We kick off the first of our monthly themed rundowns with our take on the perfect Sunday morning: a cycle through Lisbon, our ideal media menu and a brunch prepared by our Aussie friends Wall Two 80.
The Beales of Grey Gardens
January’s poorly received Broadway adaptation of this 1975 documentary has had us hunting down the Maysle brothers’ original masterpiece. Grey Gardens is a fascinating peek into the lives of Jackie O’s reclusive cousins Big and Little Edie Beale. In this new director’s cut there are interviews and eccentric philosophising from the pair.
Nikolaj Arcel won eight Danish Academy Awards for his edgy adaptation of Niels Krause-Kjaer’s novel. Ulrik Torp is a young journalist intent on exposing dubious dealings in the Folketinget. One part Greengrass, one part Grisham, Arcel’s smart film will replace morning after melancholy with a healthy dose of political paranoia.
Once in a Lifetime
The New York Cosmos were the most colourful soccer team of the 1970s, pioneering the concept of the super-team (long before the Galácticos), with players Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff living the lives of rock stars. This oddly prophetic documentary charts the rise and fall of a group of young men with too much money, talent and testosterone.
Lhasa de Sela’s decision to write the songs on The Living Road in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese is testament to her multilingual heritage and formative years spent travelling across North America and Mexico. This, her second album, is an uplifting Sunday morning listen.
Ali Farka Touré – Savane
Savane has been released posthumously a year after the great African bluesman’s death. Ali Farka Touré had spent the years before recording his final album away from the studio tilling the soil in his beloved homeland of Mali, which makes this swan-song feel all the more accomplished, thought-provoking and memorable.
Gui Tavares – Amigos & Friends
To say that Tavares is big in Japan and hardly anywhere else may not be the best testimony to his talent, but this largely overlooked Brazilian musician has his place on a dreary Sunday morning when you need to break through the clouds with a bit of blue-sky bolero. Keep an eye out for one of his low-key London gigs in 2007.
Hafdis Huld – Dirty Paper Cup
Huld spent her teens singing and touring with fellow Icelandic musos GusGus. On leaving the band she embarked on a variety of queer collaborations before recording this, her debut solo album. Dirty Paper Cup has a quietly optimistic tone with an instrumental fragility reflected in the title.
We enjoy nothing more on a Sunday morning than poring over an atlas planning adventures, inventing road trips through inaccessible territories and redrawing borders. For a more cerebral scan of the globe try the Metropolitan World Atlas from Dutch publishers 010 for its comparative data and sparing colour scheme.
Paul Torday’s debut is the story of a middle-aged British scientist who is uprooted from his monotonous life by an assignment to introduce salmon in the Yemen. Brilliantly told through letters, diary extracts, emails and engaging transcripts, the book has an odd troupe of characters including a sheikh, an al-Qaeda hitman and a prime minister.
Expresso is Portugal’s best quality Sunday paper. Founded by ex-prime minister and journalist Francisco Pinto Balsemão, it is renowned for its intellectual weight and surprisingly objective reportage. Its compact format and award-winning design makes it our current favourite Sunday scan.
Lisbon is a great Sunday city, but it takes a Lisboan to draft a good itinerary, so we put a call in to product designer Marco Sousa Santos before jumping on our Skeppshult and heading off. Known locally as the City of Seven Hills, Lisbon is the ideal cycling centre with lots of strenuous ups and plenty of leisurely downs.
It always pays to start the day with a stiff drink, so Marco suggests visitors make Café Nicola at 123 Rua 1 Dezembro their point of departure for a double macchiato to go at the striking Art-Deco coffee shop. Cycling up through Chiado, the most fashionable neighbourhood in old Lisbon, you’ll cycle through historic largos and pass by several long-forgotten artisan’s workshops. Ourivesaria Aliança on Rua Garret is an ancient jeweller worth the visit for the ostentatious gilded ceiling and collection of handcrafted trinkets.
Just off Rua Garrett on Rua Anchieta by the Basílica de Nossa Senhora da Encarnação is Casa Portuguesa, a new shop peddling 20th-century pieces. It may be tempting to fill your basket with cosmetics and stationery, but the kilometre or so cycle up the coast to Santa Apolónia station should be work-out enough.
Avenida Infante Dom Henrique by the station has become a trendy enclave of restaurants and shops thanks largely to Manuel Reis. He started out dealing in vintage furniture in the 1980s and is now one of Lisbon’s golden children with all 10 fingers stuck in Lisbon’s energetic entertainment scene.
Having just cycled non-stop from Chiado we suggest you refuel at Bica do Sapato for a huge selection sushi on the first floor or the cod salad followed by a regenerative Portuguese veal knuckle with extra helpings of sautéed potatoes in the ground-floor dining-room.
Then it’s time to run by supercool Sneaker Delight and pluck a pair of Pumas off the trainer tree erected by artist João Pedro Vale, before heading to the in-house hairdresser for a trim. If you’re feeling particularly fit, pop into Lojo da Atalaia and pick up a piece of contemporary Portuguese-designed furniture (keep an eye out for Marco, he’s a big fan). We would suggest, however, that if you do end up buying local then have them recommend a shipping agent and enjoy the ride back to Chiado down the coast with nothing weighing on your mind, or your back.
We love Genovese cappuccinos and toasted pides at Melbourne’s Wall Two 80 café, where owners David Sharry and Keith Shreeve have turned an old kosher butcher’s into an atmospheric hole-in-the-wall coffee shop. We asked the boys to create a signature brunch for us, and this is it:
2x slices Turkish bread
mayonnaise 2x slices good-quality ham
2x Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
2x free-range eggs, hard-boiled and sliced
1x handful of rocket
Slice one piece of Turkish bread through the centre. Spread mayonnaise or aioli on the base and then top with two slices of ham, one sliced hard boiled egg and one sliced tomato. Place bread lid on top and toast in a sandwich-maker. Once cooked, smear one teaspoon of mustard on the inside of the lid and add a handful of rocket. Replace lid, cut in half and enjoy. We would suggest a banana, lime and coconut friand to finish.