Director of the Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva Foundation, Vanessa Salgado guides us around a capital in love with the arts and keenly aware of its traditions.
Born in Lisbon in 1977, Vanessa Salgado has lived in nine countries. In England, she graduated in conservation and restoration and took her Master’s in art and museum management. She worked at the famous auction house Christie’s and was “the first Portuguese woman to work at Buckingham Palace’s conservation and restoration department”. On her return to the Portuguese capital, she managed the Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva museum (FRESS) for four years, before setting up ARTsolutions, which operates in four business areas, including conservation and restoration and lighting design. The company is currently working on a lighting project for the Galeão Airport in Rio de Janeiro. Vanessa is also a member of the FRESS board.
Museu de Artes Decorativas Portuguesas da Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva \ Largo das Portas do Sol, 2 \ +351 21 881 4600 \ www.fress.pt \ Wednesday to monday, 10h – 17h \ €4
The Foundation, which was established in 1953 by the banker and collector Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva, boasts a museum-school that has one of the finest European collections of Portuguese decorative arts. Housed in the Palácio Azurara, the museum is “a veritable journey back in time”. Next door, there are 18 workshops dedicated to traditional trades, from woodcarving to decorative painting and joinery.
The foundation shops
Rua de São Tomé, 90 \ +351 21 881 4600 \ www.fress.pt \ Every day, 10h – 17h
Part of the FRESS, the Técnica shop has a range of different tools for decorative arts and conservation and restoration materials. In the museum shop, discover pieces inspired by the collections, including replicas, while the foundation shop has a sample of pieces produced in the workshops.
Arts and history
Palácio Belmonte \ Pátio Dom Fradique, 14 \ +351 21 881 6600 \ www.palaciobelmonte.com
This 16th-century palace, which now houses a 5-star hotel, “was completely renovated respecting the ethical principles of conservation and restoration”. Inside, there’s a lovely café with a number of pieces made with different materials, such as ceramics, wood and paper.
Restaucon \ Largo São Sebastião da Pedreira, 49 \ +351 21 314 4666 \ www.restaurarconservar.com \ Monday to Friday, 10h – 13h30/15h – 19h; saturday, 11h – 13h30/15h – 17h
Ponto das Artes \ Rua Ivens, 2, loja B \ +351 21 158 3720 \ www.pontodasartes.com \ Monday to Friday, 09h30 – 20h; Saturday, 10h – 20h
If you’re looking for materials for conserving and restoring wood, polychromatic surface and gilded pieces, “Restaucon has a little of everything”. In Chiado, visit Ponto das Artes, which has material for fine arts, as well as conservation and restoration.
Café A Brasileira \ Rua Garrett, 120 \ +351 21 346 9541 \ Every day, 08h – 02h
Pastelaria Benard \ Rua Garrett, 104 \ +351 21 347 3133 \ Monday to Saturday, 08h – 23h
Museu Arqueológico do Carmo \ Largo do Carmo \ +351 21 347 8629 \ www.museuarqueologicodocarmo.pt \ Monday to Saturday, 10h – 19h \ €2,50
Still in Chiado, there’s the obligatory stops to A Brasileira and Benard “for being old establishments that have preserved their interiors so well”. Nearby, other worthy visits include the historic ruins of Igreja do Convento do Carmo, the centre of the Carmo Archaeological Museum.
Restaurante Tavares \ Rua da Misericórdia, 37 \ +351 21 342 1112 \ www.restaurantetavares.net \Monday to Saturday, 19h30 – 23h
Cantinho do Avillez \ Rua dos Duques de Bragança, 7 \ +351 21 199 2369 \ www.cantinhodoavillez.pt \ Monday to Friday, 12h30 – 15h/19h – 00h; Saturday and sunday, 12h30 – 00h
Tavares is a classic restaurant that has been subject to various conservation and restoration projects, “recognised for its concern in maintaining its original style”. Cantinho do Avilez is worth visiting for its carabineiro prawns from the Algarve with Thai flavours, “fantastic” hazelnut mousse, as well as for Joana Astolfi’s decorative panel.
Life in one day
Estação Ferroviária do Rossio \ Praça Dom João da Câmara \ www.refer.pt
Tivoli Palácio de Seteais \ Rua Barbosa du Bocage, 8 \ +351 21 923 3200 \ www.tivolihotels.com
Go to Rossio station and catch a train to Sintra and Palácio de Seteais. Built in the 18th century, the palace was turned into a very cosy hotel. The interiors were restored and renovated by the Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva Foundation. In the 5-star restaurant, “it’s impossible to resist the tiger prawn risotto with truffles”.
by Manuel Simões
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