Bellabondi’s Guide to Lisbon – Europe Series

Bellabondi Qantas Business Lounge Shot

I recently returned from a fabulous trip to Europe refreshed and ready to face reality (not!).

But seriously, I wanted to do some blog posts (which are long overdue) covering my travels. I regularly get asked for recommendations from family and friends on where to eat, stay, overseas and back here in Australia. I have decided to do a series for my lovely followers on some favourite spots and will do this on a regular basis for all of you looking for recommendations for travel, restaurant, and drinking tips.

Lisbon Tram

Well, Lisbon blew my mind on all levels! I had so much fun and I cannot wait to go back again. It was my first time in Portugal so I thought I would hit Lisbon first up and stayed for 3 nights which was a perfect introduction to this gorgeous country.

A Cevicheria Octopus
A Cevicheria – the BEST!!

 

 

I did something here that I NEVER do on holidays, I went to the same restaurant twice!! I found this restaurant in the Louis Vuitton City Guide initially and it was on the same street of the hotel we stayed at (Memmo Principe Real) so after a drive in from Spain we did the touristy thing and went to dinner early on the first night. I had heard there can be a bit of a wait as they don’t take reservations and I WAS HUNGRY!!

A Cevicheria Salmon Ceviche
Salmon Ceviche by Chef Kiko at A Cevicheria
A Cevicheria by Chef Kiko (a chef that owns a few restaurants) was beyond words. I was first introduced to ceviche on a trip to Mexico many years ago and have become addicted over the years. I also have the bonus of having a really good friend who’s Peruvian and along with trips to different parts of South America have come to appreciate this dish.

A Cevicheria Octopus dish Lisbon
BBQ Octopus Causa with black mashed potato, padron pepper and pork rind by A Cevicheria

 

 

 

I went there for dinner and then lunch the next day, the produce, staff and the pisco sours were superb and we were looked after like we were locals. It just so happens that the Maitre’d there lived in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney for a few years and met his wife here (who is also from Portugal) and have returned to have their family wedding back home. Also a special shout out to one the wait staff (sorry I don’t have her name), who looked like the Portugese version of Ruby Rose, she alongside all of the staff looked after us and were so professional. I just wished I picked up Chef Kiko’s cookbook. Oh well, another reason to return to Portugal and this fabulous restaurant.

Coffee helps me survive every morning and I make it my priority in every city to find the fab coffee. I found two excellent coffee/breakfast cafes – Fabrica Coffee Roasters (2 locations) and Hello Kristof.

Fabrica roast their own coffee and had fab croissants and amazing Portuguese tarts. Also take home coffee beans (essential) and some great merchandise for gifts. Hello Kristof is a great place to hang out, do some work and have some fab coffee and food. They even had avocado on toast and their pastries were fantastic.

Belcanto dessert Lisbon
The famous “Tangerina” by Chef Jose Avillez of Belcanto
I had to do a Michelin restaurant whilst in Europe, so we decided to hit up Belcanto by Jose Avillez for lunch. This was an experience, it is 2 Michelin star but relaxed and the produce was amazing with some typical Portuguese dishes and ingredients re-worked into works of art. The number of chefs they have to service the number of seats in the restaurant is beyond and you can see the effort they put into the dishes. Jose Avillez has an assortment of restaurants (six in total) and they would be worth checking out based on this experience. We popped into Bairro do Avillez, which is a market (merceria), tavern (taberna) and a seafood restaurant out back in a beautiful open atrium in a casual setting.

Belcanto Pork Belly Dish
Another fabulous dish at lunch at Belcanto
Some other fab places to visit:

  • Tapisco for lunch or dinner for a combination of Spanish tapas and Portuguese Petiscos.
  • The Time Out Market – got to try some dishes from Seame and renown Portuguese chef, Marlene Viera and take in their fantastic produce market.
  • Roof top bars – As Lisbon has fantastic panoramic views this is a must. Silk Bar, Park Bar and the The Colonial at Memmo Principe Real (hotel where I stayed at)
  • By the Wine – amazing wine bar

Belcanto Prawn Dish
Amazing prawns with rosemary ash at Belcanto
It was a short stay in this beautiful city and I cannot wait to go back and discover more!  Let me know your favourite spots in Portugal and what part of Europe you might want my next travel series to feature.

 

 

 

 

STAY:

EAT:

DRINK:

  • Silk Club – R. da Misericordia 14, Edificio Espaco Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal – http://www.silk-club.com
  • Park Bar – Calcada do Combro 58, Lisbon, Portugal
  • The Colonial at Memmo Principe Real, Rua D. Pedro V, 56J, Lisbon, Portugal – http://www.memmohotels.com
  • By the Wine – Rua das Flores 41, Lisbon, Portugal – http://www.jmf.pt

 

 

 

 

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