Custard Tarts and Tiles too…

November 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

You haven’t been to Lisbon if you haven’t been to Belém… and more specifically… to the bakery and café, Antiga Confeiteira de Belém. The most sacred of pastries (invented before the 18th century by the Catholic Monks of the Jéronimos Monastery) and let’s face it… the best pastry you’ll every eat, the Portuguese Custard Tart (Pastel de Nata) is known to draw three long line-ups: one for sit-in, one for take-away and the third, a much more frenzied and disorganized variety, where patrons nudge their way to the coffee bar and down an espresso and in two or three bites, a warm, just-out-of-the oven tart, sprinkled with cinnamon.

Trust me… there is nothing more delectable.

And while you’re there, look around you… the interior is covered in 18th century, hand painted wall tiles. Inside and out, the tile art is seen all over Portugal. So another ‘must-visit’ if you’re interested in this beautiful art form is the D’orey & Cardoso antique tile store. Here you’ll find a treasure trove of history and art – and proprietors that are more than happy to share it with you. I’ve chosen a few of my favourite patterns from their website. But the best part…they ship to anywhere in the world!

Wanting: Custard Tarts

August 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

These are the famed Pasteis de Belém (otherwise known as Portuguese Custard Tarts, Pasteis de Nata or most appropriate… delicious-tarts-to-die-for-and-I’m-not-even-kidding)!

Just out of the oven, they are warm and creamy on the inside with just a hint of vanilla. Light, crispy and delicate on the outside. The Portuguese once conquered the oceans with their huge naval ships… now they’re sending out deadly pastries! Conquering the world, one custard tart at a time.

Damn… I want one now.

More on these lovelies to come in a later post. Stay tuned…. :)

Inspired: Gourmet Baroque

May 1, 2012 § 10 Comments

I’m so excited about this place. It’s a collision of sorts… A collision of some of my favourite things: French meets Portuguese; Black meets white; Baroque meets Modern.

Poisson d’Amour is a French pastry shop in an 18th century building in Lisbon… a daunting task in a city filled with some of the best pastry shops in Europe. Have you ever had a pastel de nata??? Crazy good. Anyway… back to the macarons and gateaux! Also crazy good.

Here’s what inspires me…

  • large mural of a Baroque Mistress… striking and dramatic – what a welcoming sight!
  • black floor and black ceilings… did I mention dramatic?
  • Tiger Skin limestone… my new favourite limestone!
  • Plumen light bulb fixtures… simple and eco friendly
  • old meets new… beautiful arched window openings with new black framed windows

For more on this delicious interior, click here.

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