Portuguese wines and spirits on display

During an unanticipated trip to the UK, I couldn’t help making several comparisons between life in Portugal and in Britain. As a Brit who’s lived abroad for more than 10 years, there are things I notice when I’m back to see family and friends in my native country that areRead More →

cloth cats in a box

Judging by the number of craft fairs in Portugal, handmade arts and crafts are popular here. Most reasonably sized towns hold at least one dedicated arts and crafts fair, and there are usually a liberal sprinkling of handicrafts for sale at foodie fairs, too. Some of the creations may not beRead More →

I grew up thinking that all jazz was jarring to the ears and a musical genre that was best avoided. Now that I’m a bit older and have more experience of the different forms of jazz, I really enjoy its softer side. I don’t know if I’ll ever learn toRead More →

Mike with a massive 'copa primaveira' ice cream sundae in Figueira da Foz

The sun is back and ice cream season has officially been declared open. By me. One of the happiest discoveries I’ve made in Portugal is an ice cream parlour in Figueira da Foz that sells the best ice cream sundaes in the world (in my experience so far, at least).Read More →

Pastel de Belem, a special brand of pastel de nata

How could my Personal A to Z of Portugal not include the nation’s most famous cake, pastel de nata? A light, slightly flaky, crispy pastry cup holds a sweet, smooth creamy custard filling which is browned off in the oven, giving them a home-made, slightly burnt appearance. They may notRead More →

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 →