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Design in Porto Revisited from 2017

July 6, 2020

I bet at this time we are all missing a bit of otherly culture and travelling to see how our foreign designers think. So even though I’ve not been to Porto in Lisbon since 2017, I thought I’d revisit it with you for a mooch around the creative side. Happy Monday everyone.

We start today’s post off with a visit to a few stores who sell a great range of crafted or designer goods. In the Rua da Fábrica we find ‘Mario de Almeida L’, which hosts different makers all with their own table of wares. Some new work here alongside the typical array of cockerels, swallows and sardines that appear to be everywhere. Nicely displayed in a free to browse environment.

A few other local shops with upmarket product displays in a very natural, relaxed environment.

A wonderful mural in this wine / port / art bar.

A tuk tuk and tuk tuk delux lol

Any Mod or pearly king / queen would be proud to ride this Vespa. From craft markets to rustic old broom shops, it’s all in Porto.

I wanted to take a walk around the Casa de Musica because I like to experience modern architectural spaces. I thought the cost of lunch here would be pretty high, but to my surprise and delight they had a great all in deal for a daily special of soup, curry and rice, desert and a beer for just 7 euros. Great food at a bargain price and a wonderful setting to eat in too.

One of the studios on my list of ‘head to’ places was O! Galeria  located in the Miguel Bombarda block, where the majority of small artistic businesses were.

It’s a stunning collection of local aspiring illustrators and a great place to discover some fresh work to adorn your walls.

Not far away was this beautiful hostel (the quality of which I rarely come across). It was also an art gallery and general haven to chill-out in the busy city. Known as Gallery Hostel Porto ( Rua de Miguel Bombarda, 222)

Patch concept store (Rua do Rosário 193) also got the thumbs up from me. Vintage clothing, new and retro ceramics and vintage toys and gifts from a bygone era. Trendy, re-loved we-love bric-a-brac if the term exists !

The best place to head to for a wonderful array of children’s books would be ‘Papa Livros’ (Rua de Miguel Bombarda. 523).

Such a great collection of illustrated volumes (a few in English too) with prices ranging between 10 – 15 Euros.

A retro gadget tea-shop.

And I love the mix of old and new businesses here, just look at these store fronts and graphic fonts.. wowsa!

How many art deco garages do you know of that are still in use and this clean ?

Some beautiful stores with products stocked to the ceiling.

Welcome back to my posts about Design in Porto, if you missed post 1 you’ll find it here !

One place to head for if you are self catering and in need of some fruit and veg or simply enjoy markets, then head for the Mercado do Bolhao (Rua Formosa – more images here) A colourful and beautifully presented array of all kinds of produce, with cafes and souvenir shops on the ground floor.

There’s such a great mixture of the old and new in Porto. Speciality shops that have long since disappeared in the UK, like broom / brush shops or shops just selling parts for singer sewing machines ! It’s a great trip back in time.

A few of my own elevated views on design shapes and styles.

The old and the new go hand in hand. Marionette museums and quirky illustration boutique shops. I like the sign on the train welcoming prams and surfers alike !

You can still also discover an array of antique book shops that I wonder how on earth they know what is in each and every mountainous teetering pile surrounding their till or indeed how they sell enough volumes to just keep going.

From hip cafes to hip hats.

Shops that sell clothing brands ‘For Real Hunters’ and a gun to go with it!

More graphics from a forgotten era but great to still see today.

Mr cloaked Sandeman (a famous Port label) popping up here and there, looking more like zorro with a wine glass !

Wonderful art deco and still that intriguing mix of old and new.

These lovely tiled stones near to the main station.

Modern packaging for traditional sardines.

And finally a fish magnet shop… well it would be rude to go home without one !

I hope you enjoyed that visual escape and also when I next go there that those beautiful creative spaces have found a way to survive. Stay safe everyone.






3 Comments leave one →
  1. Deirdre O'Sullivan from Australia permalink
    July 6, 2020 12:43 pm

    Thanks, Craig – for that little glimpse of a lovely place that seems so full of creative energy – the Portuguese are obviously not afraid of vivid colour and decoration! But then, that’s the magical thing about their artistic approach to life – artists are optimists, because we love making something from nothing. No drab grey concrete in that lovely town – just slap on some bright paint and ceramic tiles and cheer everybody up!
    Go well!

    • July 6, 2020 1:03 pm

      Cheers Deirdre, you tend to have a way of summarising perfectly 👍😀

  2. July 6, 2020 5:55 pm

    obrigada! saudades de porto! looking forward to the day when we americans can travel again. cheers!

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