Spa treatments and traditional games in Castro Daire at BTL travel fair

BTL (Bolsa de Turismo de Lisboa) is Portugal’s most important annual travel fair, which is why I go every year. The first few days are for professionals, press and trade but from Friday evening throughout the weekend, the public have the chance to find out what’s on offer in Portugal andRead More →

Bolo Rainhas, Queen cake, popular in Portugal at Christmas

Christmas in Portugal is yet another excuse to break out the cakes. While the colourful Bolo Rei (King cake) may be the star of the show, the less glitzy Bolo Rainha (Queen cake) is the Portuguese Christmas cake for me. Especially since I’ve had the privilege of learning a few ofRead More →

Covers of books about Portuguese food.

Mention Portuguese food to a Portuguese person and you’ll uncover a deeply-rooted passion for their cuisine. Visitors to Portugal don’t always understand the appeal as it’s hard to know what to order and what’s worth sampling without guidance. These books about Portuguese food and drink can help at various stages of your gastronomic journey intoRead More →

For my Lisbon cooking class the chef, Patrícia, gave me the choice between learning how to make a bacalhau (salted cod) dish or polvo à lagareiro (baked octopus). The decision was easy. Bacalhau may have been first choice for many Portuguese people but I’ve been in love with octopus ever since I movedRead More →

Azeitão cheese, fig jam and almond tart

When Célia Pedroso, co-author of Eat Portugal, invited me to join one of her Culinary Backstreets Lisbon food tours, I jumped at the chance. As well as being a well-established foodie, she knows the city intimately so who better to lead the way to Lisbon’s gastronomic highlights? Over the course of sixRead More →

Stacked corn cobs. Montaria, Serra d'Arga, Portugal. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

Slightly sweet and moist with a crunchy crust. That’s the way I like my broa, aka traditional Portuguese corn bread. Broa is often served in the basket of bread you get served with olives in restaurants. Portuguese corn bread is more dense and filling than ordinary bread but, when freshly baked, is ohRead More →

Chanfana in a black casserole dish

“What do you want?” asked the Juiz (judge). “To eat chanfana!” I chanted, along with the 15 other initiates to the Confraria da Chanfana (brotherhood of goat casserole). We were on the stage in the Vila Nova de Poiares cultural centre wearing long black cloaks and wide-brimmed black hats. A waitress gave us each a tinyRead More →

Ana Silva demostrates the magic ball cane toy, cane workshop, Querença, Loulé, Portugal. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

The Algarve is best known for its fabulous beaches and top notch golf courses so what’s an inland town like Loulé to do if it wants to entice visitors away from the coast? Get creative, that’s what. Loulé Criativo organises hands-on creative workshops in Loulé city and municipality. Run by local artisans,Read More →