Archive for June, 2011

Portugal’s Best Beaches

In a country known for it’s beaches it’s hard to choose just a few. But in the spirit of summer, my family and I have put together our recommendations for Portugal’s best oceanside retreats.

Guincho Beach

Guincho This gorgeous beach just north of Lisbon is our sentimental family favorite because it’s where both my husband and children grew up. The North Atlantic water is freezing cold and the shore is wild and rocky. But it has the best windsurfing in Europe and is the epitome of raw beauty. Because of the wind, you have to pick your Guincho outings carefully. But if you wait for a calm spell, you will be richly rewarded.

Head to nearby Adraga Beach for lunch at the Restaurante da Adraga. Stay in Sintra

Praia de S. Joao Caparica

Praia de S. Joao  Known in English as St. John’s Beach, this is an area of over ten different beaches just across the Red Bridge that connects Lisbon to Caparica. The beaches stretch on forever and each has a lively bar scene. But because they are so close to Lisbon they are also very crowded on the weekends. So enjoy these gems during the week.  The spectacular beaches of Alfarim are less than 20 kilometers away.

Comporta

Comporta  One hour south of Lisbon is a hidden paradise that is starting to get attention outside of Portugal, including a glowing article in the New York Times. This is where we shot most of our Spring/Summer 2011 catalogs. In addition to stunning beaches, the area is known for its distinctive thatched cottages.

Quinto do Lago

Quinto do Lago and Ancao These are our two favorite beaches on the Algarve, Portugal’s southern coast. It’s easy to see why the entire area is a holiday destination for Europeans. The beaches on Ria Formosa Nature Park are also a must see. 

I hope you get a chance to enjoy your favorite beaches this summer.  To help get you in the spirit, selected boy’s and girl’s swimsuits are now on sale.

Have a relaxing summer filled with happy family memories.

 


 

The Feast of St. Anthony

This week is traditionally the hottest time of the year in Lisbon. It’s also the celebration of St. Anthony, or Santo Antonio. Although he is not Lisbon’s official patron saint (that honor belongs to St. Vincent), he is certainly its dearest.

Although he is associated with Padua, the city where he died, St. Anthony was actually born in Lisbon to a very wealthy family who wanted him to get a formal education. He went against their wishes and instead entered the community of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine at an abbey on the outskirts of Lisbon.

St. Anthony’s feast day is June 13, the day of his death. Throughout the month of June and this past weekend in particular, Lisbon revs up the celebrating of its native son.

Neighborhoods compete to see who can host the best parades, best costumes, and street decorations.  Everywhere you turn, you can see sardines (the traditional food of this feast due to the fact that Saint Anthony was able to talk to fishes) being grilled out on the streets.

It’s an incredibly lively scene. We lived in downtown Lisbon when our daughters were toddlers and you could hear the parties and laughing and singing and smell the grilled sardines well into the morning.

In addition to being the patron saint of lost things, St. Anthony is also the patron saint of weddings. To this day, some Portuguese couples get married in mass weddings during the celebrations.

Manjerico (basil bush) is also associated with Saint Anthony. The tradition is that a man can proclaim his love by bringing a bouquet of manjerico with a poem attached to his beloved. The woman must touch it and then smell her hand to ensure that the plant doesn’t die.

My daughter Tati was born on June 14. Now she’s turning 17. I love this picture of her on her first birthday (in one of my first designs) wearing a Saint Anthony medal given to her by her father. She still wears it today.

Also, this week: The anniversary of the birth of Portugal’s most famous poet, Fernando Pessoa, who was born in Lisbon’s Chiado neighborhood on June 13, 1888.

Next week, St. John is celebrated in the northern town of Porto. The entire period of celebrating is known across the country as “Popular Saints.” These celebrations and traditions embody Portugal at its best. And, despite the heat, it’s a wonderful time to visit.

Stock up on tennis classics

I’m certain I’m not the only person who watched the French Open over the weekend. Now that my children are older, one of the joys of the game is that we can watch–and play–together as a family.

Classic tennis whites are a Papo d’Anjo staple. Since summer is here, it’s time to stock up while supplies last. For girls, we offer a comfortable Sleeveless Pique Tennis Dress. Pair it with our super soft  Tennis Panties and a Tennis Cardigan. Or choose a Wrap Tennis Skirt and a Polo.

For boys, our Short Sleeved Polos work perfectly with the Boy’s Pull-On Tennis Shorts. And our Tennis Pullovers are terrific all year.

Welcome summer!



%d bloggers like this: