In Lisbon we spent an afternoon wandering around the gardens of the Gulbenkian Foundation and when it started to rain we headed indoors to the Contemporary Arts Center.
There was an awesome Beatriz Milhazes exhibition, an artist I did not know before. Lots of collage work making similar patterned and coloured flowers out of shopping bags and chocolate wrappers, as well as painting and a huge gallery length mural with cut adhesive vinyl.
And there was also a café that introduced me to this very exciting new concept: AVOCADO MOUSSE. Best thing ever! Who knew?
The cafeteria was wonderfully 70’s style with white padded vinyl chairs, loads of concrete and lunch trays and very dependable style lunches.
I thought I was being very controversial with my avocado ice cream but it seems in certain areas of Portugal at least sweet avocado dishes are no big deal. We asked a chef at a restaurant we had dinner at if he heard of such a thing and he told us “Yes of course. My friend from Madeira has avocado for breakfast all the time with loads of sugar, a bit of lemon juice all mashed up together.” So what does it taste like? Avocado, custard, apple, green, fresh, lime, yum. Watch this space as I trial and error my own version of Sweet Avocado Mousse.
And, not to be overshadowed in the back left corner. That little eggy sponge was delicious – it was really fluffy but at the same time, moist. If you poked your finger in the sponge it was instantly compacted like wet gooey cake. Perfect with coffee on a rainy day.
Just a stones throw from this Museum and Garden is El Corte Ingles. The food hall in the basement is great to visit to see a fresh fish section rivalling Les Halles in Avignon, Padron Peppers like no big deal all over the place, meats, cheese, wine and port tasting. There is a large bio section within so you can get soya milk, chocolate soya milk, soya yoghurt etc and what ever else like that you want like beetroot juice. The only café we went to that did have soya milk by the way was Starbucks. The rest of the store is filled with the usual department store stuff – more of a House of Fraser than Harvey Nichols – but if you forgot a cable for whatever camera or laptop bizzo you could probably get a replacement here. The cook ware floor was no different to any I have seen in German or French department stores.
Finally, just a quick note, there is a reasonably priced shoe shop Zilian that I think probably most of my female friends or colleagues at work would like a few things there. I realise shoes is a minefield but I think worth a look if you are nearby and want a new pair of holiday shoes. I am regretting I didn’t by those sandals in blue.
FUNDAÇÃO CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN
Av. de Berna, 45A 1067-001 Lisboa Tel: + 351217823000
El Corte Ingles Lisboa
Av. António Augusto de Aguiar 31 Lisbon TEl: +351 213711700
Av. António Augusto Aguiar 29 Lisbon 213 878 455
P.S. Also not far is a Cash Converter that Anthony found an AKG mic for less than half price. I also found a transparent solar calculator for €1,50. Neither of us purchased.