Tascas – A journey through traditional Portuguese taverns and cafés

With its natural beauty and its culture and traditions, Portugal is for me a highly photogenic and visually inspiring country. It was great that recently I was able to spend 4 months there, and I’m already looking forward to going back soon. In a post I wrote back in December I stated that I was excited to go to Portugal and that I had a few ideas around themes and subjects I wanted to shoot.

During my stay, one of these ideas became a sort of photo-obsession, and so I made a commitment to make it into a long-term, ongoing personal project. The idea is to document and visually explore Portuguese tascas, that is, family owned traditional taverns and cafés. Although I’m attracted to their peculiar look and the time-warp feeling they can give, my primary focus is the human and social element that makes tascas the warmspecial place they are – a sort of extension of people’s homes, a place for local characters to just chill out, read the newspaper, or meet up and share secrets, stories, laughs and sorrows.

Unfortunately, due in part to the austerity policies being implemented by the Portuguese government in the face of the global economical crisis many tascas are closing down across the country. Other tascas are modernising under the driving force of the generational change, and therefore increasingly losing their traditional feel.

The photos I’m posting below were shot in various location including Romana’s village Outeiro da Cabeça, Moita dos Ferreiros, Torres Vedras, Lisbon, Lagos, and Grândola. On my next trip to Portugal I want to explore the north including Porto, which I suspect will open up a new exciting chapter in my project.

Portuguese people or connoisseurs of Portugal, I’d be grateful if you could flag with me any traditional tascas (anywhere in the country, not necessarily in the north) that you think I should photograph as part of the project. Some of you already gave us a few tips on Facebook some time ago but if you have more, please shoot them my way.

I hope you enjoy the pictures, and any comments or feedback are welcome as usual.