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Photo essay: Paço de Calheiros

A night’s stay in a 12th century manor on the hills overlooking Ponte de Lima was a great introduction to Portugal and its history.  I’ve mentioned Paço de Calheiros in this previous post about the small producers of Portugal.  On Count Calheiros’ property, he produces vinho verde wine, marmalade and olive oil; he also opens up his home for those who want to take a break from the city and soak in some of Portugal’s traditions.   Here’s a peak inside:
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Convento do Espinheiro – a restful night in a former convent

We drove through the vast and varying landscapes of Alentejo, the south-central region of Portugal, to reach Convento do Espinheiro, our hotel for the evening.  Originally a convent built by monks in the 15th century & frequently visited by Portuguese monarchs in its heyday, the Convento do Espinheiro was later renovated into a luxury hotel that caters to guests from all over the world while sharing a piece of its history.
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Bola de carne at Quinta do Vallado in the Douro Valley

Part 2: touring Portugal for food & drink

A two week food tour through Portugal has left me with quite the longing for its cuisine now that I’m back in London and not marathon eating on a daily basis.  My addiction to pasteis de nata has been easy enough to feed since the delightfully eggy tart can be found in most London cafes but the craving for family style dishes like a fragrant arroz de pato (Portuguese duck rice) and a zingy cataplana (seafood stew) is harder to sate.  As soon as time permits, I’ll be on the search for these dishes in a good London-based Portuguese restaurant (recommendations are welcome!).

If you followed my trip on Instagram and Twitter you would be familiar with some of favorite moments but here are the highlights of my best food memories in Portugal:Adega-Velha-Mourão-bar-Portugal-Joanna-Yee-Photography

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Part 1: touring Portugal for food & drink

Touring Portugal with Aptece in the name of food meant that I visited cities & towns that I probably wouldn’t go to on my own, spoke with food & wine producers I wouldn’t otherwise meet and discovered my vast appetite for the various specialties of the country.  In this and the next few posts, I’ll be sharing with you my experiences & impressions of Portuguese cuisine, highlighting the many wonderful eateries/restaurants we had the pleasure of dining in.  Read along to learn about what to eat in Portugal and where – starting with Porto.

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Portugal: meet the small producers

A 16 day food tour through Portugal, that’s what I won with this post I submitted for the Aptece competition a few months ago.  I hardly had time to process my good fortune when I found myself in a van with four other bloggers, from different parts of the world, ready to embark on a whirlwind tour that introduced us to Portuguese specialties, comfort foods & the people who produce them.  In the next few posts brace yourself for stories from my favorite food encounters, land & cityscapes and the interesting lodgings we stayed in.  Today, I’d like to introduce you to the small producers we met on the road. Continue reading

adventures of a London food & travel photographer