São Miguel: Cooking in the Azores

fullsizeoutput_80e5

Our home for the week

 

After a week exploring Lisbon, we took a flight to São Miguel, aka “The Green Island”. São Miguel is the largest of the nine islands that make up the Azores. We were happy to have a week relaxing and enjoying nature! I spent a lot of time finding the perfect home for us and discovered this cute, rustic house with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. Most importantly we had a barbeque to do some grilling!

Continue reading

Lisbon: SEA ME

fullsizeoutput_7e14

SEA ME

 

When looking up the best restaurants for seafood in Lisbon, you’ll find SEA ME – a Portuguese/Japanese fusion restaurant in Chiado. Because we love Japanese food, we really wanted to visit SEA ME! We discovered the restaurant a bit late in the trip, but luckily were able to secure a reservation our last night in Lisbon. I knew already a bit about the Portuguese-Japanese connection, because I watched a documentary about tempura in Japan, that it was introduced in the 16th century by the Portuguese living in Nagasaki.

Continue reading

Lisbon: Wine Bar do Castelo

fullsizeoutput_7e0e

Wine Bar do Castelo

 

Of course being in Portugal, we really wanted to spend some time doing wine tastings. Because Lisbon is a big tourist destination, we wanted to do some research to really find the best place and discovered Wine Bar do Castelo. If we didn’t know about it, based on its appearance and proximity to the São Jorge Castle, we most likely wouldn’t have gone inside – but what a mistake that would have been! Wine Bar do Castelo has an amazing wine selection and a really enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff. Before ordering a glass you’re able to have a discussion about what you’re looking for and receive a bit of history lesson from the sommelier. You’re also able to taste a few bottles before making your choice which we really appreciated! Definitely recommend if you’re in Lisbon!

Continue reading

Lisbon: LXFactory

fullsizeoutput_7ddd

Arriving at LXFactory

 

Sunday we headed to the neighborhood of Alcântara to check out the LXFactory, a creative island in a factory setting with cool shops, restaurants, and galleries. Because it was Sunday, we were also able to see the weekly flea market. We loved walking around the photogenic LXFactory and enjoying all of the art.

Continue reading

Lisbon: Canned Fish

fullsizeoutput_80d3

Our Portuguese canned fish bounty

Canned fish has gone gourmet in Portugal. There are many speciality shops throughout Lisbon and Porto and you can’t help but be drawn to all of the colorful packaging! We bought quite a few to take with us to enjoy back in Belgium!

Continue reading

Lisbon: A Day in Belém

20181020_134612

Koen and me in front of the Belém Tower

 

One the biggest attractions in Lisbon is the district of Belém, situated west of the city center. We were staying in Alfama, and although we like to walk every where, Belém is more than hour away. So we took an Uber! There is not so much to do in Belém – it’s more things to see, so you only need to plan in a half day.

Continue reading

Lisbon: Marisqueira Cervejaria Ramiro

fullsizeoutput_7a99

Marisqueira Cervejaria Ramiro on Wednesday night

Marisqueira Cervejaria Ramiro was one of our must-visit restaurants in Lisbon! We first heard about on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations when he was in Lisbon to taste an array of local seafood ending with a prego, or steak sandwich, for “dessert”. It was so delicious we went back again – normally we never repeat restaurants on vacation! But we just had to have those scarlet shrimp again!!

Continue reading

Sintra Part V: Azenhas do Mar

fullsizeoutput_7d4c

View of the city of Azenhas do Mar – taken by our Tuk Tuk driver 🙂

Portugal is famous for its seafood and Sintra is no exception. So to conclude our day trip, after researching and asking friends, we decided on Azenhas do Mar. To our surprise this is the name of both the restaurant and the city! So when we asked our Tuk Tuk driver to take us here he looked at us very weirdly and said it’s two towns away. But luckily he lives closeby and we negotiated a price and off we went! He happily let us know that after dropping us off he could just go home and not work the evening shift.

Continue reading

Sintra Part IV: Castle of the Moors

fullsizeoutput_7d42

Relaxing for a moment at the Castle of the Moors

Literally across the street from Pena Park is the Castle of the Moors. So if you have time you should definitely cross the street and visit! The Castle is very high with steep steps, but it’s worth it for the beautiful views of Sintra!

Continue reading

Sintra Part III: Pena Palace & Park

After exploring Quinta da Regaleira and having sweets at Piriquita, we visited the crown jewel of Sintra – the Pena Palace. For our trip to Sintra I was most looking forward to visiting the beauitful palace at the top of the Sintra Mountains in Pena Park. Just a tip – wear sneakers to Sintra! I had no idea that to get to the palace you literally need to hike uphill and regretted my sandals! But it was worth it (even though super crowded)!

Continue reading