Pastéis de Belém: Welcome to Lisbon’s Famous Tart Cafe

Pastéis de Belém: Welcome to Lisbon’s Famous Tart Cafe

Slightly crispy on the outside with a semi-sweet creamy inside, it’s no wonder pastéis de nata are Lisbon’s favorite pastries. Although cafés across the city boast their natas as the best, a truly unique experience will be found at Pastéis de Belém. What makes theirs so different?

I love experiencing the native cuisine of any country or culture I visit. Lisbon promises to offer me lots of food I’ve never had before and/or in ways I’ve never had it.

Until I watched this video and read this article, I thought all pastéis de nata (the traditional egg custard) was the same but, it turns out, the world famous Pastéis de Belém is significantly different. The cafe is located near the Jerónimos Monastery so it will make for a great location for breakfast one morning we’re in Lisbon!
Pasteis de belem

History of Fado

I am mesmerized by Fado. I’d never heard of the music style until I started researching this Lisbon trip. The contrast of the vibrancy of Lisbon – with its sunshine, beautiful tiles, and magnificent, expansive views – to the melancholy of Fado is fascinating. I can’t wait to hear it in a small, dim pub in Lisbon!

History of Fado:
Attempting to explain fado is pointless. Those who have tried, have tangled themselves up in contradictory references and dates and lost the trail completely. Some say its origins lie in the songs of the Moors, the people who founded the Mouraria quarter in Lisbon after the Christian reconquest. Others believe that it replaced the medieval chanson de geste, while others speculate whether it evolved out of modinha, a popular form of song in the 18th and 19th centuries and the result of a fusion with Angolan lundu.

But does its origin really matter? Why, if its mystique is so appealing? Listen to it, and preferably in its local habitat, the streets of Lisbon’s traditional quarters, and lose yourself in the improvised guitar playing. That’s how you find it.


11 Incredible Things to Do in Lisbon that are totally Hassle Free

Lisbon is a relatively small city (population a little over 500,000) but, because of its history and culture, there is so much to see and do in a compact space. The more research I do, the more excited I get about the possibilities, both as a photographer and a traveler.

11 Incredible Things to Do in Lisbon that are totally Hassle Free

I have come up with a list of eleven incredible things to do in Lisbon that are totally hassle free and can be planned in advanced and enjoyed even by those that have limited time in the city.

I guarantee we’ll be doing at least half of these things on our trip in March!

Our hotel in Lisbon!

Thanks to Rui of the Reservations Department at the Tesouro da Baixa Boutique Guesthouse in Lisbon, we can now announce we’ve got a hotel base for our “photo tourism workshop” in Lisbon, Portugal!

(I love those lamps on the ceiling!)

One of the issues I’ve had finding a suitable location is the European habit of offering non-refundable rates. The Tesouro da Baixa is offering us their great non-refundable rates but with a very flexible cancellation policy!

The other thing that was important to me was that whatever hotel we chose was centrally located and the Tesouro da Baixa is definitely that. It’s only a 5 minute walk from the Santa Justa Lift, less than ten minutes from the Convento do Carmo and 15 minutes away from the Castelo de S. Jorge, among other attractions including over a dozen bars and restaurants within a couple of blocks!

Here’s how to take advantage of this great offer.

1) Go to this URL. If the language is Portugese, click on the UK flag at the top of the page to switch to English.

2) Choose your arrival date and the number of nights stay (workshop will be from March 23rd to March 30th, 2019).

3) In the “Choose the desired city” field, choose “Lisbon”.

4) In the “Choose the desired house” field, choose “Tesouro da Baixa – Lisbon”.

It will look like this:

5) Pick your room. Make sure it is one of the cheaper “Early Booking SPECIAL DISCOUNT – Non-Refundable” rooms. NOTE: ALL PRICES ARE IN EUROS. For reference, 100.00 Euros is approximately $116.00 US dollars.

6) Under each room description, you’ll see “Rooms”. Pick “1” and then the number of adults – prices are a little cheaper for just one adult in a room!

The hotel says:

Guests can choose the non-refundable rate to benefit from 10 % discount, with the following conditions:

A deposit of 20% and a credit card as a guarantee will be required upon booking and is refundable up to 30 days before arrival in case of cancellation;

The remaining 80% should be paid 7 days before arrival. There are no refunds after this.

In the comments’ section on our booking page, after filling in the details, guests should declare they are attending your workshop.

THIS LAST PART IS IMPORTANT. In order to be eligible for the 30 day cancellation policy, YOU MUST put Attending the Starting Point Photography Workshop in the comments section. That way, the hotel knows you are eligible for this special deal. You should also send me an email confirming your reservation for my records in case there are any issues going forward.

I hope you’ll agree this is a lovely hotel, a great location in a beautiful city, and a wonderful deal for our attendees. We are going to have a blast in Lisbon and you are going to learn a lot about photography and have fun doing it!

SEE YOU IN LISBON!

How One Earthquake Changed the Course of Human History

I’m really looking forward to exploring more of Lisbon’s incredible history.

How One Earthquake Changed the Course of Human History:

At its height, the Portuguese empire spanned four continents, with territory everywhere from Rio de Janeiro to Macau. The first global empire, Portugal’s mastery of the seas began in earnest in the 1400s, when the relatively small and isolated country sought to find new trade routes with Europe and the rest of the world. Its first major success came in 1488, when Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias rounded the southern tip of Africa. Ten years later, Vasco da Gama reached India. The ensuing centuries would witness Portuguese navigators establishing relations and trade with countries as far as Japan.

By the middle of the 18th century, Portugal’s capital of Lisbon was the fifth-most populous city in Europe, its port the third-busiest. It was one of, if not the, wealthiest cities in the world. It might still be, as Mark Molesky reveals in This Gulf of Fire: The Destruction of Lisbon, or Apocalypse in the Age of Science and Reason, if not for an unspeakable catastrophe in 1755 that would leave the city leveled, the empire crippled, and the course of Western civilization forever altered.