Eating out in Lisbon: A quick guide

There are plenty of reasons to get married here in Portugal. The weather, the beaches, the stunning venues all have significant appeal. But there’s also the fact that Lisbon is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Top Lisbon restaurants

Topping countless lists as one of the hottest capitals of the moment, it’s not surprisingly home to some incredible restaurants too. So if you’re looking to entertain your wedding guests before or after the big day, you couldn’t find a better place to do it.

Here are a few of the best:

A Taberna de Rua das Flores

A faithful recreation of an old Lisbon style eatery, this is the place to go for traditional dishes the way they were meant to be served. Expect the best oil, best wine and a selection of delicious cheeses too.

Casa de Pasto

Run by Diogo Noronha, one of the city’s most promising young chefs, you can experience long forgotten recipes made with unusual ingredients. Think cockle rissoles and oxtail consommé.

Top Lisbon restaurants

Time Out Market

Presenting the very best of Lisbon’s food all under one roof, this vast collection of restaurants and bars is located in the old market in the once run down Cais do Sodre dock area. Regeneration has really kicked in and this is now the place to be.

Top Lisbon restaurants

A Cevicheria

Located in the hip Principe Real neighbourhood, this place specialises in Peruvian ceviche. If you’ve never tried it before, this is a great place to start.

Classic Portuguese wedding dishes

Call us biased (and you’d be right to because we absolutely are) but there are plenty of very good reasons to get married in Portugal. From the sunshine, beaches, romantic venues, beautiful cities and more, this is a country that lends itself to incredible weddings.

Classic Portuguese wedding dishes

But there’s another very good reason: the food. Portuguese food may not have the classical refinement of the French or the sheer scale of Spanish tapas but what it does have is an abundance of stunning ingredients and a sense of tradition.

Check out these classic Portuguese wedding dishes to see what we mean.

Starters

The Portuguese love a soup, from the ubiquitous caldo verde (a kale soup with chorizo) to a variety of delicious fish soups, every good meal starts with one.

Classic Portuguese wedding dishes

Mains

It’s said there is a bacalhau (cod) dish for every day of the year, and it’s even Christmas dinner, so don’t be surprised to see it on the menu at a wedding. There’s bacalhau com natas (a creamy and potato filled type of pie), a bras (cooked with onions, rice and olives) and a Gomes Sa (with onions, garlic, potatoes parsley and egg). To name just three. Camarao (prawns) are another wedding favourite.

As well as a fish course, expect another meaty main. Iberian black pork, stewed goat and wild boar are all common choices for weddings.

Desert

The infamous pastel de nata is a great choice but the Portuguese also have a wide variety of classics including leite crème (like crème brulee), bolo do bolacha (a creamy cake made with coffee soaked biscuits, and fresh fruit. Mountains of fresh fruit.

Oh, and there’s the wine, aguardente, port, madeira, and more. But that’s a whole other blog post.

5 ways to go green in 2017

If you think about it, getting married is all about sustainability. You’re making plans for a long term future that provides the best possible world for you and any potential little yous that might come along.

So, it’s no surprise that in 2017 having a green wedding is more important than ever. So what are the five best ways of looking after Mother Nature this year?

Think about the trees

5 ways to go green in 2017

There’s a lot of admin that goes with a wedding, not least countless invitations. So why not use the technology available and keep it all online. A website and email invitations can be just as stylish.

Go local

5 ways to go green in 2017

Keep your wedding miles low by sourcing food and flowers from close by. Plus, seasonal and organic food is a great way to keep things tasty.

Eco-friendly outfits

5 ways to go green in 2017

There are plenty of eco friendly designers out there for both dresses and suits. And if you choose a gown that you can wear again, then you’ll also be reducing your footprint.

Green favour

5 ways to go green in 2017

Usable favours are another way of keeping it green. Think about favours that you can plant or at least that won’t end up in the garbage.

Wedding list donations

The wedding gift list is becoming a thing of the past. With most couples already happily set up in homes, a new toaster is not such a good gift. Encourage your guests rather to donate to a charity of your choosing.

The best Portuguese wine styles for your wedding

A wedding without wine is like a car with four flat tyres. It might look nice but it’s not going anywhere fun. And here in Portugal, we’re lucky enough to be blessed with some of the world’s best.

The best Portuguese wine styles for your wedding

To help you choose, here’s a list of some of the finest varieties of wine you can offer your guests.

Vinho Verde

Vinho verde, or ‘green wine’ comes from a tiny region in the northwest of the country. It’s cooler and wetter, creating grapes with a fresh taste and a little hint of fizz. They’re also low in alcohol and very refreshing, so they’re perfect for serving during hot afternoons.

Douro reds

The beautiful and fertile Douro valley is famed for its Touriga Nacional, a rich red that creates dark and mysterious wines. They also do good blends, with spicy and fruity flavours ideal for serving with big, hearty dishes.

The best Portuguese wine styles for your wedding image by Mat's Eye

Alentejo whites

Big and rich, Alentejo whites come from the huge and sparsely populated region to the south of Lisbon. Expect tropical flavours with pineapple and peach jumping out. Chill, serve and watch your guests enjoy.

The best Portuguese wine styles for your wedding

Dao reds

These high elevation vineyards give wines with delicate flavours. They come from the Dao region in the northern central part of Portugal. Refreshing reds that add a light touch to heavier meals.

Madeira

Thomas Jefferson toasted the signing of the Declaration of Independence with an nice glass of Madeira. And if it’s good enough for him… These sweet and sultry wines go down very well after dinner.

Port

How can you leave it out? The drink that’s synonymous with Portugal, port is perhaps more varied than more people realise. Enjoy crisp and dry whites or heavy, sweet and rich reds. It’s a must at any Portuguese wedding.

The best Portuguese wine styles for your wedding image by Julian Beckton

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

If you’re planning a 2017 wedding, then Portugal could be your perfect wedding destination. Here are just 10 of the hundreds of reasons why.

The sunshine

Endless hours of hot sunshine in the long summer months and mild, warm winters give Portugal one of the best climates in Europe. Beautiful weather is never guaranteed but it’s as close as you’re going to get.

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

The coast

With more than 1,000 km of coastline – with rugged rocks, golden beaches and secluded coves – this is the ideal place for a wedding by the ocean. Just imagine a warm sea breeze in your hair as you walk down the aisle.

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

The architecture

From luxurious villas to the red tiled townhouses of Lisbon and Porto, Portugal’s romantic buildings offer an incredible choice of inspiration and accommodation.

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

The attitudes

One of the first countries in the world to allow same sex marriage, Portugal is a liberal and welcoming country that opens its heart to everyone.

The legalities

No residence is required before the big day and witnesses are not required by law, so if a secret wedding is what you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

The cost

As one of the most affordable countries in Western Europe, Portugal offers incredible value for money.

The planners

We don’t like to blow our own trumpet too often, but Portugal is also home to some of the world’s most stylish wedding planners. Check out our site to see what we mean.

The food

With traditional cooking and some of the best seafood in the world, you can serve up an unforgettable wedding feast for your guests.

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

The wine

Home to some of the best wines imaginable, not to mention the port, madeira, and a choice of traditional spirits, you can perfectly accompany your wedding menu.

Top 10 reasons for a 2017 Portugal wedding

The honeymoon

Combine your wedding with a dream honeymoon in one of the world’s most beautiful countries. Historic cities like Porto, Lisbon and Evora combine with stunning coastline, mountaintop castles and more to create a truly romantic honeymoon destination.

Choosing your vows: How to find the right words?

Planning your wedding can throw up all sorts of challenges – believe us, we know better than most. Picking the venue, choosing the food, sampling the wine (ok that bit’s not so tough). But one of the most unexpected difficulties is finding the right words on the day.

Choosing your vows: How to find the right words?

As well as choosing appropriate readings that find the right balance between sentimentality, humour and good taste, you have to find words to say to each other.

Choosing your vows: How to find the right words?

OK, so you could just go for the traditional wedding vows – sickness, health and all that jazz. They’re pretty good at summing up what it means to be married. But even if you don’t write your own vows, choosing readings to express your emotion can be just as tough.

Choosing your vows: How to find the right words?

You could pick a favourite poem or song lyrics. There might even be a passage from a book that you particularly love. The important thing is to make it personal. This is your ultimate expression of feeling for your new life partner so it’s worth thinking about the message you want to send.

Choosing your vows: How to find the right words?

Don’t be scared to think outside the box or go for the funny bone. It’s not unknown for couples to read out there love letters or even text messages from back when they met. Basically, if you think it suits your personality and is the right way to express what you want to say – then go for it.

The best wedding guest book ideas

As well as your wedding photos and what you can physically remember (which may be affected by how much champagne you guzzle during the day) one of the best mementos is the guestbook. This gives your guests a chance to tell you how beautiful you look and how you’re wedding was the best they’ve ever been to (whether they mean it or not).

The best wedding guest book ideas

So, to help you keep a lasting record of who was there and who wasn’t (trust us, it’s harder than it looks to remember), here are some top guest book ideas.

Thumb print guest book

Start with a bare tree and let your guests create leaves using their thumb prints from coloured ink, signing their name next to it. Also handy if any crimes are committed during the day and fingerprint evidence is needed.

The best wedding guest book ideas

Stamp or signature trees

If you want to avoid the whole genetic information collecting argument or having inky thumbprints all over your dress, use a stamp to make the leaves. Or even just let your guests sign individual leaves.

The best wedding guest book ideas

Anniversary wine bottles

For a guest book that keeps on giving, have guests sign wine bottles that you can drink to remember your special day down the years.

The best wedding guest book ideas

Custom cards

Let your guests get creative filling in a card in their own special way. You can also use this to collect names and addresses which will help when it’s thank you card writing time. Clever, clever.

The best wedding guest book ideas

Fill in the blanks

Rather than letting slightly tipsy guests scrawl nonsense, direct their messages with some fill in the blank cards with appropriate spaces for messages (just avoid it being too much like a tax return).

The best wedding guest book ideas

Wishing tree

Let your guests write out wishes and hang them on a tree, which also creates an instant wedding decoration.

The best wedding guest book ideas

Message in a bottle

Let your guests write their messages and seal them in a bottle to be opened in the future. Like having lots of mini time capsules from the best day of your life.

The best wedding guest book ideas

Jigsaw time

Get guests to write messages on individual pieces of a jigsaw. Then you can piece them all together after the wedding.

The best wedding guest book ideas

Rocking out

Have guests write messages on smooth river rocks (spray them afterwards to preserve the writing) and arrange them to make a great garden or home feature.

The best wedding guest book ideas

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

You can’t have a wedding without wine (well, you could but your guests might not be best pleased), and here in Portugal we’ve got some of the best in the world.

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

But what we’ve also got are plenty of beautiful and traditional wineries, where this delicious nectar has been made for centuries.

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

From the enigmatic slopes of the Douro valley in the north, famous for its Port wine, to the rural idyll that is the vast and majestic Alentejo region, small wineries dot the countryside.

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

So, why not choose a winery to be your dream Portuguese wedding venue? Set up the tables among the ancient oak barrels, and wine and dine in the place where the magic happens.

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

And, of course, you won’t have any worries about what to serve. You’ll be able to give your guests some stunning Portuguese wine, right in the place where it was made. How’s about that for reducing your wedding’s carbon footprint?

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

We just love winery weddings. There’s something so magical about dining amongst the history and elegance of the wine barrels that makes these weddings so special.

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source

As far as wedding venues go, it’s a hard one to beat.

Wine not? A reception venue close to the source