Was I happily surprised or what when I discovered Earth in good old Carvoeiro? Hallelujah!
Two months after its opening in June 2015, I finally realized after passing its entry a gazillion times that this well-designed place was much more than just a wine shop and I immediately became their biggest fan. I quite literally moved in with my laptop, notebooks, and magazines and spend days on end creating my website staring at the ocean and reordering. I just loved it, and I still do! Read on and find out why.
Earth café is refreshingly different to anything else in Carvoeiro. This handsome café-tea-room-wine bar-delicacy-gift-shop-art-gallery is on the curve of Rua das Flores and the top of Estrada do Farol. The menu, their mise-en-place, and its interior design stand out big time in comparison to the characterless and touristy cafés and restaurants down the road (which have dominated this once-attractive fishing village for way too long!). A stimulating place for creative’s with a hunger for quality food!
The grand open space – with its signature wine racks and multi-color seats with ocean view – is airy and light, yet intimate and relaxing. You can feel and taste the love and attention put into every detail. From the brown paper menus with handwriting-font to the gift wrapping and the refined dishes served on particularly designed ceramic-cork tableware (available in store). Even the alternative playlists (which I love!) create the perfect background to enjoy a lovely lunch. It has a street-side terrace but it’s when you choose to sit inside you truly get to savor Earth’s charm.
GREEN FOOD FACTS
Run by fellow yogini, Pauline Flesseman, it comes to no surprise that conscious food is high on Earth’s menu. Most products are from small producers preferably locally sourced and organic. The vegan and vegetarian options are a hit (even if you’re still a meat-eater, trust me!). Among the veggie options: my new favorite the super salad (quinoa, cherry tomato, chickpeas, beet, broccoli, oven roasted veggies served with tzatziki – poached egg, feta); the burrito filled with slow-cooked red beans, oven roasted veggies, butternut pumpkin, rice, avocado, with(out) cheese; the curry-lentil soup; the velvety cauliflower and sweet potato soup with(out) parmesan. Monthly specials are usually vegetarian lasagnas or quiches. For dessert: vegan brownies.
The food is freshly prepared and mostly home-made. So be patient when it’s busy. It will be worth the wait and for sure you’ll order more than once. While waiting you can either check out their large selection of wines, pick out a Portuguese handicraft or if you’re a winter guest get comfortable near the fireplace. They’re open all winter!
Tea! If you’re a bit of a tea-junkie, like me, you’ll be happy with Earth’s selection of organic green leaf teas such as the Japanese Marimo Sencha and Pukka’s tea blends. In summer try their Green Cold Tea, which is an excellent caffeine-free isotonic drink of powdered Matcha. New to Earth’s selection – on my request because I’m addicted to their Jasmine Green! – are the organic teas by Numi. Order it with a homemade scone or/and the fruit crumble and you got yourself a high tea treat. The lovely tea boxes also make great gifts for other tea lovers. If you’re more of a coffee-addict you’re good to go as well. They use the brand Illy and you have the option to add almond or soy milk (you don’t still drink cow milk do you?).
The Fig & Almond Jam (Doce de Figo & Amêndoa) with beet sugar, lemon, and cinnamon or the Orange Marmalade. If you prefer even sweeter indulge in the Creme de Caramel e Flor de Sal de Castro Marim. Non-vegan and certainly not sugar-free but still…
TAKE-AWAY TO THE BEACH
One of their super smoothies such as The Hulk (broccoli, spinach, celery, banana, mango, pineapple, cayenne, cinnamon) or Berry Go Round (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry) served in a glass jar with a striped paper straw or a paper cup if you take it away.
An Alma Gémea (Soul Mate) teapot and cups from Amorim Cork Composites. This Portuguese design of half (removable) cork and half ceramic, is described as the story of two soul mates who despite their differences are attracted to each other and united as a stronger and complete “one”. Available in the colors blue teal, pearl and grey. I got a pearly set at home.
WHY I KEEP COMING BACK
Earth’s growing popularity is well deserved. This is the kind of place where you lose track of time flipping through magazines, greeting fellow Earthlings, sipping endless latte’s, and quite willingly move from breakfast to lunch into high tea and then to the five o’clock tapas with wine. It’s the perfect spot to either sit by yourself, catch up with a group of friends for a Sunday brunch or have a working lunch. Here you can truly venture out one of its extensive breakfasts or settle back to a tasty vegetarian lunch without feeling rushed by its friendly staff.
WHEN NOT TO GO
Tuesday’s when it’s closed and when you’re in a hurry. This is not the place where you’ll want to run out of quickly. I’ve tried that once and I got very frustrated!
DON’T FORGET TO VISIT
To digest after lunch, enjoy a walk on the cliff formation of the Algar Seco. It’s just around the corner from Earth and it offers a magnificent scenery even in winter!
EARTH CAFÉ & SHOP
Rua das Flores 1
Carvoeiro – Lagoa
ALGARVE – PORTUGAL