During a delightful lunch at Gadanha in Estremoz, we praised the marble serving pieces used at the restaurant. Chef Michele Marques offered to introduce us to Filipa André, the person who makes them.
Filipa owns a gallery in Largo Dom Dinis, right by the royal palace of Estremoz. She told us how in school she longed to get into the marble sculpting classes that were open only to boys. Many years later, Filipa fulfilled her dream of learning how to work with the pearly marble of Estremoz.
Her pieces have an understated elegance that makes the food served on them shine. Every time her plates and bowls grace our dinner table people ask us: where did you get them? Now you know.
Filipa André’s gallery, Elapedra is located at Largo D. Dinis n. 13 in Estremoz, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tel.963273440.
Estremoz is a village in Alentejo built on a hill by king Dom Afonso III in 1258. It was once an important citadel that guarded the Portuguese kingdom from potential aggressors.
In 1360, king Dom Dinis built a royal palace in Estremoz for his wife Isabel of Aragon. It was in this palace that king Dom Manuel appointed Vasco da Gama as the commander of the fleet that sailed to India, beginning a new chapter in world history.
The palace, converted into an historical hotel, is sumptuously decorated with antique paintings and furniture. Corridors and stairs are covered with the famous white marble excavated from local quarries.
The war trophies that hang in the dining room reminded us of the momentous decisions made in this palace. And they made us appreciate even more the tranquil days we spent with only one difficult decision to make: which of the 22 wineries in Estremoz to visit.
Here’s a link to the pousadas’ website. You can find a large collection of photos of the pousadas at www.mariarebelophotography.com.