Home » Fado and in the King’s Sleeve in Coimbra

Fado and in the King’s Sleeve in Coimbra

The itinerary was there, the mood for it was certainly there, and so the reservation had been made. On a beautiful day in February, the following email arrived.

Whether I could organize a fado evening as a surprise for her birthday

“Hi Ellen,
Would you like to do something for us?
We will arrive at your place on the 16th.
But the 17th is my dear wife Nel’s birthday, so you know.
Well, then you have to come up with something as a gift. I don’t need anything, I already have you, is what she says then.

But then what could I do? Can you arrange something?
I’m thinking nice restaurant with real FADO music.
I think it would be great fun to reserve this. Do you want to do that for me, and are you able to do that?”

This immediately stole my heart. Great idea, and I certainly want and can do that. Only a truly authentic fado evening often only starts after midnight. Originally all unplanned, just in a bar, café or restaurant, where everyone came together to chat and try the (new) wine. Maybe it took so long to build up courage, who knows? Then someone just stood up and started singing. We’re talking about something like fifty years ago maybe..

Nowadays, fado performances are being organized for tourists

In the theater on the stairs in the center of Coimbra. (Those stairs are called The Backbreaker “Quebra-Costas” – and go up about 100 meters quite steep). That performance is around 6 o’clock, a much better time for tourists. I advised adding a Sunday lunch – half of Portugal has lunch on Sunday afternoon, and in the evening everyone sits at home gathering courage for Monday. There’s a very charming restaurant, also in the center of Coimbra: A Jardim da Manga, The Garden of the Sleeve. There’s a story to it.

This Renaissance monument was built in 1533 by King João III. Legend has it that King João III of Portugal visited the monastery one day and, confronted with a large unused space, sketched on the sleeve of his doublet a monastery and the surrounding garden, which he later had constructed.

The monument was designed with great detail, the result of much thought and wisdom, presenting itself as a work full of symbolism. Here are the foundations of the Christian religion: the Source of Life in the middle of paradise, where the four rivers fan out to the four winds. Now only the dome (the Source) remains, connected to four small chapels and waters. All that remains of the ancient Manga Monastery, the Monastery of Santa Cruz, which belonged to the canons of St. Augustine order.

Well, our guests drank from the Source of All. Taste, atmosphere, and fado

The next morning, in the warm sunshine in the backyard, they talked about how much fun it had been.

Mission accomplished!


We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal.

A big step, especially with two small children.

We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday houses, rooms and a campsite.

You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

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