En Route with “Dreamhouse Wanted” in Porto

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

En route with “Dreamhouse Wanted” in Porto

It’s been a long time since I wrote my last article, “En route with Dream Home Wanted” (similar program to “A Place in the Sun”), so it is time for a new story. Last week, after a long break, I was on the road again with the broadcast “MAX,” and this time in my favourite city, Porto! What a pleasure it was to be there again and show the team all of this city’s beautiful and special spots! This time, I will also share the recipe of a very famous dish from Porto.

Livraria Lello

We start at the world-famous bookstore, Livraria Lello. In my blog, “A blind that in Porto” I already mentioned this beautiful shop, but this time it’s different……..we have the place all to ourselves! It was a privilege to admire this place without the usual crowds of tourists. It is said that this is the most beautiful bookstore in the world, and in my opinion that is absolutely true.

Founded by the Lello brothers, the present shop dates back to 1906. The rich furnishings are a beautiful blend of Neo-Gothic, Art-Nouveau and Art-Deco.

And, of course, there is the story of J.K. Rowling, the famous author of the Harry Potter series. The story goes that Livraria Lello is actually the inspiration for some of the Harry Potter stories. Ms. Rowling has never confirmed this herself, but it is a fact that she worked as an English teacher in Porto for several years, so, in my humble opinion……😊. Moreover, the capes from the Harry Potter films also look suspiciously like the capes worn by all the students at the universities in Porto. 😉

I won’t reveal more about this almost magical shop. Still, you can soon watch the episode of “Dream Home Wanted” in Porto for more information.

Igreja do Carmo and Igreja dos Carmelitas (1736)

These two remarkable churches are very close to the Livraria Lello. They are definitely worth a visit, if only to admire the exterior. The two churches stand just one metre apart and are separated by Porto’s narrowest house. This Casa Escondida (the hidden house) was built because, at the time, according to religious laws, two churches were not allowed to be neighbours. A second function was to prevent contact between the monks of the Igreja do Carmo and the nuns of the Igreja dos carmelitas……..would that have been successful?

Personally, I like best the enormous tile wall of blue and white – “azulejos” – on the side of Igreja do Carmo.

Torre de Clérigos

The Torre de Clérigos dates back to 1763 and was designed by Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni! The 75-metre high tower dominates Porto’s beautiful skyline. This attraction is also just a stone’s throw away from the Livraria Lello; yes, I am making it easy for you this time!

The tower can also be climbed, it is a bit of a challenge but after 225 steps you will be rewarded with a 360º breathtaking view of the city.

Restaurant Bilha Nova

And now, it’s time for lunch and where better to dine than at the restaurant Bilha Nova. This is really one of my favourite restaurants: the food is fantastic, the service super friendly, the music is pleasant and the wines are excellent. Bilha Nova is about a 2 minute walk from the Torre de Clérigos.

I recommend the atum braseado (tuna), the folhado come queijo de cabra (goat cheese in puff pastry) and the amêijoas à bolhão pato (clams)! And you can leave the choice of wine to the staff 😉.

Avenida dos Aliados

Now that we have refueled our bodies, we can continue our discovery tour. We walk to the Avenida dos Aliados. This wide avenue, with its stately buildings, is also called the little Champs Elysées. Okay, this might be a bit exaggerated; still, it is a beautiful avenue with many buildings in Art-Nouveau and Art-Deco styles. Especially in the evening, the illuminated buildings are true works of art.

In the middle, you see the statue of Dom Pedro IV (king from 1826 to 1834), and, at the end of the avenue, is Porto’s stately town hall. But what you really have to see here is McDonald’s…yes, McDonald’s! Here, you will find McDonald’s Imperial, globally the most beautiful restaurant of this fast-food chain.

We just had a “healthy” meal at Bilha Nova, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t have a cup of coffee or an ice cream 😉.


Via the beautiful train station São Bento, with its beautiful tile tableaus we continue our way towards the Sé, the cathedral of Porto (both we have already visited in my blog, “A City Walk Through Porto.” click here if you want to read this article),). One and the other are beautifully lit at night.

Below the Sé

Today, however, we will explore the location below the Sé, a beautiful, working-class neighbourhood with a great atmosphere and colourful houses! Actually, I don’t think the word “working-class” is a proper name for this locale, as it suggests that it is made up of ordinary people, which is not true at all. They are extraordinary, amicable folks and the area is bustling!

Ponte D. Luis

And, before we end the day with a sunset boat trip, we first take a break with a Porto Tonico at the Vila Nova de Gaia’s “Esplanada do Teleférico” . The esplanada is situated on top of the roofs of the cable cars, and, from here, you have the most magnificent and breathtaking views of Porto – especially at sunset. Whilst strolling over the upper deck of the Ponte D. Luis, I immensely enjoy the view of this remarkable city.

Douro Captain

But now we will see another breathtaking sunset – and this time from a boat, which leaves from the marina in Afurada. First, it sailed on the Douro River to the D. Luis Bridge and then back to the sea, where we viewed the magnificent sunset. It was special! Also, during this wonderful trip, we enjoyed the delicious vinho verde, some snacks and even our self-brought food. Ricardo is a fantastic skipper and a great host, and I recommend him confidently.Douro Captain info


And, as promised, the recipe for the most famous dish from Porto, the Francesinha. The sauce for this unique dish is the main ingredient, and – a little warning – make sure you are starving, because it is quite a heavy meal.

Below, you will find the ingredients and the link to an instructional video, although in Portuguese, there is no speaking – the images speak for themselves😉.


  • 8 thick slices of bread
    4 thin steaks
    4 chouriço type sausages
    4 beef sausages
    4 slices of ham
    1 small can of peeled tomatoes
    400 g sliced mozzarella cheese
    100 g tomato pulp
    1 onion
    2 garlic cloves
    1 small beer
    50 ml port wine
    50 ml brandy
    50 g olive oil
    1 tbsp cornflour
    1 meat stock
    1 bay leaf
    Salt and piripiri to taste

Link to the instruction video :  click here 

Enjoy your meal !


This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)



  • Anja 08/06/2022 at 8:05 am Reply

    Ik ben echt supertrots op jou❤️ En wat is Porto toch mooi! Ik wil er dolgraag heen met jou. Laat je weten wanneer ik je kan bewonderen op tv? Bellen gauw. Love you

    • johanna 21/06/2022 at 11:33 am Reply

      Dank je ❣ Ha,ha, dat ligt eraan hoe ik er op sta 😉 Porto doen we zeker een keer samen !

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