Visiting Porto isn’t just about port wine, and roaming around old town. For decades, Porto, home to a plethora of plastic artists, famous writers, fashion designers, renowned architects and collectors, has been Portugal’s contemporary art hub, boasting world class galleries and museums.
I spent the afternoon ducking around the galleries at Bombarda Street, where all the movers and shakers of Porto’s art scene concentrate. Veteran marchand Fernando Santos was a most gracious host, guiding me through his gallery’s latest exhibit dedicated to Gerardo Burmester, a quintessential portuense of german extraction and port wine heritage. The large plexiglas boxes holding elegant assemblage works were very tempting. If only I had a spare wall…
I met up with fashion designer Diogo Miranda, a rising star in Portuguese couture, who recently made quite a splash with his brand’s 10th anniversary show. Fernando invited us for dinner at his restaurant “Oficina” a bit further up Bombarda street.
Seamlessly combining an art gallery and a restaurant, this very impressive venue is the brain child of Fernando Santos and acclaimed chef Marco Gomes, an artist in his own right who doesn’t spare the wow factor in his beautifully plated dishes.
Marco has a passion for the traditional northern portuguese cuisine, but as he humurously told us, taking the fashion cue from Diogo, “for a long time traditional portuguese food has been wearing a coverall jumpsuit and it’s my job to dress it in white tie”. Just my kind of guy, a serious foodie, with meals at some of europes best restaurants under his belt, and a hunting afficionado with a penchant for small game. And can you blame anyone for loving duck?
I was thrilled when Le Royal Monceau invited me to spend a(...)