I’ve been coming to Lisbon with friends for years for an end of summer getaway. We rent a beach villa in the Aroeira area, South of the Tagus River and always spend a night or two in the city. It is one of my favourite cities with great architecture, history, food and a buzzing coffee culture. There’s so much for the foodie traveller, get into in this town and every time I’m here I find something new. The street art for me is some of my favourite in Europe and it's the next city on our tour...
The town is also home to one of mankind's greatest inventions [that for me is right up there with fire and the wheel ;)]. It is, of course, the Portuguese Custard Tart or Pastel de Nata, covered with sugar and cinnamon, served alongside a bitter coffee or glass of port, considered the BEST breakfast or late snack that ever existed. You haven't lived until you have been to Lisbon and had one of these little gems fresh out of the oven. A short tram ride will take you to the Pasteis de Belem Bakery where you can find exactly this!
It's a tourist magnet but don’t be put off by the queues, they move very quickly and even have security to usher the dreaded ‘bloggers’ along if they are taking too long taking pictures. With over 200 staff baking around the clock, these guys are a well-oiled machine that know how to make custard tarts! Purchase your tarts (you have to have more than one) and grab yourself a coffee (with NO SUGAR!) and experience the perfect balance of bitter and sweet working in harmony. Guess you can tell I like them eh… Anyway moving on....
Make sure you try clams as well, they are sweetest in the world (in my opinion). Cooked in garlic with wine, Portuguese olive oil and garnished with lemon and coriander. Simple and delicious, it can be found throughout the city but my favourite so far being from Aura Restaurant by the town square. All this enjoyed with the excellent vintage tram service that operate as a handy hop on, hop off service giving you the freedom to discover the city however you chose. An obligation is the famous tram 28 route that criss-crosses the city centre, through the narrow streets, uphills and downhills, taking in Lisbon’s most iconic sites along the way.
On the day, filming the crew and I ate our way around jumping on the legendary tram 28 topping at coffee houses, eating more custard tarts and ending up on a hotel rooftop with breathtaking views of the city to film my next recipe, Grilled Fruit Kebabs with Honey Glaze and Coconut & Lime Yogurt Dip.
What a city! People, I order you to weekend away in Lisbon!