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 →

Various ponchas, Funchal. Some of the many food and drink in Madeira

I’m quite used to Portuguese food by now but the island of Madeira has its own unique food and drinks that are well worth a try, including the much-loved espetada (meat on a skewer). As you might expect from a subtropical island, there is plenty of fresh fish and seafood andRead More →

3-Island lake, Quinta da Aveleda, Penafiel

If you’re in the mood for enchanting gardens filled with flowers and follies followed by wine and cheese tasting, read on. You’ll find all these treats at Quinta da Aveleda in northern Portugal. The Guedes family have been producing wine on this estate since 1870 but the main building datesRead More →

Freshly baked pasteis de Tentúgal

“You’re going to see magic this morning,” Olga Cavaleiro, co-owner of O Afonso Pastelaria, promises as she leads me and my companions to a large empty room behind her café and bakery.  This is where the impossibly thin pastry for pastéis de Tentúgal (Tentúgal pastries) is made. The dough is made just from waterRead More →