Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Palacio Do Deão

If you are an offbeat traveller and if Goa means more than the beach and sand, then the Palacio Do Deão is the place for you.

Nestled in the small town of Quepem, the Palacio Do Deão is a 213 year old mansion, built by the then Dean of the Church, Jose Paulo who incidentally was also the founder of Quepem Town. Today this beautiful mansion is owned by Ruben and Celia Vasco-da-Gama. They restored this wonderful piece of architecture, doing their bit to retain its former glory and their work has to be seen to be believed.

We were in Goa a few days back, and having read about the place it was definitely one of the must-dos on my itinerary. To reach the Palacio Do Deão, we hired a cab from Baga and travelled all the way to Quepem, which is quite a distance, but believe me - worth it!

Having informed Ruben about our visit, we were delighted to see that the preparations to welcome us were in full swing. Preparations here should not be confused with anything else, but food - delicious, aromatic, Goan and Portuguese cuisine. Mouth-watering delicacies, carefully baked, cooked and fried by their team under the supervision of Celia.

Before lunch, Ruben took us on a tour of the mansion. And this is what we saw...

The Palacio Do Deão

The verandah

The corridor that leads to the dining place

Let me not indulge in sadistic pleasures and make you feel miserable and guilty for not taking a trip to this quiet part of Goa. But yes, will definitely take the liberty to show you what came out of Celia's kitchen.

Prawns cooked in Goan style 

Goan poi with salads
Yummilicious, isn't it? Then what are you waiting for? Goa is not far away. Just ensure that the next time you plan a trip, a visit to the Palacio is a part of your itinerary :-)

There are two ways of exploring the palace.

1. You call up Ruben, inform him that you are coming to see the mansion, reach there, take a tour of the place, understand its architecture and its restoration, stroll in the gardens - leave.

2. You call up Ruben , inform him that you are coming to visit the place and would also taste the rich Indo-Portuguese cuisine, give him a head count, reach there, see the place and stimulate your taste buds by enjoying the simple, home-cooked fare prepared for you. The food is not free, by the way.

Well, the pictures are testimony to the fact that we chose the latter option :)

And here is the website for you.

Try it! It's worth it.
And remember to call up Ruben before you land up. After all, this is sussegaad Goa that we are talking about ;-)