Oporto – The British Factory House (Feitoria Inglesa)

Feitoria-4

The Feitoria Inglesa (British Factory House) may be one of the most well kept secrets in Porto. Built between 1785 and 1790, under the orders of Consul John Whitehead, it served the interests of the English community in city, strongly connected to the business of Port Wine. Since 1811, with the extinction of the Factories, it became the headquarters of the British Association, working in the same molds until today, with the same rules and an immaculate respect for it’s Past.

Controlled by the big English companies of Port Wine, Feitoria is not a simple head office, it is also the house of the best Vintage wines collection in town (each member of Feitoria “pays” his entrance at the Club with boxes of Vintage Port Wine). It possesses an amazing library of English books, some with more than 2 centuries, with a series of first editions, from Charles Dickens to the history of Port wine.

Feitoria-24Feitoria-20

Visiting and having lunch at Feitoria is a unique experience, only possible with an invitation. Every Wednesday, the members and their guests gather to an informal lunch. The choice of the day has an historical reason, once in the past the English orders of Port wine arrived to the city on Mondays and Thursdays to be shipped the next day, being Wednesday a freer day for the merchants to gather and enjoy their club.

With the invitation of Joe Álvares Ribeiro, the 1st Treasurer of Portuguese origin (the treasurer works as President of the Factory), we were able to get to know the history of Feitoria and to attend one of those lunches. Rests with the Treasurer the hard task of choosing the Vintage, which will be tasted at the end of the meal and that the members will try to decipher, while he enjoys himself with the attempts.

The lunch has an hour to begin, with the appetizer being served at 1 pm at the Drawing room, or wouldn’t we be in British soil, here it is also exposed The Times journal, from a hundred years ago, a curious gesture and another breath of history and tradition.

Feitoria-2

From the Buffet lunch, clear highlight to the Vintage from 66 (I did not go below the 70’s), and to the magnificent Stilton with which we ended our meal. At this lunch there was also the singularity of it being totally harmonized with White international wines, from the Old and New World.

Feitoria-7             Feitoria-6             Feitoria-11
Feitoria-25             Feitoria-26             Feitoria-19
Feitoria-21            Feitoria-14              Feitoria-12
Feitoria-5            Feitoria-18              Feitoria-3

There are few places like this, with so much love and respect for history and tradition. Wish that its lunches, dinners, balls, last for many more centuries.

Feitoria Inglesa
Rua do Infante D. Henrique, 8, Porto

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