Tag Archives: pastéis de Belém

My favourite desserts around Europe (#Travellinkup)

Austrian apple strudel

in Vienna, Dec 2015

First of all, I’d like to say how happy I am to be this month’s co-host of travel link up with Emma, Angie and Jessi!

I love food but I’m no foodie or a gourmand. I prefer simple but delicious meals. Not being very adventurous when it comes to trying out local delicacies means that I probably have missed out on a few great experiences but as I grew old(er) I began to taste more different foods. Living & working in England eight years ago has actually helped me to be more open towards new & unusual foods. I became a big fan of afternoon tea tradition and English breakfast while I was in England. I also tried curry for the first time and many other traditional English dishes such as Yorkshire pudding (and my favourite revelation of them all: salt &vinegar crisps). However, I have a sweet tooth and I do try out all possible desserts wherever I go! After all, I am a big chocoholic!

So, what would be my most interesting/meaningful food experience?

 I have tried a few meals that are not to everyone’s taste (even if it was just a mouthful). For example, I ate a snail in Brussels and I had haggis in Scotland 🙂 But I’ve pretty much tried all the national desserts wherever I travelled. So my most interesting food experiences have to be dessert related.

So, let’s just name my favourite desserts around Europe (in no particular order):

Sacher cake (or any cake as a matter of fact ) in Austria

I do love French desserts but if you want a delicious cake that will satisfy your hunger go to Austria!  I love all sorts of Austrian cakes from apfel strudel to Esterházytorte to original Sacher cake. Last December I finally had the one and only Sacher cake at Hotel Sacher in Vienna. It was a wonderful experience worth the wait of around half an hour in the cold!

Sacher cake in Vienna

Sacher Cake and Sacher tea

Afternoon tea in England

I love everything about this old tradition: the food, the atmosphere of tea rooms, the exquisite porcelain mugs. Tasty finger sandwiches, delectable scones, a delicious cake and of course tea make up this wonderful afternoon affair! I had proper afternoon tea in London just once but it was such a gorgeous experience! I also had a very lovely but unpretentious afternoon tea in Jane Austen’s center in Bath and in Harriet’s in Bury St Edmunds.

afternoon tea in London

at Sofitel St James hotel, London 2013

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Exploring Belém-Lisbon (Sep 2014)

the red bridge, the Christ Statue and the Monument to the Discoveries as seen from the Tower of Belem

On the second day of our honeymoon in Lisbon we took the tram no.15 from Praça da Figueira to  Belém area. Unfortunately it wasn’t one of those old-fashioned rickety trams but a new one which was very crowded. Still, I enjoyed the long ride along the river Tagus from the center of Lisbon to Belém which is famous for several historic landmarks namely the Tower of Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery. It was cloudy but during the day the sun emerged from under the clouds and we got sun-burnt! I had planned to take a sun cream on this trip but I simply forgot so we bought one later in the center to prevent future sunburns.

We got off the tram at the grandiose Jerónimos Monastery but we first visited almost equally impressive Monument to the Discoveries. This enormous monument at the waterfront was built in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Portuguese prince Henry the Navigator who sponsored many expeditions. It was under his patronage that Portugal founded its first colonies and the Age of Discoveries began. The monument represents a caravel (ship) and it celebrates not only Henry the Navigator but many Portuguese heroes associated with the Age of Discovery such as explorers, cartographers, artists, missionaries, kings etc. We walked around it and then entered and decided to take a lift up the viewpoint. We had discount because of our Lisbon card which gave us free public transport and many free entrances. From the top of the monument we saw the Tower of Belém which looked small in comparison (the Monument to the Discoveries is 52 m high), the monastery, Belém cultural center, a football stadium and the beautiful red bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril ) that resembles the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, USA and the Christ statue which is a smaller twin of the Christ statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. When we got down we walked across the huge pavement compass rose and world map; a gift from the Republic of South Africa. Since it was already getting hot I needed a refreshment in the form of ice-cream (I had mulberry flavour) so that I could walk to the romantic Tower of Belém.

the view from the top of the Monument to the Discoveries

the view from the top of the Monument to the Discoveries

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