From north to south of Portugal, friends and family come together, toasting the tradition of celebrating Christmas, and as it’s not always easy to find the perfect place, we make the search easy!

Mar d’Estórias has prepared an unforgettable dinner, as usual, invoking the flavours and traditions of the country.

The Portuguese maintain a close friendship with the sea, a bond only they truly understand. They love and respect it like others, for whenever the fishing begins, they beat their chests and pray for a safe return. Even on days when the sea seems masterless, it is always ours: a source of sustenance, comfort and the only existence a fisherman knows.

The octopus is no exception: this eight-armed cephalopod that hides among the rocks in summer to spawn is a familiar element in the pages of cookbooks. It is said that the octopus from the south of Portugal possesses special properties because of its diet of small crustaceans and fish, which makes it highly sought after on the other side of the world, in Japan. In the past, they used clay amphorae to catch them. Nowadays, traps are made of nets and iron, featuring an octopus-sized opening and a small bag of mackerel or sardine bait.

Octopus takes the spotlight in various Portuguese dishes and some claim that the secret to achieving more tender meat is to leave it in the freezer for several days. In December, octopus will reign on the Christmas dinner tables at Mar d’Estórias. Chefs will present a menu dedicated to tradition with a touch of refinement.

One of the dishes on our Christmas menu will be Baked Octopus with Sweet Potato. Chefs Rafael Pacheco and Maria João Ceita are eager to delight you with delicious flavours, and for that reason, they share their recipe with you:

Ingredients (for 1 person):

  • 10g rosemary
  • 10g thyme
  • 140g onion
  • 200g ripe tomato
  • 2g garlic
  • 250g octopus
  • 40g olive oil
  • 120g sweet potato
  • 3g salt
  • 1g pepper
  • 120g bell peppers



Step by step:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.


  1. Make a vegetable bed of onions, garlic and bell peppers on a baking tray. Wrap the octopus with thyme, rosemary, olive oil and tomatoes.



  1. Cover the baking tray with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 1.30 hours.


  1. Place the unpeeled sweet potato and season with coarse salt in another tray. Cover with aluminium foil and roast in the oven for 45 minutes.



  1. After removing the sweet potato from the oven, peel and cut into pieces.


  1. When the octopus is ready, serve both, the sweet potato and the octopus, on the bed of vegetables.


Chef’s Tip:

For a festive presentation, garnish the dish with sprigs of fresh rosemary and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. The simplicity of this dish is its greatest asset. Let the ingredient’s natural flavours come to the fore, and you’ll have a memorable Christmas dinner.


Make your company’s Christmas dinner a meaningful experience in a cosy setting where the Portuguese essence shines. Feel free to request the complete menu and any additional information via email at or get in touch with us at +351 282 792 165.