A friend recently visited me here in Portugal and when I asked her what she liked about the country, I wasn’t surprised when she said, “I feel safe here.” I do too. I feel free to explore and enjoy and that’s not something I take for granted. Let me giveRead More →

I thought I’d found myself a real bargain when I got 70% off a massage in Coimbra through an online voucher site. I won’t be doing that again! Never having been for a Vichy Duche and massage before, I imagined that I would be blasted by jets of water forRead More →

Portuguese rose gold wedding bands, engraved with names and wedding date

I’ve never been remotely interested in gold jewellery but a friend of mine who came to visit dragged me round every jeweller’s in Coimbra and in doing so, introduced me to some exquisite filigree pieces. I’m especially taken with the traditional curved hearts that are icons of Portugal. I can’t seeRead More →

cocktails made with licor beirão

Being a dedicated fan of this sweet, herby Portuguese liqueur, I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to go on a guided tour of the Licor Beirão factory. The event was organised for expats living in central Portugal by Dot Bekker of Portugal Friends. After lunch at a restaurant overlooking Lousã weRead More →

kitchen renovation

No, not witty or inspirational things that other people have said. When I say quotes, I mean estimated costs. One of the things I find frustrating about living in Portugal is how difficult it is to get quotes for work that needs doing. To my way of thinking, it’s inRead More →

The ancient bridge, Santa Comba Dão

The rejuvenating properties of white cement are noticeable in the lakeside town of Santa Comba Dão (aka the ‘Princess of the Dão) in central Portugal. Like botox for buildings, the cement has been used extensively to smooth out the deep gaps that had formed between the granite blocks of traditional buildings. The roughRead More →

Chocolate shop, Óbidos

An attempt to beat the crowds at last year’s international chocolate festival in Óbidos backfired on me. Having been warned that the town’s narrow medieval streets would be teeming with families on Sunday afternoon, I decided to delay my visit until the following day, hoping things would be a bitRead More →