A hidden gem in Lisbon
Nestled on downtown Lisbon’s Rua da Madalena, around the corner from the beautiful Igreja de Santa Maria Madalena, sits Shoes n’ Booze. Devotees of another kind go there to pay homage – those of great wine and handmade shoes.
Shoes n’ Booze brings together these two worlds under one roof, along with a small menu of tasty petiscos (snacks) to compliment the drinks on offer. I first visited the bar after spotting that they offered weekly Portuguese language lessons combined with wine tasting. And quickly signed myself and my partner up.
The lessons themselves have been great. Informal, friendly and tailored to getting us more confident in speaking everyday useful Portuguese, rather than following a rigid curriculum. It also doesn’t hurt that we’re growing our knowledge of Portugal’s fantastic wines at the same time!
A haven for lovers of Portuguese wine and handmade shoes
The surroundings really lend themselves to relaxed conversation. As you sip your drink, watching the world go by, you’ll sit amongst luxury handmade shoes (primarily mens) produced by family businesses in Portugal. These shoes are displayed alongside flights of wine from Adhoc wine and spirits, based out of the Alentejo, Douro and Vinho Verde regions. Although so far we’ve only tried wine by the glass, you can also buy by the bottle to take home. As a nice touch, if you buy a pair of shoes you can also choose a complimentary bottle of wine.
The staff at Shoes n’ Booze are extremely knowledgeable. Not just about the wine – as you would expect – but also about the various spirits and other interesting tipples on offer (think vinho verde ale!). They’ll always take the time to chat about the origins of their products and make recommendations based on your tastes. There’s also a creatively-designed cocktail menu if you’re looking for something expertly mixed and presented.
On weekends the bar hosts lots of different live music acts; including singers, bands, and DJs. So this is one of the best times to visit for those looking for more of an upbeat night. It’s also worth following them on social media as there are often other things on like the language lessons, wine tasting, and other ad-hoc events. You can find them on Instagram and Facebook.