Newsletter June 2009

by: Carol Carpenter

The highlights for Carvoeiro this month were the opening of two new venues - ‘The Black Stove’ Irish bar and ‘Tastes’ tapas and wine bar.

The Black Stove has a really nice feel about it and has a lovely terrace on the first floor that overlooks restaurant hill. We went in the other day for a look around and met the new manager, Phil Francis (ex Bote) who was more than happy to tell us all about the new bar. The Black Stove is owned by three Irishmen two of whom are brothers who also have a bar in Alvor by the same name. It is fully equipped with three big screens to enable them to show all live games including Portuguese live sport. They also have the facility to show live music being performed in either bar. The bar is fully sound proofed and for this reason the terrace will close at 10pm every night, which will obviously keep the local residents happy. Phil is really enthusiastic about this new venue and has provided us with the names of some of the artists performing.

Brian Kennedy- weekdays

Black Puzzle- Wed and Sat

Ark Rock Friday- consisting of four musicians and a female vocalist.

There is also Irish singer Keith- and various groups during the weekend. The Black Stove is open until 3am and I am sure it will be a great success this summer. We wish them the best of luck for the future.

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Tastes wine bar [see] opened on May 4th and has a warm cosy feel about it. Kim has chosen a really good colour scheme of green cushioned seating and lilac for the little alcoves, where you can sit and enjoy an aperitif before your meal. Warm lights and Lilac plants adorn the restaurant and outside areas including the stairs which make it very inviting. The seating arrangements are good and if you have a special occasion and want a little privacy there is a really nice secluded table which seats about eight people. I particularly liked the table for six on the left of the stairs. We found the Tapas selection interesting and the house-wine very good along with friendly staff and thoroughly enjoyed our meal.

Well done Kim! I am sure this restaurant will do well especially if you welcome everyone with your warm smile, we wish you good luck for the future and the best of luck for your forthcoming marriage.

Gary and Gaynor who were over from Holland were also dining that evening and after speaking with them it was obvious they had thoroughly enjoyed their meal, along with numerous bottles of wine I might add as Gaynor was quite high spirited - just what was in those Tapas? It was great chatting with you and hope to meet up again in September along with the Crane’s perhaps for a BBQ.

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The improvements to the out road are still ongoing and they have now reached the BPI bank, but there is still a long way to go before completion. The pavements on this road are a lot wider so perhaps we will see some plant life here. We desperately need greenery to brighten the place up a bit. I know the pavements on the in road are quite narrow but couldn’t they have put some planters along instead of all those granite stones it would have broken it up a bit, instead of looking like a memorial site? The square is still a mess and personally I do not like the alterations at all. I thought the idea of changing the square was to make it more people friendly, so they could just amble along enjoying the sunshine. Now they will have to watch the traffic going across the square in a U shape before going up restaurant hill. The traffic is coming from the in road and from the road down past the ice-cream parlour. An absolute nightmare if you ask me and I find the whole thing quite bizarre. Whoever thought this plan up should go back to the drawing board and I can see accidents happening if and when CVO becomes busy again. It has been quite busy this week because of half term but I have seen it a lot busier I was speaking with Graham from the Irish times and he said the GNR are fining people every day. The parking area which was for deliveries has now been changed and has moved up the road outside the butchers and the parking area just up from the Irish Times is solely for the chemist and disabled vehicles.

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The new Centro de Saude which is up by the new school is almost complete but apparently they encountered many problems during building.

I’m sure most of you know that Ma Jar’s are having quiz nights on Saturday’s also Nigel and Iona perform there on occasions. We missed their last session because of other commitments, but hopefully will attend the next event as they perform really well together.

Carvoeiro is not the only place that is changing, last week we drove to Lagos and decided to take the scenic route through Palmares Golf course. Normally it is such a pretty view down to the sea but what we found was quite devastating. They have changed the road down and although you can still see the sea - just! - there are numerous cranes where more construction is going on.

The new Lagos Vila Gale Hotel is a large four-star resort having three floors with 247 rooms, a spa and convention centre, tennis courts, children’s area which to me seems along way from the main building and putting green. It is absolutely huge and has been built in a U shape facing out to sea, to make the most of the stunning views of Meia Praia. Hmm! I guess they are big into U shapes at the moment maybe the designer also approved our square!! All we need now is a U shaped golf course!!

Work has already started on the EN125 and they have already resurfaced from the International school to the big roundabout just passed the water park. I am not sure whether this is part of the upgrade or just temporary, due to the fact this piece of road was all pot holes but it was certainly repaired very quickly.

Fiesa, the International Sand Sculptures festival at Pera opened on 22nd May. ‘Human Discoveries’ is this year’s theme and everything from the Discovery of Time, Dinosaurs, Photography and Robots will be there. There will also be a number of Arts and Craft stalls selling jewellery, cork artefacts, regional liqueurs and other items. This year a total of 60 artists sculpted 35,000 tonnes of sand to bring to life around 70 scenes that tell the history of human discoveries through the ages. We have not yet had the time to visit so unfortunately there are no photos but unless anyone else puts them on the forum I shall have some for the next newsletter.

The International Algarve Fair opened this weekend 30th-31st May. We paid a visit on Saturday all the usual stands were there plus the Algarve Dog Show - purely for dog lovers which I am not!! It was a lot quieter than previous years but Sunday may have been busier.

That’s about it for this month now its time for the pool.