Friday, 21 March 2014

And one of the best historical Cafés in Europe is….


When European cafés became the preferred hangouts of their city's intellectuals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they turned into cultural institutions with ornate, palatial interiors. Many if not most of them remain open today, although the main visitors are now tourists guided by their guidebooks.

Those cafés are now essentially museums where coffee and pastries are served at high prices, while others have been turned into full-blown restaurants, and a few still attempt to keep their cultural heritage alive by hosting literary and other cultural events. The biggest café cities are Paris, Vienna, Venice, and Budapest, where café interiors are at their most sumptuous, but you'll find some extraordinarily beautiful cafés throughout Europe and even in the big cities of the Americas that emulated the grandiosity of the Old World.

The British newspaper The Telegraph has chosen the best historical Cafés of Europe and among them is a Portuguese one A Brasileira. In Lisbon's Old Quarter is one of the most famous of the city's cafés - gilded, old and deliciously dim.


The most photographed statue in the city stands (sits) outside this café, but that’s not the main attraction. That statue is of poet Fernando Pessoa who frequented this space opened in 1905, and the reason why tourists and locals are still attracted to its tables is because it’s a true Lisbon monument. The interior takes us back to the Belle Époque, with woodwork, mirrors and modernist paintings.

According to the travel page of the newspaper, A Brasileira is one of the famous cafes of the city, having The Telegraph recommends drinking with a Portuguese specialty - Pastel de Nata. It was the first shop to sell a "bica", a small cup of the strong stuff, similar to an espresso.

A Brasileira is equated, in this selection, with iconic cafés of Europe as the Caffè della Pace in Rome, Le Procope in Paris, De Florian in Venice, and the Central, in Vienna.

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