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 →

Douro Valley Grape Harvest. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

Perhaps one of the best times to experience the chameleon-like beauty of Portugal’s oldest wine region is during the Douro Valley grape harvest. You can get involved in the grape picking and even try treading grapes barefoot. Although it’s usually towards the end of September, the exact timing of the Douro grape harvest dependsRead More →

Rows of moscatel wine and aguardente, By The Wine, Lisbon

One of the most delightful wine-related discoveries I’ve made in Portugal is Portuguese muscatel wine, known as moscatel wine in Portugal. This delicate and not overly sweet fortified wine is ideal as an aperitif or with dessert. Or just for fun. You can even dunk biscuits in it as I discovered in Azeitão, one ofRead More →

Herdade dos Grous and lake

It really wasn’t hard to fall in love with Herdade dos Grous, a country estate spread over 730 hectares of Alentejo countryside. For nature lovers who appreciate comfort, good food and fine wine, it’s hard to beat and I’m glad I accepted the invitation to stay there. I would happily put my handRead More →

Moscatel de Setúbal and Azeitão cakes. What to see and do in Azeitao

A day trip to Azeitão, a pretty village just south of Lisbon, proved to be a feast for the eyes as well as my stomach. Among the things to see and do in Azeitão are many of my favourite aspects of Portugal plus some unexpected treats. Not only did I get to tasteRead More →