Quartier Collective’s Guide to Lisbon

 

You may remember our friends Taryn, Martin, and their globe-trotting kids Tilly, Viggo, and Francis from last year’s Mediterranean collection. They’re the well-traveled family behind Quartier Collective, and this season, they helped bring our new Portugal collection to life. Having stayed in Lisbon, they know a thing or two about where to go and what to do while traveling through this charming city. We’re sharing some of their tips, tricks, and favorite places to play and eat, so sit back, relax, and come with us on a virtual tour through Lisbon! 

 

What do you love about Lisbon?

Lisbon is charming beyond belief. The tiles, the trams, the elderly Portuguese making their way slowly down the cobbled streets, stopping to pinch your kids’ cheeks or chatter at you in Portuguese. It’s a proper European capital with history, art, and a buzzing cafe culture. It’s also a great value for travelers—the airport is only 15 minutes from the center of the city and the seaside is just a stone’s throw away. What really makes it for us is the wonderful people we’ve met there. Since our first visit to Lisbon in 2018, we’ve been welcomed by wonderful families, Portuguese and expat, who’ve helped us understand the magic of family life in this incredible city.

 

What are three “must see” places in Lisbon?

  • A walk down Rua Garrett will take you through Chiado’s busy pedestrian shopping street. The people-watching is great here (a bearded Wonder Woman roller skate dancing to Britney Spears anybody?). You can take a coffee to la Brasilia and visit some great shops. Turn left at Fnac department store and walk down to the Elevador Santa Justa, Lisbon’s neo-gothic free standing elevator. 
  •  Tram 28! It’s iconic for a reason. Board after a visit to the Miradouro de Graca for a solid and scenic trip. 

  • Fiera da Ladraor, or the “market of thieves,” is the coolest flea market in Lisbon. Perfect for unique souvenirs, vintage playmobil, and, if you pay attention, a unique window into authentic Lisboan culture. This market has been running for over 800 years!
  • We had to do four! Take a tuk tuk—they’re so fun and typically the drivers are excellent guides. They’re also a great way to manage the hills with kids.

 

What are three spots for children to play?

  • Principe Real Park. There’s a small playground, a cafe with cold beer and snacks, and a legendary juniper tree whose branches have been pruned and splayed across an elevated lattice to make a circular, natural roof. There’s often something going on under this storied tree like music or a craft market. If all is quiet, at least there’s shade!
  • Estrela garden. This garden has a huge playground and loads of beautiful, exotic trees. Kids are welcome to run across the whole park and play in the great exposed roots of the buttress trees. In winter, the smoke from the roasted chestnut sellers filters through the palm fronds and feels wonderfully exotic.
  • The Miradouro de Sao Pedro de alcantara has a magnificent view of the castle plus enough space to kick a soccer ball or play by the great fountain. There’s a funicular tram that trundles down the hill from the southern end of the park, though you may want to save the ride for when you’re coming UP the hill.  

 

What are three spots to eat in Lisbon?

  • Copenhagen Coffee Lab. The coffee is wonderfully consistent, salads are healthy and hearty, and (not that you want to pretend you’re anywhere besides Lisbon) the cardamom buns will have you shouting, “Tak tak tak!”

  • Manteigaria. This spot in Chiado serves the best version of Portugal’s national pastry that we have ever found (and we’ve taken this hunt very, very seriously). It’s popular with tourists and locals, but the line moves fast and is worth the wait. The iconic Tram 28 passes in front of the shop. Grab a glass of port with your natas and take them across the street to the Luis de Camoes square to eat in the sun and chase pigeons. 
  • Senhor Uva, or “Mister Grape,” is a lovely restaurant close to the Estrela garden. It’s small and focused with caring service and natural wines. This is a fantastic date night spot. (DM us if you need a babysitter; we know some great ones!) 
  • Flores de Pampa (I know this is four again, but hey, we couldn’t help ourselves). This quirky spot on the charming Praca das Flores serves delicious food that’s also great for kids: dips and spreads, legumes, and occasionally noodles. With great music and hip and friendly people, this is a neighbourhood spot with a ton of personality. 

Save this guide for your next trip to Portugal (we all hope it can be very soon!), and let us know in the comments some of your favorite spots in Lisbon! For more inspiring stories like this, be sure to follow @quartiercollective to stay up-to-date on all of their travels and adventures. And, don’t forget to check out our new Portugal-inspired collection here

You Are Enough: An Interview with Tea Collection Model & Diversity Advocate, Sofia Sanchez

It’s not everyday that you get to meet a multi-talented kid like Sofia Sanchez. An actress, model, and diversity advocate, Sofia modeled for our Spring 2021 Portugal collection and is now about to release her third and beautifully inspiring book, You Are Enough. To celebrate the release of Sofia’s new book, we sat down with her and her mom (virtually!) to ask a few questions about the book, the inspiration behind it, the Sanchez Six family dynamic, and a whole lot more!

 

You Are Enough is a new children’s book inspired by your daughter, Sofia. Tell us how the idea for the book came about.

This is our third book, but our first fully illustrated hardcover book through Scholastic. We wanted to share Sofia’s message with a broader audience and in a beautiful, colorful and engaging way. We know the world (and especially the children in the world) need a positive message that they are enough just the way they are. Our world is made beautiful by everyone and their differences—there is beauty in being uniquely you! What better messenger than Sofia, who is so proud of who she is.

 

What message do you hope readers will take away from the book?

That we all have a place in this world. We all belong. Everyone has value and we need to love and support one another. It’s also about being a friend…one that accepts you just as you are. We hope that everyone can find themselves in this book. We wanted it to be fully inclusive and full of diversity just like the world we live in!

 

Can you tell us a bit about your family?

We call ourselves the Sanchez Six because when we adopted Sofia back in 2010, we felt she just completed our family! Sofia has three older brothers: Diego, Mateo and Joaquin. Joaquin was born with Down Syndrome, and he opened our eyes to the world of disability. He is the main reason we ended up adopting Sofia, who was abandoned at birth due to her disability. We felt we could give a home and loving family to Sofia, and in return, give Joaquin a sibling that shared the common bond of having DS. Sofia and Joaquin are the BEST of friends.

 

If you could give any advice to kids your age, what would it be?

Be kind, brave and helpful to others. Be a good friend and have lots of dance parties! Be your own hero!

 

What is it like growing up with all brothers?

It’s awesome!! I love my brothers. My best friend is Joaquin.

 

Where is your dream travel destination?

My favorite place in the whole world is New York City because of the cupcakes and because I got to see Hamilton. I also love Hawaii, but really want to visit Austin, Texas one day.

 

What is your favorite hobby?

I like to bake and make things. I want to be a baker when I grow up. I also like to paint, read books, and play with dolls. I also love to run!

 

What is your go-to outfit that makes you feel your best?

I always love to wear dresses! They make me feel beautiful and pretty! I love to twirl in them. I also love anything with rainbows on it. Rainbow is my favorite color!

 

Thank you to Sofia and Jennifer for sharing their story with us. To learn more about Sofia’s book and where you can find it, check out the Sanchez Six’s Instagram @thesanchezsix

Happy Lunar New Year!

Welcome to the year of the Ox! February 12th, 2021 marks the start of the Lunar New Year, a holiday that is considered the most important of the year to Chinese and other Asian communities around the world.  

The Ox is the second out of twelve zodiac signs. The years of the Ox in the Chinese horoscope include 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, and 2021.

In Chinese astrology, the Ox symbolizes confidence, power, stability, and determination. During ancient times, the Ox was an integral part of agricultural society. As such, those born in the year of the Ox are said to be hardworking, strong, and reliable individuals. 

To celebrate the Lunar New Year, we created a printable coloring page of our very own Ox (you may recognize it from our 2018 USA collection). Download it here and show us your final creations using #TeaCollection and #Teamakesfriends on Instagram!

Behind the Design: The Tiles of Portugal

Go anywhere in Portugal and you’re bound to see a wide array of ceramic glazed tiles (or “azulejos” in Portuguese). In Lisbon, they cover everything from the walls of train stations to restaurants and churches. Read on to learn more about these breathtaking works of art that inspired our latest styles.

The term azulejos originated from the Arabic term for a small, smooth, polished stone – alijulej or azulej – and evolved into the Portuguese word azulejo (ah-zoo-le-joo). Dating back to the 13th century, azulejos were originally used to protect walls from the damp and cold. They were also used to tell stories of Portuguese history, religion, and culture. 


Today, these tiles serve more as decoration and line the cities of Portugal in artful designs and patterns.


Inspired by the traditional blue and white color palettes of azulejos, our designers painted dozens of their own tiles while concepting our Portugal collection over a year ago. While not every design made it into our final collection, we think each and every one of these hand-painted tiles tells its own story of Portuguese life, just like their IRL counterparts once did.


Check out our Instagram for more behind-the-scenes and stories like this, and be sure to check out our latest collection at teacollection.com

DESTINATION: PORTUGAL

Olá! Every season, we’re inspired by a new destination around the world. This spring, we’re headed to Portugal to soak up the sun, explore the cities filled with azulejos tiles, and search pastry shops for Pastel de nata. Our newest collection will take you on a journey throughout this seafaring country without even leaving your home.

Two years ago, our Head Designers traveled from San Francisco to Lisbon. There, they were drawn into the never ending streets lined with buildings covered in azulejos tiles, or Portuguese ceramic tiles. These tiles date back to the 15th century when the Moors ruled Portugal. They’re iconic to the country, and can be found on everything from ordinary houses to train stations and palaces.

 

Our designers then headed north to Costa Nova, where they were greeted by the bluest skies and glistening water. Costa Nova is famous for its colorful striped houses, once used by fishermen to store their materials. Many of our new styles incorporate nautical themes heavily influenced by the region’s coastal lifestyle.  

We hope you love our new collection and all that it has to offer. Shop our new arrivals here, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @teacollection to see more of our adventures in Portugal.

TEA X OLIKA Hydrating Hand Sanitizer

Here at Tea, we’re all about encouraging kids’ curiosity about the world. That’s why we partnered with OLIKA, a nature-inspired, ergonomic, hydrating hand sanitizer brand that believes in staying clean differently. Together, we’re bringing you an exclusive line of limited-edition hand sanitizers, featuring six Tea prints.

Each set includes three sustainable, hydrating, fragrance-free hand sanitizers so you can squash germs anytime, anyplace. These hand sanitizers are perfect to hook onto backpacks, key chains or slip right into your pocket!

Shop the collaboration here

 

We know during the ongoing pandemic and flu season, keeping your kids safe and germ-free are a top priority. In addition to staying clean through our new hand sanitizer bottles, here are five additional tips to keep yourself (and your kids!) healthy:

  1. Indoors – Outdoors – get moving
    • Moving your body is a great way to boost your immune system and it’s been scientifically proven time and time again that being active reduces the risk of catching colds and the flu.
  2. Eat the rainbow
    • While we all enjoy the occasional pizza night and sweet treat, it’s important to fuel your and your child’s body with all of the colors of the rainbow! Eating a range of fruits and veggies is key to a healthy body.
  3. Sleep
    • This is essential. Sleep deprivation weakens your immune system. Depending on your child’s age, they need anywhere from 9-14 hours of sleep per day. 
  4. Hydration
    • Water is one of the most important things to ensure your and your child’s health this flu season. If water seems boring to them, spruce it up with some crazy cups, silly straws, or throw in some fruits to keep them sipping all day!
  5. Wash your hands
    • This one is a no brainer, but how do we make sure that our children are constantly washing their hands? Make a fun song or game out of it so they don’t miss a beat when it comes to staying clean. And don’t forget—when you’re on the go, be sure to bring your Tea x OLIKA hand sanitizer!

About OLIKA

OLIKA is a nature-inspired, ergonomic, hydrating hand sanitizer brand with effective ingredients. Did you know OLIKA means differently in Swedish? They stand behind their commitment to transparency, sustainability, and natural ingredients. With ingredients that are cruelty-free, hydrating, fragrance free, and kill 99.9% of germs, OLIKA hand sanitizers are the ultimate kid friendly solution to staying clean on-the-go!

 

Shop the Tea x OLIKA collaboration here, and show off how you sanitize by sharing photos and tagging us on social media @teacollection and @olikalife.

Giving Tuesday: Help Us Fill A Library

Since our founding, Tea has been committed to giving back to make the world a better place for kids everywhere. In addition to our ongoing contributions to the Global Fund for Children, we strive to make an impact in the destinations our seasonal collections are inspired by. This season, we partnered with Kusi Kawsay to help make a difference for kids in Peru.

Kusi Kawsay is a school near Cusco, Peru that provides low-income, indigenous children with a high-quality education. Earlier this season, we announced we would help build them a library. Now, we need your help filling that library! Donate $1, $5, $10, $25, $50, or $100 towards purchasing books for the Kusi Kawsay library. And for this Giving Tuesday (December 1st), we’ll match your donation!*

Together, we’ll create a better (book-filled!) world for kids everywhere.

*Up to $2.5k for a total of $5k.