When I received an invitation from Lisbon based tour company ‘Singular Trips’ for a food / tasting tour in Lisbon, I jumped at the opportunity and started organizing the trip immediately. Patricia, founder & owner of Singular Trips has a passion for introducing people to Portuguese food and culture.
I don’t know about you, but the more I travel, the more I want to experience the culture and the people of the country I’m visiting. So I decided to opt for a homestay rather than a hotel stay. Patricia was very happy to assist with that as well and found the perfect ‘home’ in Lisbon for me. But more about that later.
Upon arrival at the airport (which is in the middle of the city) Patricia welcomed me and took me to her home, where she prepared a lovely vegan lunch. I had informed her about my special dietary requirement beforehand and she immediately warned me: “Portuguese people love meat. It’s a part of the culture.” I had to put her at ease. Since there’s many people of Portuguese descent in South Africa, where I live, this wasn’t really news to me. The time at lunch gave us an opportunity to get to know our cultures and traditions better. I was a total stranger in Patricia’s home but felt like sitting with an old friend – so It goes without saying that the Portuguese are very warm people.
It was time to meet my host family for the next two days. Cristina and Porfírio welcomed me into their beautiful home in the centre of Lisbon. There I was in a big and tastefully decorated flat with lovely people, that did everything to make me feel at home. I’m still blown away by the warm hospitality and everything they did for me. The family had planned to go out for sushi that evening and asked me if I wanted to join them. How can I say no to sushi? Also it gave us the opportunity to get to know each other. I enjoyed the hot summer air as we walked the streets of Lisbon.
Latest at that stage I was so happy I chose a homestay over a hotel room and could see where and how the locals spend their evenings. We ended the day by sitting in the lounge together watching some TV (I’m definitely inspired to learn Portuguese now ) Only a few hours with the family, I felt like being a part of it.
The next day started with a lovely vegan breakfast my host family had prepared for me. Thank you ☺
Following this yummy breakfast, I stepped out into beautiful summer Lisbon to meet Patricia of Singular Trips as well as another participant of the tour. I was very excited about this experience. What all would we taste and see in one day?
At the first stop, a cute little coffee shop, I learned that the Portuguese are the real masters of coffee. Sorry Italy, but you are now number 2 for me.
My longtime friend and fellow travel blogger Elena @Creativelena (www.creativelena.com) from Austria as well as her mom joined us here for the tour.
Is it ever to early for a craft beer tasting? Singular Trips is proud to support local manufacturers and it was a great experience to taste the different craft beers and see how they are being produced.
(Photo credit: @Creativelena
The day was filled with tastings and sightseeing. Patricia knows all the places any food and wine lover could wish for. I absolutely fell in love with “Ginjinha” a Portuguese liqueur, made by infusing ginja berries in alcohol and adding sugar together with other ingredients. As an absolute wine lover I enjoyed visits to wine shops and tasting rooms. Have I mentioned the famous Portuguese bread yet? Lisbon is definitely a foodie heaven.
Even though there were no vegan options really, I enjoyed the tour to the fullest (and the wine of course). Patricia is so knowledgeable of the city and its surrounds, that I definitely recommend any kind of tour with Singular Trips. Next time I want to visit a food market and get some fresh fruits and vegetables. Just ask Patricia and she’ll show you all the hidden gems of Lisbon. You’ll feel like being on tour with a friend and not a ‘guide ‘
Lisbon is worth a visit. Impressive architecture will await you.
With my head still full of memories and images of beautiful Lisbon I returned back to my host family late afternoon. As I thought my stay couldn’t get any better, I was welcomed with a vegan dinner. Sitting there with the family, exchanging more about our different cultures, I knew that a part of me will always stay in Lisbon and I can’t wait to be back.
Do you also want to experience Lisbon like a local?
Singular Trips offers different kinds of tours as well as traditional cooking classes / dining experiences with locals. This is an opportunity that you don’t want to miss. Check out their website for more details and info. http://www.singulartrips.com/
“Obrigada” (thank you) Patricia of Singular Trips, Cristina & Porfírio. Looking forward to come back to beautiful Lisbon some time again soon.
(Photo credit: @Creativelena)
Disclaimer: I was invited by Singular Trips for the tasting tour. All views in this article are my own.