Tag Archives: Portugal

Parador Hotel Pilgrim Lunch, a tradition dating back to 1499, a highlight of my Camino, but not for the food or service!

On Saturday I had the amazing fortune to enjoy a Pilgrim Lunch at Restaurante Enxebre, an informal restaurant which is part of the five star Parador Hotel in Santiago de Compostela, with seven other Camino pilgrims. To experience a Pilgrim meal is almost as much of a high as walking the Camino, and making it all the way to Santiago de Compostela, this tradition dating back to 1499. Continue reading →

Sweet Service Award to Pilbeo; Sour Service Award goes to Alda Eustacion Pontevedra!

The Sweet Service Award goes to Pilbeo luggage transfer service in Portugal and Spain, and its operator Jesus Capeans Viña, for the excellent reliable service they offered in collecting and dropping off my suitcase on each of my 15 Accommodation nights in the Portuguese Coastal Camino, starting in Porto in Portugal until I completed the walk in Santiago de Compostela in Spain. When I developed a bad blister underneath my foot, I could be transported with my luggage to the next destination, at the cost of an additional ‘suitcase’. Two changes to my schedule/accommodations were efficiently handled. Continue reading →

Pastéîs De Belém a taste of tradition since 1837, the best Pastéis de Nata in Portugal!

When I visited Lisbon earlier this month, I was recommended by a local to visit Belém in general for its historic tower and monastery building, but also specifically to buy and try the Pastéis de Nata at the iconic Pastéis de Belém, which has operated since 1837, only a handful of the closest trusted employees having its secret recipe. Continue reading →

‘Lisbon under Stars’ an impactful multi-media modern presentation of Lisbon’s history!

Prior to stating my Portuguese Coastal Camino from Porto, I spent three days in Lisbon, sightseeing as a tourist. One of the highlights of visiting the city was the 360 degree audio and light show ‘LISBON UNDER STARS – immersive Spectacle’, performed in the open air ruins of the Carmo Church, now an archeological museum. 
 
 I had read about the show ‘Lisbon under Stars’ in the TAP inflight magazine whilst flying from London to Lisbon, and when my friend Arno and I walked last the ticket booth by chance, it was meant to be, and we booked and paid for tickets for the following evening. 
 
On arrival, with Arno running slightly late, I queued to get inside, not knowing what the seating would be like. It appeared that our tickets had been booked for the night before, but the ticket office was very kind to swop our tickets for the correct evening. Just then Arno arrived, and we went inside, not knowing what awaited us inside. 
 
A few chairs had been set up, and some cushions. Fake lawn had been rolled out in some sections, and the idea was to find a comfortable spot from which to view the 360 degree show, set in the unrenovated Carmo Church, which was a victim of the famous Lisbon Earthquake and Tsunami in 1755.  
 
The show was preceded by lit up Archeological treasures in the shared space, making them
look surreal, and very modern. And then the lights went down, and a series of historical and cultural events in the history of Lisbon and Portugal was communicated in a modern visual, audio, dance, and musical story and show, one having to look forward, backward and sideways to not miss out on anything. 
 
A female figure represented Lisbon, being the storyteller. The Programme describes it best: ‘You are entering a time travel machine that will transport you on an immersive journey through more than 600 years of history, glories and tragedies of the Portuguese people.’
 
The following historic highlights in Lisbon’s heritage are represented :
 
#. Prologue
 
#. 14 August 1385: Battle of Aljubarrota: 7000 Portuguese defeat 40000 Castilians and ensure the independence of Lisbon. 
 
#.  1389 Construction of Carma Church to celebrate the victory of the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota. 
 
#.  1423: Dom Nuno Alvares Perreira becomes a Carmelite monk, donating all that he has to the Order of Carmo, joins the Convent, and dedicates himself to a monastic life until his death. 
 
#.  8 July 1497 Vasco da Gama leaves Lisbon, to discover the sea route to India. Almost a year later he arrives in Calcutta. 
 
#. 1 November 1755: The great Lisbon earthquake, the firestorm, and the tsunami, which submerged Lisbon’s lower zone’.
 
#.  1756: Reconstruction of Carmo Church: the monks dedicate themselves to the reconstruction of the Carmo Church by their own means. 
 
#.  1834 : Extinction of the Religious Orders’: all religious orders are abolished, and the monks leave Carmo Church
 
#.  1864: Foundation of Carmo Archeological Museum on the foundation of the 1755-destroyed  Carmo Church. 
 
#.  23 July  1920: Birth of Amália Rodrigues, becoming a Fado singing star. 
 
#.  25 April 1974: The fall of the dictatorship, celebrating 48 years of dictatorship in Portugal 
 
#.  Today: Free Lisbon. Multicultural Lisbon. Lisbon Under Stars. Celebration of Lisbon’s Urban art, and cultural and historic heritage. 
 
The show is short at 45 minutes, but is highly recommended. 
 
 
LISBON UNDER STARS. Carmo Archeological Museum. Lisbon. www.lisbonunderstars.com 
 

Dear reader: Due to the hacking of our Social Media accounts, you may need to follow our Facebook again, the hackers having removed 2000 Friends; and our Instagram account, the account having been deleted completely, and now replaced by me with a new one (new handle below). 

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein

 

TimeOut Market Lisboa presents the best cuisine of Lisbon, Portugal, under one roof!

I had seen in a magazine prior to my arrival in Lisbon that the Time Out Market Lisboa is a must-visit venue. What an impression it made on me, when I visited it at the beginning of June, with about 30 restaurants, bars, and florists in this massive food market very close to where I stayed in Lisbon. How does one choose what to eat, with such a selection?! Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Alma Restaurant by Chef Henrique Sa Pessoa one of top two restaurants in Lisbon, disappoints!

I had the luck to get a last minute booking at Alma, the two star Michelin restaurant of Chef Henrique Sa Pessoa in Lisbon last week, one of only two restaurants in Portugal with two stars. It opened four years ago. While one dish was superb, another was served incompletely, and my waitron let the restaurant down. Continue reading →

Cape Winelands dominates 2015 Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards!

La Motte pairingI had a lovely chat with South African Drinks International‘s Rick Beaumont earlier this week, about the devastating fires in Cape Town, and the latest results of the 2015 Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards, which had not yet been posted on their website.

The Cape Winelands dominated the Awards, winning four out of eight category Awards, against the UK, the USA, Spain, Italy, Greece,  Argentina, Chile, and Portugal.

South Africa won:  Continue reading →

New Maison Deli serves luxury Tapas, made with passion!

Maison Deli main pic Whale CottageWe recently wrote about Maison Estate, and the visit in winter by its Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg to Portugal, Spain, and Australia, from which he has brought back new menu ideas.  These ideas have been incorporated into their menu, and a clever way of attracting attention to them is to incorporate them into a Tapas menu which greets one when one arrives in the Tasting Room.  The quality of the Tapas is the best I have experienced to date, and is excellent value for money.

As one enters the Tasting Room and The Kitchen building at Maison, a lounge area to the immediate right has been transformed into the Deli, with a High Table at which one can sit with bar stools, and ‘decorated’ with scientific looking equipment and preserves made by Chef Arno and his team.   A large shelving unit ‘divides’ the Deli section from the remaining (now much smaller) lounge, the shelves being filled by the hard work of Chef Arno, including green tomato atchar, pickled broad beans, marmalade, aubergine and courgette chutney, green figs, vinegar, chili relish, pickled Jerusalem artichokes, onion relish, spiced tomato ketchup, plum chutney, olive oil, courgette relish, yellow tomato atchar, olives, lemon cordial, and fresh ciabatta.  The items on the shelves are interspersed with home decor items from Weylandts stores, owned by Maison owner Chis Weylandt,Maison Deli shelves and produce Whale Cottage including tea sets, glass jugs, wooden boards, cutlery sets, placemats, bowls, plates, and more.  A refrigerated display unit contains jars of duck rillettes, pork rillettes, pork terrine, pancettas, saucisson, salamies, smoked yellowtail, fresh farm eggs, lemons, massive 5-year old Angus six week dry-aged thick 500 gram slices of T-bone (R300), and guineafowl pistachio parfait.    Almost all the produce used for the items sold in the Deli was harvested from the farm.   The styling of the Deli section was done by Marc-Anthony Hewson-de Swardt, Group Visual Merchandiser of Weylandts. Continue reading →

Exciting developments on the table at The Kitchen and The Tasting Room at Maison!

Maison Interior changes Whale CottageThe Kitchen and Tasting Room at Maison has been operating for almost three years, and during its recent two month winter break, a number of changes were made to the interior, to the menu, with further changes on the way.

Ten days ago I visited Maison after a long absence, mostly due to the winter closure, and my less frequent visits to Franschhoek in the winter months.  In walking to The Kitchen and Tasting Room at Maison it was a delight to see that the uncomfortable stony entrance walkway has been replaced with very comfortable walkable wooden decking.  Tables and chairs have been set up on the front lawn, to allow for overflow of unbooked guests.  Inside, the ceiling near the pass has been redone with wooden Maison wooden deck Whale Cottagecladding, as has a wall alongside the fireplace.   New lamps have been hung, looking like seahorses to me.  Lamps have been erected above the pass, with shelving above it, and the pass exterior has been wood-clad as well.

The biggest change is that a Deli is to be introduced in the winetasting section, on the right as one enters the building, with a bar counter, at which one will be able to taste six to eight Maison wines (the number is still to be finalised), each paired with two tapas-like bites reflecting some of the dishes which Chef Arno Continue reading →

Soccer World Cup 2014: where to find the screens, snacks, and Schnapps!

Cocoa Ola World Cup flags Whale Cottage PortfolioThe Soccer World Cup 2014 has kicked off, and one would have thought that Cape Town restaurants and pubs would have shown more ‘gees’.  We have only seen one restaurant on Kloof Street ‘advertising’ its soccer allegiance, with three flags on the outside of Cocoa Oola   In general the soccer event appears to be a damp squib for locals.  A number of restaurants are offering free viewing, some with special menu items that reflect the countries playing on the day.

Check the closing times of the restaurants and pubs before choosing them, as their licence will influence how late they are allowed to stay open. It is surprising how hard it is to find Soccer World Cup 2014 information on the websites of those restaurants and bars attracting soccer fans. We will update this list as we find new information about offers linked to the Soccer World Cup 2014:

*   Mondiall – this restaurant is commendable in being one of the most creative and focused on the Soccer World Cup 2014.  Each day it chooses a lead game, offering a tapas dish and a main course from the countries, with a complimentary drink,  of each of the two teams playing each other on the day, at a cost of R180.  For today, for example, with Germany playing Portugal, the German tapas dish offered is potato soup with crispy pork and chives, while the main course is Bratwurst, and the complimentary drink a CBC Weiss.  The PortugueseMondiall Baked Camembert tapas is peri peri chicken wings, the main course a prego roll, and the complimentary drink sangria. The country dishes for the chosen matches over the next ten days are as follows:

17 June:   Brazil versus Mexico

18 June:  Spain versus Chile Continue reading →