A Cultural market lit with candles

On Sunday night we managed to make it to the last night of the Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas in Lagoa. This year’s theme was the Jewish Sephardic culture and the advertising claimed that 10,000 candles were going to be used to light the streets – something not to be missed!

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas Lagoa 2015

We apologise to our readers that would have liked to have visited this event – usually we try to visit and blog about an event at the start of the programme so that you have time to plan a visit, but we have been so busy this year that the last night was the only night we could make it … but there’s always next year, as this is an annual event in Lagoa – and there are many other similar craft fairs, markets and events planned across the Algarve this summer – the Algarve Resident newspaper usually has a good list of events! Continue reading

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Eating out on a budget in the Algarve

One of the nice things about living here in the Algarve is being able to sit outside in the sunshine and enjoy a leisurely meal in a pretty restaurant, savouring good quality, simple and tasty food.

Some careful planning can mean that you can make your budget stretch just a little further – and will mean that you can leave the restaurant with a full stomach and still have some cash left in your wallet!

In any tourist resort, you are going to pay a premium for the restaurants with a sea view of course – and the Algarve is full of restaurants, bars and cafés with stunning views of the beautiful Algarve coastline and sandy beaches. Eating at lunchtime instead of in the evening, however, should ensure that you can enjoy that amazing view for a little less as menus at lunchtime are often cheaper than in the evening, and many places are open all day in the tourist areas – especially in the summer months.

Eating out on a budget in the Algarve

Look out for the set menus – many restaurants offer a ‘prato do dia’ at lunchtime. Sometimes this is only a selection of three or four main dishes at a set price – often 7.50 – 8.50 Euros – but search around and you will find a local restaurant offering a ‘prato do dia menu’ – you can enjoy a starter, main course, dessert, a drink and a coffee for around 8.50 Euros if you know where to go! Continue reading

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Where to buy a property in the Algarve

The Algarve has a wide range of different properties for sale and it can be very easy to walk into an estate agents and be swayed into buying a property very quickly – especially if you are on holiday here and have a limited time available to view and make your purchase.

Buying Property Algarve Blog

There are also a bewilderingly large number of properties for sale and there are some real bargains to be found. Doing your homework before you arrive can mean that you are in the perfect position to forge ahead and make that all important – and potentially life-changing – decision to purchase your dream home here in the Algarve. Continue reading

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The 10th International Algarve Fair comes to town

This year sees the 10th International Algarve Fair to be staged at the Fatacil ground in Lagoa, and it is on this weekend – the 6th and 7th June from 11am – 7pm.

10th International Algarve Fair 2015

Tickets cost only 3.50e for adults and children aged 12 and under go free. We went early today and it made a nice change for us to be ‘tourists’ as we have exhibited there the previous two years. I have to say – it was a fairly quiet start – and it was shaping up to be a hot day here in Lagoa. Continue reading

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Coffee in Portugal

Coffee in Portugal is taken very seriously and you will find a café on almost every street. It’s a place to meet friends at any time of the day or evening, have a break from work, or just relax and watch the world go by.

If you just ask for a ‘coffee’ or um café in a coffee shop, you will get a shot of espresso delivered to your table. There is a bewildering array of names and styles of coffee available – so here is our simple guide to some of the most common coffees that you can order here in the Algarve.

Espresso

The most popular coffee with the Portuguese is an espresso – although don’t fooled by the tiny cup this will come in – this one can pack a punch! We absolutely love our cafés – or bicas – now, but initially they were quite a shock – this is a strong little coffee hiding in an innocuous little cup! Here in the Algarve you can ask for um café or uma bica (in Porto and the north it’s called a cimbalinho) and you will get one of these:

coffee in the Algarve, Algarve Blog

We are often asked by waiters if we are sure that we are ordering the right thing … the conversation often goes along the lines of “duas bicas faz favor” and the waiter will say “duas bicas? .. “dois cafés?” and we reply “sim” .. and they say (in English usually) “are you sure?” … “sim” …. We even had a coffee shop owner bring out the little espresso cups and show them to us and say “are you sure, you want one of these?”

It would seem that not many expat British people drink a traditional café out here! Continue reading

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Lota Cool Market in Portimão

Lota Cool Market in Portimão

It’s the second time this market has been launched in Portimão – and this time we managed to make it! The market focuses on contemporary handicrafts, arts and crafts, local small shops and gourmet products. There is plenty of street food and drink to enjoy and live music.

Lota Cool Market in Portimão

It’s a chance to find original and creative products for sale within a nice family atmosphere along Portimão’s riverside. Continue reading

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Virtually Ascot – it’s virtually here!

Virtually Ascot Event

The 20th June should be a date in your diary! The first in a new theme for the Algarve, ‘Virtually There’ events will let you experience an event as if you were there! Ladies Day at Ascot is a traditionally British event – a day when everyone dresses up, sips pimms and enjoys everything that is British! The perfect event to recreate in the Algarve for charity.  Continue reading

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