Organic Produce in the Park

Organic produce market Portimão

Following on from our recent blog post about Yarn Bombing in Portimão in the small but pretty Largo December 1 gardens in Portimão, we were contacted about an organic produce market that takes place there every Saturday from 9.30 to 2pm. We were intrigued, and so the next free Saturday morning that we had, we went over to Portimão to have a look.

Organic produce market Portimão Algarve Blog

We were greeted by two small but thriving stalls set up in the middle of the gardens – a perfect setting under the trees in the dappled shade.

Organic produce market Portimão Algarve Blog

Welcome signs and a bustling sense of quiet pride in the stalls and the produce greeted us – there were lots of people coming and going – mostly locals, with a few tourists:

Organic produce market Portimão Algarve Blog

The produce was beautifully presented, with clear pricing and a very wide selection of organic or ‘bio’ produce for sale:

Organic produce market Portimão Algarve Blog

Lots of fruit and veg, and also nuts, seeds, bean-sprouts, soft fruits, and dried fruits:

Organic produce market Portimão Algarve Blog

The stalls were nice and busy – we have been told that they often have jams and preserves as well – but there was certainly enough selection here for us to enjoy:

Organic produce market Portimão Algarve Blog

Pricing was very reasonable for organic food, and compared favourably with supermarket organic ranges – it was also nice to be able to pick exactly how many of a product you wanted – we bought 6 large tomatoes for 1.29 Euros and a nice lettuce for 0.60 cents.

Organic produce market Portimão Algarve Blog

We also met the two owners of the stalls, the quiet and very polite Miguel:

Organic produce market Portimão Algarve Blog

And the bubbly and lovely Carla, whose sister made all the posters for the events:

Organic produce market Portimão Algarve Blog

Carla represents the Horta da Torre organic farm in Silves, and is passionate about promoting organic produce to the Algarve:

Organic produce market Portimão Algarve Blog

We were so impressed with this little market and its ethos – and it’s amazing range of fresh produce:

Organic produce market Portimão Algarve Blog

It was so nice to meet such passionate and friendly people promoting good honest organic produce – which also tasted delicious! – we will definitely be back for more! And thank you to Maryanne for letting us know about it and taking the time to send us the flyers and information.

Organic produce market Portimão Algarve Blog

Carla also has another market stall on Wednesdays in Almancil – the details can be found in the poster below:

Organic produce market Almancil

And those of you in and around Albufeira need not miss out as she also has an organic basket service on Thursdays:

Organic produce baskets Albufeira

 We wish them all every success with this venture.

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Keeping cool on a hot day in the Monchique

The temperature here has been soaring lately – it’s regularly 32 – 34 degrees – and it’s only the beginning of May!

Sometimes it can be nice to go and lie on a beach and enjoy the sun – but equally it can be a real treat to find somewhere cooler to go and relax for while. When the temperature starts to soar, you can usually find us in our car driving up to Monchique to cool off a bit! I’ve previously blogged about the town of Monchique before – you can read about it here Spotlight on Monchique

Algarve Blog Caldas de Monchique

This time we decided to drop off at Caldas de Monchique on the way, and avoiding the usual tourist venues, we walked up to the peaceful and tranquil wooded picnic area above the main square.

Algarve Blog Caldas de Monchique

The air here just seems fresher and cooler, the area is not huge, but it has so many wonderful ancient trees that the canopy just seems to cool you as you walk up the stone steps and start exploring.

Algarve Blog Caldas de Monchique

There are lots of twists and turns and tucked away corners to explore – and always another enticing set of steps calling you forward:

Algarve Blog Caldas de Monchique

The area is mostly occupied by local people at the weekend, all with their own picnic – often complete with portable charcoal barbecue – with children running around freely and exploring. During the week, it is a much calmer and more tranquil place.

Algarve Blog Caldas de Monchique

There are so many pretty little sights to enjoy, it’s a place that makes you want to slow down – or even stop completely – and just relax, listen to the trickling water, and watch how the light changes and highlights even the smallest things.

Algarve Blog Caldas de Monchique

There is also a very nice pond, where the light always seems to reflect the foliage so beautifully, and where the white lilies grow in abundance:

Algarve Blog Caldas de Monchique

The area is scattered with natural stone and wood seating, ideal for a picnic or even just a rest and a slurp of cold water from the Monchique spring fresh water outlet tucked away in the hillside!

Algarve Blog Caldas de Monchique

The trees here really are spectacular, soaring into the sky, with enormous solid trunks – look out for the most impressive one that curls right over:

Algarve Blog Caldas de Monchique

And after you have explored and enjoyed the greenery and peace, it’s time for a cold drink – we went to O Tasco – it’s always a challenge to balance on a tree trunk and have a drink whilst still trying to muster a modicum of poise!

Algarve Blog Caldas de Monchique

Our favourite restaurant was unfortunately closed (on a Sunday!) – we love sitting under the parasols at Restaurant 1692 and watching the world go by – the chairs are comfier too!

Algarve Blog Caldas de Monchique

And then it was time to head off up to Foia – another favourite spot for us when the temperature is soaring – there is always a breeze at the top, and with such spectacular views from the summit, it’s always worth the drive:

Algarve Blog Foia

It’s also fun to look back down on Portimão and the surrounding area, and think ‘our house is down there somewhere!’

Algarve Blog Foia

The area is covered in small stone statue sculptures – this really seems to have taken off in the last year or so, and the area is covered with them now – I love spotting ones that remind me of someone or something – this one in the middle here instantly made me think of Bungle from Rainbow – that’s just aged me nicely hasn’t it!?

Algarve Blog Foia

And now it’s time to share a secret with you … our favourite place in the whole of the Algarve to enjoy piri-piri chicken … an unassuming little restaurant just below Foia called ‘A Rampa’

Algarve Blog Foia A Rampa

In the summer months you can sit out on their little terrace and unwind with a drink and couvert whilst your chicken is cooking – the cheese is delicious:

Algarve Blog Foia A Rampa

And then the main event arrives – piri-piri chicken that is so delicious and juicy it is a marvel and a delight to behold:

Algarve Blog Foia A Rampa

Yes – hang on a minute – I know what you are thinking – there are only 2 of you … yep – that’s right – that whole plate of chicken is for 2 …

Algarve Blog Foia A Rampa

And as you can see – it all disappeared too!

Algarve Blog Foia A Rampa

The view from the terrace is spectacular as the sun sets – and the perfect place to sit back and relax – and after eating all that chicken – that’s about all you can do!

Algarve Blog Foia

Although strangely enough – there always seems to be room for a pudding too! This one is a local treat – made of Bolachas (biscuits) and cream – outrageous!

Algarve Blog Foia A Rampa

All that – including couvert, drinks, main course and desserts for 2 people, for 34.50 Euros. Without the couvert, the main course of piri-piri chicken is 9 Euros a head.

After that it was time to wend our way home, watching the sun set as we drove back down the hill. The prefect – cool – day out!

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Yarn Bombing in Portimão

We’ve been meaning to head over to the garden ‘Largo December 1′ in Portimão – it’s the one in front of the municipal theatre – to have  better look at the ‘Yarn-bombing’ that took place on the 21st March to herald spring.

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

The pretty gardens have been transformed by the most amazingly colourful and vibrant display of crochet and sewing, wrapped beautifully around the trees:

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

Luckily the weather hasn’t affected the display, which is still there in all its glory. Over 150 senior citizens and 200 schoolchildren took part in the project, and each tree has a sign displayed showing which group or organisation dressed each tree:

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

As well as the main trees which are wrapped in colourful blankets, there are also some delightful smaller birds and objects nestled amongst the trees and bushes:

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

The colours are fantastic, and only seem to make the park seem even more pretty than usual:

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

One of my favourites was the cockerel hanging from a branch:

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

Even the flowerbeds have been transformed with crocheted flowers .. shame they couldn’t add the grass too!

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

The detail is most impressive, some of these must have taken hours to make:

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

Yarn bombing seems to have taken the world by storm – I think this is the first time it has reached Portimão though! It seems to sit nicely against the backdrop of the local café, and the gardens are full of both locals and tourists taking photographs and exploring.

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

It really is a wonderful thing to view – and it’s worth taking your time to wander around the gardens several times – each tour will reveal something new to delight you:

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

The gardens themselves, although small, are very pretty, with tiled seating areas illustrating the history of Portugal, and contain a pretty fountain where the birds can be seen having a bath!

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

The seating areas have also been transformed with birds and flowers hanging from the arbours – there is so much to see and enjoy in such a small area:

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

The flowers are everywhere:

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

One of the real delights for me was suddenly looking up into one of the trees and seeing a beautiful series of felt birds hanging from the branches:

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

And then to spot the most intricate bird feeder – complete with bird of course:

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

Even the real birds seemed quite at home with it all too!

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

The walkways have even been transformed by paper flowers nestled into the grass:

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

So if you are near Portimao – head over to the garden and enjoy the yarn-bombing while it lasts!

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

And well done to Portimão Council and all of the agencies, groups and schools that took part in this unique and special event.

 

Posted in Algarve, Events, Places to Visit, Portimão | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Gordon Ramsay wants to Help Brits in The Algarve!

An exciting new TV programme is being launched – and restaurants in the Algarve could benefit!

The BAFTA-winning producers of Channel 4’s Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, is producing a brand new series to help struggling British owned-restaurants, hotels and B&Bs throughout Europe.

They contacted us and asked if we could share their promotion with our readers – anything that can help promote the Algarve has to be a good thing! So – are you a British restaurant owner here on the Algarve – or do you know one?

Could your restaurant benefit with help from the world’s most famous chef?

Has setting up a restaurant abroad not been the dream you’d hoped it would be?

Gordon Ramsey

Photograph of Gordon Ramsay © One Potato Two Potato Limited 2013. All rights reserved

Are you struggling to make ends meet? Are you barely breaking even or on the brink of bankruptcy?

If so – then maybe this programme could be for you!

You can check out the link here for more information and if you’d like some help from multi-Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay then you can email restaurants@onepotatotwopotato.tv 

or call +44(0)203 227 5867

We will look forward to finding out more about this programme as production develops and will keep you informed on the blog.

 

Posted in About us, Eating out | Tagged | 8 Comments

Faro Old Town

We have previously blogged about the delights of Faro, with its many churches, museums, monuments and shops – which you can read about here – Don’t rush away from Faro This time, after dropping off a friend at the airport, we thought we’d take a leisurely stroll around the old town area, and just enjoy the sights. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the guide book and feel like you have to visit every church listed in the book – with our cameras in hand we often just enjoy wandering and exploring the back streets and corners of Faro … and apart from the obligatory coffee and cake, our afternoon was completely free – and totally wonderful!

There are so many iconic views of Faro, particularly the old 9th century Roman walls, although it is still possible to find a different angle if you explore a little – spot the White Stork nesting on the top!

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Some of the buildings in Faro have been beautifully restored – yet still retain the charm of the old alongside the modern:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Other buildings are unashamedly old – and yet hold a certain charm of their own – the colours on this wall and door are fabulous:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake The cathedral is one of the most visited buildings – and yet a free scamper around the outside can yield some great shots – like this beautiful window captured in the sunlight:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

I love spotting a winding old street with crumbling walls and old windows – it must be the artist in me!

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

And yet – another corner unveils a restored street – so similar to the one above that you can begin to imagine what a renovation project can do:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Love the tiled waiter – he makes me smile every time I see him in all his Elizabethan-style finery!

You can pay to visit the Cathedral – which if you haven’t been before – is worth a visit – but once you have been there – next time you can just wander round the square and admire the buildings – and if you sneak a peek through the railings – you can see so much more!

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake A close-up will also reveal the local residents basking in the afternoon sunshine beside their private pool!!

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

The smell of the orange blossom from the trees lining the square of the Cathedral at this time of year is so heady – and the orange trees are laden too:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

But if you walk past too quickly – sometimes you miss the most bizarre sights – like these oranges speared onto the street lamp:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

If you need a rest from walking round – head down to the harbour – find a bench – and watch the boats bobbing in the sun – I love the symmetry of these three benches mirroring the steps down to the water:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake The locals are quite friendly too – and happy to pose for a shot:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Until they spot some dinner that is!

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake And if watching them eat is making you a little peckish – well no self-respecting camera trip is complete without ‘uma bica’ and a ‘pastel-de-nata’

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

And then it’s back to more exploring – there are so many intriguing streets and corners to explore:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

And sometimes the light is just perfect on the cobbles:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Every time we visit Faro, we find another archway to entice us – or name to investigate – who was or is Professor Norberto da Silva? Good old Google gave me a link to this site  – he was both a Sergeant in the Army and a prestigious schoolmaster – but if anyone knows anything else about him – do let us know.

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

We usually pop into the Galeria Trem near the Cathedral and see what they have on display – often they have very unusual exhibitions by local modern artists – this time it’s a series of installations called ‘Mapland’ by Mariana Medeira:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

The room has been turned into a series of table-top cities based on the four elements of water, earth, air and fire. Machines are linked to maps on the wall:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

It’s a bit weird, but intriguing at the same time and the dark interior of the room seems to set it all off really well – it’s worth a look – and free entry too. The inscription on the wall is quite thought-provoking:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Next time we visit Faro we have decided that we are going to have a meal at this little restaurant near the back of the Cathedral – we stopped for a drink and the waitress was very attentive and the food inside looked great!

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Then we just had time for a few more shots before the sun disappeared – we love the raking light of this shot:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake And to end – a favourite of mine – one of the fabulous old doors that can be found throughout the old town – and the inspiration for a whole new series of paintings that I am working on at the moment:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

If you are interested in finding out more about my art, and our upcoming exhibition over Easter in Carvoeiro – then head over to my website via the link here:

Art by Alyson Sheldrake website

Hope that you have enjoyed exploring a little of Faro with us.

house for sale, Ferragudo, Bela Vista, townhouse, property

Posted in Algarve, Art, Places to Visit, Portugal | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Charity Fruit

The Algarve has been busy collecting fruit! The supermarket chain Lidl’s have been offering stickers in return for shopping – which can then be exchanged for some rather charming and cuddly fruit toys. The offer ends today Wednesday 26th February and the fruit can be collected until Wednesday 5th March

 Lidl ad

One enterprising and selfless person here on the Algarve has been busy collecting the stickers and fruit for a different reason –  to give them to children with a rare disease called EB.

I was intrigued – and we had been collecting the stickers with no real intention of doing anything with them – at best we’d have collected a free fruit (probably the banana – it made me smile the most!) and then just stuck it on a shelf

Banana

So we contacted the lady in question – Cat Almeida – and asked her a little more about why she was collecting the fruit. She directed us to the UK website DEBRA which is the national charity working on behalf of people in the UK with the genetic skin blistering condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).

Understanding EB

Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a group of genetic disorders that result in fragility of the skin and, in some cases, other internal membranes and organs. Blisters, open wounds and sores form as a result of the slightest touch, rub or trauma. *information taken from the Debra UK website.

She also gave me the link to the equivalent site in Portugal – debra.pt

debra-logo

The Portugal group was formed in September 2010 by a group of patients and parents of children with EB. Their aims appear simple – to generate more awareness of the condition and to find improved treatments.

Tomorrow – 28th February – is World Rare Disease Day – which is timely for this initiative. If you would like to know more about this – then why not click this logo which links to a video explaining more about the day

rare-disease-dayThe theme of World Rare Disease Day this year is “Care” – which is a trait embodied by Cat as she collects the Lidl stickers and fruit. Her initial message onto a Facebook group summed it up for me so well:

Do you have unwanted toy stickers for me to swop for soft toys for Butterfly children? … These kids have skin as fragile as butterfly wings hence the name. The fruit and veg toys are bright, smiley and soft, ideal gifts to try to tempt our kids to eat after esophagus dilation and other awful problems they have to live with every day. Can you help me provoke a smile from a kid that sometimes needs a reason to smile?

 TOYS 2 There is still time to join in – if you have enough stickers to exchange for a fruit …

STICKERS 1

then why not send your fruit to Cat? Alternatively if you can drop stickers off directly at her office before the 5th March I am sure she would be surprised and grateful to receive them. And the children she will be giving them too would be delighted.

Her office address in Almancil is:

HiFX PLC. Rua 5 de Outubro Nº 170. Almancil 8135-101

TOYS 1

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house for sale, Ferragudo, Bela Vista, townhouse, property

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Bela Vista – house for sale!

Bela Vista – Ferragudo

 4/5 bed townhouse for sale 245,000€

Bela Vista townhouse for sale

Would you like to wake up to this view?

Then you can!

Our well maintained large 4/5 bedroom townhouse with stunning views over the Arade river and Portimão to the Monchique mountains is for sale.

It is ideal as a family home or holiday let, and there is also the potential to convert the garage area into a 1 or 2 bed self-contained apartment.

Bela Vista townhouse for sale

This is an extremely well-presented semi-detached townhouse on a large plot, in a quiet residential area , situated on the top of the hill. It is a 5 minute walk to the centre of Ferragudo, with its quaint village bars and restaurants, harbour and beautiful sandy beaches. The townhouse is situated less than a 10 minute drive to Carvoeiro and Lagoa, and a 5 minute drive to Portimão, with its wide range of shops and amenities.

For Golfers we are less than 10 minutes from several excellent golf courses, including the renowned Penina Championship Golf Course near Portimão; and the Pestana Golf Courses at Carvoeiro.

Ferragudo Bela Vista townhouse for sale

Ferragudo village and harbour

If you would like more information – or know someone that might be interested in purchasing this beautiful home, please click the links below:

To view more information about the house – click here

House for Sale

To download the information as a full colour pdf brochure – click here

Brochure

This is a well-maintained and beautifully presented town-house, built in 2005, and owned by the current occupants since 2007 as a much-loved and cherished family home. It is in a quiet residential area, with fantastic Portuguese neighbours, and is situated in an excellent location, whether you are looking for a holiday home with access to fabulous local beaches, or a family home in a great location for travel and local amenities.

Your nearest beach:

Bela Vista townhouse for sale Ferragudo

Praia Grande beach, Ferragudo

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Bela Vista townhouse for sale 245,000€

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For more information, or to arrange a viewing of the property, please contact

Dave & Alyson Sheldrake

ferragudo@live.co.uk

PT mobile 91 202 7256               UK mobile 07743 412856

Thank you

Posted in House for Sale | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments