Monday, March 20, 2006

Achosion I Laweni #2

(If you're wondering what this is all about, click here.)

#2 - Benedito's

Our nearest pubs The Moorland and The Tredegar might be boarded up, but it's incredible just how many convenience stores our neighbourhood is able to support. There seem to be dozens of them. Several are on Splott Road, which is also home to (amongst other things) some takeaways, a scruffy chemists, an even scruffier bakers and what must officially be the emptiest post office in the world. There is almost literally nothing in there.

Take a stroll down the street and there's only one shop that really stands out: Benedito's. A popular enough concern to merit its own website, Benedito's is for the most part a delicatessen, the shelves stacked with mysterious-looking products in jars and the ceiling festooned with an assortment of hanging salamis.

However, as the shop front makes clear, it's also an off-licence - the promise of booze no doubt an attempt to coax in those locals not of Portuguese descent (ie all of us). You can then drink your couple of bottles of Portuguese wine safe in the knowledge that you're indulging in cultural drinking.

Indeed, everything seems to be Portuguese - even the washing powder. I imagine that if you're over from Lisbon and don't like the look of Ariel or Surf then that's a great comfort. (I wonder if there are shops in Portugal selling baked beans, Bisto and Tetley teabags?)

I have to confess, though, to feeling a little bit cheated at the fact that I haven't yet spotted the gentlemen who appear in these pictures - white shirts unbuttoned almost to the waist, fantastic bushy moustaches, straw hats. One suspects they might just have been actors hired to dress up and give the place an even more authentic look.

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