Within the first few hours of my arrival, I was reminded of the friendliness and hospitality of the Portugese people. And this would be the case for my whole 10-day visit. Obrigado – Thank you!
Upon arrival in Lisbon, I went straight to the Oriente train station to catch the high speed three hour Alfa Pendular train to Porto Campanha station.
I only had one night to spend in Porto and I stayed at the Intercontinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas. The hotel is well located (beside the famous São Bento Station) and service was very friendly and professional.
An hour and a half east of Porto by car, took me to Douro Valley where I would stay the longest during this visit. I stayed at the Six Senses Douro Valley and it was an extremely outstanding and relaxing stay. From the driver who picked me up in Porto, to all the restaurant staff, to the guide who took me on a Forest Walk, and the GEM (Guest Experience Maker) who helped me plan every detail of my stay – hospitality at its best! There are several activities that you can join that are complimentary (e.g. yoga classes and forest walks), and there are others that come with an extra charge. I got into a habit of a taking daily ”forest bathing” experience in the mornings.
Although one might feel that there are no options for places to eat, all my meals at the Six Senses were excellent. The breakfast would include a detox juice of the day and ala carte egg dish. Dinner at the main restaurant was exemplary – especially the Chef’s Table (with Head Chef Nuno Matos) which was an experience in itself.
I was back in Lisbon for the last three nights and stayed at the Bairro Alto Hotel. It is a well located hotel in the desirable Chiado neighbourhood, close to many of the famous cafes, sights, and shops. Hotel staff was very friendly and always ready to help. They even arranged for a nurse to come to the hotel to administer the PCR test required for my flight home.
Now for the food!
Solar dos Nunes is a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant that specializes in Alentejo dishes and flavours such as Alentejo-style fried partridge. Although the food was good – I did not find it extraordinary.
A Brasileira, which has been named by The Telegraph as one of 14 European cafés to visit before you die, was inaugurated in November 1905 and a great place to have coffee and a pastel de nata.
Time Out Market Lisboa is a food hall offering plenty of options that range from Michelin star chefs to specialty cuisines and amazing desserts, that together make up the best of the city under a single roof. I ordered from Michelin Star Chef Henrique Sa Pessoa and it was good!
One of the restaurants I promised to return to when in Lisbon is A Cevicheria. It was still as outstanding as I fondly remembered it. The Tasting Menu is an excellent choice and good value.
O Frade Is a small corner restaurant named after the family that owns it. Its interior is evocative of a traditional Alentejo “tasca”, with simple decorative details. This is one restaurant that rightly deserves its Michelin Bib Gourmand rating.
The rooftop Bairro Alto Hotel Restaurant, or called BAHR, serves delicious food as well. It also provides for a great view to have coffee anytime of the day.