Listening to Fado in Lisbon: A Perfect Evening at Senhor Vinho 

airtransat By airtransat / 24 May 2018

Listening to Fado in Lisbon: A Perfect Evening at Senhor Vinho 

airtransat By airtransat

Fado, Portugal’s melancholic take on the blues, first emerged 200 years ago out of the port neighbourhoods of Mouraria, Bairro Alto and Alfama in Lisbon. Today you can hear it everywhere, pouring out of the narrow streets, bars, and restaurants, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more authentic and intimate experience than the one you’ll have at Senhor Vinho, a small restaurant in the upscale residential Lapa neighbourhood.

Marie-Eve, a Transat Flight Attendant and our guide to a series of unforgettable Lisbon experiences, is a huge fado fan. She first heard about Senhor Vinho through a Portuguese friend who recommended it as one of the best in Lisbon.


Finding Fados passion

“For me this is the best Fado place in Portugal,” says singer Sara Paixão, whose last name fittingly means “passion”. Paixão, who sings most weeks at the restaurant, explains that the Senhor Vinho’s owner is Maria da Fé, one of the genre’s most famous singers and a personal hero of hers.

“I knew about fado because I’m Portuguese of course,” says Paixão with a laugh. “But it was when I heard Amalia Rodrigues, the biggest, most famous fado singer, for the first time, that it really got inside me.”

This music, which now boasts a UNESCO distinction and its own museum, gets inside you even if you don’t speak Portuguese.


“Everyone understands fado,” explains Paixão. “Before a show, I always say to the audience that we’re going to talk with feelings and body language, not with spoken language.”


Captivated by candlelight 

This rustic but elegant restaurant serves traditional Portuguese cuisine like broad bean stew and grilled seafood and offers a wide-ranging wine list featuring vinho verdes. However, the real star is music: When the lights are dimmed and voices are hushed, the crowd is immediately captivated by a small band and the featured singer, which ranges from stars like Aldina Duarte, Francisco Salvacao Barreto and Joana Amendoeira to up and comers like Paixão, who has a decade of experience of touring Lisbon, Portugal and Europe. It’s a distinctly Portuguese experience, in part because of the music’s wistful leanings.


“Saudade is a word that only exists in Portuguese,” says Paixão. “It expresses that feeling when you miss someone, something, or somewhere and are trying to get back to it.”

Hearing fado in a place like Senhor Vinho on a warm night out in Lisbon will most certainly create feelings of saudade. And the good news is there’s no reason you can’t go back.

Senhor Vinh: Rua Meio à Lapa 18, 1200-724 Lisbon

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

You might also like

Activities Arts and culture Family

Top 6 things to do in autumn in Vancouver

By Brown Bear Travels

Vancouver is a beautiful city to visit at any time of year, autumn included. With stunning scenery on the doorstep of the city, there is...

#Activities, #Artsandculture, #Canada, #Family, #NorthAmerica

Food and Drink

Israeli Wineries : a Destination for Connoisseurs

By Helen Hatzis

From the Golan Heights to the Negev, Israel is home to some spectacular wineries. To date, there are approximately 300 dotted along the country. That...

#Activities, #Discoveries, #FoodAndDrink, #Israel, #Israël, #MiddleEast


Everglades Day Trip from Fort Lauderdale

By Dian Emery

Sometimes you need a break from the beach, and we think an Everglades day trip from Fort Lauderdale is definitely a great alternative to your...

#Discoveries, #NorthAmerica, #UnitedStates

Activities Arts and culture Discoveries Food and Drink

8 great things to do in Bordeaux

By Marie-Julie Gagnon

Wine capital of the world? Yes, but there’s much more to Bordeaux. The Gironde, France’s largest winegrowing department, has all the ingredients of...

#Activities, #Artsandculture, #Discoveries, #Europe, #FoodAndDrink, #France


Active Adventures on Mykonos Island

By Dian Emery

No trip to Greece would be complete without a visit to the Cyclades Islands located south of Athens in the Aegean Sea. There are many...

#Activities, #Europe, #Greece

Arts and culture Discoveries

Scents of Portugal

Article written by Sandra Gosselin and originally published in the December-April 2017-2018 edition of the Atmosphere magazine. Read the latest edition here. Clutching...

Our travellers’ most unforgettable moments.