Staff Review

A Weekend in Lisbon

by The Kirker Team

After a busy, wet and cold start to the year, I felt a deserved break was in order. After much discussion we settled on a short break to Lisbon: as I live in London but my brother doesn't it was somewhere we could both find direct flights to. There are regional flights from many airports outside of London. After boarding my Easyjet flight and strolling through the 'speedy boarding' queue jump and finding my seat at the front of the plane, I was sat down with book in hand ready for our holiday. All Kirker clients travelling with Easyjet automatically receive this "speedy boarding" service.'We were then met on arrival by our driver and taken by Mercedes to our hotel, the As Janelas Verdes. First impressions can make or break a holiday and we were blown away by the extras on the flight, transfer and hotel. As Janelas Verdes is an old town house with charming public areas. There is a courtyard at the back of the hotel where you can relax but the real jewel of the hotel is the library and terrace on the 3rd floor. There is an honesty bar on the top floor and it is the perfect place to relax at the end of a busy day of sightseeing. The hotel is about a 10 minute drive from the centre of Lisbon but there are two buses which depart from just outside the hotel and take you into the centre or to Belem in the other direction. Taxi are very cheap in Lisbon so even after dinner it only cost us 6-10 Euros to come back to the hotel.'Lisbon is a great place for a short break: the weather is normally very pleasant all year round but as it is on the mouth of the river, it is normally cooler than other capitals in southern Europe during the summer. It is also very easy to combine a city break with a beach holiday as the coastal town of Cascais is only a short drive away and Sintra with its famous palace in the hills is just as close. All Kirker clients receive a 'Lisboa card' which offers you free entrance to most museums in the city, reduced entrance to the Sao Jorge Castle and free transport within the city - as well as rail travel to Cascais and Sintra. We took a very scenic round trip on the number 28 tram using our pass. This is a route on the famous Lisbon trams which goes past many of the major sights within the city.'As well as sightseeing, we had a busy weekend sampling pastel de nata, the traditional custard tarts. The best one is next to San Jeronimos monastery: the Casa Pasteis de Belem. A short break to Lisbon is not complete until your join the back of the queue to sample their sweet delights. It is definitely well worth it! Lisbon offers great value for money and it is not only the pastries which are delicious. I enjoyed a wonderful fish carpaccio in a local restaurant in the Barrio Alto - don't forget to ask Charlie, our concierge, to make table reservations for you or make recommendations before you go.

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