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HOTEL PESTANA PALACE LISBON AND QUELUZ

James Andrew, Queluz

James Andrew, Queluz

We are just back from our journey Portugaise. As you’ll see over the next several installments of WIJW, it was everything we thought it would be…and much much more!

We structured this trip around the great houses and palaces of Portugal while staying in hotels that were, you guessed it, former palaces. Needless to say, there was endless inspiration to be had in Portugal, and I am sure by the end of this little WIJW series you yourself will be sorting a journey there. Certainly Portugal as a destination has been a bit unsung, but I’m guessing like all good things that this will all change in the not too distant future. With the loveliest people, sublime cuisine and the most beautiful homes, palaces and other sites to discover, I suggest that you start packing now!

After extensive research, we decided that for the Lisbon leg of our trip the Pestana Palace was the most perfect choice. Built in 1904 it was originally the home of the Marquis de Valle Flor who amassed one of the largest fortunes in all of Portugal through cocoa production. The palace is gorgeous and perfectly situated to afford equally sublime views of the Tagus River. We called it home in Lisbon for five glorious days. For your visit there, Insist on rooms in the original palace part of the hotel — you will not be disappointed.

Queluz facade

Queluz facade

Corredor dasMangas at Queluz

Corredor das Mangas at Queluz

An inner courtyard at Queluz

An inner courtyard at Queluz

Queluz facade

Queluz facade

Tiled canal at Queluz

Tiled canal at Queluz

For our first Palace day-excursion we went to Palacio Nacional de Queluz, the Rococo Summer Palace built in 1747 by Pedro younger son of Joao V – and later expanded by Maria I. Since childhood I had dreamed of touring what once was nicknamed “pink palace” (It has now been restored to what is believed to be its original blue and yellow palette). The actuality of the place was better than my wildest boyhood fantasies. The day was perfect – the grand palace set against a spectacularly clear cobalt sky – really this was an absolute dream come true. We spent three hours leisurely exploring every incredible inch of the building and its gardens, followed by a splendid luncheon with our dashing friend Ze Cabral at Cozinha Velha at Queluz.

James Andrew, Pestana Palace Lisbon

James Andrew, Pestana Palace Lisbon

Pestana Palace Lisbon

Pestana Palace Lisbon

FYI., I ll be posting many more pics on Instagram should you want more!

For your dinner in Lisbon, we highly suggest an evening at Restaurant Eleven. With Michelin Star awarded chef Joachim Koerper and his highly imaginative take on Portuguese cuisine, the meal is guaranteed to be a delight!

Soaking in all the beauty that is Queluz (top), I’m sporting Tom Ford ivory cashmere cotton corduroy jacket, charcoal cashmere wool tweed pants and grey, ivory and black checked cotton shirt, Tom Ford era Gucci black suede loafers, Turnbull and Asser ivory and black silk scark and grey and black polka dot silk pocket square, Seaman Schepps black pearl cuff links, vintage Rolex, Tom Ford “Marco” sunglasses, a bit of summer glow with Tom Ford Bronzing Gel and my fragrance is Creed Windsor.

DRESS CODE PLEASE

James Andrew at the Met

James Andrew at the Met

Last night we were beyond thrilled to attend the opening night gala at the Metropolitan Opera House – the most sublime way to commence the Autumn season.

Scott McBee and I enjoyed a magnificent performance of Verdi’s Otello — the marvelous union of music and tragedy drawn from Shakespeare’s powerful cautionary tale of the distructive powers of jealousy. As expected, the performance and stage sets were spectacular – simply a not-to-be missed night at the opera!

Opening night at the Met

The Metropolitan Opera House

Thankfully most people did indeed dress up to celebrate this very special evening, however there were a few of the shorts and jeans type – pretty outrageous I think. I do wish the Met would require some level of decorum amongst its guests – at least for an opening night gala! When one considers how much effort goes into these productions, the least we can do is dress in a way that honors and celebrates this mutually shared aesthetic experience. Of course, my rant extends beyond the opera to the theatre, ballet, and fine restaurants as well. Enough said on this for now.

Opening night at the MET

Opening night at the Met

To celebrate this magical evening, I’m dressed (top) in a Tom Ford era black silk moire dinner jacket, Tom Ford wool tuxedo pants, dusty mauve cotton voile tuxedo shirt, silk pocket square in purple and lavender silk and patent leather opera pumps, Charvet mauve silk bow tie, Seaman Schepps black pearl cuff links, and my fragrance is Creed Millesime Imperial.

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SUMMER EXTENDED

James Andrew -- the Polo Bar

James Andrew — the Polo Bar

I’m hearing a lot of chatter about Labor Day weekend marking the unofficial end of the summer season. I don’t get it. I for one am planning to extend summer right on through October! A jaunt to Palm Beach, Miami or Lyford may help with all of this and, fingers crossed, a nice trip to Portugal in October will complete our vacation trifecta. The fact is, we love off-season travel — fewer traveling throngs to compete with, and more beach front vistas (and rosé!) for us!

JamesAndrew Polo Bar ensemble.

James Andrew Polo Bar ensemble.

With all of our upcoming plans still in the works, we spent a lovely Labor Day weekend in town. I took my beloved Scott McBee to the uber chic Polo Bar. It’s a restaurant that feels more like a private club (and is one of Ralph Lauren’s favorites). Old School fabulousness all ’round, the place is absolute perfection. We can’t wait to return!

James Andrew -- Seagram fountain.

James Andrew — Seagram fountain.

For a special evening, I’m sporting a Ralph Lauren madras jacket and needlepoint slippers, Tom Ford white cotton pants, a Charvet yellow and ivory retro print silk pocket square, a bespoke shirt in a mini floral, Liberty of London print with contrast white collar and cuffs by Savile Row tailor, Bruce Cameron Clark, a navy and red regimental striped belt by Adrianno Meneghetti, Seaman Schepps pearl and pale blue sapphire cuff links, vintage Rolex, a bit of Tom Ford Bronzing Gel for a sun kissed glow and my fragrance is the newly launched Creed Mayfair, a fragrance originally called Windsor and created for the Duke of Windsor.