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 →

dining room, Casa de Sezim Hotel, Guimarães, Portugal

I have a certain fondness for quirky hotels, especially ones that I can afford to stay in. That’s why I couldn’t resist when Casa de Sezim Hotel popped up in my search for a hotel near Guimarães, the 2012 European Capital of Culture and the ‘birthplace of Portugal’. Casa de SezimRead More →

Kissing rocks, Baleal

Who exactly should you kiss in Portugal? When should you kiss them? I don’t mean full on romantic smooches, which are obviously reserved for very special people. I’m talking about the friendly greeting kisses, one on each side of the face. Although it’s an integral part of life here, I’mRead More →

Embroidered handkerchief of friendship

Valentine’s Day seems the perfect time to mention the wonderful embroidered handkerchiefs of northern Portugal. You can find them, or products inspired by them, in most souvenir shops in Portugal but they used to serve a practical purpose in the romantic lives of people from the Minho. Much like a traditionalRead More →