The Tellier affair – Love at first sight
What makes a French couple with a steady life in Paris to sell everything and to settle in Lisbon and choose Mouraria neighborhood to live in? A consuming passion for the country they chose to live with little Marceau.
It was during the first visit to Lisbon, five years ago, that Anne-Sophie and Maxime Tellier fell in love with our country. Besides the capital they visited Alentejo and hopelessly fell in love with the landscapes and the friendliness of the Portuguese. The following visits only served to increase this passion. “Besides Lisbon, we visited Alentejo and enjoyed the wild character of this area, very different from the Algarve coast with many tourists and a very strong urbanization. Alentejo is very different and we were impressed.”
Despite having a good life in Paris, “a very beautiful and extraordinary city with a lot of energy”, the couple wanted to have another experience of life and took advantage of the fact that the brother of Anne-Sophie live in Lisbon to know the city. Until last summer, when they had the idea of leaving everything to settle in Lisbon.
After spending a week to see Lisbon with eyes of locals, not tourists, to understand the neighbourhoods in its most practical sense, they chose Mouraria because ‘the authentic character of the neighbourhood. A popular neighbourhood, and we experience this during St. Antony holiday. It is the district with more life, more energy and better represents Lisbon. It was also the neighbourhood that we knew less, because the brother of Anne-Sophie lives in Principe Real, we knew fairly well, but we were in love with this area’.
Aware of the economic difficulties in Portugal, the couple is considering the possibility of returning to the professions they had in Paris, Maxime in real estate and Anne-Shopie with an online store of vintage furniture. While studying possibilities, they launch another project called Flashmat (http://www.flashmat.pt). “It’s a new generation of photobooth developed by a French company that we are launching in Portugal. The idea was to have a project that we could start in order to have some resources and then develop our other projects, that takse more time.”
As for Portuguese cuisine, the couple became fan of Cozido à Portuguesa, the national stew dish, which they tasted in the tavern A Provinciana, nearby São Domingos Square (where we start our Downtown-Mouraria Food & Cultural Tour). They already cook monkfish rice, other very portuguese dish, at home. “We buy the fish in Mercado da Ribeira and cook at home.”