LardButty Portugal – Mercado da Vila Cascais

We visited a few restaurants during our week in Cascais although I’ve only highlighted a couple of the best ones here on LardButty. The Mercado da Vila (town market) is worth a mention too.

The main market, a covered market, is open during the daytime (selling all sorts of crafts and jewellery – I bought a lovely Portuguese fish pendant). And there’s a food market with a large outdoor space where you can choose from a variety of local foods and drinks.

In the summer, there’s often something going on in the evenings – events, live music and, during our stay, the Euro 2016 Portugal matches were being shown on big screens, attracting a lively crowd. Check out what’s on, on the Mercado da Vila facebook page.


Beer Cascais:
MERCADO DA VILA_beer Cascais
Step this way… Don’t mind if I do… Happiness found in local craft beers from Dois Corvos


At Beer Cascais there are heaps of lovely local craft beers to choose from (bottled) – I particularly enjoyed the Stardust IPA from local craft brewers Dois Corvos.

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Cantinho da Luisa offers a shed load of Portuguese cheeses, as well as pastries and freshly baked bread:

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Many Portuguese cheeses, and


Your own… personal…. chee-ses…

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Queijo curado de vaca e cabra: a crumbly cheese from cow and goat’s milk

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Queijo de vaca e ovelha curado: a cured cheese from cow and sheep’s milk

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Pastries including the obligatory pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts)

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Fresh bread

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Gulli restaurant – in the covered market – serves steaks, pasta dishes, great pizzas (roughly between €7 – 11, so reasonably priced) and salads. Great cocktails too.


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Stone baked Italian-style pizza, movie-themed cocktails, interesting salads

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Specials and pizza menu


There’s a seafood restaurant – Marisco – in the covered market, and numerous stalls serving international fast-food on the food terrace – from quality burgers to ceviche tacos and pulled pork tacos (at Stockholmarket).

The verdict: Dining on the food terrace here can be a cheaper and easier option than more formal restaurant dining. Good for parties that want to eat different foods – it’s all self service and you can choose food and drinks from different stalls (e.g. local speciality beers from Beer Cascais or wines and ports from the wine stall). And when there’s live entertainment on, you can enjoy it in the warm Portuguese summer air.



Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
– Type: Food markets
– Address: Mercado da Vila, Rua Padre Moisés da Silva, Loja 28-29, Cascais, Portugal
– Website: Mercado da Vila facebook page
– Photos on flickr: images of Mercado da Vila
– Location: Mercado da Vila map

LardButty Portugal – Furnas do Guincho Cascais

With views over the Atlantic Ocean and rugged coastline, the Furnas do Guincho restaurant is situated in a beautiful part of Cascais 

It was difficult to tear ourselves away from the gorgeous food at Senhora da Guia but we managed to venture out.

Well, over the road.


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Oceanside Furnas do Guincho restaurant – stunning oceanside setting


This restaurant was known to two of our party and – as we were spoilt for choice with all the fresh fish and seafood dishes – we were happy to be guided by those in the know.


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Fish stew – layers of fish, seafood, sliced potatoes and veggies (hot-pot style)


And so we followed a recommendation for fish stew, a local speciality. It reminded me of a good Lancashire hot-pot, in that all the ingredients are kind of casseroled with layers of sliced potato, baked in their own juices, and it’s a hearty dish. But this was packed with all kinds of fish and seafood, as well as peppers, tomatoes and veggies.


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Huge cooking pot – stew for six made to order


This fish stew is cooked to order and a pot for two is €42.00 – this speciality can only be ordered for two or more.

The verdict: Great restaurant in a lovely setting. Order a fish stew promptly then it can be cooking while you leisurely enjoy drinks and starters. Our meal for six came to €420 so €140.00 per couple. This included plenty of Portuguese white wine and service.


Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
– Type: Portuguese (in Portugal)
– Address: Guincho, 2750-642 Cascais, Portugal
– Website + menus: Furnas do Guincho website
– Photos on flickr: Furnas do Guincho images
– Location: Furnas do Guincho map 


Furnas do Guincho Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


LardButty Portugal – Senhora da Guia Cascais

Senhora da Guia is a boutique resort hotel where you can really relax and get away from it all. And this beautiful ocean-side setting is only topped by the restaurant’s excellent food.

About 30km – half an hour’s drive – from Lisbon you’ll find the upmarket resort of Cascais on the Atlantic coast. Car hire and accommodation is inexpensive in Portugal so we decided to stay here all week, following the wedding of friends (one of whom is a Portuguese Londoner, originally from Lisbon, so he was already informed about best places to stay). No research required on our part, keeping it nice and simple. And there’s loads to do nearby from playing golf to visiting the palaces and castles of Sintra.

We were blown away by the restaurant’s food, right from our first meal on our first evening. It helped that we were in good company and the service was great too.

K and I shared a Portuguese game sausage samosa with sauteed wild mushrooms @ €15 for starters, followed by coal-roasted Atlantic seabass served with grilled vegetables @ €26 for K and roasted octopus, potato, assorted greens @ €20 for me.


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Fresh fish and seafood at Senhora da Guia – kicking off the holiday with a margarita


Over the course of the week we ate these dishes. I’m mostly going to let the pictures do the talking…

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Iberian black pork tenderloin – served with peas, greens and Portuguese game sausage (chorizo or salami style) from Mirandela @ €22

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Restaurant menu – starters

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Restaurant menu – local specialities

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Restaurant menu – fish and seafood


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Another traditional Portuguese dish – possibly lamb with pistachio potato


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Flamed shrimp from Ceara with mango Macedonia starter @ €17


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Wild duck breast lacquered with honey and drunk pear – served with mushroom risotto and green asparagus @ €23


Gorgeous salads served on the terrace during the day:

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Outdoor menu – Nicoise salad with rabilo tuna from the Atlantic @ €13


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Outdoor menu – Caesar salad with crunchy chicken and fine herbs @ €13



Outdoor menu – salmon wrapped in thinly sliced pineapple


Pineapple ‘carpaccio’ and salmon wraps



Beef burger with lettuce, tomato, bacon and mayo



Esporao reserva white wine – a LardButty favourite



From the room-service menu – salad, crinkle-cut fries and club sandwiches


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Guanaya chocolate souffle with hazelnuts hearth – served with strawberries and vanilla ice-cream @ €8

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Heavenly desserts – Guanaya chocolate souffle with gooey runny chocolate inside


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Decomposition of pastel de nata Portuguese custard pie served with red currants and coffee foam @ €8



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An idyllic get-away boutique hotel retreat  – Senhora da Guia on the Atlantic Coast, Cascais


The verdict: We arrived here on 24th June 2016, heartbroken that the UK had voted to leave the EU. We couldn’t have come to a better place for comfort and pleasure (it’s also a truly amazing wedding location). Facilities at the hotel include a spa, beauty treatments, pool and terrace, free bicycles and excellent food served in the restaurant, terrace bar and room service too. For the quality and level of food and service you get, it’s relatively inexpensive (compared with the UK and other European destinations). And while I like to explore when I go on holiday – which means not going back to the same place twice when there’s a big wide world out there – I feel certain that we’ll stay here again. I hope so.


Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 5 / 5
– Type: Portuguese (in Portugal), international
– Address: Estrada do Guincho, 2750-642 Cascais, Portugal
– Website + menus: Senhora da Guia website
– Photos on flickr: Senhora da Guia food photos
– Location: Senhora da Guia map


Restaurante Terrassa - Senhora da Guia Cascais Boutique Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Pool cafe/bar
Sunset Pool Bar - Senhora da Guia Cascais Boutique Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Taberna do Mercado – Spitalfields

Portuguese tapas in East London

C and I went to Taberna do Mercado for a light lunch during our lunch break (so had limited time). Arriving at the entrance in Old Spitalfields Market, we walked through the inviting covered terrace area and into the main restaurant, which is light and appealingly simple: lots of wood, not a table cloth in sight (I have an irrational dislike of table cloths), low-hanging lights and sturdy shelving displaying Portuguese products like bottles of oil, tinned fish, and wines, etc.


Welcome to Taberna do Mercado – canopy extension


Informal dining space inside Taberna do Mercado

We ordered four dishes and although our waitress told us to order more (that four wouldn’t be enough, and suggested another small plate, perhaps some protein) we decided to stick with just four, with the option of ordering another later if needed.

All four dishes were beautifully presented and were more than enough for lunch: a big bowl of green bean fritters @ £5.00, Terrincho Velho mature cheese made from sheep’s milk with toasted sourdough @ £8.00, ‘tinned cod’ in a red pepper paste served in a tin with wafer-thin pickled cauliflower and sourdough @ £8.00 and a spicy chicory salad special with almonds @ £6.00. All really, really tasty and unique.


Green bean fritters @ £5.00


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Terrincho velho mature cheese – from sheep’s milk, with toasted sourdough @ £8.00


‘Tinned cod’ – Cod with fermented red pepper paste served in a tin with toasted sourdough and pickled cauliflower @ £6.00


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Chicory salad special – spicy, with almonds @ £6.00


There’s an excellent selection of Portuguese wines – I had a glass of Quinta do Ameal vinho verde (dry white wine) @ £6.00.


Main restaurant area at Taberna do Mercado


The verdict: Excellent and affordable food, in an informal and appealing space. Service was slightly off (in that our waitress told us – rather than suggested – to order more, without checking how much we wanted to eat for lunch). I’ll go back when I’m not restricted on time, as this is the kind of place to eat shared food leisurely and linger.


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: Portuguese
~ Address: 107b Commercial Street, Old Spitalfields Market, London
~ Postcode: E1 6BG
~ Nearest station: Liverpool Street, Shoreditch High Street, Aldgate East
~ Website + menus: Taberna do Mercado website
~ Photos on flickr: Taberna do Mercado food photos
~ Location: Taberna do Mercado map


Taberna do Mercado Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Roast hog butties – Borough Market

Do butties get any better than the spit roast hog sandwiches from the Roast Hog stall at Borough Market? (LardButty would love to hear about it, if they do).

M-The-Foodie introduced a few of us to the freshly roasted pig one lunchtime last week. It was so good we ventured back this week. On both occasions there was a long queue – it was torment waiting but watching the spit with its cooked crispy crackling certainly got me salivating.

Step 1: find the Roast Hog stall

Step 2: join the queue + let the spit tease you

Choose ciabatta bread or a wrap and watch your sandwich (£5.50 as of April 2015) being assembled in front of you – tender chunks of fresh roast hog (with subtle aniseed spice flavours from the fennel it’s marinaded in), apple sauce, rocket leaves, and the clincher – strips of crispy, crunchy crackling.

Step 3: Watch your sandwich being made with fresh hog, crackling + apple sauce

photo 1_hog roast sarnie
Step 4: eat

Check out Roast Hog’s video on YouTube (you can hire their catering services for events and parties).

The verdict: As long as you like tender pork and crispy crackling, this is a very special, generously filled sandwich. It’s packed with ingredients, and reasonably priced for the size. Go on, try it for yourself…

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
~ Type: Street food, butties
~ Address: Borough Market (and other food markets) London
~ Nearest station: London Bridge
~ Website for: Roast Hog

~ Website for: Borough Market

~ Photos on flickr: Roast Hog images
~ Borough Market location: map (for Roast Hog stall + more)



Delicias de Portugal

Delicias de Portugal is a small chain of Portuguese delicatessens in South London, selling cooked meats, groceries, fresh salads, Pasteis de Belem (aka pastel de nata) and other Portuguese cakes, as well as Ports and wines (for example, Esporao Reserva at about £12 a bottle).

Delicias de Portugal on Warwick Way

I’ve got salad envy this lunchtime from watching others around me tucking into the most drooltastic salads from Delicias. *Again*.

I have to give these salads a try.

Inside the small deli on Warwick way, it’s decorated with Portuguese blue and white tiles. On top of the main display counter there’s an enticing dry-cured ham (presunto), while the walls are full of shelves stocked with Portuguese provisions (from jams to sardines to wines).

I opt for a ‘pick n mix’ style salad for £3.50. This comes with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber (all the basics) and then you can choose from any of the cold dishes in the display. There’s loads of choice: garlic chicken, spicy chicken, roast mixed vegetables, avocado and ham, avocado and tuna, and many more.

Given how tempting the dry cured leg of ham on the counter looks, I choose a ham dish, plus roast vegetables (courgette, aubergine, peppers, etc), plus a garlic chicken, plus avocado and tuna (the man serving me keeps saying “and what else?”, so I keep going… it might be rude not to, and I would so hate to offend!).

Packed mixed salad containing many ingredients @ £3.50

This is the first time I’ve had a salad from here and I quickly discover that I really don’t like the ham (it’s way too salty and tastes oddly fishy too) so I pick this out and leave it. The garlic on the garlic chicken is overbearing as well, so I note for next time to avoid picking anything containing garlic.

That aside, this is a generously sized, fresh salad of many of my favourite ingredients – roast aubergine, roast courgette, plenty of avocado and fresh crisp lettuce too. It’s great value and I’ll home in on the items I know I like best next time (more of the veg and fruit, less of the meat for me).

I’ve sinced realised that the salad plates run out quickly, so arrive early (noon) to get the best choice.

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Mixed salad – with spicy crab, chicken and mushroom, chargrilled veg

Mixed salad – with spicy chicken + chargrilled peppers

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: Portuguese
~ Address: 43 Warwick Way, Pimlico, London
~ Postcode: SW1V 1QS
~ Tel: 020 7630 5597
~ Nearest station: Victoria, Pimlico
~ Delicias de Portugal photos on flickr
~ facebook page: Delicias de Portugal on FB
~ Location: Delicias de Portugal map


More Pimlico dining:
~ Pimlico Fresh
~ Seafresh
~ Taquitos Mexican Grill



A pequeno piece of Portugal in Lambeth

Sunshine in the Ol’ Smoke
This post first appeared 13 Aug 2013 in The London Diaries

London, in Summer 2013, is a special place to be. In tennis, Andy Murray finally won the men’s singles championship for GB at Wimbledon; there are London 2012 Olympic anniversary events; a royal birth and perhaps best of all – a heatwave. And I mean a proper heatwave, with temperatures reaching over 30°C!

Now the UK isn’t very well equipped to cope with such temperatures and travelling on the tube can be akin to melting in a bath of sweat with strangers. But on the plus side, there are plenty of cool places to go and hang out in the sunshine.

…If you know where they are.

Clapham Common – paddling pool

1. London parks
Londoners are spoilt for choice when it comes to parks and green spaces – it’s probably one of the greenest cities in the world. Parks in zones 1 and 2 include

  1. Hyde Park
  2. Kensington Gardens
  3. St James’s Park
  4. Green Park
  5. Regent’s Park
  6. Hampstead Heath
  7. Battersea Park
  8. Clapham Common

The moment the sun comes out, Clapham Common (where parakeets are sometimes spotted, reportedly descended from escapees while filming The African Queen in the 1950s, or so the story goes) is transformed into a mass of picnic parties with internationally accented folks organising rounders, throw-the-flipflop and even poking a toe in the paddling pool. With so many good traditional pubs nearby, the Common is a great place to chill out and watch the world go by, before heading along Old Town to seek a cheeky beverage or two.

2. Nardulli ice cream – Clapham Common
Don’t even think about joining in any antics on Clapham Common without a visit to Nardulli, a new gelateria with 24 flavours to choose from including cookies, fig roll, macadamia, nutella, cardamom and all the usual suspects too. At only £2.30 for a small cone, it’s well worth every penny.

Three Nardulli ice creams, right (top to bottom): peanut, nutella, macadamia

3. Little Portugal – Lambeth
So we’ve spent most of the year complaining about the cold weather in the UK. And now it’s hot, we want to enjoy the sunshine but stay cool at the same time.

Perhaps you’d like to sip a chilled vinho verde Portuguese wine, part-shaded by some big old trees, and munch on salt cod, grilled sardines or king prawns piri piri, in a fairly tranquil location that isn’t overcrowded?

Come closer and I’ll let you into one of London’s better kept secrets…

Casa Madeira on Albert Embankment

I visited Portugal (Lisbon) for the first time last year in May. The hospitality, cuisine, wine, glorious weather, sights and culture were so impressive we returned to experience a different part (Porto) in October. And so my love of all things Portuguese began.

On my return from Lisbon, I set myself the task of finding a Portuguese bakery in London selling pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts). It wasn’t hard.

It turns out that Lambeth (you know, the borough that brings us the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks from the London Eye, and covers the area from the South Bank down to Clapham Common) contains Little Portugal, an area near Vauxhall where an estimated 27,000 Portuguese people live (probably the largest Portuguese community in the UK).

So it’s hardly surprising that there are several Portuguese bakeries and restaurants here. I chose Luis Deli out of convenience. It’s a two minute walk from Vauxhall Station, situated in the arches on Albert Embankment, selling Portuguese tarts/cakes, cheeses, meats, a good selection of wine (for example, Esporao Reserva at about £10 a bottle) and more.

Luis Deli is part of the ‘Madeira London’ group, comprising Cafe Bar Madeira, Casa Madeira (restaurant) and Pico Bar & Grill. They’re all in neighbouring arches, with plenty of outdoor seating on all-weather plastic grass stretching along the embankment in front of them.

Pizza + grilled salt cod from Casa Madeira, tarts from Luis Deli

At Casa Madeira, there’s a happy hour on wines and beers from 3 to 7pm on week days (about £2 for a pint of Portuguese lager or about £2.70 for a large glass of wine), very friendly service and an extensive menu (tapas and starters from £2.50, and main courses from various grilled fish or meat dishes to pizza and burgers).

Meatballs and chargrilled burgers

Madeira London really utilise their outdoor space. There’s nothing pretentious about this place so if you’re after a sophisticated, gourmet dining experience (and real grass), then this may not be for you. But if you’re after an uncrowded, leafy and relaxing space in which to drink and eat good value food with friends, that’s close to public transport, why not give it a try?

With Barclays cycle hire expansion into Lambeth and Wandsworth from Spring 2014, getting to – and exploring around – South West London should be even easier for Summer 2014.

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Seal of approval – from The London Diaries + LardButty

Casa Madeira restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: Portuguese
~ Address: 46a-46c Albert Embankment, London
~ Postcode: SE1 7TL
~ Tel: 020 7820 1117
~ Nearest station: Vauxhall
~ Menu: Casa Madeira restaurant menu
~ Photos: Casa Madeira on flickr

Related links:

~ Madeira London website

~ Award-winning Portuguese wines

~ The London Diaries blog – great blog by Steph-in-London

Cafe Madeira on Urbanspoon