Fabulosa means Fabulous and the truth is: this coffee shop in Santos, downtown Lisbon, is really fabulous.
Finally I (we) have a very chic space in the capital to enjoy lunch with a friend, a casual meeting over a strong coffee, a glass of wine in the middle of the afternoon and, as I do like very much, a place to engage with a Moleskine and a Caran d’Ache pen for a couple of hours on my own.
Trendy Lisbon is booming with so many spots that, to be really honest, I don’t find any interest in them. They are pretty much the same, with the same look, same kitchenware, same kind of approach – no wow factor to make it special. Fabulosa does, not only with the food they present, but the entire space is very elegant, somehow British chic with a Scandinavian twist (or maybe the other way around…).
The first time I saw pictures of Fabulosa, it wasn’t open yet. Mariana Dias Coutinho, my favorite (and fabulous) Street Artist had just finished a mural in the coffee shop toilet. The marble tables and some pictures on the wall caught my eye. But because I never go to opening days, I went there a few weeks after for a glass of wine with a friend of mine. It supposed to be a couple of hours, but we stayed there until 7pm, closing time.
The marble together with dark wood brings the comfort a space needs to invite you in. This smooth stone is synonymous to elegance, richness without shouting it. Its veins give that quiet movement a (public) space needs, maybe that’s why this is the most timeless material architecture can embrace.
Brown and blue shades are the balance between warm and cold, cosy and minimal, casual and chic, British and Scandinavian. Isn't it?
The idea was to have a glass of wine, just to dandle the conversation but the smell invaded our noses and we ended up asking for “croquetes” (a Portuguese fried starter quite creamy made with meat - explanation for non-Portuguese only). But as the waitress told us they have a special one - made with bacalao and spinach - we had to try it on: delicious, different, fresher and saltier than the classic one – must try.
As I said before, I knew Mariana did a work there, so no surprise to me on the toilet project, though, her work is always a surprise to any of us – quite feminine, slightly provocative with a Renaissance dash (well, Renaissance artists were provocative too, weren’t they?). Anyway, it’s pretty strange to spend time in a coffee shop toilet, but believe me, once you get there, you will.
FABULOSA – Cafetaria de Santos
Rua do Instituto Industrail, 7H