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Dear Diary,

This morning, awaken by cravings and a need to get out the house, I decided to explore the twisting cobblestone streets of Bairro Alto, my charming neighborhood in Lisbon, in search of a quiet brunch. By chance, I made a left onto Rua das Gaivotas, wandering into The Triangle, the city’s new trendy neighborhood, until an unusual name caught my eye: Dear Breakfast stamped in cursive on a window. A sign! The doors were wide open, so I walked in.

Immediately, I was very impressed by the little restaurant’s modern minimal aesthetic, a little Scandinavian, a little New York (I took take mental notes for my future studio or office). It glowed, dressed in all white, with a vaulted ceiling and archways, allowing natural light to feed the potted green plants and illuminate the marble tables and soft velvet chairs. The atmosphere was relaxed, chic, and ultra-trendy; I felt good.

At the marble counter (I see a trend), which was topped with granola-filled glass jars, fruit baskets and fresh artisanal Portuguese bread, I was greeted by an adorable young waiter, casually in a t-shirt, jeans and apron, who walked me through the menu. My trainer would be very happy that most were aligned with today’s health trends: matcha lattes and cold-pressed juices, smoothies and herbal teas, avocado toast and acai bowls, bloody marys and mimosas (oops, for the naughtier mornings), among other gourmand dishes. But what’s a breakfast spot without eggs? Here it was a question of royale or benedict. And since I do have a taste for the more royal things in life, I went with the former - smoked salmon, runny eggs, deliciously drenched in a creamy hollandaise sauce - and a cappuccino topped with foamy artwork (I promise I’ll do extra reps tomorrow) and served in a ceramic mug. As for the check? Pfft, more than reasonable.

Completely taken with the mood, I picked up the latest Kinfolk magazine (my daughter, who’s an art student, loves it) from the rack and sat at the table by the front window. I flipped through the thick pages and dug in (with composure of course) while admiring the stylish, youthful crowd of creatives, bloggers, and entrepreneurs hard at work on their MacBooks, snacking on a crispy croissant or pain chocolat and coffee. I even snapped a picture of my perfectly arranged spread - meal, mug, and magazine - to keep as a souvenir of my newest discovery and, just maybe, as proof I was here before it becomes the most talked about breakfast spot in Lisbon.

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