I meant to go down into Luz today to get a couple of shots of the café outside Baptista supermarket, as Baptista pops up in quite a few people’s revelations here and there. Robert Murat, Sergey Malinka, Barrington Godfrey Norton and Kate and Gerry McCann, oh and Jenny Murat. In 2007 it was the only supermarket in Luz though there were two or three convenience stores. And the Baptista café was a place to have a cup of coffee with a pastry or a bifana, and have a friendly chat or conduct a little business.
Unfortunately, after an extended spell of glorious weather in December 2016, it turned a bit overcast in Luz today and I could not have captured a photograph that approximated to early May 2007. It’s a fair trek to there and back to get something that shows an al fresco café with few customers, so I decided to give it a miss.
What I have got instead is some scans relating to the inside of Baptista. These were published in a magazine in Sep 2015 and they are paid-for advertising, so the Baptista you are going to see may well be quite different inside to that seen by the McCanns.
Ever since we heaved up in Luz there has been a little Baptista in the Commercial Centre. It sells fish, freshly baked bread and pastries and after-dinner sweets. Back in 2007, that location was where the video rental shop that features in the ‘Brazilian couple’ story was located. I don’t know whether there was a fresh fish counter in big Baptista in 2007.
The McCanns very quickly worked out that the walk from apartment 5A to the Millennium, complete with two twins aged 2 years and 3 months, and Madeleine aged nearly 4, minus a buggy for the twins, was too much like hard work. I have walked that walk. I can state that in the same circumstances, I would not have being using the Millennium, and there is a further statement in the PJ Files that supports this.
Thus, Baptista became the source of breakfast and lunch for the McCanns, with the Tapas zone providing high tea for the children and the Tapas Restaurant providing dinner for the Tapas 9. All of this, if you understand the layout of Luz, makes perfect sense. Baptista was perhaps 60m down Rua Martins from apartment 5A. Somewhat of a doddle.
To whet your appetite, here is the first scan I have of a magazine feature on Baptista. This is not unusual or special. Baptista commonly carries out this type of advertising.
Baptista is posh or upmarket supermarket. The nearest thing I can think of in the UK is Waitrose. In Baptista, goods are normally more expensive than in most supermarkets, but in Luz, money is not in short supply. Both well-off Portuguese and ex-pats patronise it.
The supermarket has had the sense to stock a range of imported goods beloved of foreigners, and makes a healthy profit from them. A tin of Heinz baked beans is around €3.50, and you get British bread, British sausages and Kellogg’s Frosties. Home from home. The sort of place where the McCanns could get the type of food that the kids were comfortable with and would eat.
If I have scanned this copy properly, you should be able to read Baptista’s description of Baptista. Here is the first page of the advert. As you can see, it is the wine aisle. I have no idea whether the New Zealand wine chosen by the McCanns is on sale regularly.
Here you see the next health challenge in Baptista’s – the charcutaria. This is stuffed with delicious treats, but is has two dangers. The first is that much of the meat here is processed, and I eat that only sparingly. The second is that it is stuffed with a wide variety of different cheeses, all tasty but very fattening.
My favourite counters are the Talho (butcher) and the fish counter in little Baptista. The butcher’s counter in Baptista sells high quality meat, though the range is a bit restricted. I am looking forward to Portelas, as it has a talho of high renown, and the range is more extensive, such as rabbit and goat. Perhaps I can even lay my hands on a haunch of venison.
I believe there was a dedicated talho active in Luz in 2007 in LuzTur, now closed. To the best of my knowledge, the person who now has the talho concession in Baptista’s also runs LookSteak, a restaurant beside Kelly’s. LookSteak did not exist in 2007.
I also like fish. This is something that dates back to when I was young, and a treat on a Friday night was cod and chips from the local chippie, complete of course with very fattening batter.
If the weather is not too bad later today, since it is now day 9, I hope to get out and show you some ‘waste ground’ and ‘anomalies’ in best Operation Grange style. It sounds boring, but it goes to the heart of Operation Grange.