Click on the tabs below to read a different account of the same experience told from His and Her points of view.
AFTER WORK, we made plans to quickly stop by home so we could get changed and still catch the sunset at the beach. I don’t know exactly how, but by the time we got to the beach at São Pedro do Estoril the sun was already low in the horizon and the bars were closed. I turned back along the marginal, which is said to be Mick Jagger’s favourite road — of course when he takes that road his head is sticking out of the sunroof of the limo and he’s holding a bottle of champagne.
Cascais is a great alternative to going out in Lisbon. There’s a decent offer of diverse bars and plenty of excellent restaurants ranging from Asian to European cuisine, and we even found a Mexican or Spanish restaurant of sorts with live flamenco shows. We weren’t hungry when we got there so we found a bar to play pool. The pool table in the basement was empty and we took our gin and tonics downstairs. The game dragged on for a while as I was trying to give Natalie a chance to win. She looked great in her leggings and with her hair caught in a ponytail and that might have thrown off my game.
We ambled down the cobbled streets to Sushissimo for a wonderful dinner, talking about art, painting and sharing jokes. Lightheaded from the bottle of Alvarinho, we ended up in a dimly-lit bar which I had never been to and was packed with locals. We ordered two Bulldog gins and found a place to sit down. Some sort of gun homage was playing on the TV where men wearing military camouflage shot firearms into an open field. Last time in Cascais we ended up in a karaoke bar in the marina and we thought of checking out some other place. Just as we reached the end of the stairs and stepped outside the lady bartender came rushing after us. We both forgot to pay. After that was sorted out we realized we’re too tired to continue our bar hopping of sorts and headed back home.
IT HAD BEEN a long week, after the exhausting short-break in Sicily which had ended on Tuesday. I had had a 10 hours’ journey ahead of me to reach Lisbon (departure at 6:30 am from Palermo to Milan / then next flight at 1:30 pm from Milan (so I had taken advantage of the huge shopping mall – just 5 mins walk from the airport – to get shoes and makeup), and finally had reached Lisbon by 3:30pm. Of course I had been carrying with me my rations of “caciotta”, “ricotta salata al forno” and “primo sale”, a packet of “Reginelle biscuits” and “brioscine”, coupled by my over loaded/ready to explode hand-luggage (surprising what a Eastpak 51×32.5x24cm can contain!) had made my journey more arduous. But that’s another story…
There we were, on a terribly windy evening trying to find a parking spot in Cascais as we set out to have dinner there. The most convenient area is right in front of the Palácio da Cidadela de Cascais, and from there the town’s alleyways were just a 2 mins walk along the beautiful fishermen’s harbour. Our aim was G&Ts and pool, to then have dinner at Sushissimo restaurant.
Rui knew a place just around the corner from the restaurant; it had a Brit touch to it, and also the owners’ perfect English accent completed the picture. As we went downstair to play he prepared the cocktails. The pool-table room was still under construction, but we felt really at ease because the whole space downstairs was private – just for us. The game didn’t start that well for me, leaving Rui to show off his skillful shots as he pocketed the billiards one after the other, instead my focus was more on my skillful swigs of the G&T I was holding.
By the end of the game I was slightly tipsy and around 10.30pm we headed towards Sushissimo. The service was excellent and the food suprime. Fresh fish, Alvarinho, Brazilian Chef and great company made it an experience to add to my favourites list. Alvarinho is classified as “Vinho Verde”, it has a sparkling colour, taste of hay and citrus reflexes with hints of compote fruit. A harmonious aftertaste that gladly permeates in your mouth. We had a personalised version of Dragon Makis. Best ever!!! definitely a good pic out of the list of original dishes – a 34 piece of traditional sushi selection. That skillful Brasilian Chef carefullly created a delicate and arty composition of greens and raw – making it hard to want to even touch it. While eating and drinking, our conversation started off with traditional ties and colours’ associations, which then evolved in me looking at the maki roll and visually distorting it into the shape of a water lily. The train of thought soon led me to Claude Monet’s paintings. For a fraction, I was now sitting in front of one of the eight Water Lilies murals at the Musée de l’Orangerie. Completely lost in that image, while Rui had one solid poker face, trying to understand where my train of thought would lead the conversation to. We left Sushissimo, after paying the slightly expensive bill which wasn’t a deterrant from feeling more than satisfied with that experience. Once out of there, we strolled down the romantic alleyways for another G&T, ending up in a smoky-loud pub. It didn’t bother me that much, considering that at that point I was already in fantasy land.