Eat Local — Lisboa, Portugal

Pastel de Nata (a local baked custard specialty), Lisboa, Portugal

Pastel de Nata (a local baked custard specialty), Lisboa, Portugal

Upon arriving in Lisboa following our 2 hour bus ride from Cascais (Estoril) on the coast, where our ship was anchored, we headed to the main old town square, Praça da Rossio, for some Pastéis de nata and espressos.  Fortified, we then set out to explore the city…

“Pastel de nata is a Portuguese egg tart pastry, common in Portugal… Pastéis de nata were created before the 18th century by Catholic monks at the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (the Jerónimos Monastery) in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in Lisbon. At the time, convents and monasteries used large quantities of egg-whites for starching of clothes, such as nuns’ habits. It was quite common for monasteries and convents to use the leftover egg yolks to make cakes and pastries, resulting in the proliferation of sweet pastry recipes throughout the country.” — Wikipedia

The Refectory dining room at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

The Refectory dining room at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

Following our full morning of exploring the city and climbing uphill to Rua Nova da Trindade, overlooking Praça da Rossio, we had an excellent luncheon of local specialties at a former convent — Cervejaria Trindade.

At the present location of the restaurant, eight centuries ago, the Convent of the Most Holy Trinity of the Trimos Friars of the Redemption of Captives was erected.  Founded at the end of the 13th century, more precisely in 1294, it owes its name to the calling of its friars to rescue Christian prisoners from the infidels.  Destroyed in 1704 by  a fire, in 1755 by the famous earthquake and in 1756, after its reconstruction, by another fire, the Convent finally disappeared in 1834 with the extinction of the Religious Orders in Portugal. It was then purchased and became the first beer factory in Portugal, the Trindale Beer Factory.

The Refectory room was decorated in 1864 with magnificent tile panels inspired by a famous artist known as “Ferreira the Sign Painter”.

Detail of tile panel of the

Detail of tile panel of the “Four Seasons” in Refectory dining room at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

The panel of tiles shown above represent the seasons of the year.  The opposite wall has panels representing the four elements.

Luncheon seafood platters at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

Luncheon seafood platters at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

Luncheon oyster platter at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

Luncheon oyster platter at Cervejaria Trindade (the former Trinity Convent refectory), Lisboa, Portugal

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