Anton Dell Workshops in Porto, for Portuguese Brands
6 August 2015
Author: Anton Dell
The whole town of Porto consists of steep hills, so if you wish to reach any shop or restaurant, it’s advisable to do a fitness course beforehand. I was invited here to the British Portuguese Chamber of Commerce to talk to fashion brands; the topic of my talk was “Best Practice for Fashion Exporters”.
Unlike people in many of the countries that I visit for the purpose of giving these talks, I was surprised to find that most Portuguese understand and speak English – well, at that moment, I assumed they did, as they laughed at all my jokes.
This was later confirmed in the many private meetings I had with clients after my presentation, as so many brands are very keen to export in order to battle the flat and depressed economy of Portugal. I was inundated with requests.
One client was unable to make it to the talk and I arranged to meet him in the rather extraordinary and beautiful surroundings of the Porto Lawn Tennis and Cricket Club – yes, they have a cricket club in Porto. Apparently, teams from UK visit them every two weeks in order to show that the Brits are still good at cricket.
The club is situated behind a large ornate set of metal gates in the middle of Porto. It boasts two acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, with several tennis courts, a swimming pool, and of course the resplendent cricket pitch.
Strictly enforced rules govern the club. No mobile phones are allowed and you are restricted from conducting business – so my discussions with my client, a delightful man who plans to conquer the world with his new brand of pyjamas made from vintage African prints, had to be very discreet.
After the meeting, I went back to my hotel overlooking the river Duoro for a rest. When I started asking around for ideas on where to go for dinner, everyone strongly suggested I go and eat in the old town in the city centre. Then I remembered that I had to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest to get there - so it was dinner in the hotel. Next time, I will work on my fitness before visiting Porto.