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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Piriquita Pastelaria, Pastries, Pastries Everywhere...

I'm beginning to think pastries are a major food group here in Portugal, though maybe it's only after A. & A.'s visit. I have been brought to my knees with the pastry consumption, though D. is showing great fortitude in the face of having to try all the artisanal products the local bakeries have to offer. In Belem we tried the famous Pastel de Natal  and Sintra we hot footed it to the Piriquita Pastelaria recommended by an enthusiastic guide at the National Palace. We could also have found it if we'd cracked our guidebook but why go that route!

Piriquita was packed with locals and there were pastries galore. The waiter was infinitely patient, poor chap he explained the various pastries at least three time. It seems everything is made from a combination of almond, egg and pastry. There was a oblong Travesseiros de Sintra covered in sugar. The distinctive sweet small baked cheese pastry known as a Queijadas de Sintra (on the left below) and the paper wrapped pastry (in the front below) which included beans. I would particularly recommend the Travesseiros de Sintra.



Of course there are plenty more pastries to try  right here in Lisbon. Yesterday I passed the Confeitaria Nacional founded in 1829 which look very stately and quite wonderful, perhaps I should head down there today...

Comments

Anna said…
No, I think they ARE a major food group! We found them to be packed out with people of all ages - locals and tourists alike. For us, travelling around Portugal, these pastelerias and pastry shops and cafes became a happy stop in between the visits to cathedrals, churches and museums. However, we have returned home to a pastry/cake moratorium - I certainly can't face eggs and almonds for a few months!
Cornelia Muller said…
Lovely blog! One of my favorite things about Portugal are the pastelarias. It's great to pop in and have a few for lunch and then continue on our sight seeing, wandering until tea time and we stop in at another one. I don't bother to ask what they are any more. I just pick the ones that look good. They aren't that expensive. If I happen to not like one, no biggie. Anyway, my husband will eat it. ;) The queijada from Sintra are quite yummy. Though maybe it's more precise to say they are made from "cream cheese" or "a ricotta type cheese" rather then "cheese".

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