As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve recently returned from a vay-cay in Portugal. As you might imagine, while there I spent ages and ages, trawling the Lisbon backstreets (on Google maps, by the pool) searching for interesting indie-menswear retailers. And I did find one in the end. It’s called Slou. It’s pretty small, but it packs in a few decent brands. And, to be honest, in the end I walked up a real life hill to get there, so I feel duty-bound to share my pics.
Rosterwise we’re talking A.P.C, Comme SHIRT, Wallets and (cough) Play, Engineered Garments, a little Needles, MHL Margaret Howell, Sun Buddies, Nanamica, that sort of thing. Nothing to upset the avocado cart.
They also stock Common Projects, which depending on your perspective make perfectly serviceable leather sneakers or are the most yawn-inducing, played-out brand on the planet. For me, Common Projects are a bit like a visit to Madame Tussauds: over-priced, out-of-date and impressive to precisely no one. But putting generic white sneakers with a bit of gold print to one side, the shop itself is worth a visit. If you’re in the area and don’t mind steep pavements. My girl journeyed with me, so I bought her an EG waist bag. Fair’s fair.
I do have three further (non-menswear) recommendations for the enthusiastic Lisbonist. Firstly: Resistência Lisboa. It’s a bar. And it follows the standard blueprint for trendy bars; you know the sort of thing: stone floors, juvenile art, stickers, corrugated iron. What makes it interesting is the permanent DJ deck setup and large selection of vintage vinyl available for customers to play with. On our visit one bloke monopolised the decks for two hours of disco-house pots-and-pansing. I hope you have better luck.
Secondly, I’d recommend Pavilhão Chinês. It’s another bar, this time decorated floor to ceiling with with freaky antique toys – the sort of thing you’d expect to come to life and impale you with a meat thermometer. Anyway, head to the back room, it not only boasts a couple of wonky, but perfectly playable pool tables, but also doubles as a smoking room. Smoking, indoors! It’s concept so cool and European I was surprised there wasn’t a ‘dressing gowns only’ door policy and a compulsory key party.
My final suggestion for the Lisbon visitor is to pop your head into a decent supermarket. A posh one, something akin to Whole Foods or Waitrose. You’ll see they stock the entire range of Dr. Oetker Pizza Ristorante. It’s a remarkable spectacle for the convenience food connoisseur. Seeing not only the full suite of Ristorantes (did you know they did a Gluten Free Mozzarella?) but also seeing them stocked alongside proper grown up stuff like brie, granola and kale. In my corner-shop they’re wedged between the Beef Grillsteaks and the Kershaws Lamb Dinners. The things you learn as a traveler.