Monday, 4 December 2017

Xmas Chronicles | Festive Season at Corinthia Hotel Lisbon

The Festive Season is at our doorstep and is time to make plans for those special days. Last week, I attended the presentation of the Festive Season program and menus at Corinthia Hotel Lisbon and all that I've seen (and tasted!) tells me that anyone choosing the hotel for Christmas or New Year's festivities will have the most wonderful time. The beautiful decorations, the superb food and beverages, the irreprehensible service and the absolute attention to all the details, make Corinthia Hotel the perfect host for you, your family and friends.

No matter if you're a local or if you're planning to visit Lisbon during the holidays, at the Corinthia Hotel Lisbon you can enjoy the festive special menus and evening entertainment designed to create the most sparkling festive memories.

We were presented with a selection of canapés, one main course and an assortment of desserts, all sampled from the menus specially designed for the Season, and let me tell you, the quality of the ingredients and confection make it close to perfection! A great selection of wines and cocktails, including the inevitable Champagne contributed for an even merrier night.  Our delightful reunion ended at Tempus Bar, over a hot cup of coffee and some sweet treats. At Corinthia, they surely have mastered the art of wishing a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to their guests!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

What, November is over?

November was a month with lots of work and so much fun! Started the month with a wine tasting and music at Quinta de Alcube, tried a few new restaurants with my good friends and revisited some old favs with my family, went south to Olhão and stayed at the gorgeous Real Marina Hotel & SPA, and to close the month big way, attended a fantastic party at Corinthia Hotel Lisbon to the presentation of their Festive Season Program.

December is here and, with it, the end of another year. Can you believe it? Until the next monthly wrap-up, leave you with the nine photos that are the Top 9 for November on our Instagram account. You can follow us there for daily photos and tips.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Chronicles from Algarve | A Cruise in Ria Formosa (Algarve, Portugal)

One of the high points of our recent visit to Olhão, on the South of Portugal was a 4 hours cruise on Ria Formosa with stops at Culatra and Armona islands. The great weather (a November day that felt like Spring!), the amazing views, the professionalism of the crew, all contributed to an unforgettable experience that I can only recommend. We sailed with Passeios Ria Formosa, and the ship, under the command of Mestre Chico, took us comfortably from island to island, with the extra perk of having this experienced captain sharing his stories and best tips on the region.

Um dos pontos altos da nossa recente visita a Olhão, no sul de Portugal, foi um cruzeiro de 4 horas na Ria Formosa com paragens nas ilhas de Culatra e Armona. O clima excelente (um dia de Novembro que parecia Primavera!), as vistas deslumbrantes, e o profissionalismo da equipa, contribuíram para uma experiência inesquecível que só posso recomendar. Navegamos com os Passeios Ria Formosa, e o navio, sob o comando do Mestre Chico, levou-nos confortavelmente de ilha em ilha, com a vantagem extra de ter esse capitão experiente a compartilhar as suas histórias e melhores dicas sobre a região.

The Ria Formosa lagoon is a system of barrier islands that communicates with the sea. Part of it is a Natural Park, but Ria Formosa also plays an important role in the region's economy, not only for its touristic use but also for other economic activities like seafood farms (oysters and clams). The Natural Park has over 170 km² and is a stopping place for hundreds of different birds during the Spring and Autumn migratory periods. The boat company we sailed with has also some bird watching tours and dolphin watching tours (on the sea).

A lagoa da Ria Formosa, é um sistema de ilhas barreira que se comunica com o mar. Parte da ria é um Parque Natural, mas Ria Formosa também desempenha um papel importante na economia da região, não só pelo seu uso turístico, mas também por várias outras atividades económicas, como criação de marisco, nomeadamente ostras e amêijoas. O Parque Natural tem mais de 170 km² e é um local de paragem para centenas de diferentes aves durante os períodos de migração da Primavera e Outono. A Passeios Ria Formosa com a qual navegámos tem também alguns passeios de observação de pássaros e passeios de observação de golfinhos (no mar).

After sailing along Culatra island, and getting a good look at the lighthouse, we make a stop at the main village in the island for lunch. We had a nice seafood Cataplana, that we wash down with some Rosé wine and berries Sangria (sounds nice, doesn't it?), but I can suggest any of you thinking about doing this cruise to take a picnic and cross the island to the seashore. After a brief stroll around the village, with its colorful details, we get back to the boat and head to Armona island, crossing one of the inlets where the lagoon connects to the sea.

Depois de navegar ao longo da ilha de Culatra, e de ver o farol, fizemos uma paragem na aldeia principal da ilha para o almoço. Cataplasma de marisco, acompanhada de uma Sangria de vinho Rosé com frutos vermelhos (parece bom, não é?) foi o nosso almoço, mas posso sugerir que se pensar em fazer esse cruzeiro pondere a possibilidade de trazer um farnel e atravessar o Ilha até a costa para fazer um picnic. Depois de um breve passeio pela aldeia, com seus detalhes coloridos, voltámos para o barco e dirigimos-nos para a ilha de Armona, atravessando uma das enseadas onde a lagoa se liga ao mar.

Armona island is smaller and close to Olhão. As Culatra looks more like a fisherman island, Armona is more of a summer retreat place with vacation homes. The quiet bay and the narrow streets covered with flowers make me dream of Summer days.

The sun was going down and it was time to return to the boat and head to Olhão. And there could not be a better scenery to arrive at: the white city with shades of gold, the birds enjoying the final rays of the sun, the waters reflecting the warm colors of the sky. All contributing to the feeling of having enjoyed something unique.

A ilha de Armona é mais pequena e bem mais perto de Olhão. Enquanto a Culatra tem todas as características de uma ilha de pescadores, a Armona é mais um retiro de Verão, com as suas casas de férias. A baía tranquila e as ruas estreitas cobertas de flores fizeram-me sonhar com dias de Verão e pensar que pode ser uma boa ideia umas férias num local simples e tranquilo como este.

O sol já estava a descer e era hora de voltar ao barco e ir para Olhão. E não poderia haver um cenário melhor para nos receber: a cidade branca com tons de ouro, os pássaros desfrutando os últimos raios de sol, as águas refletindo as cores quentes do céu. Em suma, o final perfeito para uma experiência única!

Reservations can be made by phone or email (check contacts bellow) or directly at the Passeios Ria Formosa desk at the lobby of Real Marina Hotel & SPA.

As reservas podem ser feitas através de telefone ou e-mail (ver contactos abaixo) ou directamente no balcão que os Passeios Ria Formosa têm no lobby do Real Marina Hotel & SPA.

Phone: (+351) 962 156 922

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