I love shopping. And I love writing. So writing about new shops is heaven for me. Here are a couple I was recommended recently (I won't claim to have discovered them myself, much as I'd love to – "I just happened to stumble across this place when I was out the other day"). A good friend, knowing I'm a sucker for some biscuits in a pretty tin, showed me two new places on my birthday (perfect activity to forget you're another year older, although birthdays are perfect excuses for getting together with friends you don't see often enough for mid-morning naughty cakes).
The first was a French biscuit and sweet shop. All vastly overpriced, but incredibly pretty packaging. They let us try some for free, and I can report back that they were good, though not good enough – neither of us bought any.
Then it was on to a deli full of more biscuits, as well as tea in nice tins and very good cheese. And chocolate and pancake mix. I'm such a sucker for packaging, I must be a marketing person's dream.
Finally, a wine shop, with a chiller cabinet. They also had good biscuits, to go with cheese – a small thing, but good savoury biscuits are hard as hell to find here. And, best of all, the owner, who also has the restaurant across the road, is American – Californian, in fact. She knows her wines. So can chat in your native tongue while you browse.
Moving on from food, I did come upon, by chance, a new interiors shop called A Loja do Gato Preto, selling plastic wine goblets (nicer than they sound – anyone remember Belgo circa 1995?) and cheerful plastic bowls with pictures of fruit (also considerably less naff than they sound. A photo would help, right? I'll see what I can do.).
If you're not into either food or interiors, this must have been a very boring read, so sorry. Next post will be hardcore politics.