Evenings in Portugal are my favourite things of all. I love coming off the beach, easing the inevitable sunburn with a cool shower and lots of aftersun, and getting all dressed up for dinner before a few snacks (peanut crisps, anyone?!) and a pre-dinner drink. This time, our house was up on the golf course and the walk down to the Praca (centre of the resort) made for some pretty ridiculous sunset views.
The praca itself is always buzzy, with 8 or so restaurants specialising in various worldly cuisines (told you it wasn’t a place for Portuguese authenticity!) and dinner is always washed down with a mojito or two and copious amounts of wine. Casal Garcia is a Portugese vinho verde that is cheap as chips in supermarkets (and slightly less so in restaurants – but still cheap!) and the most delicious, drinkable wine I’ve come across.
Something of a first-night tradition of ours is Sandbanks, which is a bit more Portuguese: gorgeous seafood with even more gorgeous sea views.
And of course it’s not a trip to Portugal without a visit to Julia’s Beach Bar, a walk along the beach to some of the best views ever.
It was only when I got home and looked at my pictures that I realised quite how many prawns I’d consumed (seriously, pretty much everyday) but without doubt these were my absolute favourite – and, in fact, was easily my favourite meal of the holiday and possibly ever: Spiaddini di Gamberoni at La Terrazza. I never, ever order pasta at restaurants but broke the trend for a night and it was the best life decision I could possibly have made. The whole thing was PERFECT.
Cocktails are another key part to any Portuguese holiday of mine. This year I found a couple of new faves, including this cucumber-y gin concoction and the most delicious frozen strawberry margaritas of all time. A few of those = the perfect way to end, begin, or enjoy any holiday evening!
As I flew home I was treated to the most spectacular sunset yet, which I only thought to capture as the sun disappeared below the clouds. It was very fitting for the end of what will probably be my last “family” holiday in the sense I’ve known it this far and certainly my last trip to VDL for a while…happy memories always!