On Monday I started a new job, as Head of Digital at Orchestra. My first day just so happened to coincide with the Christmas work do…to Lisbon! It was great as one of the girls lives there so she took us to some lovely places that I doubt I’d have found if going alone, so I thought I’d share some of my foodie pics. We went to the home of the custard tart – Pasteis de Belem (the Belem patisserie) where they have been making them using an orginal recipe from the Monastry since 1837. The building is like a maze of rooms that goes on and on. Some of the waiters have worked there since they were children, and they sell around 21,000 tarts on a week day, and around 35,000 on a weekend! They were served slightly warm and were the lightest, crispest tart I’ve ever had (and I ate quite a few the last time I was in Portugal!)
We jumped on a beatuful old wooden tram to a new food court that’s been open for only around five months down by the river front. It was funded by Time out and is in what used to be a fish market, open since the 19th-century. Well renowned Portuguese chefs have opened pop up restaurants here along with authentic cheese and ham stalls, sushi stands, cocktail, gin and wine bars. I tasted some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had. ‘Time Out Mercado da Ribeira’ is open from 10am until midnight mon-wed and until 2am Thursday to Saturday apparently with music and crowds of people over the weekend.
After lots of picky breads, cheeses, ‘green’ wine and cocktails, we headed back to our hotel to get cleaned up and then headed to a lovely restaurant for a very civilised dinner. I had salted cod fillet for main and then a trio of desserts – rice pudding, a mousse and creme brûlée. After, we headed to a bar/club (on a Monday night!!) to dance the night away until 3am in a place called Bar Pensao Amor – an 18th-century building that used to be home to a brothel. The building is absolutely stunning with high windows, painted ceilings and a huge stags head in the main bar…it also contains a library full of sex books, a sex shop and tarot reader! One last tart and a strong coffee the morning after, then we headed for the airport laden with port, cheese and salami to take home. I think I’m going to like my new work colleagues, and I’m going to have to take a fourth trip back to Lisbon very soon 🙂