A refreshing taste of Portugal: TAP’s Business Class lounge in Lisbon

TAP Air Portugal’s flagship lounge in Lisbon gives you that last little taste of the country while waiting for your flight. As Portugal used to have colonies around the globe, it only makes sense that their Business Class lounge has amenities to properly prepare your for even long-haul flights. I was happy to be hosted to experience it!

In a darkened hallway, there are benches where you can sprawl out, but as they are right near the lavatories, I stayed in the main room. In this hallway, there is a clothes refresher machine. Very interesting and convenient! If you have easy access to a knapsack or carry-on for change of clothes, it’s something to try. I wasn’t able to find out exactly if it steams your clothes or cleans them or what. There are certainly some travels where I’d have to use it, as I have an annoying habit of splashing stuff on my blouse.\

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Right down the hallway are the showers, which I peeked into. They’re an unfussy affair.

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There are a good number of charging outlets. I picked a seat that appealed to me: its own small night stand-like table, along with the outlet. I spread out my backpack, jacket and carry-on to “save it” while I got some food. I never leave my phone, charger or purse, though. It’s not always easy traveling alone. Sure enough, when I got back with my little plate and wine glass, there was a middle age guy sitting in my seat, who threw all of my stuff off. There were plenty of other seats available, but I had picked a good one. I stood there, staring. “Those are all of my things that you moved, that’s my seat,” I stated matter of factly and without the traditional American smile, not knowing if he spoke English. I didn’t flinch. He was well dressed and I’m sure he considered himself gentlemanly, but he’d be a party of one in that assessment. He looked up at me, shocked that I’d say something and not just scramble away. “You want me to move?!” he asked in disbelief. “Yeah, I do.” He moved. People talk about “ugly Americans,” but I assure you he was not American.

Having spent several days in Portugal, I had a good glimpse of coastal Portuguese food. I was glad to see a few of the same things on the buffet I had sampled in fine restaurants, including butter from the Azores, pumpkin soup and widely acclaimed wines — many of them! I enjoyed a glass of jammy, smoky Tempranillo.

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They had a number of composed salads, but my favorite was this garbanzo, garlic and olive oil simple concoction. It’s like a salad I buy at the store all of the time or sometimes make myself. With rich Portuguese olive oil, I was lured into seconds.

They had these mini pies and quiches, including chicken, their famous codfish and spinach, spinach and pork/lemon/coriander. I sampled these all in service to you. The pork is the best!

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Portuguese cheese needs to become more available in the USA! They had cow’s milk Flamengo, cow’s milk cheese from the Azores, cow’s milk Edam and sheep’s milk cheese. So . . . this really happened: as I was taking this picture, a massive guy bumped me out of the way, grabbed the tongs and scooped up all of the sheep’s cheese! I tried that little crumb that was left. This sheep’s cheese was very, very good, with grassy and creamy notes. I still can’t believe he did that! The vibe in the lounge at that time was maybe a little more aggressive than I’ve seen in other lounges. I asked one of the staff members if they would restock the cheese, but they said not until several hours from that point. Lesson: if you pose or snooze, you lose! Also, the sheep’s milk cheese is excellent!

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