December is indeed the month of festivities and re-connections. Shortly after Grace, TingTing visited Lisbon as well
Day 1 – TingTing arrived on Friday the 13th – Perhaps that explained why we weren’t too lucky with the weather as Lisbon was overcast with dark clouds. Ha. Pardon my lame reasoning. That said, apart from the intermittent rain, everything else on Friday the 13th was great! Lovely chats, great food and loooooong leisurely walks.
TingTing and I really covered a lot of areas in one afternoon – Chiado, Baixa, Alfama/Graça, Príncipe Real – on foot! With all the energy expended climbing the multiple slopes, it was only fair to treat ourselves to a nice dinner! It was also a 1-week belated birthday celebration for TingTing Many happy returns, my dear friend! Xapuri Bistro was our chosen dinner venue. Perhaps we were really famished, we thoroughly enjoyed their warm homemade bread and 4 accompanying spreads! Amazing comfort carbs! For mains, we had quail dumplings with cranberry sauce, and fresh marinated sardines with avocado and mango. Interesting contemporary preparation styles, though Cantinho Lusitano remains my choice for traditional Portuguese cuisines.
Day 2 – I know I’ve posted photos of Portuguese egg tarts countless times, but there is a reason why people associate Portugal with egg tarts. Thus far, I’ve not come across any friends who stopped at 1 egg tart! Enough said Needless to say, TingTing was no different. She had 3 egg tarts for breakfast
After a sleepy ride on Tram 28 and late afternoon tea at Jardim da Estrela, it was time for dinner! My second time at Restaurante Adega de São Roque and their seafood rice was even better than I remembered it to be Perhaps it was because Querido telephoned a day in advance and specifically mentioned that we were going to order the seafood rice. As usual, the bacalhau (dried cod) was too salty for my liking.
We also chanced upon a mini Christmas market next to the restaurant. The songs and lights really made me feel that “Christmas is in the air!” TingTing and I even sat on Santa’s chair. Ho Ho Ho. Merry Christmas!
By the way, remember my earlier post on the statue with the golden ticket? For a moment, I thought that 2 new statues were added until I realised that they were “statue buskers” – Spot the real statue and the 2 who are alive and kicking! I really have to applaud their makeover skills. Impressive!
As it was a Saturday night, we naturally headed for Bairro Alto for late-night drinks. By the way, Bairro Alto just celebrated 500 years on 15 December 2013! We went into a random drinking hole with a live band and its decor made us feel even more christmas-sy. By the way, TingTing already made me feel christmas-sy with the winter chocolate selection from London. Going to save it for Christmas and resisting temptation meanwhile!
Day 3 – Our day trip to Cascais was fortunately blessed with the sun! Good weather really makes a world of difference. The Christmas fair and decorations at Cascais made us feel… christmas-sy, yet again!
For lunch, we had Cozido à Portuguesa, a very traditional Portuguese Sunday lunch. (This dish is only prepared by the restaurant on Sunday afternoons!) It is basically a traditional stew of different meats, including various sausages, and vegetables. I enjoyed the stew though I only ate the lean pork and vegetables (not a fan of exotic sausages and certain parts of the pig). In short, I ate the “most economical” part of the stew. Ha.
After Cascais, we dropped by the new part of Lisbon (Oriente) for some shopping before seeing TingTing off at the airport. Really enjoyed your company, TingTing! Hope to see you soon!