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:
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
We always stop off in the square to admire the statues which sit so majestically:
The 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:
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:
There 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?!
An old carriage wheel lies forlorn nearby – there is so much history to be found in this one town:
And even the more modern forms of transport go back to the 1960’s!
Next stop is a trek up the ‘Monkey steps’ – they are quite a daunting climb – but well worth the effort!
Half 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!
And 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.
The menu outside hints at the treats to be found inside:
From 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!
We 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:
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!!
We 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:
One last stop for another ‘faded grandeur’ shot of an old rusting window frame:
And 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:
It 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:
If you have enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our other posts about Monchique too: