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Madonna “thinking of buying property in Sintra”

 

Pop queen Madonna has been visiting Portugal with at least three of her adopted children, and is apparently keen to buy a property in Sintra.

According to SIC television, her quest began in Lisbon but moved swiftly westwards towards the beguiling Sintra hills where she may have found just what she is looking for: an €18 million 42-hectare property in Colares that produces its own wine. Quinta do Vinagre.

 

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On the market for at least two years (in 2015, Expresso put the asking price at €17.5 million) it is being sold by a “famous French family” (see below) with the very un-French name of Schlumberger that apparently made its fortune in oil.

Expresso says the 16th century ‘quinta’ has been the stage for some “exceptional parties” with VIP guests of the past including actresses Gina Lollobrigida, Audrey Hepburn and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Madonna was apparently accompanied on her round of house-hunting by officials from Sintra council after being seen visiting Lisbon’s French lycée, to put her older adopted son’s name down.

David (Banda) meantime, adopted from Malawi five years ago, was training with Benfica’s under-12s in Seixal while his famous mother was enjoying holiday moments on the beaches of Comporta and sightseeing in the capital with his younger ‘sisters’.

NB A back issue of Diário de Notícias suggests that the Schlumberger’s may not be French after all. Pierre Schlumberger was described in a report from 1968 as being American, with a wife – Maria da Conceição – who was Portuguese.

According to the same report, the grounds of the quinta at the time had sculptures by Henry Moore and Picasso. It is not clear whether those remain in place today.

Posted by PORTUGALPRESS on May 22, 2017

www.portugalresident.com 

Photo: www.facebook.com/madonna

 

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The Best Places to Propose in London

Thinking about proposing marriage in one of the most exciting and romantic cities in the world? Do it! London has some beautiful places to ask for your loved one’s hand

If you’re thinking of proposing in London this V-Day, don’t join the millions of mooning couples in tacky YouTube videos saying “yes” on the London Eye or on a boat down the Thames — there are plenty of really special London spots where you can put a ring on it in style.

Go classic and head to the new Spitalfields branch of Wright Brothers for romantic candlelight and ultra-fresh oysters (there are seven breeds to choose from), or drag your beloved from their bed at 5am to Parliament Hill for a sunrise proposal — their anguished sleep deprivation will melt with the first of the sun’s rays.

Or take a stroll round the Palm House at Kew Gardens, which is regarded as one of the most important surviving Victorian glass structures, and the tropical plants that live in its heated interior are lush and fruitful all year round. Not a bad metaphor for a marriage, hmm?

More suggestion in the gallery below.!

EMILY JUPP 

Friday 7 February 2014 – http://www.standard.co.uk

 

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Lisbon might be Europe’s coolest city; here are 7 reasons why 

BY FIONA DUNLOP, FOR CNN

Story highlights

– Lisbon was the first global city — it still feels like it

– They challenge Madrileños for nightlife stamina

– They make the best custard tarts on the planet

What makes a city “cool”?

If it means being loaded with atmosphere, charm, great food and nightlife, yet ignored by the bulk of travelers, then Lisbon deserves consideration as Europe’s coolest capital.

Here’s why:

1. Nightlife that can outlast Madrid’s

If you think Madrid stays out late, try a night out in Lisbon.

The city is less about heaving clubs and more about a roving nocturnal flow that ends (maybe) when dawn rises over the Tagus River.

The main action is in the Bairro Alto, where more than 250 appealing bars line a web of streets between graffiti-plastered walls.

Next is the riverfront, in the hip neighborhood around Cais do Sodré railway station.

Typical of the offbeat flavor here is the converted brothel Pensão Amor (Rua do Alecrim 19, +351 21 314 3399) where ace cocktails accompany erotica and DJ sets.

Capping a Lisbon night are pre-dawn traffic jams at Santa Apolonia docks — they’re created by the popularity of Lux, the king of Lisbon superclubs (Cais da Pedra +351 21 882 0890).

2. Experimental cuisine

Once known largely for bacalhau (dried cod), quaint old coffee houses and louche taverns, the Portuguese capital now claims a range of restaurants.

Seafood remains a staple, but the trend is for modern, sophisticated and affordable.

A high bar is set by wunderkind chef José Avillez at his Michelin-starred Belcanto (Largo de Sao Carlos 10, +351 21 342 0607) or his more casual bistro Cantinho (Rua dos Duques de Bragança 7, +351 211 992369).

Avant-garde European and Portuguese cuisine describes Avillez’s menu, which stretches from sea bass with seaweed to lamb with vegetable puree.

Further down the scale, Lisbonites love juicy bifanas (pork buns) in backstreet eateries.

No traveler to Lisbon should miss the famed egg tarts (pasteis de nata).

The little bundles of caramel-y custard in chewy pastry are eaten in style at the original tiled café, AntigaConfeitaria de Belem (Rua Belém 84-92, +351 21 363 7423).

A food guide to Europe’s best-kept culinary secret

Portugal’s pastry shops: Find the best pastelarias in Lisbon

3. Irony

You’d think Lisbonites would brag about their achievements — first global empire, world’s best custard tarts, sea bass with seaweed that actually tastes great.

On the contrary, along with the rest of the nation, they excel in that ages old literary device/defense mechanism: irony.

As Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa once eloquently summed up the prevailing national outlook: “I’d woken up early, and took a long time getting ready to exist.”

That old entertaining melancholy has resurfaced with the austerity of recent years, helping Lisbonites remain (almost) content and always witty, even in tough times.

4. Beaches and castles

Lisbon is a place to inhale salty Atlantic air, sunbathe and hit the waves. Dolphins surf and ferries ply the River Tagus.

Half an hour away by train are the beaches and ornate casino of Estoril. A bit further, Cascais is for eaters — lots of grilled fish and seafood stews served in domed cataplana dishes.

The other big day trip is to Sintra. Forty minutes from Lisbon’s main station (Rossio), it’s a time-warp town, located in lush, wooded hills peppered with whimsical palaces and mansions that epitomize centuries of aristocratic opulence.

Portugal’s Algarve — not just for golf-mad pensioners

5. Fabulous design

Wherever you look in Lisbon, sharp contemporary design is a hallmark.

Stylish leather goods, bold wine labels, interiors combining vintage with the latest designer pieces, spectacular buildings — this is a city that loves to look good. Pritzker-prize winning architect Alvaro Siza Vieira set the modernist tone with his gravity-defying pavilion for Expo 98.

Lisbonites gather to appreciate good design at MUDE (Rua Augusta 24, +351 21 888 6117), their mutant fashion and design museum, where austere low-tech blends with baroque flounces.

6. Big art

Large European capitals such as London, Paris, Berlin and Madrid may have blockbuster art collections, but Lisbon’s half million inhabitants have access to their own rare panoply.

The classic is the Gulbenkian Foundation (Av. de Berna 45A, +351 21 782 3000), where superlative Oriental and Western art occupies an airy 1960s building and landscaped gardens.

In Bélem, the MuseuBerardo (Praça do Império, +351 21 361 2878) focuses on big names of 20th- and 21st-century art, from Picasso to Jeff Koons.

Museu de Arte Antiga (Portuguese site only; Rua Janelas Verdes, +351 21 391 2800) is a 17th-century mansion packed with 500 years of artwork that reflects Portugal’s globetrotting history.

Lisbon’s latest exclusive is the impressive Museu do Oriente (Avenida de Brasília, Doca de Alcântara, +351 21 358 5244), a superbly converted salt cod warehouse full of Asian exhibits where you can book a nighttime visit followed by dinner in the riverfront restaurant.

7. Fascinating streets

There’s no getting bored wandering in Lisbon, thanks to the intricately patterned cobblestones under your feet — a civic point of pride that blossomed after Lisbon’s 1755 earthquake and continues today.

Even Lisbon’s walls demand attention, thanks to an obsession with azulejos (ceramic tiles).

Top examples are found at the MuseuNacional do Azulejo (Rua da Madre de Deus 4, +351 218 100 340), while the peeling façades of the Alfama and Mouraria districts show dozens of variations. 

BY FIONA DUNLOP, FOR CNN

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