May Newsletter 2009


by: Carol Carpenter

Wow!! Thanks to everyone that responded to my last newsletter - it’s great to know you are still enjoying them. The poor old girl needs a bit of a boost now and then!!
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the UK albeit the Optical fair was a complete waste of time and I am definitely not going again. It was great to see my father and the grandchildren and to catch up with family and friends in the North whom we have not seen for some time.
It was Sharen and Michael that actually told us how many of you had responded when we arrived to spend a few days with them before they flew to Spain. We had a great time and as always they are great fun to be with.
On Good Friday they took us on a tour of Lincoln where the old town has still retained its cobbled streets and quaint little shops. I just had to browse around an old bookshop we came across. It looked really small from the outside but once inside it was like a ‘Tardis’. The passages, which were very narrow with steep little steps - which I kept falling down I might add (every now and then you would hear Sharen saying “step Carol”) - were crammed with books on either side, some extremely old and I could have stayed there all day. I just love old bookshops and I can browse for hours, my family all know this and if they ever loose me they look for the bookshop, that’s where mother will be. We then went on a tour of the Cathedral which was awesome. Having lived in Gloucester for many years we have been very proud of our beautiful Norman Cathedral, but I must admit Lincoln Cathedral is far superior and is absolutely stunning with its many stained glass windows and of-course the famous Lincoln Imp. We shall definitely return to Lincoln again as we really enjoyed it, maybe we will stay longer next time. Do I hear “Oh no!!” coming from the Crane’s - after all they did point out a rather nice hotel in the old town. Joking apart thanks both of you, we had a great time, love your company and look forward to seeing you in September.
Whilst we were in UK our Canadian friends Penny and Brian returned home. We have spent quite some time with them this winter and we really enjoyed their company. In fact Brian has actually supplied some of the photos for the previous newsletters. Thanks once again for your super BBQ despite the weather we all had a fantastic time and the food was delicious. Thanks also for sharing your recipes I can’t wait to try them, we look forward to seeing you this winter, have a great summer in Canada.

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Carvoeiro is still a mess and as I expected the square was not finished by Easter. It is now the end of April and they are still working on it. They have erected lights however, but I have to agree with our Canadian friends, they would look more at home along a motorway, I am sure they could have chosen something more attractive. The Restaurants in the square are open again although they were not allowed to extend the seating areas. Hopefully business will now start to improve. We enjoyed a really nice meal at O Patio the other evening. There were a lot of comments on the forum regarding this restaurant - all I can say is that we had a really delicious meal. We started with a crab( to share as it was huge) and this was really delicious. My main meal was Black Grouper with Juliana of vegetables and new potatoes. Roy’s choice was Chicken with bacon served with rice and vegetable Juliana. For dessert we chose a delicious chocolate cake which we shared, as the portions were quite big. It was quite a cold evening so we ate inside and found it very cosy. They have an old well which they have turned into a wine cellar its huge. Also, if you like, you can sit at a table which is inside a barrel, quite bizarre but interesting. We found the staff very friendly and attentive and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening. They were quite busy that evening and everyone seemed to be enjoying their meals. One couple were tucking into a huge lobster, I have already ordered mine for next time. We would thoroughly recommend this restaurant and the prices are about the same as L’Orange and Maximes.

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They have started digging up the out road and restaurant hill outside Smilers bar which seemed quite busy the other day. Everyone looked a little cramped though as they have fenced off a large area where they are working. The Post Office has moved to the top of the in road temporarily, whilst the old Post Office is refurbished, it is now next to the Golf shop. Apparently all the staff would prefer to stay in this building as it is nice and light, but unfortunately it is only for three months. Blue Rock has a new owner and he will be opening shortly, it is to be renamed “Talho Joao”. The Funky Chicken takeaway has re-opened and will soon be renamed “Frango Dourado” run by Florin and Violet who are Rumanian. The rumour that the building next to the BPI bank is to be demolished to allow the road to be widened has been denied by the Frequasia.

They are still digging up at the top of the out road and it looks a complete mess outside Le Doce and the Anteak Bar. O Rafaiol restaurant at the top has opened again with a simple menu, typical Portuguese, chicken piri piri, pork steaks, sardines etc. - their aim is to keep it a lunch time venue for tourists at realistic prices. I think it’s a great idea and I’m sure they will be successful. Continuing along this road towards Lagoa on the right hand side the Camara are busy widening this area and are also building a wall. The new Irish Bar/Restaurant opposite Café Fino is almost complete and is looking very smart. Apart from this there are no other alterations going on at present but I will keep you informed on events. Definitely no sign of any car parks, they will probably start those in August!!

The mast that was to be erected at ADM has been abolished and they are now thinking of erecting it at Rocha Brava - just where I don’t know. Carvoeiro is still very quiet as are all the bars and restaurants but perhaps things will start to liven up in May.

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Kim and Harald have now taken over Mitch’s and it will be known as “Tastes” food and wine. I am sure this will prove successful and congratulations to them both as they are to marry in August. Eilis Barretto who runs the soft furnishings shop which is situated underneath the Old Post office is helping Kim with the re-furnishings. She and Manuel also own Dirty Nellies where the St Patrick’s Celebrations always start from. They are a great couple and Eilis is always fun to be with. If you are in Carvoeiro you must visit this bar, I’m sure a lot of you know it already. If you have a villa that needs re-furnishing Eilis stocks some really good fabrics so her shop is definitely worth a visit.
Ma Ja’s were about the only place celebrating St Georges Day, absolutely nothing going on elsewhere. OK! so we know he was Turkish not English but come on, its something to celebrate isn’t it, we English never seem to celebrate anything, well except when there’s a footie match, I’ll say no more about that hey ! Well we decided to give Mark and Jan support and turned up at lunch time. They planned a quiz for the evening so we promised to return. After a walkabout of Carvoeiro that evening, we returned to find Nigel (Ex Klonakilty) and Kate sitting at the bar. There were three other people before we arrived but for the rest of the evening it was just the six of us. We all enjoyed the evening and even did Mark’s quiz. Nigel won and the prize was a bottle of Champagne, which we all drank, thanks Nigel. It’s a real shame as this is a great little restaurant and Mark and Jan are always willing to participate in everything. Come on everyone next time you are here pay them a visit. Nigel and Iona (Taymar) played at Ma Ja’s on 11th April and it was very successful, well done both of you, hope you have a busy summer.

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Just by Ma Ja’s is my friend Erica who owns ‘Salao Carvoeiro’ hairdressers. She is normally very busy in the summer months, but like everyone at the moment she is very quiet. Erica and Christina are well known to the Carvoeiro residents so next time you are in CVO and need a hair cut and/or styling – men as well as ladies - why not try them ( Tel: 282 357 458) and you can be sure of a warm welcome.

That’s it for this month thanks once again for all the lovely comments, enjoy!