Food,Travel

Afternoon Tea… Portuguese Style

Hotel do Chiado - bar

Having lived in England for 12 years, afternoon tea has become one of my favorite things in life. I can have scones for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and be the happiest person on Earth. I’m also a self-professed tea addict (hey, there are worse addictions). Needless to say, when I heard about the afternoon tea at the Hotel do Chiado in Lisbon, I had to carry out a thorough investigation with both my eyes and taste-buds.

 
My afternoon tea experience at the Hotel do Chiado was a perfect example of a Portuguese 5 o’clock tea: they have taken a British institution and added a Portuguese twist to it. Leave the traditional afternoon tea to the English who do it best; instead, create a Portuguese version and excel at it!

Hotel do Chiado maples

When you get out of the elevator, turn left, past these chairs, until you find the bar

The bar Hotel do Chiado

Let’s start off with the all-important tea: they are all Portuguese, which is a fabulous opportunity for anyone who is curious to try something new. I was intrigued by the maçã verde da Beira (green apple from the Beira region). Though not usually a big fan of fruity teas, I genuinely enjoyed how subtle and light this one was. Other flavors include Rocha pear, pineapple, orange & ginger, and cherry (each from a different region), as well as the traditional Gorreana tea from the Azores. There was even a wine flavored tea! Before I get too caught up in the food, I should mention the service: the staff were all very friendly and helpful.

 

Hotel do Chiado - cha das cinco

Tea for three, please!

 
After you’ve had a moment to savor the tea, the food arrives. But don’t expect English cucumber sandwiches – all you’ll get are sweets. The top layer of the stand had butter, honey, raspberry jam and gila (a type of Portuguese pumpkin) jam. If you’ve never had gila jam before, I highly recommend it! The bottom layer included 2 scones, 1 croissant, 1 mini pastel de nata (custard tart), 2 cookies, 1 mini guardanapo (a sponge cake with an egg custard filling shaped like a napkin), 1 macaroon, and 1 generous slice of cake (it was orange that day).

 
I’m ashamed to say I couldn’t finish it all, but still felt like I had gotten more than my money’s worth of the 10 euro price tag. I did, however, get to soak in the beautiful view from the balcony of the hotel bar – another reason why you should stop at this hotel. Although it was cloudy when I arrived, by the time I had finished indulging my sweet tooth, the sun had come out and the colors of the city came alive again. Standing on the terrace, downtown Lisbon with its countless red roofs lays before you; the castle at the top of the hill, straight ahead.

 
It’s only when you realize that you’re standing at a trendy belvedere that serves scrumptious food and drinks, that you realize the Hotel do Chiado was the best decision you made that day.

 

Hotel do Chiado - vista

The castle on the left, the cathedral on the right


 
Hotel do Chiado - vista para rio

I could sit here all day…


 
View Hotel do Chiado - rio

You can see the river in the background and the Cathedral on the left


 
Hotel do Chiado - Santa Justa

You can even see the top of the Elevador de Santa Justa

 

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  • Nick Lewis
    April 15, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Wow, wish I had known about this Hotel before we visited Lisbon a few years back!! Reason enough to go again, plus the many other wonderful delights the city has to offer.

    • aportugueseaffair
      April 15, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Absolutely! It’s actually easy to miss unless you’re looking for it. Please let me know when you go back – I’d be happy to help with any questions you might have!

      • Nick Lewis
        April 15, 2016 at 1:02 pm

        Well we are going to the Algarve in September but probably not Lisbon this time around, it’s a fair old drive from where we will be. It took us 3 hours the last time we did it and we flew into Lisbon, collected the hire car and then drove South. On our return journey we stopped off in Lisbon for 3 days – was a great trip, going to two different parts of the country.

        • aportugueseaffair
          April 15, 2016 at 1:07 pm

          Sounds amazing. I was in the Algarve last September and the water was actually pretty warm by Atlantic standards. I hope you’re lucky this year! You might want to check out this post, but you’re probably already familiar with it all. You seem like you know what you’re doing 🙂 http://www.aportugueseaffair.com/2016/01/29/summer-dreaming-algarve/

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