A new Head Chef arrives in Lisbon…and he plans to leave his mark on the fashionable restaurant scene. Opened earlier this summer, Restaurant Assinatura (Signature) is the “traditional gift” of Henrique Mouro.
The dining room is small and intimate, with beiges, reds and graphics of Lisbon. A private dining room is located on the lower floor. This is known as the Chef’s Table. Guests sitting in this special space have a vantage point to view kitchen operations through a large window at the far end of the room, enhancing their dining experience.
The restaurant is beautiful but, of course, Chef Mouro would prefer that his guests enjoy the “traditional creativity” of his menu. Portuguese recipes are prepared with inventive and inspired flair. Select from starters such as: lobster on a cold stew; bonbon of cherries, goat cheese and flowers; or, velvety chicken, honeycomb and almond. This being Portugal, fish and seafood are heavily represented with: squid and monkfish with potatoes and olives; sole and scallops baked, smoked and wrapped; grilled tuna, with pineapples from the Azores and sweet potato. There are a selection of meats as well: cold terrine of rabbit, olive bread and a salad; loin of lamb, figs, grapes and signature spices; Veal Maronesa; pork tenderloin with creamed snails. The dessert course features: strawberries in a river of mint; coconut pastry with pineapple and mint; and, peaches baked in custard.
According to Chef Mouro, “authenticity is based in the kitchen, my kitchen, that I use to delight those who visit; where the “client” ceases to be, but instead becomes a friend.”
Tasting menus are available.
More information at Assinatura Website
Rua Vale do Pereiro , 19
(near the corner of Rua Alexandre Herculano)
Reservations: +351 213 867 696
Lunch Monday to Friday: 12:30 – 15:00
Dinner Monday to Thursday: 19:30 – 22:30
Dinner Friday & Saturday: 19:30 – 23:30
You’re cool. You’re hip. And, you happen to be in the Algarve on holiday? Then, you’ll want to be seen at the new PuroBeach, now open for summer season at the Tivoli Marina Hotel in Vilamoura.
Most Euro-hipsters already know of PuroBeach as a hot night spot in the Spanish locations of central Mallorca, Palm de Mallorca and Marbella. Finally, Swedish entrepreneur brings the PuroBeach concept to Portugal.
The “lounge” is actually outside and by the lake on the grounds of the seafront Tivoli Marina Hotel. The tropical gardens and ocean breezes make for an exotic ambiance to enjoy fine dining and various themed parties. Musical beats are generated by resident and special guest DJs, and occasional live performances.
Themed Parties for the Summer Season Include:
03 – Purobeach Official Opening Party
24 – Full Moon Party
30 – Champagne Party
31 – M80 Party
03 – Pink Flamingo Party
05 – Fashion TV Party
10 – Absolut Generation
12 – Redbull Party
14 – RFM Party
17 – Full Moon Party
Also Note: During the day, PuroBeach also offer daytime luxury beach services in front of the hotel. Cool vibes are spun by a DJ as you relax in comfortable lounges. You can also take a Tai Chi class, or reserve time for a beachfront massage.
Puro Beach Vilamoura Information
Hotel Tivoli Marina
Phone: +351 289 303 303
Nightly: June to September
Hours: 19:00 to 2:00
See you there….
Lisbon may have Rock in Rio ….but Loulé has the Festival MED!
Festival Mediterranean (or Med Fest) is a four day celebration of various styles of music, food, visual arts and street theater from principal countries of the Mediterranean basin. Now in it’s seventh year, the 2010 edition is now upon us: 23-26 June 2010.
The Municipality of Loulé really knows how to throw a party. (This editor can acutely attest to that!) Like many of their street parties, MedFest is spread out over plazas, through winding old streets, inside markets and next to historic castle walls. Locals from Loulé, residents of the Algarve region, and tourists from all over the world mix and mingle, dance and eat, to the Mediterranean beat.
The main attractions are the musical acts. Each night, numerous artists will perform on six stages erected throughout the town. Attendees are free to wander around and visit all the venues.
When you finally tire of dancing, refuel by visiting one of the many stands selling a multitude of Mediterranean flavors. Restaurants representing the cuisine of Greece, Morocco and Italy will be on hand to satisfy your hunger. And, of course, don’t miss the excellent Portuguese cuisine, with special emphasis on the Algarve.
Portugal Lifestyle at Its Best Blog looks forward to seeing your there!
Location: Loulé City Center
Dates: 23-26 June 2010
Wednesday, 23 June
20:30 – Tocando Polirando (Arco Stage)
21:00 – Abmiram (Bica Stage)
21:30 – Zeca Medeiros (Castelo Stage)
21:45 – Amparo Sanchéz (Cerca Stage)
22:00 – Nanook “O Vagabundo” (Arco Stage)
22:45 – Femi Kuti & The Positive Force (Matriz Stage)
23:30 – Chinese Monkeys (Castelo Stage)
00:00 – Vieux Farka Touré (Cerca Stage)
00.15 – Isa Brito (Bica Stage)
Thursday, 24 June
20:30 – Duo João Cuña e Luis Fialho (Arco Stage)
21:00 – Nuno Reis & The Positronics (Bica Stage)
21:30 – Mazgani (Castelo Stage)
21:45 – Cacique’97 (Cerca Stage)
22:45 – Goran Bregovic and His Wedding & Funeral Band (Matriz Stage)
23:30 – Andersen Molière (Castelo Stage)
00:00 – King Khan & The Shrines (Cerca Stage)
00:15 – Bandoo Roots (Bica Stage)
Friday, 25 June
21:00 – Atma (Bica Stage)
21:30 – Galandum Galundaina (Castelo Stage)
21:45 – 3 Pianos (Matriz Stage)
22:00 – Quinteto Amar Guitarra & Betty M (Arco Stage)
22:45 – Anaquim (Cerca Stage)
23:30 – The Legendary Tiger Man (Castelo Stage)
23:45 – Orchestra Baobab (Matriz Stage)
00:15 – Draska (Bica Stage)
01:15 – Watcha Clan (Cerca Stage)
Saturday, 26 June
20:30 – Nobre Ventura (Arco Stage)
21:00 – Pucarinho (Bica Stage)
21:30 – Diabo na Cruz (Castelo Stage)
21:45 – René Aubry (Matriz Stage)
22:45 – Virgem Suta (Cerca Stage)
23:30 – Orelha Negra (Castelo Stage)
23:45 – Mercan Dede & The Secret Tribe (Matriz Stage)
00:15 – Flazzajados (Bica Stage)
01:15 – Boom Pam (Cerca Stage)
For more information: click here.
Tickets are available at all CTT (post office) locations
– Daily Ticket: €12.50 (full day access)
– Week Ticket: €40.50 (full day access, all four days)
– Premium Ticket: €60.50 (weekly ticket, official T-shirt, free parking in local municipal lot, preferential entry)
This week the Pope visits Lisbon. But next week, all hell breaks loose as Lisbon’s “City of Rock” (Parque da Bela Vista) plays host to one of the world’s largest rock & roll festivals – Rock in Rio.
Dates are 21, 22, 27, 29 & 30 May 2010.
Such top acts as Shakira, Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Leona Lewis and Motorhead will participate. As well, many world-renowned Portuguese artists will also be on hand, such as Mariza, Trovante and Xutos & Pontapés.
2010 marks the seventh edition of this world rock festival. The first event was organized by Brazilian entrepreneur Roberto Medina in 1985 in Rio de Janeiro. Since that time, the rock music festival has been held three times in Brazil and three times in Portugal. This year´s event in Lisbon will be repeated a week later in Madrid.
The event at Lisbon’s Parque da Bela Vista will comprise three stages positioned n the vast public park land. And , this year venue includes a roller, coaster, free fall, spinning wheel and other attractions.
Location: Parque da Bela Vista (Parque hours are from 4:00pm to 4:00am)
Friday, 21 May
Main Stage (7:00pm to 1:30am) – Shakira, John Mayer, Ivete Sangalo, Mariza
Sunset Stage (5:00pm to 8:45pm) – Boss AC & Yuri Cunha, Portugal Orquestrada & Segredos, Azeitonas & António Zamujo
Electronica Stage (9:00pm to 4:00am) – Deadmau5, Chris Lake feat. Soul_Mates, Pedro Tabuada & King Bizz
Saturday, 22 May
Main Stage (7:00pm to 1:30am) – Elton John, Leona Lewis, Trovante
Sunset Stage (5:00pm to 8:45pm) – Rui Veloso & Maria Rita + Toni Garrido, Tiago Bettencourt & Mantha + Tiê, Soulbusiness & Zoey Jones
Electronica Stage (9:00pm to 4:00am) – Major Lazer, Drop the Lime, Zombie Kids feat. Aqeel, Jamie XX
Thursday, 27 May
Main Stage (7:00pm to 1:30am) – Muse, Snow Patrol, Xutos & Pontapés
Sunset Stage (5:00pm to 8:45pm) – Jorge Palma & Zeca Baleiro, Expensive Soul & Bluey/Incognito + Omar, Nusoulfamily & Julie McKnight
Electronica Stage (9:00pm to 4:00am) – Gui Boratto, The Twelves, Miguel Quintão, Tha Bloody Bastards feat. Mad Mac & Nuno Lopes
Saturday, 29 May
Main Stage (7:00pm to 1:30am) – Miley Cyrus, McFly, D’ZRT
Sunset Stage (5:00pm to 8:45pm) – Luís Represas & Martinho da Vila, Tim & Mariza, Lúcia Moniz & Mister Lizard
Electronica Stage (9:00pm to 4:00am) – Dubfire, DJ Jibe, Audiofly, Davide Squillace, Tó Ricciardi
Sunday, 20 May
Main Stage (7:00pm to 1:30am) – Rammstein, Motorhead
Sunset Stage (5:00pm to 8:45pm) – Ramp & Hail, More than a Thousand & Guest, Guest & Fingertips
Electronica Stage (9:00pm to 4:00am) – Green Velvet, Speedy J, Paul Ritch, Jim Masters, Jiggy, Heartbreakerz
For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
Tickets also available at most FNAC stores, Millennium BCP branches, Abreu agencies, CP Train ticket counters, and BP locations.
Just when you thought the Chiado area of Lisbon couldn’t get any hipper, along comes the new restaurant Unique Chiado, raising the needle on the hipness scale even higher!
Unique is the new dining project from Portugal’s most noted fashion designer Fatima Lopes. Her influence permeates throughout the restaurant from dinnerware and cutlery, to staff uniforms and upholstery. The cuisine is traditional Portuguese with international influences, and Lopes intends meal pricing to be accessible to all.
Head Chef John Slater is master of the menu for Unique. Slater background includes winning Junior Chef, from the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) in New Zealand in 2006, graduating from the School of Hospitality and Tourism in Lisbon, apprenticing at the Hotel Ritz, the restaurant Bica do Sapato and Hotel Four Seasons Resort Provence, France.
Unique Chiado is open late, until 2:00am. In fact, there are special menus specifically designed for the later time period. Lopes invites you to a new world of fashion, glamour and entertainment.
(Editors note: after dinner, you are just a short walk to the ultra-hip lounge, Silk.)
Rua Paiva de Andrade
(across from the São Carlos Theatre)
There is no shortage of hotels in the Algarve. Need something in the country? Got it! 5-star service is essential? Take your pick. Must have a spa? Of course, choose from therapies ranging from Thai, French, natural hot springs, red wine baths…and soon, one in a salt mine!
But, if you´re like us, you want something very special…maybe a little trendy…certainly good service…steps to the beach…and a view to die for. So, we have compiled a short list of what we consider to be some “gems” in the Algarve hotel crown; extraordinary accommodations with extraordinary ambiance; cool and unique Algarve Beach Hotels (below by location from west Algarve to east).
Hotel Memmo Baleeira – Sagres
Sagres sits on the south-western most point of Europe. It is known for its extraordinarily spectacular beaches and sea views from tall cliffs, as well as a surfers paradise due to high cresting waves just off this coast. The multi-award-winning Memmo Baleeria is a design hotel taking full advantage of this remarkable location.
But the natural splendour is just only one side to this very special hotel. Perfectly situated overlooking the sea and harbour, the Memmo Baleeira offers relaxing, contemporary atmosphere ideal for a weekend break or an extended holiday retreat.
Te resort offers 144 rooms and family friendly suites, restaurant, bar, coffee shop, swimming pool with magnificent ocean views and a modern Spa equipped with a sauna, Turkish bath, gym, heated indoor pool and massage rooms.
Unique to this hotel is its very own Surf Center. Whether you are professional with a long board it is imperative that you spend some time with one of the Center’s pro-level team of surf coaches. Learn to respect the motion of the ocean and enjoy this exhilarating sport.
Afterwards, head to Memmo’s restaurant to enjoy a menu of Mediterranean flavours. Keep and eye out for their sushi specials!!
Sitio da Baleeira, 8650-357, Sagres
Reservations: +351 282 624 212
More Information: Memmo Baleeira Website
Blue & Green Vilalara Thalassa Resort – Porches
This ideally-situated hotel on the Praia das Gaivotas cliff overlooking the sea, this beautiful hotel offers an atmosphere perfectly suited for relaxation and well-being. Six outdoor pools are laid out across a 12-hectare garden.
Be sure to take advantage of Portugal’s first thalassotherapy center. This spa, originally designed by Jean Bobet of Biarritz, provides seawater-based treatments and therapies. Seawater is an authentic source of vital elements. Its biological components and physiological composition containing 92 of the 120 known trace elements, similar to human plasma, permit metabolic renewal. The spa also has a large variety of slimming and well-being programs.
Two onsite restaurants offer Portuguese cuisine, with low-calorie menus, and a terrace grill near the pool offering Summer evening themed dinners.
Vilalara has 100 junior suites, 11 suites and 13 apartments. The resort is truly a hidden utopia of rare beauty, set within a paradise offering an atmosphere of complete privacy and discretion.
Praia das Gaivatas, Alporchinos, Porches, 8400-450 Lagoa
Reservations: +351 282 320 000
More Information: Vilalara Website
Vila Vita Parc – Porches
Who wants to stay inside when you can stroll around the sumptuous gardens or soak in the amazing sea views from this lush seaside oasis? There are 54 acres of subtropical flora, distinctive Algarvean architecture, dramatic cliffside coastline and white sand beaches.
Yet, once your senses have had their fill of nature’s beauty, come inside for what the resort refers to as “a pampered world of personalized and diverse experiences, flavored with Portuguese culture and hospitality.” There is a large choice of accommodations, from beautifully-appointed rooms and suites, to villas and residences with terraces and ocean views.
Vila Vita Parc offers a wide variety of gastronomic experiences. Enjoy some of the best traditional Portuguese cuisine at Adega. Or, head down to the beach and enjoy fresh fish at Arte Nautica. For a special evening, visit the unique wine cellar vault Cave de Vinhos, with a wine tasting or an exclusive dinner. But, no trip to Vila Vita Parc would be complete without an evening at The Ocean, Portugal’s newest restaurant to receive a Michelin star.
Another fine amenity of the resort is the Vila Vita Vital Spa, a facility for health and beauty with an emphasis on holistic wellness programs. Among the treatments on offer are fragrant steam and algae baths, classic and Far Eastern massages, as well as an extensive offer of high-quality beauty care.
Alporchinhos, P-8400 – 450, Porches
Reservations: +351 282 310 100
More Information: Vila Vita Parc Website
Vila Joya – Galé
Vila Joya is a triple threat to all other accommodations in Portugal!
First, you have a lovely boutique hotel. Each room is uniquely designed. Every detail from fabrics to furniture embodies a high standard of style and quality. Hand-selected artwork befits each and every room. Each and every room and suite is a different size and shape. At Vila Joya, you feel like you are staying in someone’s sumptuous home.
You’ll have to step outside the room, however, to enjoy the extraordinary resort grounds and astounding views. Built on a cliff, the hotel has several levels of manicured gardens, including a lovely, peaceful pool area. Enjoy drinks or afternoon tea on the hotel terrace or take the steps down to the very chic Xiringuito Beach Bar.
And, finally, this hotel is home to what some consider, the best restaurant in all of Portugal. In fact, Chef Dieter Koschina’s Vila Joya restaurant is the only restaurant in the country to be honoured with two Michelin stars. This meal is an extraordinary experience until itself.
Vila Joya has much more on offer as well, such as the Joy Jung Spa, limo, helicopter and light plane transportation services, and many more surprises.
Praia da Galé, 8201-902 Albufeira
Reservations: +351 289 591 795
More Information: Vila Joya Website
Sheraton Algarve Pine Cliffs – Albufeira
Stepping onto the Pine Cliffs Resort means leaving the rest of the world behind. This massive resort is a world unto itself: a world you won’t want to leave.
The location, perched high on top of ochre-colored cliffs, above the sandy white beaches along the vast blue Atlantic is divine. Stroll on the grassy grounds, or enjoy the sunset from a terrace on the edge of the cliff. Take the iron elevator in the rock down the cliff to beach, and enjoy a meal at the seaside restaurant.
This Sheraton hotel is one of the few to be in their prestigious “Luxury Collection”. The hotel itself is modern, but designed in a traditional Algarvean Portuguese style, with Moorish features such as courtyards and interior terraces. The rooms are large and each enjoy a different view of the grounds or sea.
Should you become bored with relaxing at the beach club or one of the many pools, the resort offers a large menu of activities including: a golf academy with driving range and putting green; a 9-hole golf course; a tennis academy; a “health club” with heated indoor pool; and pathways around the property to take in the wonderful gardens. Kids have fun too at their own Porto Pirata Kids Club.
Praia da Falesia, Apartado P.O. Box 644, Albufeira, 8200
Reservations: +351 289 500 100
More Information: Sheraton Algarve Website
Praia Verde Suite Hotel – Castro Marim
Don’t you love “suite hotels”? Part-time apartments, with full-time service. Well, Praia Verde (our only selection for this category in the eastern Algarve) has lovely modern suite accommodations right on the beach.
40 fully-equipped suites offer separate bedroom and living room with balcony, kitchenette with refrigerator and microwave oven, satellite TV with LCD and DVD, and Internet access.
The outdoor panoramic pool is a great space to relax in the sun in multi-colored bean-bags, or pull your chair to edge, face the beach and take in the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. At night, the pool deck transforms into a trendy lounge with ambient music and an ideal atmosphere for making new friends on a Summer night.
Praia Verde – Altura, 8950-434 Castro Marim
Reservations: +351 281 530 600
More Information: Praia Verde Website
If we’ve missed an Algarve beach hotel that YOU consider cool and unique….tell us about it in the comments below!
Like sailing? Dream of racing across the sea, water splashing on your face as you keep a small lead against your closest challenger? Or, do you prefer to sit dockside at the yacht club and enjoy a cocktail while occasionally lifting your binoculars to see who is in the lead? Either way TWO very exciting regattas are planned for Portugal in Spring 2010. So, whether you are a sailor or a sailing groupie, get your deck shoes on and head to Vilamoura and Cascais in the next weeks….
Amadeus Cup II, Vilamoura, Algarve – 10 – 11, April 2010
The Vilamoura Marina in the central Algarve plays host to the second annual Amadeus Cup. Sailors from Portugal and around the world are confirmed to attend, testing the waters of the Atlantic off Portugal’s southern coast.
This is a race of Dragon class ships, known for being a smaller, faster, sleek and elegant. Originally designed in the 1920’s by Norwegian Johan Anker, this model of ship was raced competitively in the Olympics from 1948-1972. There are just over 1400 dragons sailing worldwide, with the largest fleet docked in Germany. Portugal is home to about 24 of the ships.
The event honours Amadeu Baptista da Silva, the renowned sailor who died a decade ago. Da Silva was among the first entrepreneurs to develop real estate in Vilamoura in the 1970’s. His passion for the sea was integral in growing sailing at the regional level. He participated in various tests of the Dragon class. And, he was Commodore of the Clube International da Marina de Vilamoura (CIMAV), host of this event.
More information: CIMAV Website
Audi Med Cup – Portugal Trophy, Cascais – 11-16 May 2010
Now in its sixth season, the Audi Med Cup is acknowledged as the top regatta Circuit in the world today and attracts the very best designers, sailors and technicians. This year the circuit begins in the western Portuguese city of Cascais (just 30 kilometers west of Lisbon). The circuit continues with races in France, Spain and Italy.
The classes of boats used in Audi MedCup Circuit are the TP52 and the GP42. Although they may look similar to the untrained eye, they are subtly different from each other.
Although some may think of sailing as a recreation, it is truly a mechanical sport. Success comes to the team with the right combination of design innovation, preparation, speed, driving skill, reliability and good tactics. There is also the fact that sailing is an environmentally clean sport and, fundamentally it is about harnessing natural elements. The winds change minute to minute, and day to day through a regatta, unlike an asphalt race track.
The schedule for this year includes:
Cascais, Portugal – May 11-16
Marseille, France – June 15-20
Conde de Godó City of Barcelona Trophy
Barcelona, Spain – July 20-25
Caja Mediterráneo Region of Murcia Trophy
Cartagena, Spain – August 24-29
Region of Sardinia Trophy
Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy – September 20-25
Cascais will host the only event not located in the Mediterranean waters. Open to the Atlantic, it has a reputation for stronger breezes and rolling swells that should prove to be exciting action for the sailors and spectators.
Cascais started out as a fishing village, but gained famed as a resort for Portugal’s royal family in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Today, it is home to about 35,000 residents and it is one of the richest municipalities in Portugal.
More information: Audi MedCup Website