let the crazy fool you: this is an absolutely great way to wind down your evening in Lisbon after a day of walking. Take one of these 'tuk-tuks' near magic hour to get amazing views of the sun setting on the ocean. $$ for half an hour tour. Seats up to 3.
Club Ferroviário: Lisbon , Portugal // Come for the food, stay for the dancing. This spot, hidden on the edge of a winding road and up a series of stairs, may at first strike you with the feeling that you have gotten lost. Not so! This thoroughly cool and amazing rooftop supper club caters to the laid back vibe that Lisbon has come to brand their own. Beautifully prepared but very affordable dishes are served up next to an excellent list of wines and beers. Once you've gotten your fill, let the club's vibing DJ set keep you grooving well past your bed time. $$
Wallpaper* City Guide Lisbon // We love, love the Wallpaper* City Guides by Phaidon. They make for a wonderfully curated look at any city. Black Hound keeps both the physical and digital copies for each major city handy. To snag one of your own before you head to Lisbon, download their guide on iOS. Fingers crossed they'll come to Android and Windows soon!
Cab Drivers, Lisbon // Unfortunately, I was swindled not once, but twice while taking a cab in Lisbon. Be mindful of your location and try to know the general time it would take you to get to your intended destination if your not walking. Also, be sure to double check your change: some unscrupulous cabbies will return you with similar looking currency from other countries (with presumably weaker exchange rates than the euro).
...is a wild and wondrous landscape, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the major cities and tourist towns. Come here to be seduced by pristine water, endless blue skies and gorgeous beaches. This is an outdoor enthusiasts haven, with surfing, yoga and hiking being as natural to the locals as taking a breath. Whether you decide to relax, rewind or recharge, there is something for everyone here at the End of the World.
3 days and 2 nights in Sagres
Train from Lisbon to Lagos w/ a cab to Sagres
Stayed @ Memmo Baleeria
Arrived in Sagres. Wine and food over looking the ocean from Memmo.
Wandered town, walked to local beaches (Mareta) for sangria, sardines and relaxation. Sagres is great for walking or biking. Also excellent for a bit of running or yoga.
Private tour with Sagres Discovery Tours to several Sagres' most beautiful coastal spots and historical points of interest.
Departed for Seville, Spain by bus from Lagos at 5:30am (6hrs).
Mareta Beach - "Praia da Mareta", Sagres, Portugal // One of the many beautiful beaches you'll encounter in the majestic corner of the country, Mareta is a quiet and unassuming beach with a few tasty restaurants tucked to the side to kick back a beer and some signature sardines. Pro tip: The sardines are grilled perfectly, but not lacking in numerous and impossible to avoid soft bones (bring a toothpick). Get your sun on and sardine fix after catching a wave or long walk along the cliff sides. $
The Hangout // The Hangout is a relaxed cafe off the little main road in the town of Sagres. It serves up homemade fresh food with an ocean view. Tasty fare, cheap prices and free wifi make for a good resting stop between surf, yoga or wandering around town. $
Memmo Baleeria, Sagres, Portugal // Located in Costa Vicentina Natural Park at Europe's southwestern-most point, Memmo is breathtaking: if you're going to Sagres, stay here. Standing head and shoulders above the other litany of choices in the area, this restored vestige of a glamorous past brings modern architecture together with the timeless beauty of beach and surf.
Rooms are furnished simply and elegantly in a monochrome palate. With a restaurant serving local produce, a bar, a café, and swimming pool set against the backdrop of Martinhal Bay, guests will have everything they need should they choose to stay put for the day. Double rooms starting at $$$
Beliche Beach - "Praia do Beliche" // As many visitors to the Algarve do not yet seem to have discovered Sagres, Praia do Beliche, in season, is a fantastic place to retreat to, to relax and to appreciate real Algarve beauty. Praia do Beliche, is unspoilt and calming, even when the wild winds get up.Only a few keen surfers and occasional explorers will visit Beliche in the Autumn-Winter months and although it may be a bit chilly at times, it really is an inspiring time to go.
Freeride Surf Camp // The group Surf Lessons are the more common and the most affordable way to learn how to surf or improve your surfing technique. The Lessons are for different levels: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced The Group Surf lessons are suited for everyone. Packages start at $$
The End of the World, Cape Saint Vincent // Before his death (1394-1460), the great explorer stood atop these cliffs, arm outstretched to the sea, and proclaimed Sagres "the end of the [Old] World." With its grandiose beaches, massive cliffs, important history, high winds, warm weather and 16th century fortress, Cape Saint Vincent is a unique and awe-inspiring travel destination.
Sagres Discovery Tours, Sagres Portugal // Take a thrilling off-road Jeep adventure deep into the heart of the Sagres coastline. Experience the exquisite beauty of the areas' numerous beaches, punctuated by historic site visits and a cheap yet tasty lunch. $$