The 10 best things about Vila Vita Parc: The Algarve, Portugal

I have just spent three energising days at the Vila Vita Parc.  Do hit that link and check out their website also, there are some pretty awesome pics and videos on it too. We left Gatwick airport at a rather unfavourably early  hour of the morning headed for Faro airport. At least the early three hour flight meant that there was a full day to explore when we arrived in Portugal.

Spain, Italy and France have always been on my hit list for short distance European travel and this was only my second time in Portugal. I have wanted to come to the Vila Vita Parc nestled in the South of the Country right on the coast  for many years and was so excited to finally get here. I have handpicked what I found to be the 10 best things (and that list could have easily been extended to 100 best things!) about my stay.

 

1.The grounds 

Being a country girl at heart the first thing I wanted to do when I arrived was explore the grounds. I underestimated just how big the place was. The resort is set in 54 acres of lush undulating grounds perched on a hill right by the beach. The greens the blues, the incredible foliage and the well kept gardens could keep a person occupied for weeks. With each new outing I stumbled across another gem, from soothing waterfalls, to different bridges spanning across the waterways, to very cool nooks and crannies to enjoy a drink or just read the latest novel on the ipad. Being early October  there were a few showers which did not last longer than a few minutes.

 

  2.  Lunch at the beach restaurant  and the cooking class 

The beach bar is not actually on the hotel grounds but a very short hop away from the main hotel. We were whisked away to the Praia dourada restaurant and  bar which sits on the beach  at Armação de Pêra

We began the afternoon  with a cooking demonstration of a Cataplana. This dish is named after the  copper, clam shaped dish in which it is cooked and consists of things like  local fish, seafood, white wine, garlic, peppers and onions. The base is made and then the seafood added. A lid is placed on top and the food is left to steam and for the flavours to develop until the big reveal. If you would like me to do  my recipe for Cataplana let me know in the comments below.

The restaurant  is open from the morning  through to the late evening. During the Summer season at the weekends, DJs play cool tunes so you can sit on the many sun loungers in front of the restaurant and sip on a sundowner or have a pick me up Portuguese coffee to see you through the day. The manager of the restaurant ordered most of the food for us to make sure we could try as much as possible. It is rare that I like most things on the menu which was the case with this meal. Here are a few of the dishes that we tried; Ceviche blanco with passion fruit and plantain fritters, Grilled Octopus with red pepper piquillo, Razor clams, swordfish steaks with cherry tomatoes and capers, and Panna cotta. Oh the tropical  Panna Cotta! They have food for vegans and vegetarians also such as Tempeh burger (soy beans)  and a lot of fresh pressed cleansing juices  which, you can have virgin or of course made in to one of the many cocktails which they offer. And imagine my delight when me, the avid gym goer, saw a drink called ‘the hulk’ on the menu which was a fresh banana drink with added protein! Praia Dourada Restaurant, you just won my heart for ever.

 

3. The wine cellar  

One evening before dinner we had a wine tasting in the resort’s wine cellar. If you are all about the wine then their 1100o strong collection should see you right. We feasted on olives, local ham and almonds as the wine expert talked us through some of his favourites. One couple were tucked away in a side room celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Gorgeous.

I fell in love with Green wine, or Vinho Verde.  Which is not actually green in colour  but is a young wine. The one we tried was white fresh and perhaps a little bit too drinkable. I am thinking that this new find may even be a contender for my usual summer tipple of Rose during the Summer months. Do look out for it and give it a try.

 

4. The beach

After wandering around the grounds.  I popped on my beach gear and headed to find the waves.  I walked through the grounds and every so often saw a pop of turquoise ocean. I then arrived on the cliffs edge which I sensibly stayed back from being somewhat clumsy at the best of times. There are signs around telling you to be extra cautious as the drop is quite a sheer one. You can either walk up and go for a cliff stroll or turn slightly down to the right and you will find the staircase with its roped bannisters, leading you down to the hotel beach. And then…well what can I say.. Tremendous.

5. The spa

We were given a spa treatment for this trip and I needed my well weight lifted muscles to be soothed. I chose  The deep tissue massage from one of the many on offer which  lasted an hour. Initially I thought that the petite masseuse was not going go be strong enough but how wrong I was. She used just the right amount of pressure to ease the tension and knots in my body.

 

6. The rooms

I enjoyed my room which had a view of the gardens and lots of places to sit. There was a little sofa with a coffee table down a couple of stairs which lead out to the small balcony. I found myself sitting out  there a lot admiring the surrounds and slowly eating my way through the mini bar (standard). The second picture on this blog post is the view taken from my room. I had a decent size bathroom with a shower which you had to step in to the bath to use.  I was in the main building but the rooms, and villas are scattered around the property. Some are quite a distance from the pool and restaurants but a quick phone call to the front desk results in a golf buggy to take you to your chosen destination.

 

7. The day trips

We did not have woodwork for girls at school which I would have done given the chance. So I loved visiting the work shop where the older members of the community were making wooden toys and games for children. I have written a separate blog post on this along with the basket weaving class and the amazing food and CAKE that we ate on that day here. Such fun! On the last day we explored the caves and the coastline around the hotel. Before turning the small speed boat around towards the end of the ride, the captain showed us The Benagil sea cave. You may seen this  ‘Portuguese Cave with a hole’ as its scattered all over social media.

 

8. The gym

A hotel gym is important to me. It is one of the things I check before I book anywhere. I look for hand weights which go up to at least 8kg, a couple of benches and then I am good to go. This gym goes way and above what you might expect with a bunch of cardio machines, and machines for both upper and lower body including a stretching area. I worked out here three times in the mornings and got a really good sweat/pump on each time. I like.

 

9. The chill spaces

In between running around the beach, the grounds, cookery lessons, woodwork lessons and a basket weaving session there was not an awful lot of time for us to relax. However I did find the odd 15 minutes here and there to relax the weary legs, including an indulgent  20 minutes of  stress-busting afternoon meditation.

 

10. The two Michelin Star restaurant

On the last night we got to eat at  the fine dining restaurant Ocean which, has had 2 Michelin star status since 2011 under the careful guidance of Chef Neuner. I took oodles of pictures as each dish was a masterpiece. The portions were quite small which I liked as we had so many courses. The restaurant has that telepathic service, when the moment you think about something that you want, or for the next course to come,  it magically appears. Elegant, seamless and indulgent.  I have eaten at a fair amount of Michelin starred restaurants and what stands out with Hans Neuner’s work were the surprises with the presentation and interpretation of familiar dishes. Things like Chicken Piri Piri, Portuguese Taco and Octopus came plated like works of art. There were so many ‘oooos’ and ‘ahhhhh’s and camera snaps coming from our table of 5! The last picture is a lemon meringue pie. Divine.

The three days  went too fast and it was soon time to kiss goodbye to my new found love, Portugal. I feel like there is so much more to  say about this place and I have so many more pictures to show you. But I know you have lives to be getting on with and so I will leave it here along with a big thank you to the Vila Vita Parc Hotel for having me along as their guest.

Have a great day.

Big love

LP xxx

 

Ps. If you see any typos let me know and I will correct. Thank you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

178 Comments

  1. Sarah
    3rd November 2017 / 6:36 pm

    Great blog L as always x
    Storyofskw

  2. Fabien Tempest
    3rd November 2017 / 6:39 pm

    @FabienTempest – Twitter

  3. 3rd November 2017 / 6:39 pm

    Hi lorraine
    I’m portuguese and so happy that you liked my country, you must come back algarve is amazing but there are so much to see in Portugal.

  4. LaQuaintes King
    3rd November 2017 / 6:40 pm

    Omg this place looks awesome. I became relaxed just by looking at the pictures. What an awesome experience. It’s on my bucket list to travel to another country and take a cooking class….as soon as I finish culinary school.

    Twitter: mssuganbutter

  5. Kath
    3rd November 2017 / 6:43 pm

    That looks absolutely amazing! Beautiful photos. 😍 @kathishy (instagram) x

  6. Jayshall Vassen
    3rd November 2017 / 6:46 pm

    @jayshallvassen

  7. Arjun
    3rd November 2017 / 6:46 pm

    I would love to see a Cataplana recipe from you. I’ve never really tried Portuguese food but I’m sure it would taste amazing, just like your pictures! You’re a great photographer and I can imagine your photos being in a book on my coffee table. Loving the blog posts and recipes. Hope to see you on the tv soon 🙂
    (@arjunb609)

  8. 3rd November 2017 / 6:46 pm

    Portugal looks absolutely stunning! Definitely on my list of places to visit for sure xx @jennifermakes

  9. Peter marched
    3rd November 2017 / 6:47 pm

    Fantastic read you bring it to life and defo on the to do list especially the cocktail on beach with dj and 2* restaurant
    @hotspur71

  10. Helen Laing
    3rd November 2017 / 6:49 pm

    @hellylaing

  11. Jennifer
    3rd November 2017 / 6:52 pm

    Lovely post. I love Portugal & heard great things about this place in particular.

  12. Ash
    3rd November 2017 / 6:53 pm

    @heyismee

  13. Victoria
    3rd November 2017 / 6:55 pm

    Always enjoy your blog posts although I don’t comment much! I love your passion for food, family and living a healthy and happy life! Not every day is perfect but Im sure you make the best of it anyway!

    Love the photography in this particular post and I quite fancy going myself!

    Love @VE1Mallett Victoria x

  14. Eoin Curran
    3rd November 2017 / 6:55 pm

    @eoineenc

  15. Kait
    3rd November 2017 / 6:56 pm

    @kaitchristie 🙂

  16. Lindsey cameron
    3rd November 2017 / 6:57 pm

    Love to read what your up to and follow amazing receipes!

    @Linz78oak is my twitter name!

  17. Jonathan Oswald
    3rd November 2017 / 7:00 pm

    @JOswald1998

  18. Sarah
    3rd November 2017 / 7:00 pm

    tktgirl1

  19. Stephanie
    3rd November 2017 / 7:10 pm

    This looks amazing! I want to hop on a plane immediately!! So maybe next year – thx so much for posting.
    Steph (aka pixiepicklesmum on IG)

  20. Kevin ward
    3rd November 2017 / 7:14 pm

    Such a beautiful looking country the views just take your breath away and the sea and beaches look so tranquil the ingredients in the dishes are so colourful and fresh and alive you just salivate as soon as you set eyes on them and there looks to be so much to do and learn with the different crafts and after eating world class food you can relax in the opulent rooms truly a heavenly place.

  21. Chris Myers
    3rd November 2017 / 7:22 pm

    Chrism_wigan

  22. DebbySpaghetti
    3rd November 2017 / 7:22 pm

    I love the fact that in 3 days my country could stay in your heart.

    💗☀️

  23. Candeena
    3rd November 2017 / 7:22 pm

    Lovely

  24. Hopster001
    3rd November 2017 / 7:23 pm

    Looks an amazing place, love the fact wine is described as a ‘little too drinkable’ – woodworking Is a beautiful thing too when it’s turned into a useable item. (Love your photographs)

  25. Nicoló
    3rd November 2017 / 7:23 pm

    I would like to do a trip in Portugal…after I have read these news…

  26. Rebekah Margrie
    3rd November 2017 / 7:24 pm

    Wow, sounds AMAZING! I especially like the idea of the deep tissue massage followed by the passion fruit pannacotta! Photos look stunning too. Must definitely look this place up.

    Thank you Lorraine!

    Instagram @rebekahmargrie

  27. @jwh1066
    3rd November 2017 / 7:41 pm

    Stunning, you seem to have packed a great deal into a few days.. looks like a great place to build some memories..

  28. 3rd November 2017 / 7:56 pm

    Yes please can you do your Cataplana recipe for us- it’s such a delicious thing when done properly👌😊😊

  29. Ruth Shield
    3rd November 2017 / 7:57 pm

    I have never been to Portugal but you have absolutely sold this wonderful place to me. Your blog is informative, the photos are fab and you give useful recommendations. Can’t ask for more than that. Love your blogs, tweets and insta posts 😊 @ruthshield

  30. Inês
    3rd November 2017 / 8:00 pm

    Beautiful pictures and story of my country! Portugal, I’m from Algarve, Vilamoura you should visit one day to know more about the beaches and the Portuguese culture. I have your book at home “Fast, Fresh and Easy Food” I tried some recipes and was definitely easy to cook, I decide to cook better and I think if I follow your recipes I will be as good as you one day. Thank you
    Xxx

    inneslemos is my instagram name

  31. Jamie Alderson
    3rd November 2017 / 8:13 pm

    A great read – beautiful photos!

    @Jamie_Alderson

  32. Aidan Hilton
    3rd November 2017 / 8:21 pm

    Lovely post! My friend is studying is Lisbon at the moment, will definitely have to explore the Algarve too when I visit him! (My insta’s aidanjhilton – you know what to do!)

  33. Ilaria
    3rd November 2017 / 8:22 pm

    Sounds like you had an amazing time, loved reading about the food and beach especially!
    Instagram name: ilariarrr

  34. 5ive80
    3rd November 2017 / 8:25 pm

    Oh my dayz! I can soo feel the sun on my skin. The food 😋😋😋 i dont even have words. Two words…’food porn’. That Lemon Meringue tho!! I can taste the citrus yummy-ness!
    Roll on the sunshine 😎

  35. Frustratedgamin
    3rd November 2017 / 8:36 pm

    Awesome pics. My user name is frustratedgamin

  36. Gillian Waugh
    3rd November 2017 / 8:37 pm

    Please include the recipe for the clam dish-it looks delicious! Also the tropical panda cotta. The soup from the basket weaving group sounds really good too-what a fabulous trip you had!

  37. Claire Lee
    3rd November 2017 / 8:39 pm

    Oh wow! Looks amazing! What more could you ask for – stunning scenery, beautiful hotel, relaxing spa and a gym to work off the wine! Very jealous. I’ve never been to Portugal but will definitely take a look at this when we book next years holiday.
    Keep up the great work, blogs and books Lorraine.
    Claire xxx @banksy1001

  38. Clare
    3rd November 2017 / 8:40 pm

    Hi, really loved the post, I myself have just discovered Portugal and went to Lisbon, I will definitely be going back. You’re pictures and your blogs are a joy to read, I can definitely hear your voice as I read them. It looks an interesting place and the photos are great. I also love gardens, we happened to find a tropical garden hidden away in Lisbon, we walked past a couple of times and not even realised it was there. Florrie-May.

  39. Gavin Longy
    3rd November 2017 / 8:44 pm

    Enjoyed reading this post, the cataplana looks fantastic, I will definitely have a go at preparing that, any recipe would be welcome. The beach looks amazing, AC great blog. @gavinlongy

  40. Greg Woods
    3rd November 2017 / 8:50 pm

    Amazing
    @gwdz

  41. Allison
    3rd November 2017 / 9:02 pm

    Such beautiful pictures! I’d love to see a recipe for Cataplanta -I’m in Seattle so I love seafood dishes!
    IG: suthungirl404

  42. 3rd November 2017 / 9:24 pm

    Wonderful place. Thanks for sharing all these lovely things and moments. We love Lorraine! 😍

  43. Karen Stuart
    3rd November 2017 / 9:25 pm

    I love Portugal too. I went to Lisbon for 6 days and fell in love the little side streets and cute cafes. Looks like you had a fantastic trip and the place looks fantastic. I also tried green wine when I went to lisbon. Soooo Good! Karen Stuart 🏞

  44. Charlie Rivers
    3rd November 2017 / 9:26 pm

    Lovely stuff Lorraine! Hoping to be lucky…my Twitter handle is @CharlieRivers

  45. Daniel williams
    3rd November 2017 / 9:27 pm

    Wonderful pic.s and.views plus lpve your pic.s .

  46. Carla Martins Guerreiro
    3rd November 2017 / 9:41 pm

    Hi Lorraine, I’m your fan and when I realised you were in the Algarve and Vila Vita, I almost couldn’t believe it. I live in Portimao and I’m a travel agent. I know Vila Vita and I can confirm that everything you said is true. It is one of the best luxury resorts here. When you feel like coming again, let me know and I will give you more suggestions. Typical villages, great restaurants to eat regional food, tours that are worth a visit. Love to see you cook, so nice, simple and fast. Take Care! Carla Martins Guerreiro (I also put likes in your Posts). P. S. Would love to win your book… I don’t cook a lot but I want to, only don’t know how to start. Hope you can help 🙂

  47. Esperanza Perez
    3rd November 2017 / 9:47 pm

    Soy una gran fans . Me gustaria que todas tus publicaciones pudieran estar traducidas en este caso a español. Eres la mejor cocinera sencilla y muy creativa. Como persona publica maravillosa. Grandes consejos de salud.

  48. simon
    3rd November 2017 / 9:49 pm

    Wow! What a fantastic place. Sounds like you really packed in loads of activities too; which is my favourite type of holiday break. A good combo of exercise, exploration, new food & drink sensations and experiences, along with a bit of relaxation time is right up my street.
    Your photos really capture the essence of the place. Made me want to nip down to that beach restaurant and for a seafood extravaganza and definitely try some of that wine!
    Visited that part of Portugal a few years ago with a bunch of friends and found the locals to be incredibly friendly and hospitable, so not surprised that you enjoyed your trip so much.
    So where next then Lorraine? Planning your next trip already?
    Great to read your blog as usual (miss your YouTube vlogs..)
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring.
    Si

  49. Brian McElroy
    3rd November 2017 / 10:00 pm

    Portugal is a place where relaxing comes second nature and let’s you enjoy good food and get your life back on track.

  50. Gary Butler
    3rd November 2017 / 10:05 pm

    Looks beautiful. The place and the food. I would love to visit there someday. You should visit the Cayman Islands!
    X

  51. Bea
    3rd November 2017 / 10:06 pm

    You made me feel like to visit this beautiful place. Thank you for all the good vibes you are transmitting. Love your programs. Love the quality of the videos and the quality of your work. The World is so big. So much beauty in it. Travel everywhere! Budapest or Viena, Stockholm, Hamburg, StPetersburg. @narancsviragpart

  52. Jo marshgreen
    3rd November 2017 / 10:19 pm

    I love Portugal, it’s like my second home.
    Instagram @jomarshgreen

  53. 3rd November 2017 / 10:23 pm

    @GBsBestElvis
    I’d love to have one of your books signed to me personally x

  54. 3rd November 2017 / 10:26 pm

    Wow! A dream place to go! I was thinking going to the south. I will certainly do when the cold comes!

    I’m from Canada, Montreal but live in England now. I miss the nature and vast spaces.

    Have lots of your books…i just love the simplicity, speed and beauty of your recipes!

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  55. ADDA
    3rd November 2017 / 10:28 pm

    you are good person
    i affection you

  56. Ade
    3rd November 2017 / 10:40 pm

    Please do your version of Cataplana, place looks amazing, definitely a consideration for a new year recovery break 👍

  57. Ade0267
    3rd November 2017 / 10:42 pm

    Sorry forgot to post my Twitter name 😘

  58. Will Drake
    3rd November 2017 / 10:44 pm

    @willdrakee

  59. Mark
    3rd November 2017 / 10:50 pm

    Markyt8

  60. Dorothy
    3rd November 2017 / 10:52 pm

    FB – Dorothy Buechel

  61. Www. Louisedif.com
    3rd November 2017 / 11:00 pm

    No typos – you are amazing, thanks for sharing your cooking knowledge.

  62. Dee Burns
    3rd November 2017 / 11:05 pm

    @deemburns

  63. leonor
    3rd November 2017 / 11:17 pm

    hii 🙂 i loved reading about your visit to my home country — even if you didn’t come to my home town (Oporto, which by the way is just BEAUTIFUL and totally worth visiting *hint hint*), you’ve managed to capture my attention from the first to the last word 🙂 i would love to read more from you about Portugal!! xx

    (@leonor.barroca on instagram)

  64. E Price
    3rd November 2017 / 11:27 pm

    Great insight and review. Thanks for sharing.
    Definitely considering booking a trip given this relaxing and welcoming prose.

  65. Dean Bentley
    3rd November 2017 / 11:36 pm

    Love this – We got married at Vila Vita last year, so your blog brought back memories !

  66. Lorraine Wan
    3rd November 2017 / 11:38 pm

    Hi Lorraine
    Firstly thanks for sharing your 3-day trip to Vila Vita Portugal. What a stunning place. So much to do, see and eat! I really enjoyed reading your post as it had a nice balance of text and photos. A couple of tiny things but nothing major I spotted.
    Under the wine cellar section you mentioned the following:
    If you are all about the wine then their 1100o strong selectiom should see you right. Should that be 11,000 or 1,100?

    The 2 Michelin Star restaurant
    You wrote- there were some many ‘oooo’s and ‘ahhhhh’s. Should that be ‘oooo’s’ and ‘ahhhhh’s’.

    Sorry, I hope I don’t sound super pedantic!
    Thanks
    Lorraine

  67. Sandy F
    3rd November 2017 / 11:40 pm

    Such a luxurious vacation stay! I don’t know that I will ever travel out of the country, but your post made me feel as if I were there. @sansannysandy

  68. martin
    3rd November 2017 / 11:42 pm

    my comment not enough pictures with you in them and need more diabetic foods because it all looks fabulous and i cant eat it xx

  69. martin
    3rd November 2017 / 11:46 pm

    needs more pictures with you in them and needs more diabetic foods as it all look amazing but i cant eat them please now send me a book please your next one LP Diabetic foods all the taste without the tummy look forward to it thank you MO XX

  70. Belma
    4th November 2017 / 12:15 am

    OMG it’s a fabulous place. Looks magical ♥ My IG: @belmapalavra

  71. Ana Colaço
    4th November 2017 / 12:33 am

    Hello Lorraine, once more i tell you, come to visit us in the north, we have great sellers to, the better red wine, portwine, Douro River…all in OPORTO

  72. Ana Colaço
    4th November 2017 / 12:35 am

    Sory, my facebook name is Ana de Figueiredo

  73. 4th November 2017 / 1:29 am

    I am really enjoying seeing and hearing about Portugal from a different perspective. For 33 years I have visited Portugal with my Portuguese husband. It’s great to hear about places in Portugal we haven’t seen and it’s great to hear about innovative projects going on and creative enterprises 🙂 Thank you xx

  74. Anna Rigo
    4th November 2017 / 1:29 am

    gorgeous! Anna Rigo (country: Puerto de la Cruz), my profile is the girl with a violin 🙂 love all your recepies! cheers!

  75. Calvin Quinsaat
    4th November 2017 / 2:10 am

    You are divine. I’am a massive fan of your cooking show and you, of course! :)) I hope that you find the right man for you to cook delicious dishes. I hope I can get a copy of your cookbook. BIG LOVE from the Philippines @vinquin

  76. Cindy A. Milton
    4th November 2017 / 2:13 am

    Beautiful! What an exciting photo opportunity! Thank you for introducing me to a new place! <3
    Warmest regards,
    ~Cindy

    Facebook: Cindy A. Milton

  77. Ric Natanek
    4th November 2017 / 2:59 am

    Beautiful pictures! Can’t decide if the clams or the wine cellar is my favorite: @2MockaKillifish

  78. Puja
    4th November 2017 / 4:20 am

    Fab review! One to add to the list to visit. Porto and Sintra are next on the list too! Instagram puja.karia

  79. Edem
    4th November 2017 / 5:29 am

    So genuinely kind. That’s what I love about you. With love from Ghana.IG: @edem_doreen

  80. Jenny
    4th November 2017 / 5:57 am

    I have been following you living the dream … Big sighhhhhh I would love to live the the dream .
    Thank you do much Lorraine for letting me share your beautiful photos and journey X

  81. 4th November 2017 / 7:15 am

    @lozi_murias
    This place looks… well, wow – your photos and words say it all! A perfect escape. (And that gym puts most hotel gyms to shame, doesn’t it!) Love Loz x

  82. Vandana
    4th November 2017 / 7:21 am

    I’ve been to the Algarve as well, I absolutely loved it! Your photos are amazing Lorraine 🙂
    X -Vandana
    (IG: Vandana2507)

  83. Lara Eley
    4th November 2017 / 7:27 am

    It looks amazing there x

  84. Kamelia
    4th November 2017 / 7:56 am

    What a beautiful review, the rooms look amazing, must add to my bucket list 💗 @kamietodo

  85. Deborah Soal
    4th November 2017 / 8:07 am

    Bon Dia Lorraine. I was in Portimao Algarve last month with my step Mum as she is from there, we had Cataplana and would love your version as the only downside for me with alot of Portuguese food is the high salt content. I will look into Vila Vita Parc it looks amazing.

    Muito Obrigarda X

  86. Anthony James
    4th November 2017 / 8:09 am

    Once again, stunning pictures, really informative and easy to read article. Already a massive fan of your books & food and this latest adventure would certainly make me look to get out to Portugal again @antjam60

  87. Sonia Silva
    4th November 2017 / 8:09 am

    So glad you loved my country. The food is always the best and you were very lucky with the weather. You’re always welcome in Portugal.
    Facebook: Sonia Silva

  88. Simon
    4th November 2017 / 8:25 am

    Wow Lorraine. What a wonderful place to have cookery lessons. Stunning scenery, fabulous food and you look like you enjoyed your stay too.

  89. Great Lynes
    4th November 2017 / 8:30 am

    Lovely review and a great way to cover the whole hotel including the surrounding area.
    Food and scenery look fantastic.
    One small error, how many bottles of wine (1100o)? You have alower case “o” following the zero.

  90. Tai
    4th November 2017 / 8:38 am

    Looks like a fabulous place. Thanks for sharing! @Fernmill

  91. Ohioma Imoukhuede
    4th November 2017 / 8:47 am

    It looks absolutely idyllic. Love your travels and your recipes 😀 @ohiomaI

  92. Susana
    4th November 2017 / 8:50 am

    Amazing pictures. Next trip you should visit the north. Oporto is amazing too.
    Facebook Susana Mesquita

  93. Jane Williams
    4th November 2017 / 9:16 am

    Fabulous review, need to visit!

  94. 4th November 2017 / 9:18 am

    superb photography, fantastic place and Lorraine Pascal!
    @paulrock09
    Paul Stearman X

  95. Wayne Armstrong
    4th November 2017 / 9:33 am

    Like everything in this blog, simply stunning!”

  96. David Nieuwenhoff
    4th November 2017 / 9:35 am

    This wonderfully written post has me packing my suitcase to head off to Portugal to sample these culinary delights… looks amazing! 😜👍🏼

  97. Natalie McCandless
    4th November 2017 / 9:36 am

    Gorgeous review. I tend to spend time in Praia De Rocha but will pop this on my list for next time. The food and wine cellar look amazing! Thanks Lorraine.
    Facebook: Natalie McCandless

  98. Carla
    4th November 2017 / 10:52 am

    The photos are beautiful. I’m sure that, as beautiful as they are, they do not capture just how enchanting that place really is.
    Must put that on my bucket list!

    @thepipingbagbakery1

  99. @chriscrowhurst
    4th November 2017 / 10:54 am

    Looks absolutely stunning
    @chriscrowhurst

  100. 4th November 2017 / 11:27 am

    I’m loading the car! 🙂 You talked me into it! I’m going to follow your footprints around that little bit of heaven! 🙂

  101. Paulo Ferreira
    4th November 2017 / 11:48 am

    Hello Lorraine !!

    Like Ana Colaço said … you need to come to the north of Portugal 😀 Our tradicional food is amazing, beautiful places to see and the people are fantastic and the city of Braga it´s just around the corner of Oporto city 😀 Come to visit us 😀

  102. 4th November 2017 / 1:30 pm

    Humble beginnings Lorraine. My daughter (9yrs old) and I have been enjoying your show on food network (bakers v/s fakers) and now she is begging me to take her for baking lessons.

    Regards, Rachel Qoboza

  103. Sandra Elhilali
    4th November 2017 / 1:48 pm

    Lorraine the pictures are inspiring. Being Portuguese myself I so very much loved that you showcased the food from the region, something that is rarely done. Simply a beautiful post.

  104. Hortense
    4th November 2017 / 2:04 pm

    Next time come to north of the country to Porto and Minho you’re simply gonna love it 😍 not only for the landscape but also for the gastronomy 😜

  105. Yukendra
    4th November 2017 / 2:35 pm

    What a gorgeous trip! Next time, take meeeeee!
    @415Peach

  106. Matt King
    4th November 2017 / 3:37 pm

    I love a room with a balcony, so I bet they was awesome! And a 2 Michelin star restaurant just sounds great but the photos do it justice. I’m more relaxed after reading and seeing the pics!
    @rmh_co

  107. Mili Randelovic
    4th November 2017 / 4:00 pm

    It looks like you had a lovely time. This place seems to offer a good balance – a chance to relax and unwind from everyday life, whilst still offering plenty in terms of food, culture and activities. An “active meditation” 🙂
    The chocolate and carrot cake looks delicious – please share the recipe if you receive it. Looking forward to your next adventures! @millies_milkyway (Instagram)

  108. Courtney
    4th November 2017 / 4:01 pm

    Beautiful photos.

    @Mrs_CJohnson

  109. Amy
    4th November 2017 / 4:03 pm

    This holiday looks so amazing! I’ve never been to Portugal but would love to go. You must have not wanted to leave! Your pictures are absolutely fab. I love the look of the wine cellar, absolutely gorgeous!
    Instagram – @littleamyramsay

  110. Hester McQueen
    4th November 2017 / 4:24 pm

    Love Portugal & the Portuguese people. Must put this on my to do list. We’re off to the north for a long weekend very soon. Looking forward to the Vinho Verde and Port!

    • Hester McQueen
      4th November 2017 / 4:25 pm

      @HesterMcQueen – twitter!

  111. Owen
    4th November 2017 / 4:25 pm

    Looks amazing

  112. Miles Berry
    4th November 2017 / 4:35 pm

    Looks like a must-do @smiley1957

  113. Victoria Martin
    4th November 2017 / 4:55 pm

    Oh my Lorraine! I have never been any place like this, but you make me feel like I am there! Please tell me your favorite thing about the cooking class! I am thinking of starting some in my community and I would love some tips, I know you love to teach people as well! Thank you for your inspiration and beautiful pictures as always! @cypresscat

  114. Dave Fowler
    4th November 2017 / 5:42 pm

    Fantastic review….beautifil, beautiful imagery and look stunning as per usual xxx
    Id love a book!
    Instagram @davidmusic1970

  115. Anne
    4th November 2017 / 6:35 pm

    Looks like a haven to just breathe if you know what I’m saying a place for the shoulders to drop, for the tastebuds to come alive and for a twinkle to return to your eye!
    Places like this can create memories without us even realising, thank you for sharing your experience seeing something like that reminds me to just inhale, exhale

  116. Julie Shrout
    4th November 2017 / 6:52 pm

    I love your blog! The pictures are glorious and the food yummy!

  117. Hina
    4th November 2017 / 6:55 pm

    So are such a humble down to earth soul never seen anyone asking viewers to point out any typos! You also responded on my Instagram when i tagged you in my stories it moved me😍😭 Much love !
    Instagram acc @ummkhad1jah 💕

    • Hina
      4th November 2017 / 6:57 pm

      You* are such a …. 🙃
      There you go, a typo 😂

  118. Melissa Reis
    4th November 2017 / 7:10 pm

    @melcreis – Instagram

  119. 4th November 2017 / 7:11 pm

    Please please please give us your recipe for Cataplana!!! Such a gorgeous presentation

    • 4th November 2017 / 7:12 pm

      Insta @tiara.loraine

  120. Natasa
    4th November 2017 / 7:21 pm

    So beautiful 😍😍😍😍 I wanna to teleport myself there immediately 🐾🐾🐾

  121. Rob Broad
    4th November 2017 / 7:51 pm

    Absolutely checking out the hotel gym is a must! Helps kill some of that time inbetween the sun going down and dinner being served! If there isn’t a half decent gym and I’m fairly set on the hotel, I at least make sure there is an adventure local so I can run daily or workout on hills, beach etc. Enjoy!

  122. MELANIE COLE
    4th November 2017 / 8:13 pm

    I would love to win a signed copy of your book, I’m 50 next week and want to get healthy and be inspired
    @Mel_69812206

  123. Sarah
    4th November 2017 / 8:13 pm

    This makes me want to go to Portugal now. I’ve only been to Spain. Great article!

  124. Helen
    4th November 2017 / 8:42 pm

    That was a lovely read. It sounds like a great escape. I love portugal. Thankyou for sharing your experience so homestly.

  125. 4th November 2017 / 9:10 pm

    Note to LP: I’m coming next time 😙
    Note to GD: Rsad LP’s blog soon😉

  126. Kay Garraway
    4th November 2017 / 9:24 pm

    Beautiful Lorraine, this is why I simply love reading your posts. You have a natural way and skill of capturing the moment. The deep sea blue glasses on the tables are stunning and this makes me want to go there now and eat and drink at the restaurant. I dream of visiting Portugal 🇵🇹 with my little family but this one I would save for a special holiday with my hubby. For our grown up holiday without the kids one day. But for now, I will dream and hear the sound of the waves gently crashing, the divine smell of the food being served, sip on wine I don’t know anything about and indulgence myself through your pictures.
    Thank you for sharing your experience in Portugal.
    I also love that you’ve replied to me on Instagram. You take the time and write back to us all. So thank you ❤️

    With so much love to you

    Kay Garraway xXx

  127. Alice Buchanan
    4th November 2017 / 9:31 pm

    This is a really detailed review that takes the reader through your experience there, letting us know the little things that really make the difference between a good trip/break a great getaway. The photos also seem to capture the essence of your time there. Great read and definitely one for the ‘future trips’ list

  128. Esther
    4th November 2017 / 9:33 pm

    You took me on a journey to Portugal, somewhere I’ve not been yet but would love to go even more. Thanks for this Lorraine. Great photos too. X

  129. Shannon McCartan
    4th November 2017 / 9:48 pm

    Sounds like a perfect little mini getaway! I just went on a minicruise to NewCastle, not the same as Portugal, but the perfect little mini getaway for me!
    Keep on living the good life and enjoying these mini getaways!
    Xxx Shannon

  130. 4th November 2017 / 9:58 pm

    Hi Lorraine!
    What a beautiful place to stay! I love that the Algarve is self-sufficient and the produce is so fresh! I love following you and seeing what you are up to <3 so much inspiration!

    Jessica xx

  131. Maria H
    4th November 2017 / 10:48 pm

    You have made me want to go to Portugal 🇵🇹, this place looks beautiful and what you have written makes it even more inviting. It looks like you had an amazing break. This place is now on my bucket list! From all the way down under in Australia, thank you for sharing your experiences 💟.

  132. Bill Lipscomb
    4th November 2017 / 10:59 pm

    Greetings Chef,
    Very nice article, i like the pic of the wine cellar set for dinner, very nice. You looked very relaxed on the beach, I also liked the pic of it looked like a watering hole, the beach below the hole in the rocks, nice and secluded. I am hoping you may remember me from season 1 of Holiday Baking Challenge and maybe one other show!!! Great article!!!

    Twitter : bill Lipscomb@ paystryshef

    Take care,

  133. Mike Evans
    4th November 2017 / 11:14 pm

    Everything looks spot on & the food at the restaurant mouth-wateringly delish

  134. Jane'e Lewis
    4th November 2017 / 11:15 pm

    Amazing, the imagery along with the photos create a beautiful scene thank you for the mini vacay😊😊

  135. Shaya
    4th November 2017 / 11:24 pm

    You have such an inspiring life style.❤️🌺

  136. Charlene A. Toombs
    4th November 2017 / 11:46 pm

    Beautiful pictures!
    Twitter name – @CharleneAToombs

  137. Bethany West
    5th November 2017 / 12:19 am

    Looks beautiful!
    @niale_west

  138. Jeanne McCabe
    5th November 2017 / 12:48 am

    What an amazing trip! It’s on my bucket list now
    @jeannemccabe

  139. 5th November 2017 / 3:29 am

    I have been transported to a place that I can only imagine is even more beautiful in person! Thank you for the vacation on this cold rainy evening!

  140. Penny
    5th November 2017 / 3:40 am

    Thanks to you, Portugal is now on my bucket list. Your pictures make my heart sing.

  141. Marla
    5th November 2017 / 5:00 am

    Wow , you’ve describe your vacations so well that now I’m looking forward to be in Portugal some day. Thank you Lorraine 😘

  142. 5th November 2017 / 7:43 am

    I love Portugal but I still haven’t visited it extensively. Loved how you broke down the post into sections. Great photos that really brought everything to life

  143. daphne
    5th November 2017 / 7:55 am

    Amazing photos and I enjoyed reading about your trip. Portugal is on my list. @bealdaphne

  144. Rachel Cronin
    5th November 2017 / 8:02 am

    Looks amazing! I’ve never been to Portugal but it’s definitely on my bucket list! Plus it looks so instagram-able! Wish my house had a wine cellar!! 🤷🏼‍♀️

  145. Emily Toko
    5th November 2017 / 8:08 am

    Fab read and pics 😍 divine!!!
    Just wanted to say “Thank you” Lorraine.
    I’ve been following you for sometime now on IG and you have inspired me to rediscover my zest for life. Great blog ❤️💃🏿

    IG : @tokostyle13
    Keep doing you… you’re amazing 😉

  146. Irene
    5th November 2017 / 8:37 am

    Lovely place, awesome photos

  147. Rebecca Gill
    5th November 2017 / 8:40 am

    What an amazing looking place! Definitely on my destination wish list now. From @msgill

  148. 5th November 2017 / 8:54 am

    I never knew how beautiful the Algarve is … it’s now on my list of places to visit! Thanks Lorraine 😊

  149. Karen
    5th November 2017 / 8:59 am

    The resort looks fab and the food amazing!! X

  150. 5th November 2017 / 8:59 am

    I went to the same area as you last May and I loved it too!! 😍 Beautiful photos!! (Oh and I would love your cook book! I have tried quite a few of your recipes and I have never been disappointed!!)
    Instagram name : @maries_paradise

  151. Lisa
    5th November 2017 / 9:11 am

    Interesting read and lovely photos! 😀😆 xx

  152. 5th November 2017 / 9:17 am

    What a fab blog, another place to add to my bucket list destinations. Amazing!

    preciousmuse

  153. Sylvie Buttay
    5th November 2017 / 9:20 am

    A simple glimpse at your pictures and I dive into an ocean of serenity..
    Take care beautiful Lorraine.
    Instagram: Vivi2402

  154. Mildred Stoové
    5th November 2017 / 9:48 am

    I am speechless. 😱😱😱 OK, one word…. Gorgeous.

  155. Steve Wright
    5th November 2017 / 9:54 am

    Looks fabulous, never considered Portugal but definitely will now.

  156. LeeAnn
    5th November 2017 / 12:24 pm

    Beautiful photos. I think Portugal will be my next holiday 🙂

  157. Linda
    5th November 2017 / 12:56 pm

    Absolutely stunning

  158. Linda
    5th November 2017 / 12:57 pm

    @LMKP62

  159. Katy webb
    5th November 2017 / 1:59 pm

    Wow, reading this I have completely seen the Algave in a different light. I never thought of it as being a foodie place, but it has definitely inspired me to look beyond a tourist attraction capitals.

  160. PAMELA HAYNES
    5th November 2017 / 4:31 pm

    What a wonderful blog. You covered a lot in three days.

  161. Svetlana
    5th November 2017 / 5:04 pm

    Lovely

  162. 5th November 2017 / 5:31 pm

    Wow, beautiful place!. Thank you very much for this wonderful post!
    My IG is: cocinamiga

  163. Terry
    5th November 2017 / 5:38 pm

    Looks like you had a fab time! Not jealous at all… haha.

  164. Jodi Tippin
    5th November 2017 / 6:56 pm

    Portugal is now on my destination wish list! Absolutely GORGEOUS 😻 However, Lovely #London is, and will always be my first love 😘🇬🇧❤️🇬🇧❤️

    • 6th November 2017 / 2:55 pm

      Hi! Yes, I agree with you.London is and always be my first love too :)xx

  165. 6th November 2017 / 7:36 pm

    What a magical place! Your photos are wonderful! Great blog post. Twitter handle = @meredyleonard

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