Afternoon tea and Faded Grandeur in the Monchique

It’s not just David Cameron who enjoys the gentle delights of the Monchique area – we love popping up there for an afternoon stroll – and now one of our favourite haunts has just got better as we discovered a quaint little tea shop that sells amazing home-made cakes – more about that later!

First stop for us is always the viewing platform area near the top of town – the views across the town and countryside are spectacular – as you can see from the shot below:

Monchique Algarve Blog Panoramic

Then it’s off to wander the streets and take in the sights – we rarely have a ‘plan’ when we arrive, we just like to amble round and explore the back streets 

Monchique Algarve Blog #001

We always stop off in the square to admire the statues which sit so majestically:

Monchique Algarve Blog #005The whole structure is a tribute to one man –  Dr Humberto Messias, a local from Monchique and noted surgeon in Lisbon. He stated that he did not want a statue on a pedestal, so they have cast him interacting with local people sat in the square. The statues are bronze cast and stunning:

Monchique Algarve Blog #006 There are so many old grand buildings in Monchique that are just fantastic to photograph – I love this old door with its carvings and ornate detail – what a story I am sure it could tell:

Monchique Algarve Blog #007There is even a key hanging up in a side window of the house – long fallen into disrepair – I wonder if it would open the front door?!

Monchique Algarve Blog #008An old carriage wheel lies forlorn nearby – there is so much history to be found in this one town:

Monchique Algarve Blog #016 And even the more modern forms of transport go back to the 1960’s!

Monchique Algarve Blog #009Next stop is a trek up the ‘Monkey steps’ – they are quite a daunting climb – but well worth the effort!

Monchique Algarve Blog #004Half way up is a quick stop – not to catch our breath (!) but to stop to marvel at one of our favourite little streets, with its faded buildings and charming history – the building half way up on the right is still a shoe shop – selling the most fantastic array of old style shoes in boxes. I would love to know how long the old boy has been working there!

Monchique Algarve Blog #003And so to the top – and our hidden treasure – the fantastic ÓCháLá tea room which is a haven amongst the old buildings and faded charms of Monchique.

Monchique Algarve Blog #012 The menu outside hints at the treats to be found inside:

Monchique Algarve Blog #013From the outside it seems to be another faded and dilapidated building – but inside it is light, bright and airy – and even has free wi-fi!

Monchique Algarve Blog #014We were delighted to find ‘afternoon tea’ on the menu, with a vast array of teas to choose from – we chose Earl Grey and it came with its own egg timer and tea strainer so that we could have the perfectly brewed tea:

Monchique Algarve Blog #010

But the real delights were the home-made scones which were warm from the oven and delicious. We were not surprised to find that the cream and jam were not really ‘English’ – we’ve never found ‘proper’ cream out here – much less clotted cream for my Devon boy (!) and the jam was a bit thin and runny – but oh so yummy!!

Monchique Algarve Blog #011We have returned there since then and tried their home made lemonade and it was fab! The place has a very relaxed and homely feel, with comfy chairs and a nice big display of home-made cakes –  the perfect spot to while away an hour or so in the afternoon!

Then of course it’s time for a spot of shopping – the little shops in Monchique certainly have an interesting range of goods for sale – and most of them are locally made:

Monchique Algarve Blog #017

One last stop for another ‘faded grandeur’ shot of an old rusting window frame:

Monchique Algarve Blog #020And a final shot which just seemed to sum up our afternoon in the Monchique – I do hope the Bombeiros are not called out on a shout in a hurry as this dear old thing was fast asleep on their forecourt:

Monchique Algarve Blog #018It was then off to Foia for a great photo shoot as the sun set and a walk amongst the stunning scenery – but that’s a post for another day:

Monchique Algarve Blog FoiaIf you have enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our other posts about Monchique too:

Spotlight on Monchique and Convent in Exile

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27 Responses to Afternoon tea and Faded Grandeur in the Monchique

  1. Tracey Hand says:

    Hmmmmm
    Cream tea without the Devonshire clotted??
    Criminal!!

    Looks lovely though. I do love Monchique and Foia (despite being able to count on o̶n̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶n̶d̶ two fingers the number of times I have been there!)

  2. beyondlisbon says:

    “And even the more modern forms of transport go back to the 1960’s?” *rolleyes* Really?!
    Maybe, oh I don’t know, just a tad exaggerated? 😉

  3. scatmanjack says:

    I have been in Monchique previously, but usually just out for a drive and never stopped long enough to take in all it’s delights. I will be there at the beginning of October so will check out those tea rooms then. ❤

  4. Paul Rees says:

    From the Twinings website “…Earl Grey and Lady Grey need five minutes,” titter ye not, this is the brewing time for the perfect cup, silly. This essential information is for those of you that were wondering what to do with the egg timer…

    You can get clotted cream in the Algarve so it is shame the ‘cream’ in Monchique is not the correct type, and as for the jam, oh darling, that will never do! If it was clotted cream then many more would visit, me for one, and the publicity could be/would be massive. Import the cream and the jam if iot can not be sourced locally, there are plenty of UK supermarkets that will send goods here, or the tea room could go direct to one of the West Country suppliers.

    It all sounds fab though and this sort of blog will help Monchique along its road to recovery, well done!

  5. Paul Rees says:

    Any remaining independent ‘English’ shops like LettheMagicIn (sadly closed), Apolonia, Iceland or online from the UK shipped by local transport companies. I can confirm that clotted cream is calorie free, according to the Devonian Clotted Cream Information Board, and my gran.

  6. I love old doors and windows so these were my favorites, but the shot of the town, just beautiful. Don’t mistake me though, I loved the entire posting today! The steps, wonderful.

  7. What a great place to visit!

  8. Gallivanta says:

    Looks a truly charming place.

  9. Vaishalee Mehra (female) says:

    Hi, I plan to visit Monchique on the 17th of December, 2013 or thereafter in December, any idea if the tea shop will be open? Interesting that OCHALA translated to Hindi/ Punjabi is “hey bring the tea!”
    Also, could you suggest where to park cheaply (or for free) in Monchique, with the address that I could feed into the GPRs.

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