Best foot forward…

As you probably know we are big believers in buying local. Which is lucky as we have some of the best artisans and producers right on our doorstep, many of whom we were able to commission for The Lumiares.  Everything from the soap in the bathrooms and the bespoke leather room directories to the loom woven blankets on the beds and the china in the kitchen – you name it, it was made in Portugal and in some cases just down the road from us.  So, when we find a company that is as passionate about this as we are then it always makes us sit up and take notice.

The Feeting Room is one such company. Founded in Porto in 2015 and now with a second store down the road in Chiado, The Feeting Room is a beautifully designed concept store that was set up with a clear goal.  The goal was to provide a creative platform for one of Portugal’s best kept secrets; the production of superbly designed, hand-crafted and locally made leather shoes. Of course the concept has grown since then and they now offer lots of other things as well, but the founding principle remains the same and the gorgeous shoe collection (which is still 100% Portuguese) remains the biggest draw.

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We defy you to spend more than five minutes here and not fall in love with the shoes. The pictures tell the story but the brand descriptions on their website bring them to life; Lemon Jelly (‘high-tech shoes for joyful women’) or Gladz (‘celebrates independent feminists who proudly boast a romantic personality’) or Wolf&Son (‘shoes for men raised with the unified sense of a pack’).  Brilliant!

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Alongside the shoes there are handpicked clothing lines and accessories.  Some of our favourites are; timeless women’s collectables from the Dutch brand ANECDOTE, chic and high-end leather handbags from ‘António’,  cute Fine & Candy notepads and pencils and some great summer gear from local designer Ana Costa at +351.  The Daniel Wellington watches deserve a mention too – there is a space carved out at the back of the store especially for this minimalist and classic Swedish brand .

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To be honest it’s worth visiting just to experience the overall look and feel. This is a really cool space with more than a passing nod to an industrial heritage and its previous incarnation as the local bakery – the ceiling at the back of the store is still the original domed terracotta roof of the original bakery oven. The ‘flow’ works too; the men’s gear follows a loop around the centre of the store while the women’s collection takes the outside lap – the idea being to avoid the traditional route of separating rooms by gender (which usually means you end up traipsing from one end of the room to another if your shopping partner wants you to look at something!). This way you’re looking at stuff together – a simple but effective solution.  The vibe is relaxed and you feel positively encouraged to take your time and browse at leisure.   In fact, to make it even more chilled out they plan to open a small café in-store (as they have in the Porto store) and – hot off the press – this has now been agreed.  LXeese Cake who have a go-to café at the LX Factory,  are going to open a mini-version at the back of the store. Watch this space!

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Take a look next time you’re in Lisbon. It’s less than ten minutes walk from Lumi; head for the picturesque square Largo do Carmo and look for the side street Calçada Sacramento – it’s just past the entrance to the Convento.  Let us know what you think (and if you manage to snag a pair of those gorgeous shoes…).

Bjs

All images by João Miguel Simões @jmigsimoes

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