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!
September 7, 2012 § 6 Comments
August 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
I don’t remember ever really appreciating the landscape of Portugal as much as I did this summer. Or at least never realizing how diverse it is. Here, some amazing views near Barragem de Santa Luzia, full of valleys and peaks and beaming rays of sunshine! The silence up here was deafening. The light was both clear and fuzzy at the same time. The visible distance only a fraction of what was truly out beyond us. And the realization that we are just a mere speck in the world… each one of us! Sigh… truly a spiritual moment for me.
Oh…and let’s not forget the abundance of pure, fresh air… :)
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…. :)
June 22, 2012 § 9 Comments
I happened across this third image and immediately thought it had to be some place in Portugal… That blue and white tile work (ajulejos) is unmistakable and I love how it’s used in architecture (both inside and out) everywhere in Portugal.
He’s making me really excited about my summer trip to Portugal. Maybe I should look back and find some of my own photos of my travels to the Motherland… :)