A gastronomic long weekend in Ribatejo – Lisbon’s wine region

4 days
Ribatejo wine regionPortugalLisbon
  • Discover the joys of fine Portuguese cuisine, modern as well as traditional
  • Taste great wines in the cellars of a top-flight local winery
  • Taste superb olive oil at the historic estate of one of Ribatejo’s best producers
  • Discover how to cook traditional Portuguese cuisine assisted by a ‘home-style’ chef
  • Sojourn in an elegant villa in a charming Portuguese town
  • Enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the warm climate
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Portugal is the least explored corner of Western Europe, except maybe for its Algarve coastline. There is a beautiful scenery and wonderful food and wine to discover, all far away from the masses. Lisbon’s wine region located in central Portugal, Ribatejo, has a lot going for it.

The Ribatejo stretches along both sides of the Tejo (Tagus) river, north of Lisbon. It is a land of rolling hills and wide plains – this is Portugal’s agricultural heartland with olive groves, paddy fields, extensive vineyards. The region is also known for its vegetables and fruits, producing, amongst other things, tasty irregular shaped tomatoes, beans of various shapes and hues.

There are fascinating beautiful historic towns like Tomar, Santarem and Constancia. Life in this authentic region is unspoiled and unhurried, there are no crowds.

There are several very good restaurants, where the restaurateurs take pride in serving dishes like cabritinho no forno (baby kid from the oven), perdiz de escabeche (partridge escabeche), carpaccio de polvo (octopus carpaccio) or leitão assado (roasted suckling pig).

The necessary accompaniments to any Ribatejo meal are its wines. Portugal has hundreds of exciting, relatively unexplored indigenous grape varieties.There are bold reds made of local grapes such as Trincadeira and Castelão, which are sometimes blended with international grapes like Syrah. White wines vary from easygoing to complex, with Fernão Pires and Arinto as favoured white wine grapes.

In Ribatejo, as in other Portuguese regions, great wines are now being made. It is not surprising that respected wine critic Eric Asimov wrote in The New York Times not too long ago: ‘For the next big thing in wine, look to Portugal’.

You will be staying at an intimate boutque hotel in the heart of the beautiful and historic city of Santarem, one hour’s drive from Lisbon.

The hotel is located in a 17th century manor house, lovingly transformed by its current owners into an intimate and luxurious venue. The manor house has a central but quiet location, next to the castle walls. There are eight rooms, each of which is tastefully furnished and equipped with air conditioning.

The property has spacious gardens and terraces, with spectacular views over the countryside. The gardens also contain the remarkable remnants of a roman temple, which are situated next to the large swimming pool.

Dates 2021:

  • Our gastronomic breaks are available throughout the year, except the month of August
  • Minimum number of guests 2
  • To check availability for specific dates, please get in touch

The price for an all-in 4 days (3 nights) gastronomic break for 2 people:

• EUR 585 per person
• A single room supplement of EUR 170 is applicable

The price for an all-in 4 days (3 nights) gastronomic break for 4 people:

• EUR 495 per person
• A single room supplement of EUR 170 is applicable

What is included?

  • 3 nights accommodation
  • 3 breakfasts
  • Wellcome drink
  • 1 cooking class – including aperitif/wines/soft drinks & canapés
  • 3 dinners – including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 tour & tasting at a winery with lunch
  • 1 tour & tasting at an olive oil farm
  • recipes of the dishes prepared during cooking lesson

Santarem in Ribatejo is about one hours drive from Lisbon. There is an excellent motorway from Lisbon to Santarem, which makes for a relaxed ride. There are also frequent trains between Lisbon and Santarem. Arrival and departure transfers can be organised easily.

Paladares Travel does not offer flights or car rental services. We suggest you to book directly with one the many companies offering such services. However, if would like Paladares Travel to assist you in making arrangements please let us know.

If you wish to book your flights directly, we kindly refer you to www.flytap.nl, the website of TAP Portugal. TAP Portugal is Portugal’s national airline; they are known for their reliability and good level of service. TAP has frequent connections to various cities in Portugal, from Amsterdam, Brussels and London.

Alternatively there are many other companies offering flights. Booking early can be very advantageous.

Below is an outline of the gastronomic holiday which we are proposing.

However, we can also tailor-make gastronomic holidays according to your specific wishes, should that be of interest. For example, maybe you would prefer to have more wine tastings and more cooking lessons? Should there be more time for playing golf or horse riding? Do you have a preference for a specific Portuguese region?

If so, please contact us and we will arrange a personal gastronomic experience bespoke to your individual requirements.

Day 1 Thursday
  • Guests arrive at the hotel during the day. Welcome drink at the hotel.
  • Dinner in town, in a welcoming and atmospheric local restaurant.
  • Here you may taste local dishes like peixinhos da horta (green beans fried in a light batter), empadas de galinha (chicken pies), polvo estufado (stewed octopus), perdiz de escabeche (partridge escabeche), arroz de pato (duck with rice and chorizo), cherne no forno (stone bass from the oven). It will be a three-course dinner, the dishes paired with matching local wines.
Day 2 Friday
  • Late or early breakfast.
  • Late mornin a visit to the quinta (manor house) of one of the region’s finest wineries. There will be a tour of theimposing quinta, gardens and winery of this excellent wine producer, which will be followed by a wine tasting with a light lunch. Thereafter it is back to our hotel where there will be some time for relaxation and swimming in the large outdoor pool.
  • Dinner at a stylish modern restaurant in the city of Santarem. The cuisine here is modern Portuguese, with some international influences. Dishes will be light and pure, with matching wines as you will have become accustomed to.
Day 3 Saturday
  • After a leisurely breakfast,  it is time to depart for a trip to one of Portugal’s best olive oil producers. It is a 15 minutes’ drive. There will be an opportunity to see the beautiful farm and the surrounding land, and learn about the production of olive oil, as well as a comparative olive oil tasting.
  • There will be an afternoon cooking class at the end of the afternoon, followed by dinner. This class will focus on traditional Portuguese home-style cooking, with a specific emphasis on the authentic deserts of the convents. The cooking class at the hotel will be hosted by Claudia, both the owner and chef de cuisine of our hotel, together with her mother Dona Isabel. It will take place in the spacious kitchen of the hotel. Dishes you may prepare include borrego a moda de Alpiarca (rack of lamb Alpiarca style), pão-de-ló conventual (sponge cake prepared monestary style), pudim de ovos e vinho do porto (Portuguese pudding with port wine), peras em vinho (pears in muscatel wine).
  • The cooking class will be followed by dinner with dishes you prepared. It will be held in the dining room of hotel, with matching wines, as you will have come accustomed to.
Day 4 Sunday
  • Breakfast at leisure. Guests depart during the morning or afternoon
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