Elegant tea- and lunchroom ‘Versailles’ Lisbon: outstanding old-fashioned service & funny whipped cream pastries

If you like to visit one museum during your stay in Lisbon make it the Gulbenkian. It’s the collection of the Armenian oil billionaire who made Lisbon his home. It covers everything from Egyptian to 20th Century art.

Tea- and lunchroom (Pastelaria, Pâtisserie) Versailles Lisbon september 2017

Elegant tea- and lunchroom Versailles (from 1922)

After visiting the Gulbekian Museum, a must-do is to go to the nearby and wonderful old tea and lunchroom Versailles (1922) at Avenida da República, which has it’s own bakery. The homemade cakes and pastries are delicious, like the famous Portuguese Pasteis de natas.

Tea- and lunchroom (Pastelaria) Versailles Lisbon & delicious funny ‘bird’ pastries 😉

Elegant setting in informal and friendly atmosphere

The decor is rich, with chandeliers, gilt mirrors, stained-glass windows, tall stucco ceilings, and black-and-white marble floors. It looks like it could be straight of Paris…!

Mostly elderly people and greats of the Lisbon cafe scene enjoy their bica (espresso) here.

Tea- and lunchroom (Pastelaria) Versailles Lisbon, February 2017 : NV Lissabon

History

When lunchroom Pastelaria Versailles was inaugurated on November 25 in the year 1922, the objective was to turn into a symbol of the fashionable Avenidas Novas, an elegant and new neighborhood in Lisbon.

Construction fury first halve of 20th century

The construction fury replaced many of the beautiful small palaces and stylish houses of the first halve of the 20th century by today’s unattractive buildings at Avenida da República, but happily PastelariaVersailles’ is still there!  🙂 🙂

Tea- and lunchroom (Pastelaria) Versailles Lisbon, February 2017 & NV Lissabon

Silver-plated tea sets

The wide variety of snacks includes codfish balls and toasted ham-and-cheese sandwiches. They are also famous for their confectioneries served in a glass.

As an old-fashioned and formal touch, immaculately attired waiters serve customers from silver-plated tea sets. In addition to coffee and tea, the house specialty is hot chocolate.

Tea- and lunchroom (Pastelaria) Versailles Lisbon , February 2017 & NV Lissabon

Grande dame‘ of Lisbon’ & part of national heritage

Pastelaria Versailles, long known as the ‘grande dame‘ of Lisbon’ was recently declared a part of the national heritage. It still serves the famous Mozambique black tea that was introduced in 1662.

Lunch, served in a back room, is of such Portuguese specialties as codfish with almonds. Most visitors come here for tea or coffee, served with sandwiches and snacks. Desserts, including duchesses (whipped-cream cakes) are justifiably famous.

Pastelaria Versailles street 2

Entrance tea- and lunchroom Versailles in Lisbon

Tea and lunchroom Versailles Lisbon
Open: daily from 7:30 till 22:00 
Metro: Saldanha.

Versailles 3 window dressing

Window dressing Pastelaria Versailles representing Portugal and former colonies

Short term rentals: my 3-bedroom apartment (105 m2) with lovely patio in historical area Mouraria
 

Bakery/cafe Lisbon ‘Fábrica Lisboa’: tasty croissants, old fashioned quality, vintage decoration & erotic Portuguese pottery

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ is responsible for the delicious smell 🙂 wafting through the street Rua da Madelena in Lisbon..

Bakery Fabrica Lisboa Lisbon Rua da Madalena croissants

Bakery (padaria)/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ : delicious handmade rustic bread and croissants

‘Fábrica Lisboa’  has its own production, which means that the croissants, bread, pies or cakes are constantly coming out of the oven in front of the customers. Traditional portuguese soups, sandwiches made with rustic bread, pies and fresh salads are also served.

Bakery Fabrica Lisboa Lisbon Rua da Madalena home made bread

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ Rua da Madalena 121, Lisbon

Funny Portuguese vintage decoration

When you pass through Rua da Madalena and you hear a bell it’s fresh bread/croissant time!
But this space really deserves a longer visit to appreciate the vintage decoration with delightful and funny details, like old scales, bottles, bread boxes, old phones or pornographic cassettes. Even the coffee machine is vintage…… !

Fabrica cafe Lisboa Rua da Madalena croissant almond

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ & my favorite croissant with almonds spread (amêndoa)

Among the things of the past, take your time to enjoy a ‘late breakfast’ or a snack with salad or scrambled eggs with ham, accompanied by rustic bread.

Croissants ‘old nunnery style’

You can choose between more than 10 different croissants, from simple (plain, € 1.20), old nunnery style (with sweet-soft egg cream, € 1.20, created by nuns who lived in monasteries with a lot of chickens in the garden… 🙂 ) to extra large: 2 fried eggs, tomato, cheese, ham, salad and chips ( € 7.00).

My favorite: a sweet croissant with almonds spread (amêndoa) € 2,20.

This bakery is located about 10 min. walk from my 3-bedroom apartment with 30 m2 lovely patio (short term rentals)

Fabrica Lisboa Rua da Madalena Margriet Jan 16

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ : friend Margriet de Vrieze loves this place. Tea (chá) € 1.75

Cartoon character Zé Povinho – symbol of the Portuguese working-class

The cartoon character Zé Povinho was created by satirist and designer Bordalo Pinheiro in 1875, a symbol of the Portuguese working-class people, as a caricature for the protest against the politics and the high taxes for the simple population. Still nowadays every child in Portugal knows Zé Povinho. ‘Zé’ (José or Joseph in English),  ‘Povinho’ is a diminutive for ‘Povo’, which means ‘people’.

Fabrica Lisboa bakery cafe Rua da Madalena ZE POVINHO

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’  & Zé Povinho, symbol of the Portuguese working-class people

Ceramics from Caldas da Rainha

Caldas da Rainha, north of Lisbon, is well known for its wonderful ceramic pottery with a long tradition. The output includes large decorative pieces, crockery, tableware and decorative objects, famous all over the world for its unique (and sometimes funny) designs. More…

Bakery Fabrica Lisboa Lisbon Rua da Madalena wall with vintage and penis

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ , Wifi cornervintage decoration

Erotic ceramics, a Portuguese tradition

Why is there a ceramic penis between the vintage decoration? Some centers of ceramic production in Caldas da Rainha has a tradition of phalluses and amusing phallic symbols. The tradition is said to have started in Caldas when King Dom Luis, who ruled from 1861 to 1889, suggested that local potters create something more interesting 😉

Penis-shaped ceramics are for sale in Portugal in all shapes and sizes: f.i. mugs, cups, and plates, or decorative pieces.

Bakery Fabrica Lisboa Rua da Madalena 121 street Lisbon

Bakery/cafe ‘Fábrica Lisboa’ , Rua da Madalena 121, Lisbon

‘Fábrica Lisboa’
Rua da Madalena 121 (Baixa) Lisbon, Portugal
Free WiFi. Web: fabricalisboa.com. Facebook
Open from 08:00 – 20:00; closed on Monday
Weekend: 09:00 – 19:00.

Movie (impressions) on VIMEO

Fabrica cafe Lisboa Rua da Madalena penis tradional ceramics

Kiosk cafe ‘Clara Clara’ Lisbon, wonderful garden at fleamarket Feira da Ladra, children playground & Tagus river views

The ‘Clara Clara’ Cafe in Alfama Lisbon is a kiosk in the garden-terrace of Boto Machado (or Santa Clara), overlooking the Tagus (Tejo) River and the National Pantheon (Church of Santa Engracia) in the heart of Lisbon’s legendary flea market, Feira da Ladra.

‘Clara Clara’ kiosk cafe in the heart of fleamarket Feira da Ladra, Lisbon

This wonderful small and quiet garden is a nice place to sit down and relax after browsing the legendary Feira da Ladra, Lisbon (a must see when you visit Lisbon) or after visiting the National Pantheon (on the background), in which important Portuguese personalities are buried, like for example Amalia Rodrigues, the famous fado singer.

Clara Clara terrace & view on the Tagus river, Lisbon

This garden was built in 1862. It provides a panoramic view of the Tagus River. Clara Clara Cafe presents complementary activities such as music or entertainment for kids . A little further down, there is a playground.

Playground and game tables for children – kiosk cafe Clara Clara Lisbon

As for the menu, the cafe offers coffee, (bica), tea (chá) and Portuguese wines such as Vinho Verde (green wine), beer (imperial) and lemonade, fresh fruit shakes or a sandwich.

Clara Clara terrace in summertime

An inviting terrace in summertime: you can cool off under the trees of the garden. The kiosk cafe offers food and drinks – fresh seasonal products – with a careful selection of cheeses and wines, at tables under the trees in sumertime.

Clara Clara cafe in June, the kiosk is decorated with garlands (Feast Days of the Popular Saints)

This beautiful garden was named after Pedro Amaral Boto Machado, a Portuguese Republican politician and governor (from May 1913 till May 1915) of the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, discovered and claimed by Portugal in the 1470s. Independence was granted on July 1975.

Clara Clara Cafe is open daily from 10:00 AM to midnight. Easy to reach by old tram 28.

Clara Clara Cafe in wintertime (december)

In winter season the cafe offers heaters and blankets. Nothing better than a tea, hot chocolate or a Vinho Quente (hot red mulled wine) on a cold afternoon. The scones and hot croissants already have enough fans, as well as the chocolate muffins.

In Lisbon you can still find a lot of nostalgic Moorish kiosks cafes

The garden is surrounded by the flea market

Fleamarket Feira da Ladra, Lisbon (every Tuesday and Saturday from dusk till dawn)

Winebar cafe ‘AI MOURARIA’ Lisbon near starting point old tram 28 Martim Moniz: delicious Portuguese wines, sunny terrace, Amália Rodrigues & Pessoa

Wine is one of the best national products of Portugal. Every glass of wine is best enjoyed in good company! There’s a new, cafe, wine & tapas bar in Lisbon:  ‘AI MOURARIA’, next to the starting point of old TRAM 28, a very popular tourist attraction.

Winebar 'Ai Mouraria' Lsibon  Sandra e Bruno owners2

Happy New Year! Feliz Natal! New wine & tapas bar ‘AI MOURARIA’ Lisbon: Sandra Vaz & Bruno Salsa

Taste a glass of wine in tiny but stylish wine & tapas bar ‘AI MOURARIA’ , or at their sunny terrace located in the historic former Moorish quarter of Lisbon. Near square Martim Moniz, with a lot of kiosks, live music and weekly markets. Portuguese coffee (bica), or beer, (Irish) whisky or  Ginja are also available: a ‘must try’ being a visitor. A favorite liqueur of many Portuguese and a typical drink in Lisbon.

Winebar 'Ai Mouraria' 2 Lisbon historical Lisbon terrace

New wine & tapas bar ‘AI MOURARIA’ in Lisbon & sunny terrace, November 2013

All wines on the list are from Portuguese origin, you can choose from a varied range, from red to white. The quality is high, the prices are low 🙂 . A glass of wine: € 2,20, ‘tapas’ (or, in Portuguese ‘petiscos’) from € 1.60 (pasteis). The sunny terrace is located at the recently partly renovated Mouraria neighbourhood in Lisbon, one of the oldest parts of the city. It is said that Fado music was born in this area around 1820.

Winebar 'Ai Mouraria' 3 Lisbon historical Lisbon Bruno & Amália Rodrigues

Winebar ‘AI MOURARIA’ Lisbon & Bruno, very sympatic, muito simpático!

Beautiful glass door-design: images of two people who lived in Lisbon and who culturally played an important role in Portugal. Amália Rodrigues, famous fado singer who lived nearby this area, was most influential in popularizing fado music worldwide. The small image is a portrait of Portugal’s poet and writer Fernando Pessoa. Written on the door: one of Pessoa’s remarkable quotes.

Winebar Ai Mouraria Lisbon Sandra owner & Portuguese bolo

Sandra Vaz & delicious Portuguese cakes (bolos): a good combination with strong Portuguese coffee (bica)

Amália Rodrigues was a very popular Portuguese singer and actress, known as the Rainha do Fado (‘Queen of Fado’). This winebar is named after one of her famous songs, ‘Ai, Mouraria’ (Vimeo): Amália sings about the streets of the old quarter Mouraria where she was betrayed in love. (This old town district is restored, the project is thus called ‘Ai Mouraria’).

Almost around the corner you can enjoy live fado music in the evening.

Winebar 'Ai Mouraria' 2 Lisbon historical Lisbon Josefine

New wine & tapas bar ‘AI MOURARIA’ in Lisbon

Bruno, showing my favorite wine Terras do Pó, (lit. grounds of dust), a Portuguese guitar (YouTube) & good friend (and tourist guide) Josephine.

Adress wine & tapas bar: Rua da Mouraria 20. Facebook

Terras do Pó 2012, white wine (vinho branc0). Region: Setúbal Peninsula € 2,20 (by the glass)

Winebar  AI MOURARIA door drawing Pessoa

Winebar ‘AI MOURARIA’ Lisbon: small image of Fernando Pessoa, famous Portuguese poet and writer

Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935). One of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century, Portuguese poet and writer, who lived in Lisbon. More about Pessoa & Lisbon

Famous quotes: The Book of Disquiet , published posthumously. Favorite quote: “Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.”

Mouraria Lisbon church Capela de Nossa Senhora da Saúde terrace AI MOURARIA

Terrace winebar ‘AI MOURARIA’ Lisbon at Christmastime & church ‘A Capela de Nossa Senhora da Saúde’

Chapel of Our Lady of Good Health. This tiny church was built on this spot in 1505 in gratitude for the end of the plague outbreak. The building was modified in the 18th century, and was given a very simple but beautiful façade and a baroque interior with paintings and tile panels.

Mouraria Church Rua a Mouraria 1 Lisbon

‘A Capela de Nossa Senhora da Saúde’, interior, church in Mouraria, Lisbon

Starting point tram 28

Near the terrace of winebar ‘AI MOURARIA’ you will find the starting point of electrical tram 28. If you want to get a good impression of the historical city of Lisbon, a very good (and cheap) idea is taking this typical little trolley, ‘eléctrico 28′. This legendary tram is a tourist attraction in itself. It goes all around town. Of course you can hop on and hop off.

Square Martim Moniz Lisbon Starting point tram 28

Square Martim Moniz Lisbon: starting point tram 28 Lisbon, (near hotel Mundial), going all around town

YouTube tram 28

Ruud Lisboa Ai Mouraria cafe bar

June 2014: cafe/bar AI Mouraria Lisbon

Dutch friend Ruud Leijten enjoying a Portuguese beer

Lisbon cafe bar Ai Mouraria March 2015 Alexandra e Louis 2

Lisbon Cafe bar AI Mouraira & friends Alexandra & Louis, March 2015

Saldaña, Estefania, Arroios: wonderful areas to discover in Lisbon & famous Pastelaria Versailles

If you like to walk around outside of tourist areas go to Saldaña , the fashionable Avenidas Novas (a part of Lisbon built in the 1950s), with department stores, cinemas, museums, supermarkets and libraries.

Lisbon Versailles tearoom restaurant outside Avenida Republica

Avenida da República near Saldaña square. A must-do is to have breakfast or lunch in the wonderful old tea- and lunchroom Pastelaria Versailles (opened in 1922) which has it’s own bakery.

Saldana Lisbon statue Square Praça do Duque de Saldana

Praça Duque de Saldaña. Monument of the great liberal Marshal who gives the square its name. Designed by Thomaz Costa and Ventura Terra, unveiled in 1909. The base of the monument contains a bronze figure of victory. At Saldaña Square there’s the highly frequented cinema Monumental where many young Portuguese meet in the bar of the cinema, ‘Movies’ .

Saldana Restaurant Galeto Lisbon december 08

Famous restaurant Galeto, a classic spot. Avenida Da República, 14. Open from 07.30 am – 03.30 (!). Delicious food and quite cheap (dinner and snacks). Galeto (movie) is well known in Lisbon for its friendly and courteous service.

Lisbon market in Arroios fish

Market mercado de Arroios , fresh fish, flowers and fruit. Arroios is a very atmospheric working class neighborhood with great markets and very good prices in restaurants and shops.

Lisbon little shops Estefania neighborhoos

Estefania: a nice and very quiet area, with lots of typical Portuguese small business ‘mom and pop’ and food shops.

Lisbon cheap tradtional restaurants Estefania

Rua Ilha da Terceira, Estefania. To eat out, try the pastelerias (cheap small restaurants, great Portugese food). Not one tourist in sight…..Chiado, Baixia and Alfama are easily reached by public transport, and even at night a taxi isn’t more than 5 euros.

Lisbon Estefania Rua da Ilha Terceira restaurant owners

The bill? Grilled salmon 5,50 euro, soup 0,90. A glass of wine 0,75.

Lisbon Saldanha luxurous shopping center

Luxury shopping center Saldanha, quite near Avenida da Liberdade, (Liberty Avenue). This broad boulevard is the Portuguese equivalent of the Champs Elysees in Paris with lots of luxury boutiques selling international brands. 

Lisbon Avenida da Liberdade Pombal statue

Marquis of Pombals’ statue , a despotic marquis….more…..The Rotunda, or, officially, Praça do Marqués de Pombal

Confeitaria Nacional Lisbon: traditional teahouse, delicious cakes, international awarded & once supplier of the Royal Portuguese Family

This famous traditional teahouse opened in 1829 by Baltazar Ruiz Castanheiro, when Portugal was divided by the liberal struggles. It still remains in the hands of the same family today and has won recognition in various international exhibitions both for its traditional Portuguese cakes and pastries, and for its creative innovation over the years.

Lisbon Confeitaria Nacional10 rabbit coelhinho

Very creative, very sweet, but delicious: ‘coelinho‘ (small rabbit): 1,30 euro

Confeitaria Nacional, Lisbon’s oldest Confectionary, once supplier of the Royal Family2

The interior has not changed since it was opened, and this teahouse is very popular with locals who cannot pass up the oportunity of good tea (c), with traditional (and fabulous) Portuguese sweets and pastries.

Confeitaria Nacional, Lisbon’s oldest Confectionary, once supplier of the Royal Family3

Confeitaria Nacional launched the “Bolo Rei” (The Kings Cake), customarily associated with Christmas (who gets the bean?) brought to Portugal by the son of the founder in the middle of the 19th Century.

Confeitaria Nacional, Lisbon’s oldest Confectionary, once supplier of the Royal Family6

Tearoom upstairs. Taste the most typical Portuguese cakes, such as Queijadas de Sintra or Doces de Ovos de Aveiro , a sweet paste made with just eggs and sugar.

Confeitaria Nacional, Lisbon’s oldest Confectionary, once supplier of the Royal Family11

Confeitaria Nacional, Lisbon’s oldest Confectionary, once supplier of the Royal Family4

Confeitaria Nacional , Praça da Figueira 18B, Lisbon, more…. 

Confeitaria Nacional, Lisbon’s oldest Confectionary, once supplier of the Royal Family9

Famous Cafe ‘A Brasileira’, Rua Garrett Lisbon: wonderful Art Deco style, bad service & inattentive staff

Elegant shopping street Rua Garrett,  lIsbon, that leads from the Baixa to Chiado, is named after the author and poet Joao Almeida Garrett (1799-1854). The area is also an important cultural area, with several museums and theatres.

winkelen Rua Garrett2
Rua Garett, June 2008.

On the background cafe ‘A Brasileira’ s terrace. You will see young locals here just socialising or window shopping.

Lisbon shopping Rua Garrett building

Rua Garrett, Lisbon

The most famous street of Lisbon, that mixes traditional chic and modern commercial shops, is also beloved by tourists.

Pessoa statue Cafe A Brasileira tourists

Cafe ‘A Brasileira’ (Rua Garrett 120) is famous for having had the enigmatic poet Fernando Pessoa  (1888-1935) among his customers.

Pessoa still has his table in bronze on the terrace (the work of sculptor Lagoa Henriques).

Portugal’s famous writer has no idea he’s mobbed by lots of tourists, all day long!

The downstairs seating area is a favourite with locals for a set lunch of traditional Portuguese specialties. The cafe once was the setting for tertulías literárias (lively discussion groups) in which debate would often culminate in chair throwing, cup smashing and brawls.

Lisbon shopping: Rua Garett cafe a Brasileira outside

‘A Brasileira’ (‘The Brazilian woman’), opened in 1905 as a shop selling genuine Brazilian coffee.

It was the first shop to sell the ‘bica’, a small cup of strong coffee, similar to espresso.

Lisbon shopping Rua Garrett cafe A Brasileira inside

The interior of ‘A Brasileira’ is grandiose: decorated in Art Deco style, with a green-and-gold entrance, mirrored walls, brass fittings, and a long oak bar.

However: bad service and inattentive staff  for tourists. It’s a very popular tourist destination, and prices are high.