Porto - The Gallery Hostel!

posted on: Monday, March 24, 2014

Porto is one of my 'second homes'. When I'm there (relatively frequently..), I usually rent an apartment for myself via AirBnb.. although I now have a multitude of local friends and who are happy to house me whenever I feel like visiting again. Portuguese hospitality is truly some of the best in the world!

However, last September I was able to spend a night at The Gallery Hostel, a super cool luxury and design hostel/art gallery that I'd heard so much about, especially from Kash who writes at The Budget Traveller. He calls it 'possibly the best hostel in the world'.

It's got a great location - near the centre, and most importantly, within short walking distance of the 'baixa' (downtown) where all the bars and clubs are. Ok fine, not MOST importantly.. but that IS rather important, right?

I love the building it lives in - one of those old 'rich with history' buildings. Big doors, high ceilings,  wooden floors, wide staircases. It's great!

gallery hostel

^The hallway as you enter from the main door.

It's only got a little reception area at the front. It is a city hostel and so it is generally on the small side, but charming. Like me, I guess. Haha!

The rooms are all upstairs; while the ground and lower ground floors contain the facilities such as the kitchen, lounge areas, and 24-HOUR BAR.

steps

^Steps leading down at the back. It's all in the little details! Imagine this at night with all the candles lit ;)

looking  down

I would prefer if one of the pillows said 'GO MAD' instead.

relax pillow

^The birds face the seat so you can talk to them. But you'll have to know how to speak bird.

gallery hostel bar

bar menu

If I remember correctly, they also offer port wine tastings for about €6-8, for a selection of three.

kind of a bed

If they'd asked me to choose the colours for the pillows I think people would have to wear their sunglasses whenever they came down here.

twigs

cozinha

^A cozinha (the kitchen). There are more tables and seating on the other side (unseen).

kitchen agenda


Honey

The morning after a really drunk night.. I came down here to get breakfast. There weren't many people, - only a group of four or five plus a Portuguese woman who was working at the back. She didn't speak much English and at the time, I only knew very rudimentary Portuguese (I have since much improved).

I couldn't find anything. I asked her where the bowls were. They were on the table next to me. I asked where the cutlery was. Next to the bowls of course. Where's the milk? Duh, on the next tray, in a bottle.

I wanted honey.

'Do you have honey?'

She looked puzzled.

'Tem ('you have' in PT).. err.. honey?'

She still looked puzzled. 'Não percebo..' ('I don't understand)

I start making buzzing sounds and flying hand gestures to indicate 'bee'.

'O que é??' ('What is it??')

I get even more animated and poured imaginary honey into a bowl with my hand.

'AI! MEL!!! Está aqui!' ('Oh! Honey! It's here!')

She points to it. It was on the counter. Not so far from right in front of my face. ...

I apologise for my blindness. She smiles and tells me to relax.

And then it occurred to me --> 'NOW I UNDERSTAND THOSE 'RELAX' PILLOWS OUTSIDE!', wishing I knew enough Portuguese to articulate this thought this to her.

Anyway

Here are a couple of pics from the room I stayed in. I stayed in a girls-only 6-bed dorm with ensuite bathroom. Look how high the ceiling is! It was super comfortable and clean - beds were made, and sheets were smooth and of good quality.

I shared with an Austrian girl and.. sorry, I can't remember the other one but she had been staying at the hostel long-term whilst studying something. There were only us three in the room :)

room wall  dorm room


The Sunning Area

The exit at the back of the building brings you to a little walkway towards some stairs at the end.

backyard

On the left are windows of some of the private rooms you can book.

sunning area

It's only a little area once you get to the top of the stairs, but it's good enough! Porto has lots of sunshine during the warmer months. I could just sit here soaking it all up, surrounded by Portuguese architecture, which I love and find very interesting. I would say 'and make time-lapse videos of clouds', but the sky is often a spotless blue in Porto ;)

porto buildings

stray cats

^I came across some stray kittens under the roof. Meow!

There's a room behind the 24-HOUR BAR downstairs that has a giant chess set! There are also guitars for you to play with.. movies to watch, art on the wall..

giant chess

books for us

^Travel books, amongst others, in which you could indulge.

guestbook

^A page from their guestbook. I see someone loved the fish? ('Peixes' = 'Fish')

gallery people

Hey look, it's Jasmin and José at the 24-HOUR BAR!!!

Jasmin is from Switzerland. She came to Porto some time ago, fell in love with it, and decided to stay. José  is local and does African drumming. I learnt that apparently, African drumming is pretty popular in the city.

All the staff were so friendly and I wish I could've spent more time making friends there. Thank you so much guys... I had the most fantastic time albeit it was short. But I'll be back in June!


The Gallery Hostel
222 Rua Miguel Bombarda
4050-377 Porto
Email: info@gallery-hostel.com 

You can book beds/rooms via their website or via Hostelbookers, by whom this post is brought to you!

Happy Travels :)

Rekorderlig Spring Collection - What I Wore

posted on: Saturday, February 22, 2014

If there’s a favourite warm-weather drink of mine, it has to be cider! If you know me well enough, you’ll know that during the summer I go a little overboard and spend an obscene amount of time around the parks of the city. I take every possible opportunity (yes, sometimes I slack off from work but shh). I think it’s quite the London thing to sit on the grass with a bottle of cider..  isn’t it?? Also, I don’t drink beer.. err unless I’m at Oktoberfest or something.

rekorderlig cider
^yes, I have all these props (& more) at my disposal!

There’s no doubt that my preferred cider brand is Rekorderlig, cos they offer such a fantastic variety of flavours. My all-time favourite is actually the winter cider, served warm during the colder months, but anyway….  I was recently approached by Rekorderlig, asking me to come up with some outfits inspired by their upcoming spring flavours - namely Pear, Strawberry & Lime, and Passionfruit.

Nearly every girl I know loves strawberry & lime cider, by the way.. I have to say when I first got to know about it I was mega hooked, but now am branching out to other flavours as well. Haha.

This post is best served visually, so here goes:

fruity outfit

Dress, Necklace, & Bananas - Bangkok
Sunnies - Zara
Shoes - My sister's

I admit that I didn’t have any particular flavour in mind when I chose this ensemble. I was just so excited by the thought of a fruity outfit that I thought it best to wear the most crazy colourful item I had in my wardrobe at the time (I was in Malaysia) - kind of like a fruity burst of colours! Also, I was in a tropical country hence the bananas.

YES I DO LOVE BANANAS A LOT. And no, please don’t read too much into that..

bib necklace
^closeup of my neon orange deer necklace

watermelon outfit 2

^Pretty much everything I’m wearing in this pic was bought when shopping in Bangkok the previous week.

This was my interpretation of ’strawberry & lime’ - i.e. the colours red and green! Red and green = watermelon, no?

Sorry I simply couldn’t leave my banana out of the picture..
I wonder if Rekorderlig will ever produce a banana cider <— hello, IDEA right there!

me and mom
^It was delicious (that’s my mom!)

pear outfit

Coat - Zara
Top & Skirt - Bangkok
Shoes - River Island
Bag - Topshop

A sudden change in scene! That’s cos I flew back to London this week, and had my friend Emma take this photo for me - which is meant to be my Pear flavour outfit. I thought I did quite a goo job by incorporating two types of pear here - the light green variety and, to quote my Instagram caption, ’those skinny brown pears’.

Speaking of green and brown, before I went away to SE Asia I received a lovely pair of sunnies - with brown frames and green lenses (!) - by London Retro, c/o MyOptique.

london retro

Admittedly they were a bit smaller sized than I imagined.. so I would say they suit you only if you’ve got a small face. I think the size of my face fluctuates, so I must make sure to wear them when my face is at its optimum size.

Sometimes my face also does this:

my idiot face

Sorry about that.. now back to the topic…. :)

After writing all this stuff about cider and fruits I’m understandably feeling like I need something sweet and juicy to satisfy myself. Right this moment I’ve just gone to pick on some cherries I bought earlier today, and wtf they tasted horrible! Please arrive already SPRING so that fruits taste better - and also so we can start sitting outdoors clinking some cider bottles againnnnn...

OH and for your chance to win Rekorderlig’s Spring Flavour Collection, upload an image of your spring flavour inspired outfit to Twitter or Instagram using #LondonFlavourWeek. 
Seriously just do it.. it’s so easy and also, hardly anyone has entered (I have checked, haha)!

THANK YOU for asking me to do this, Rekorderlig - I have loved you for a longggg time! <3

You can follow Rekorderlig’s fruity adventures on Twitter and Instagram - do it! Add some fun and colour to your life ;)

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