September 01

Catarina Mendonça

Catarina

Born in the south Portugal, by the seaside, Catarina needs to be in a city by the water. Lived in New York, Vienna and in Lisbon, she needs to be by the water and surrounded by culture and buzz around.

She is a creative and a creator. Her passions include Design, Art, Photography, Architecture, Food and Travel.
She loves rambling in Lisbon around Chiado or an art museum in town, taking photos or just looking for inspiration and getting lost.

Since she is also a foodie, is is easy get her indulging with some Pastéis de Nata from Manteigaria in Chiado, with a Santini ice-cream or, if she is in New York with an indulgent blueberry cheesecake from the Little Cupcake Bakeshop.
Within Lisbon’s eclectic seven hills, she always finds something that inspires her “Lisbon has a unique light, the Tagus river, something that I can not find in any other city. Lisbon’s heritage and history with contemporary twists, give Lisbon its unique character”. Every time she has to leave Lisbon something inside her breaks, in every return, she feels home again.

Now she dreams about traveling to a remote village in Asia or to meet Japan.

Get to know her better…

– Favorite vacation destination outside of Portugal:

* I feel home in Vienna and in New York. Both in my heart are always on my travel destination as places to go.

* Vienna it is my Central Europe’s love. City where I lived for some years, showed me several times its imperial beauty. From the Belvedere and Viennese cafes to the most hidden treasures that only locals find. Mother of the classical music, you can listen to the music whispering almost everywhere. From the most exuberant concert halls to the most hidden jazz and experimental music spots. In its historic and romantic cafes, you will find yourself indulging in an apple strudel or a chocolate cake with a warming Viennese coffee.

* New York, the city that never sleeps. The city where everything is possible. New York says excitement and adventure are about to happen every minute, is an endless source of inspiration for me. You can travel the world in this city in a day, always something whispering you to go out and discover it. From the breathtaking buildings downtown to the village (as New Yorkers call to West village); From the hip East village to the high and top Madison Ave. From a quiet awake, watching the sunrise at Brooklyn Bridge, to the magic of the twinkling night lights from any rooftop. There is always a dance show, a jazz venue, a Broadway musical craving our time and attention. From its streets to an event or some delicious food to indulge with. There you never want to sleep.

– Music: What’s in my playlist

In my free time, I do contemporary and jazz dance, and one can not live without the other. So my music taste is very wide and diverse. Love to discover new artists and types of music.

* I attended the music conservatory for some years since childhood, to learn classical music and to play the piano. Since then I am a classical music fan. My favorite composers are Chopin or Bach. Chopin is tremendously well interpreted by the Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires or by the german-Japanese Alice Sara Ott.

* Artists in my playlist include contemporary names as The XX, Mayer Hawthorne, The National, Gotan Project, London Grammar, Milky Chance, James Blake, Kodaline, Chet Faker, Rhye, Thievery Corporation, The Vacines, Angus and Julia Stone, Benjamin Clementine, Lorde, Tom Odell, Ry X, Flume, Groove Armada, Norah Jones; some Bossa Nova by João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Malu Magalhães; Jazz: Joshua Redman, The Bad Plus, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Diana Krall; Some classics from the U2, Michael Jackson, The ‘Stones, Eagles, Leonard Cohen, Guns and Roses…

* As Portuguese, I do love Fado too, namely Ana Moura and Carminho.

– Clothes:

* Business: edgier cuts Hugo Boss suits and Armani. French Connection, Cos and Karen Millen.

* Casual: Marc by Marc Jacobs, Zadig & Voltaire, Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Comme des Garçons, Salinas swimsuits. Online ASOS. Adidas and Nike for the gym.

* Dresses: Tom Ford, Givenchy, Carolina Herrera, Balmain or Saint Laurent for cool clubbing outfit.

– Shoes:

* Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choos, Prada, L.K. Bennett, Stuart Weitzman for boots, Adidas for sporty shoes.

– Makeup

* Love Chanel lipsticks and fondants. Black packaging is always elegant. Then Guerlain for some Summer golden makeup

– Icon of Elegance:

* Coco Chanel and Angelina Jolie – From Coco, a symbol and inspiration to woman’s femininity. From Angelina, a contemporary inspiration of elegance and woman’s strength.

* Icon of coolness: Kate Moss, love her freedom, coolness and mantra “never complain, never explain”. Plus she is a cap as me.

– Car:

* A Mini. Classic, feminine and cool.

– Food:

* I am truly a chocoholic! Can not resist when the matter is chocolate. Must be dark, more than 70% cocoa. In town: Arcádia black chocolate truffles.

*  The Portuguese food! The variety of flavors and dishes is so wide, from the north to the south. Contemporary Portuguese chefs, as the Michelin Star José Avillez are nowadays using this Portuguese heritage to create and reinterpret even better Portuguese food.

* Everything that comes from the sea! Love Seafood, and I am mad about oysters, especially from a little and picturesque village in the south, Cacela Velha. Then Sushi. When the matter is Sushi I am very picky and only go if is as good as the sushi from The Ritz Bar, the best!

* Love comfort food like pasta or a mushroom risotto.  Sometimes experimental among the unexpected combination of flavors from the Vietnamese food.

* Bread (from Alentejo),  figs, grapes and cheese, Portuguese of course: Queijo da Ilha or creamy one from Azeitão. Shall I continue? I am a foodie!

– Restaurants in Portugal:

* Cantinho do Avillez and Mini-Bar – Both from the chef José Avillez. Love Cantinho’s relaxed vibe with some great food and Mini-Bar for a night out starting with tasty bites and cocktails!

*Tasca da Rua das Flores, for honest and traditional Portuguese flavours.

* Kaffeehaus – When I miss too much Vienna, and want to indulge with an apple Strudel.

* Bica do Sapato – For great food having Tagus River as the scenario. Love their Lavanda Crème brûlée.

* S.Gabriel –  For a special celebration in the South with family.

* Sushi: Ritz Bar

* In Alentejo: São Rosas (Estremoz) and Maria (Alandroal)

– Sport:

* Dance, if I can include it here… Love the delicacy and beauty of movements. Swim to disconnect completely and release stress. To Swim and to jog along Tagus River by the sunset.

– Hobby:

* To create something, usually to draw. It is a moment of quietness and creation at the same time. It is a fast and calming way to channel my creativity and sometimes put thoughts into something more tactile or visible.

* Dance, dance, dance!

* Magazines and books: buy tons of them! From Art and Design Magazines, Travel, Architecture, Fashion and Food. My favorites are Monocle, Frame, Cereal. Vogue, Elle, Wallpaper, Kinfolk, Conde Nast Traveler, Bon Apetit. Perfect to start and dive any given Sunday.

* Food. Either to Cook, to use my creativity and create something for someone special. Or to discover new spots in Lisbon.

– Watches:

* Dad’s IWC Portugieser

* Day to day: Omega Lady Matic or the Nomos Lambda

– Favorite shops in Portugal:

* Love to explore Principe Real, namely Embaixada – for Portuguese cool and creative pop up brands. In Chiado, to get lost in A Vida Portuguesa among Portuguese unique vintage products, go to Luvaria Ulisses for the best classic gloves; Teresa Alecrim to find ladies gifts; Cantê, for a Summer breeze among Portuguese bikinis; Eureka to find beautiful Portuguese shoes; Manteigaria Silva to find some Portuguese gourmandises for a special homemade meal. I am a magazine lover and geek, so the recently opened Under the Cover is definitely under my radar.