Today I have proposed to try to describe in few lines an emblematic place of the charismatic Barrio Alto of Lisbon: the Pavilhao Chines. Certainly his name evokes to the East, exoticism and especially, mystery. All that is true, the complicated thing comes now, when I have to put in words the atmosphere and the decoration of this space without equally.

Entrance and interior decoration | Photos: Pavilhao Chines

The mysterious local environment begins in the same entry of the place since a red door blocks the way to us. It is necessary to ring the bell and wait in order to a waiter opens and accompanies us to a table, as if we were entering to the house of someone. Inside, different rooms with comfortable classic furniture and tenuous lighting are decorated with all luxury of details, pictures, statues, furniture of wood, red velvets, moldings carved in the ceilings … all this undoubtedly very baroquely, I would say that even with airs of cabaret.

But once sat is when you really start repairing in the hundreds of collector’s objects that overstock the showcases and racks of every room. So eclectic and kitsch decoration will have us without blinking with the look from a rack to other one observing the thousands of lead soldiers, jars, toys, porcelain, and masks collections. His owner Luis Pinto Coelho could only be a passionate collector of old pieces which, since 1986, have been used to create this indefinable atmosphere, so original and at the same time so classic, of Lisbon nights. There is not a single centimeter in any of the five rooms that is free of decoration, just to mention that many of them might be in a museum since they are original pieces from the S.XVIII to the S.XX. This overloaded and excessive environment, it only does not turn out to be claustrophobic, but it lends to the conversation and to the intimacy. The people feel like in their home sat in its comfortable sofas and armchairs and enjoying any of the cocktails specialties of the house or of his extensive tea list.

Interior decoration | Photos: Pavilhao Chines

It is necessary to look for in last century to know the history of this coffee when the place was a shop of ultramarine specialized in high range import products, principally teas and coffees. The coffee shop preserves the original name of the shop and is for many natives of Lisbon considered as heritage of the most romantic Lisbon, place adopted as point of meeting for intellectual and artists.

Surely that you have never been in a place like this.

The direction:
Pavilhao Chines
Rua Dom Pedro V, 89 – 1250 Lisboa, Portugal