Egg Tarts at Casa Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon (Portugal)

The moment you take the first bite into a sweet Portuguese egg tart (better known as ‘pastéis de nata, or “cream tarts”’) you know you will be coming back for more. And if Portugal isn’t home, you will make sure to find your nearest Portuguese bakery wherever you may live to get your weekly dosage. I fell in love with natas while living in Switzerland where there is a large Portuguese population resulting in delicious Portuguese bakeries and restaurants. This famous sweet can be found all over the city in Lisbon — and country, and in Portuguese colonies like Brazil, Goa and Macau.  But the best place to really taste it is in Lisbon. And the best place to taste it in Lisbon is at Pastéis de Belém in the Belem neighborhood- just a ten minute tram ride from the center of Lisbon. This is where the original and oldest natas recipe can be found. The line up is long yet moves quickly and is  well worth the wait.  Once at the counter you can point to what you want or just ask for the Pasteis and they will quickly wrap up the warm, sweet and creamy custard tart dusted with sugar and cinnamon in a little blue and white box for you to treasure.

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Casa Pastéis de Belém is located at: 84 Rua de Belém


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The Mercy Hotel (Lisbon, Portugal)

Lisbon is a magical place full of charm and beauty. If you are lucky enough, the hotel you choose will only add to the experience. On our latest journey to the city of bacalau and polished marble we stayed at the 5 star boutique hotel, Mercy Hotel,  located in the ever so fashionable Chiado district.



The location could not be better. One street away from all the action in Barrio Alto on the edge of Chiado, but far enough to enjoy some peaceful sleep. One block down is a major metro station which connects you to the airport and other destinations. On the right of the hotel and 6 minutes down the scenic stairs is the Rossio train station connecting you to picturesque and a must-see village of Sintra. Great restaurants and bars are within 5 minutes walking distance. And great fado bars and cafes located on the parallel street.


The room had laundry and dry-cleaning service, free wireless Internet, flatscreen television, office area, espresso machine, complimentary coffee, tea and water. There is a business center with printers located in the basement.


The decor inside the rooms are chic and modern. The rooms are perfectly sized with small balconies overlooking the Lisbon skyline with the bridge in the background.  Beautiful, modern, clean and comfortable. Chocolate were left on our pillows every evening. The bathroom was spacious and separated from the rest of the space.

The lobby is covered in black walls however, oddly positioned mannequins surround the area. It was a bit strange to have mannequins eyeing you down while in the lobby but we were later told that the boutique hotel works with local fashion labels and the clothing displayed on the mannequins are for purchase. Nevertheless, it might shock you at first sight.


Staff members went out of their way to make us feel at home and comfortable.  Riccardo and the rest of the team were so helpful, informative and were our unofficial tour guides, explaining in detail how to get to places, where to eat, what to do and not do. If we needed anything they were up at our room within minutes. 

Food and Drink:

The daily breakfast was very basic. It included several different pieces of fresh bread, ham, cheese, omelet, coffee and boundless cups of fresh orange juice.

The Mercy Hotel is located at: Rua da Misericordia 76, Lisbon 1200-273, Portugal
E-mail hotel:
Tel: 00 351 212 481 480
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Bar Food Portuguese Style (Lisbon, Portugal)

The Portuguese are a proud people and have a beautiful history and culture. Moreover, they claim that they have the best food in the world. As a foodie, I’d have to say that it is one of the most underrated cuisines and one of the best.

Always on a quest to blend in with the locals, we found a local tavern with the menu written on the blackboard wall and a crowd of Portuguese men standing at the bar. Always a good sign. With little next to no Portuguese we made good use of our fingers to point at what we wanted and ended up with the two most simple yet incredibly delicious sandwiches. Fresh bread, jamon and tomatoes and a plate of crispy chips. Freshly squeezed lemonade helped wash down the meal.

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