THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND LISBON

Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:19 AM
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Thank you namaka. This is a dream I carry since I was a child
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 05:21 AM
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lobo_mau. I knew you could do it.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 05:33 AM
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In celebration of this momentous occasion, I baked a cake for everyone!

Enjoy!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 08:25 AM
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Sher,
May be this is a useful link for you:
http://www.porticasa.com/fr/alg/algapart1.php
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:13 AM
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SauzinhaP. Thanks
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:27 AM
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Matt, do we start our consultancy work with "Retiro dos Passarinhos" or with "Taj Palace"?
"Retiro dos Passarinhos" may be inconvenient due to avian flu. (ok, this is a private joke for Portuguese readers).
If we are gooing to Retiro dos Passarinhos, I suggest Dourada escalada and the famous secrets of the black pig, with a slice of chocolate cake in another place. If we are going to the Taj Palace, I trust your choice because I feel that is your area of expertise.
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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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Matt,

Hope you can field my dinning question. We will be in Portugal in June celebrating our parentís 50th wedding anniversary, staying in Sintra.
We are 8 adults. Is there a restaurant you would suggest for dinner on their anniversary night? We are hoping to find something intimate, not to fancy, with excellent local fare and flare. A place that expresses compassion for there celebration.

Thanks in advance for your help.

David
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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 07:41 AM
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The place you are looking for is "Curral dos Caprinos" - Cabriz (outside Sintra) tel: +351 21 9233113
Typical Portuguese Cuisine, typical atmosphere.
Speciality: roasted lamb with potatoes. This speciality, although very Portuguese, matches well with the international taste.
Go there in advance or call, explain the purpose of the meal, and they will prepare you a more intimate atmosphere.
If I were you, I'd negociate a fixed price in advance, because it might be more favorable and let you know in advance how much the bill is.
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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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Thank you Lobo, Curral dos Caprinos was on my list of places to try, but now I know its a contender for the anniversary. Let me know if you want to join us. Its gona be a party.

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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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Matt/Lobo: Have been thoroughly enjoying reading this thread. Sincere thanks for all of the great information. You've really helped bring Lison to life before we've even arrived there!
We will be visiting Lisbon and Porto in late March. We've already got your hints about walking tours but I also wanted to ask you about wine. I'm not an expert (and am not interested in the really expensive varieties) but love to try different wines (and ports!?) while we're travelling. Is there any chance you might be able to recommend some places (retail outlets)to buy wine (red and white) for up to Euros 15? Any particular wines you would recommend?
One other question: can you recommend any good sources of information on Porto and the surrounding area?
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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 06:10 PM
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David, it's most kind of you. I'm ready to share a table in Piriquita (Sintra) to have a coffe and a queijada or a travesseiro, but I think that the family celebration is far too intimate to let me joining you.
Thanks anyway.
If you are in the area during Saint Anthony's day, don't miss the night during which Lisbon goes crazy (12 to 13th June). Details were fully explained by Matt 200 posts ago
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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 06:37 PM
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Hello gj05
There are 2 kinds of wines I think you should try. Verdes and maduros.
In spite of it's name, verdes are not necessarily green. Verde in this context means immature, because they come from hills in the North less exposed to sun. It's a light kind of wine, slightly sparkling, nice to drink, usually served very cold and good to eat with fish or seafood. The opposite are the world class reds from Alentejo, full of colour and with more "body". These reds are served at normal temperature. The brands to be looked for are Reguengos, Borba, Vidigueira, Redondo. Other names are Bucelas and Colares (region of Lisbon)
In Supermarkets (e.g Carefour in Lisbon) you may find a large selection of these wines for much less then 15 euros. I'd say that with 10 euros is more than enough.
As far as the port is concerned, if you go to Porto, you should visit the cellars. The major brands offer tours and tastings. If you want to try in Lisbon, you should try Port Wine Institute with some 200 different varieties, but only as a 2nd option. Porto is the place to taste and buy port wine.
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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 06:56 PM
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Hi lobo_mau. I wrote to several places to ask about reservations. I have received only one reply. Do you think it is because most of the visiters are local people and they are not used to having rexervation requests from Americans?
We are not concerned if there are no other English speaking people near. Can you give me some advice?

Thanks
Sherry
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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 10:22 PM
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Lobo Mau thank you very much for your advice! Really appreciate it!
I love full bodied red wines so will make a point of trying the Alentejo wines. Do you know of any restaurants where we can indulge in a good steak and red wine? ... or a Portuguese version of that?
What do you think of the wines from the Dao region and the Douro Valley?
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 02:41 AM
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Daddy's back! Okay let me just review the previous few posts...

Now Lobo, managed to sneak out with Lizzy for a very good curry last night at the Taj Palace. Back in Blighty I used to have one a week so last night was popadoms, onion bhajis, pilau rice, Lamb jalfreizi, (spicy ish) with garlic nan breads and lots of beer. Yum. I must introduce you to their excellent food.

My dear Sher, I still can't access that booking form for the Eden on my laptop - hopefully the big thing will be up and running later this week, my apologies.

Davidhaha - I think Lobos suggestion for a restaurant in SIntra is good - I don't have much experience with eating in Sintra - he is very considerate too re the invite but I can always call you "Bro!" and sit in ;-) It sounds like you are treating your parents to a very nice anniversary - have they previous knowledge of Portugal? Sintra of course is stunning and Lord Byron called it a beautiful eden.

gj05 - okay you caught my attention with the word wine. In the supermarkets, Jumbo, Continente (best if you are staying in Lisbon to take the metro to Columbo shopping centre) there are huge wine areas and you can pay anything from 1 euro up. A regular table wine we have is JP tinto (locally produced) it'll cost you no more than two euros (or perhaps 5 in a restaurant) My favourite table wine is Periquita from Jose Maria fonseca (around 5 euros supermarket price) - they make a special version called "Classico" which is worth buying and taking back home to lay down for a year or two (If you can!) As I said originally, a good trip to do from Lisbon is the vineyard and Museum tour of Jose Mara Fonseca in Azeitão. And re the steak and wine it is imperative that you contact Lobo and myself to take you to one, I would suggest http://www.cervejariatrindade.pt/default.asp?s=12171
Lobo may have another idea but bearing in mind my wife is vegetarian I love escaping home for a night and having a huge steak. This restaurant I mentioned is very Portuguese and I think will give a better dining experience than Portugalia (IMHO)

You know Lobo I think you and I are going to have to start of Fodors dining club in Lisbon - it will involve much research and drinking in order to establish an optimised list of eating ideas both day and night. We already have a few places mentioned and it would be great to meet up with all who visit lisbon? What do you think sir?

Now have I missed anything? Don't think so. Lobo, any predictions for Benfica v Porto? I'm having a quiet weekend, what about everyone else?

Stay safe and be good,

Matt


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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 02:48 AM
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Hi Matt. I actually received a reply from the VIP Eden about reservations, just not a translation of their booking conditions.
It is the three or four others I wrote to , two along the coast and two in the Plains, that I have not gotten any answers from.

Thanks
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Hi Matt. I noticed in your post that your wife is vegetarian. There is a very strong chance that my son's girlfriend will be coming with us to Portugal this summer. We're staying in Tavira.

I have noticed that many restaurants (in guide books) state that there are no vegetarian meals served. Will we have a problem finding places to eat?

While we are staying in a condo with a full kitchen, I'm hoping we can have main meals out. Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks.
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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Matt, you are right, I mentioned Carrefour is Lisbon as a supermarket, but it is poorly served by public transport and the huge supermarket in Colombo is much more convenient for ppl without a car. Besides that, the Colombo mall itself has much more to offer. There is a Metro station with direct access to Colombo (Colegio Militar - Luz) and it may be combined with a visit to Benfica Stadium, known as "the cathedral" by Benfica supporters. So, you you ask a taxi driver to drive you to the Cathedral, you must specify what Cathedral you are talking about. Sporting Lisbon Stadium on the other side of 2nd circular road is nicknamed as "the bathroom" (you will know why when you see it). May be Sporting Lisbon supporters don't agree with this classification

Referring to the "Fodors dining club in Lisbon" I think that 2 are enough to start, I hope many others to join.

gj05, wines from Douro quintas are usually produced in small quantities, and don't target the mass market as Alentejo wines do. I didn't refer to them because they hardly fit in the money limits you suggested. I fully agree with Matt, either visit JMF or go to Colombo Jumbo supermarket and spend a half an hour studying their offer.

From 5 or 10 euros is possible to buy decent wines. I don't see the reason for anybody to remain sober.

Sher, if you wish send me a copy of emails and I'll call the guys trying to figure out the reasons for the absence of answer. It sounds strange. I don't believe they don't welcome foreigner guests.

Davidhaha, I've been discussing with my wife the previous negotiation of a menu vs a meal "a la carte". With a group of 8 adults, I suggest very much a fixed price. Of course, as in any other business, what you deserved is what you negotiate. Cigars, or premium whiskies of things like that are usually payed apart from the fixed price.

This computer is being disputed by an younger wolf. Although I am the dominat male, I have to quit, bye.
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 04:04 PM
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Matt/Lobo: thank you very much for your advice about wine and restaurants. Will definitely follow up on the restaurant when we're in Lisbon in late March. (Neither my wife nor I are seafood eaters - yes, I know! I can hear the chorus of voices asking "so why are you going to Portugal?" .... well we are and we're determined to have a great holiday!)
I've been trying to practice my "phrase-book" portuguese but given the progress I've been making (???), and knowing how good my pronunciation is (???), the waiter will no doubt interpret my attempt to order steaks for two as an effort to tell him that my hovercraft is full of eels!!!???
.... with regard to Jose Mara Fonseca, unfortunately don't think I'll be able to convince Mrs gj05 to visit the vineyard (something about me being obsessed with wine???!!!) so I guess I'll just have to force myself to go to the supermarket instead!?
In all seriousness, thank you very much to both of you for the time and effort you have put into providing all the information here!
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 04:24 PM
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gio5. Well, when we were in Lisbon, we made it to the Colombo mall, We took in a movie and then decided to drop in to the supermarket. It is something I love to do in the countries we visit.
You have to check out the yogurt! I never saw so many flavors. The granny smith apple was delicious. They were giving out samples just as we do here in the markets. And I think they had a decent selection of wine with my limited knowledge. The place is enormous.
I really enjoyed buying things to cook because we had the opportunity to have steaks from Argentina. To the best of my knowledge, I never had meat from there before. It was delicious.
Anyway, I know it is just a mall, but it is really quite nice and you can take in a movie for some down time.

lobo_mau. I am finally receiving some replies. One is Monte Dos Pensamentos about 3km from Estremoz. The other is in the ancient village of Sao Gregorio, which is very near to Borba and Vila Vicosa. Both are mentioned in guidebooks and get very good reviews. And although they are self catering, they both include breakfast. So now it will be a very hard decision. Do you hav an opinion? Or anyone who may have stayed in these areas.
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