If you visit Porto and only have time for one meal, head across the river to Vila Nova de Gaia because this is where you should have it. Barão de Fladgate may not have Michelin stars or be the trendiest option in town, but it’s an experience you absolutely should not miss. Located at Taylor’s Port Lodges, your visit to Taylor’s and Barão de Fladgate will be full of charm and history. When you arrive, spend a little time exploring the beautiful gardens and admiring the nostalgia in Taylor’s Library Room. Move onto lunch at Barão de Fladgate’s stunning hillside terrace, with panoramic views of the Douro river valley and Porto’s vibrant historic center. You might be so distracted by the environment that you forget you are there to eat, but any dish coming out of the kitchen is sure to catch your attention and get your mouth watering.
The food at Barão de Fladgate has one foot strongly planted in traditional Portugese cuisine, and the other somewhere bright and full of inspiration. The products you’ll find on the menu are the kind that have been eaten in the area of hundreds of years, but the craft and attention paid to preparation and service at Barão de Fladgate are on par with a 5 star resort, albeit one with someone’s extremely inventive grandmother running the kitchen. You’ll feel wined and dined, but at the same time, things feel somehow familiar and comforting.
It’s easy to slip away into a dream here, but don’t forget, you are in one of the oldest Port houses in existence, it would be a shame to leave without learning a thing or two. In addition to suggesting fantastic port pairings, Taylor’s offers tours of their grounds and cellars, lined with barrels of aging wine. The guides are knowledgable and friendly, teaching you about the history, production and profiling of Port wines, as well as some of Taylor’s very own 4 century long history. The tour wraps up with tastings of three Port wines to round out your education. For those already well versed in Port and it’s history, Taylor’s also offers additional premium tastings and private tours structured to your personal whims.
Try the: roasted meats, bacalhau (cod) dishes, rice dishes and sautéed greens; all are Portuguese classics that Barão de Fladgate does an excellent job of elevating to their impeccable standards. Everything we had was outstanding so it’s hard to go wrong.