Get Schooled


Question #1: What’s the worst thing about traveling?

If your answer is “PACKING” you get an “A”

If you squeezed in 2 answers, including “Airport Security” you get an “A +”

Question #2: What’s the BEST thing about traveling?

If your answer’s “Learning”


(If you answered “shopping” you’re a naughty, naughty student but I love you and you may sit beside me in class)



Imagine our delight in discovering this unusual little hotel in Portugal earlier this year.

Tucked away in a very quiet but convenient neighbourhood in the heart of Lisbon,

“Hotel da Estrela” has stayed true to the school it once was.

Even a good portion of the staff are students from a neighbouring hotel & culinary Institute.

890A3606Two views of the “study room”


890A3602The Honesty Bar


I dihn’t see you take that 2nd glass of Port!

890A3609Halls are hung with old maps and cool art, even the baseboards are blackboards where inspiration may be chalked up daily.


890A3783How fun is this custom carpeting in the rooms?!  (yes, that’s my foot- for scale)

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 9.49.21 PM

While not overly luxurious (which would feel weird in this funky/modern school ambience) the rooms and bathrooms are large, well appointed (though the giant showers could use a soap holder ) and reasonably priced. The staff are young, eager & courteous.

Coming home late in the evening even requires banging on a massive wooden door, just to add to the feel of missing curfew!

Full disclosure; we did not eat in the restaurant, as my friend’s friends who live in Lisbon took us out to dine at night.

890A3628Plus these egg custard pastries are mandatory every day. It’s a Portuguese law.

94d2548a7fe1fcf431df6dffe5eff4c4Chanel Resort 2013

Be True to Your School


For more information on “Hotel da Estrela” 


For more chalkboard fun check out; Chalkboard China ( I just love them-if you click on the link you’ll see why 🙂 )

Candle-Colletion-Blog-Ready3Chalkboard candles & Chargers both from Chalkboard China



* Ciate Chalkboard nails here (available in the U.S. in June 2013)

** Tutorial on chalkboard tags here

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 10.03.39 PM

Glazed apple for teacher here

Lights Out



  1. Beautiful post! I stayed in Lisbon with my handsome husband and 4 children, 8-16 years old, back in ’99. Can’t wait to revisit with just the handsome husband, Your post has spurred my determination.

  2. Dear Slim This is just great, a light bulb certainly must have shined a bright light for the designers to come up with such a great concept from the original school!


  3. How clever and fun! LOVE Portugal and the Portugese people–kind and proud. If I ever decided to live abroad, hands down, that’s where I would go.

  4. My kind of school! Thank you Slim for wonderful posts, home and away.
    Perhaps you already have this book, if not, it’s a must for you – Linda O’Keefe’s “Stripes: Design Between The Lines”, published 2012 by Monacelli Press.

  5. Slim,
    Do you have Hydrangeas in your garden?im on a search for a garden full I just thought you might ,if so can you mail me a couple of photos?I know they are not in bloom yet but just tell me how many in each photo!Thanks,Contessa

  6. the worst part of traveling is unpacking when you return….i hate that. The best part is having to eat at restaurants day and night:)

    cute post

  7. I’m sending in my application, love all of the details and your fashion images are the perfect addition, naturally. I agree with Canuck, the worst part of travelling is unpacking, please don’t look in my dining room right now….

Would love to hear from you!