Tile. Medicine. Pastry.

Tile murals of old Lisbon surround the outside of the Sant’Anna showroom.

Brett and I both still feel quite miserable (although better than yesterday), but today was gorgeous – warm and sunny – so we decided to go out for a short while and visit the showroom of Fábrica Sant’Anna, located a short distance away from our apartment. Fábrica Sant’Anna is Lisbon’s oldest azulejos (tile) maker, in business since 1741. Portugal is known for its decorative tiles, which can be seen everywhere and can cover entire buildings (serving as sort of temperature control) or be used to create historic or cultural murals, tile panels or other decorations. Although we had hoped to visit the national tile museum, the Sant’Anna showroom was an easy outing for us and a delightful way to check out traditional Portuguese tiles and ceramics.

Just a few of the many hand-painted tile designs produced by Sant’Anna.

This lovely blue and yellow tile panel could be installed either inside or outside for decoration.

Fabrica Sant’Anna is the last of its kind in Lisbon, a store where every piece of ceramic is made and painted by hand – many of the tile products seen around town in souvenir and other shops are actually machine-made these days. Prices at Sant’Anna are not low, but they are lower than many other tile shops in Lisbon. The Sant’Anna ceramic factory is in Belem, west of Lisbon, and tours are available by appointment. However, their shop in the Chiado neighborhood display all their products, from individual tiles to dishes to decor to fountains to bathroom sinks, in designs from traditional to modern. Blue seems to be the predominant color used, but all the colors of the rainbow can be found throughout the shop.

Every type of dish imaginable it seemed could be found in the showroom, and of course more beautiful tiles. The shop also does custom designs and colors.

Beautiful traditional farm scene panel

After spending awhile looking at and gushing over the many different tile patterns and other products on display (and being thankful we don’t have room in our suitcases for any of it because we would have otherwise purchased several pieces), we headed back to the apartment. On the way we stopped in a pharmacy to ask about cold medicine and came away with cough syrup for Brett, cold tablets for me, Tylenol, and throat lozenges . . . all for a very affordable price. And they are working! We are still far from being well, but we are coughing less and feeling a bit better.

Another delicious bakery stop!

We also wanted to make another stop at the neighborhood bakery we visited the other day. The waiter recognized us from our previous time there and in a matter of moments had us seated and our treats in front of us: a peach cinnamon bun and café Americano for Brett, and sponge cake and fresh-squeezed orange juice for me, loaded with vitamin C in every sip! We also ordered two Pastel de Nata to enjoy later this evening.

After we finished our treats we were feeling too exhausted to do anything more so it was time to head back to the apartment, happily downhill all the way. It was a short but lovely outing in our neighborhood, and we’re glad we made the time. As for tomorrow, who knows? We will see how we feel in the morning before deciding if we are up to going out again, and if so, we’ll decide where then.