Lost in Lisbon, Portugal

Hello world! Welcome to the Half Dutch Cookie, the home of good foods and good moods. Today I am taking you on a tour of Lisbon in Portugal. Not just any old tour but one filled with food fancies, rooftop sights, beautiful brunches and sun soaked scenery. There’s lot’s to get through, so each week I’ll be posting some of favourite spots. Grab a cup of tea, sit back, relax and get lost in Lisbon. 

If you haven’t been to Lisbon yet, I definitely recommend it. To be honest, I hadn’t heard that much about it before going, however I really enjoyed this as a city break, especially in late October where the temperature still hit a calm 28 degrees. The people were incredibly friendly which is something I always feel adds to visiting any new place. As well this the gluten free options were pretty accessible and staff tended to be (mostly) in the know.  I would also advise to bring comfortable shoes. Lisbon is built on seven hills and boy did I underestimate them. Saying that, the best way to experience the city is still by foot.

But first up – Happy brunching!

Sunset views over Lisbon bridge

Brunch Munch

Brunch options are endless in Lisbon, so if you’re a brunch lover you’ve come to the right place. Menus tend to be extensive with egg options, sandwiches, toasties, nachos, taco, smoothie bowls, pancakes and the ever common tapioca pancake. Here’s some of my favourites we got around to trying.

Zenith 

Zenith was my favourite brunch spot and came highly recommended. It describes itself as being a trendy restaurant serving all-day brunch & cocktails amid a chic setting. This is pretty accurate as the venue itself is open plan with a mezzanine which hosts additional seating. The menu is pretty extensive so there is an option for everyone – from sweet tooth to savoury. They also boasted a pretty extensive list of gluten free options including breads, tapioca wraps and acai bowls. Get there early, as there was quite often a queue waiting outside! However, it’s definitely worth the wait. 

Charlie’s 

We stumbled across Charlies one morning as it was close to our accommodation. Charlies bistro is a cute, understated cafe which has a really nice healthy and vegan option menu range. Once again they had the tapioca pancakes on the menu, however I don’t know if I am totally convinced by it just yet. Saying that it was so nice to have so many gluten free options and to try out something different. 

Nutelle and Strawberry Tapioca at Charlies Bistro

Manifest 

If you are hosting a working lunch, then Manifest is probably not the place for you. It’s a no laptop/wifi spot which doesn’t condone technology. Their focus is on sharing food and good conversations. The menu is brunch with a Mexican twist, think lots of avocado and beans. I went for the Alaskan eggs on gluten free bread but the real topper was their delicious smoothie options! 

Delta The Coffee House Avenida da Liberdade

Not necessarily a brunch recommendation, but definitely a good spot if you need to get some work done. They have an extensive coffee range, sandwiches, pastel de nata (not gluten free unfortunately) as well as great wifi and a nice outdoor area. Just the spot if you’re in need of a WFH change of scenery. 

Cappuciano at Delta Coffee House
Visually impaired? No problem – You can find this blogpost on audio here.

Sketch – Mayfair, London

The Gallery aka Pink Room, Photo Credit: Sketch

It’s been a while since I have written anything on here as the last few months have been pretty hectic between new jobs and moving around. As well as this I haven’t been eating out as often, if at all, in the past few months. With restaurants starting to open back up I am feeling incredibly fortunate that I have  been able to try out some gems recently. 

I haven’t been too keen to venture anywhere too busy, however anywhere I have been lately has been well spaced out, sanitised and by reservation only so the experience has been really comfortable and enjoyable. 

Up this week we have Sketch. Sketch is an instagrammers dream. It’s a well known go to spot in London and it’s definitely worth a visit, if you enjoy quirky decor and attentive staff. There are a few different restaurants to choose from, each with its own theme – The Parlour, The Lecture Room & Library, The Glade, the Gallery and the East Bar & Pods. Even their website is quirky and fun with interactive pages. You can check it out here. For this reservation we went to the Gallery, also known as the Pink room which you may already have seen on instagram.  

The staff were extremely friendly and welcoming and we were seated at our pink velvet booth. To start we ordered drinks, I went for a Sketch Spritz which was fruity and fresh.

Our waiter was well informed on gluten free options and even checked with the kitchen to confirm any questions that I had about the menu. I opted for the Poached Sea Bass and a side portion of creamy spinach, while my friend opted for the lobster and fries. The seabass was soft and lovely, served with artichoke and a creamy sake sauce. They also provided some gluten free bread and were overall really helpful.

As we ordered dessert, the waiter advised that we don’t take too long the loos as it would be ready in 15 minutes which I found strange – until I saw them. There is a hidden bar, encased in 2 white staircases which lead upwards to what looked like giant white eggs. These are the loos which are overseen by a multicolour neon light ceiling – it’s almost as if being in a museum or art gallery and it’s worth the visit alone.  

For dessert I went for the chocolate parfait with berry sorbet which was divine. I don’t always go for dessert but I always always look at the menu just in case something looks particularly good. Unfortunately the Glade bar was full so we went for a drink in the Parlour after dinner, which is a bar at the front with dusky decor and neon lights.

While I found the food only okay the atmosphere, staff and overall experience makes up for it. They were really accommodating for vegetarian and gluten free and the staff were well informed.  Sketch is the perfect combination of restaurant meets gallery meets museum so if you’re looking for something a little bougie and special while in London it’s worth a visit. They also do an amazing afternoon tea which you can read more about at Cocktail Saturdays review here

Inside the Famous Sketch Loos – Every cubicle is in the form of an egg

Restaurant: Sketch

Location: 9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG

Website: https://sketch.london/

Price Range: ££££

Vibe: Smart Casual