The new Grand Café has opened in Vila Real de Santo António. Located in the historic customs house known as ‘Alfândega’, the town’s oldest building, the café is described as “more than just a place for delicious snacks, delicate treats and signature homemade pastries.
Run by the five-star Relais & Châteaux Boutique Hotel Grand House, the new café is inviting customers to “connect with the local community as well as fellow Grand guests and visitors, all while basking in the ambiance of the waterfront promenade.
The menu at the Grand Café “takes a special approach”, as the café has chosen to pay tribute to the “distinctiveness of the Portuguese sea and the town’s canning legacy by offering select dishes made with canned fish and seafood from Ramirez.”
Among the dishes served are smoked salmon croissant, chicken peach toast, avocado and ‘Pata Negra’ cured ham open sandwich, quinoa beetroot salad, smoked tuna belly and more.
“In 1853, when Sebastian Ramirez established the country’s first factory for producing jute and canned fish, he catapulted Vila Real de Santo António into prominence as the Portuguese hub of the canning industry. Ramirez not only laid the groundwork for the Portuguese canned food sector but also made a significant mark on the country’s hotel business with the creation of one of its most cherished treasures—the Hotel Guadiana,” the café says in a statement to the press.
“Unveiled in 1926, it marked the initiation of tourism in the Algarve. Nearly a century later, the hotel, now known as Grand House, welcomes its guests with renewed glamour.
“The Alfândega was the first structure completed during the construction of Vila Real de Santo António. Its primary purpose was to facilitate the taxation of transactions with Spain and to deter smuggling. Flanked by twelve fishing societies, it effectively bisected the city into two symmetrical halves. The Customs House was strategically positioned to establish a definitive border between the two realms of Portugal and Spain. Essentially, it marked a clear boundary between the territories of the two nations,” it adds.
Grand Café is located on Avenida da República, no 147, and is open from 3pm to 10pm.
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