LX Factory

LX Factory is a design district in Lisbon, located between downtown and pretty Belem, hidden away in a sprawling former factory complex. It houses bars, restaurants, cafés, shops and galleries. The first time I went I only really saw the bars as my friend had already explored by the time I arrived and was ready to have a rest and drink some whisky. The second time I had more of a look around. The bookshop is pretty amazing, with shelves towering above you, a café on the ground floor and a second nestled away upstairs. Cafés in bookshops = the dream.

I bought a couple of children’s books to help me with Portuguese learning (don’t judge me – I’ve only been learning for two months). One was a Portuguese translation of a book I loved as a kid – A Boy Wants a Dinosaur by Hiawyn Oram and Satoshi Kitamura. I also got a beautifully illustrated kids’ book about the poet Fernando Pessoa. I suspect that even when my Portuguese level stretches beyond that of children’s books, I will still buy them for the artwork.

There was also a little hut selling a variety of print magazines in English, Portuguese, French etc. I found my favourite magazine – Frankie – but it was €12.50 due to being imported from Australia, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m holding out until I’m back in the UK for Christmas, where it’s slightly less extortionate. Still, it’s good to know that such things are available here. They also had the excellent film magazine, Little White Lies, among others.

On the way back to the tram stop, my friend and I happened upon a nice wine shop and I decided to pick up some Christmas presents. The staff were super friendly and insisted on feeding us wine, plus jam and biscuits to try. I also discovered a fruit I had never heard of in English – quince. I can’t remember the Portuguese word but hey, one step at a time.

I still haven’t had chance to eat at LX Factory so that’s on the list for next time. Overall it’s a fun place to go and pleasantly free of the usual hordes of tourists (though I imagine this changes in summertime, especially as there are some nice spaces to sit outside…)

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