Family restaur authentic tast A little bit of Portugal has arrived in Plymouth city centre, with the opening of The Lisbon Bakery and Restaurant. The Crespo family - mum Maria, dad Carlos, daughter Tania and son Rafael - have transformed 22-24 Frankfort Gate into a traditional Portuguese restaurant, complete with its very own bakery. While chef Maria cooks up the delicious meals, lifelong baker Carlos is busy making beautiful bread and cakes. Tania and Rafael, meanwhile, take care of everything front of house. The family moved to Plymouth seven years ago from their home city of Lisbon, where they ran a number of businesses including a bakery that distributed bread and cakes to supermarkets and restaurants. But, although cooking is in their hearts, Rafael says they had no plans to open a restaurant and bakery here - until he spotted that the spacious premises had become available: “It just came about because I saw the opportunity to embrace the possibilities. We felt there was an untapped market here because there was no-one else doing what we’re doing, creating Portuguese food from scratch, all made on the premises,” said Rafael. “Even in London, some of the Portuguese places don’t make their food and bread and cakes in-house. What we are offering is an authentic Portuguese experience.” It’s proving to be a good move. Although they’ve only been open since April, they’re already busy with eat-in diners and coffee-and-cake to go customers. To create the look and ambience they wanted, they had to refurbish absolutely everything and start afresh. The result is a welcoming interior with a cafe feel around the counter area and an informal dining area in the main part of the restaurant. The restaurant seats 50 inside and another 40 outside, where the al fresco area was set to be enhanced further as we were going to press. “We’re really happy with the vibe we’ve created,” said Rafael, who manages the restaurant with Carlos: “We wanted it to be simple, open and just like the restaurants that people visit when they’re on holiday in Portugal. “The outdoor space has really added to
The Plymouth Magazine August 2017
The 158th edition of Plymouth's popular and biggest circulation "lifestyle" magazine delivered to 45,000 homes every month.