Portugal 2019

Another reflection on a trip that inspires some of my recipes like Portuguese Pork and Clams

Our trip to Portugal in 2019 was short but sweet. We arrived in Lisbon staying in an air bnb apartment in the buzzy neighbourhood of Bairro Alto, soaking up the local vibe.

On our first night we has dinner at Belcanto …a two Michelin star restaurant by famous Portuguese chef Jose Avillez. It was definitely one of the best dinners we ever enjoyed….the friendly and funny staff, the atmosphere and brilliant food. Truly a night to remember. Here’s the link to my review of the full experience. Belcanto Lisbon Review

Belcanto, Lisbon

Lisbon is a foodie paradise with so many unique taste sensations to explore and the Time Out Markets are a great place to nibble your way through local delicacies and to try out menus from top restaurants in a more casual way. We went to the markets on a few occasions buying a few goodies to take home and also trying out a few of the restaurants. One of these was Chef Kiko Martin’s restaurants O’Surf and Turf…..quite experimental and very interesting seafood and meat combinations.here’s the link to my original story Time Out Markets Lisbon We also had a delicious breakfast and coffee at Fabrica Cafe

Time Out Markets and Fabrica, Lisbon

Of course any trip to LIsbon would not be complete without visiting the home of Portuguese tarts down at Belem. We caught the tram from just near the Time Out Markets enjoying the trip through the suburbs of Lisbon down to the old fort town. We were amazed by the queue for the tarts and opted for exploring the town and fort in the morning, returning to Pasteis de Belem, the historic cafe started by the nearby monks to sell their famed tarts. They certainly lived up to their reputation and after our very hot walk, we enjoyed them with an icy cold Sagres!

Pasteis de Belem, home of Portuguese tarts

Our other days in Lisbon were spent exploring Castel San Jorge, churches, parks, the harbour and experiencing the glamour of bars in Palazzos, Fado and the food of traditional tabernas. As we were staying at the top of the hill in Bairro Alto trips on the finicular and trams were a practical form of getting around. One of the excellent late dinners we had was at Taberna Da Rua Flores amd we enjoyed a very different lunch of Mozambican food at Roda Vida in the colourful Alfama district.

Lisbon sights and taste sensations
Evenings in Lisbon 2019
Fado in Lisbon

From Lisbon we headed to Cascais on the coast for a ver special stay at the Hotel Albatroz. Our visit to Cascais which is only about a 40 minute drive from Lisbon was so relaxing and revitalising but also gave us an insight into the coastal lifestyle and vibe. I wrote about our time there in this post Cascais Being there at the end of the summer season meant it was busy but not overcrowded and we got to enjoy a wonderful free outdoor pop concert featuring Fernando Daniel,the winner of The Voice Portugal! Dancing with the crowd of mainly locals going crazy was so much fun!

Fernando Daniel concert!
Coastal cuisine and colour

In Cascais we tried and loved Azeitao cheese, a sublimely soft and gooey sheep’s milk cheese that I have yet to find in Australia…but writing this has reminded me to find it for our next cheese adventure!

Here’s a link to the story behind the cheese Azeitao Cheese

We also enjoyed lots of relaxed lunches and dinners at places like Cantinho de Avillez, a local Taberna and at the Hotel Albatroz restaurant.

Cascais was a real highlight and a relaxing, fun wind-down spot on our 5 week trip before we went on to Morocco. Would love to go back someday.

Sublime seaside style #hotelalbatroz #cascais #portugal

Still dreaming about sunny days and relaxing by the pool at the beautifully restored and decorated Hotel Albatroz in Cascais.

We spent 4 days in this lovely seaside town on the Atlantic Coast enjoying fresh seafood, the quaint shops and even a pop concert by the beach.

The Hotel Albaztroz is right on the Atlantic Ocean, so the views are stunning. Being on a point, it is away from the main hustle and bustle of this popular coastal town, but the sounds of laughter and people enjoying the beach drifts up through the windows creating a happy and idyllic air to the place.

According to their website: The Albatroz Hotel started in the ’60s when it opened for the first time with the name ‘Estalagem Albatroz’ in 1963. Revamped and enlarged during 18 months in 1982, Duke of Loule Palace (the main building), also known as “the box of almonds”, was built in 1873 and was home to several royal families.

We stayed in an upstairs room in the original Place Building accessed by an old school lift. The room with it’s porthole windows overlooking the beach was reminiscent of staying on a ship. Luxurious bedding, and divine but eclectic interior decorations add to the feeling of luxury and elegance.

The food from the restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinners on the terrace, by the pool or in the dining room overlooking the sea was all really good, making it difficult to tear oneself away to explore restaurants and bars in the town…although we did that as well and enjoyed it greatly.

The restaurant in it’s own right is very worth a visit with beautiful salads, club sandwiches, fresh seafood and a good wine list.

We also enjoyed long walks along the sea to Estoril and the other way to the Lighthouse. The weather was perfect and whilst there were many tourists it was relaxed and very enjoyable.

Cascais is a great escape by the sea, only 30 minutes from the centre of Lisbon. We just caught an Uber down and then back to Lisbon airport. A lovely way to chill out on the coast without having to travel too far.