Pensao Amor is an old brothel, restored to a T. This is the vogue destination of Lisbon, a place to rub shoulders with artists, musicians and other hipsters. With its chandeliers, lurid 18th century painted ceilings, plentiful drapes and kissing booths, the bar is brilliantly naughty. There are posters from the old peep and burlesque shows and images of naked ladies everywhere. Only the prostitutes are missing (we're 90% sure). The oldest trade has been replaced by a sex shop with some brutal-looking accessories, a book shop and a fortune-teller who burns her hair. Original.
The bar is spread out over three floors and there are various rooms to explore. You can huddle in the fur-lined pole-dancing room, hit the dance floor, or grab a drink and head downstairs into the teeming street below (which is down a level, crossing beneath the street with the upstairs entrance). A huge stag's head watches over the dance floor, where the DJ plays house and loungey dance music. The bar opposite is neon-lit; it is the only one and so the bar staff work furiously to produce themed cocktails. We drank the Bramble and Bramble Love – we can't remember what was in it, but it was definitely strong. My only criticism is that the two loos are inadequate for such a crowd. But that can be forgiven: the bar is mega, one of a kind. Thank you.
*Additional info: Prices rise after 10pm. No smoking inside