Newsletter december 2007

by: Carol Carpenter

Thanks to everyone for your comments on the newsletters - at least I’m not boring you yet! My apologies for not replying to your posts - that’s because I have a really old lap-top which I only use for word processing and all postings go onto Roy’s. This is his business lap-top so I can only use it at certain times. Hopefully in the not too distant future I will buy a new one for myself. Roy did print off all the comments, so thanks once again and keep them coming.
Unfortunately, I do seem to have upset a lady with regards to my article on Patrick Swift. I am not a journalist but I do look into the facts of an article before printing. Porches pottery is indeed run by his daughters Juliet and Stella, the word owned was never used. In the artist world he was known as Patrick Swift, especially in Ireland, although his close friends all knew him as Paddy. As I never had the pleasure of meeting this artist and obviously not a close friend I felt it good manners to address him by his full name.
Carvoeiro is such a tiny village that it is very difficult to write interesting features every month – rather than just writing about the weather, how many visitors there are or what new bars or shops have opened, closed or under new management, I like to find something new to add just to make it a little bit different.

Are there any drainage specialists out there that could advise us on the principles of the “Lagoa canal”? All work seems to have stopped and it is now overgrown with weeds. Also the new water treatment works adjacent to Boa Vista Urbanization has been shut down due to a fault. The old one at the end of the estate is now taking on more waste than it was designed for, leading to a very unpleasant smell at times, depending on which way the wind is blowing. I am sure they will sort out the problem given time. Meanwhile - taking a phrase from a well known TV programme – “I am a resident of Boa Vista get me out of here!”

Getting back to the village - it is now a lot quieter, but we still have a parking problem. I had to park on the out road the other day and the only parking place available was at the top end outside the Antik Bar. I have heard this bar is now under new management and if my contact is correct they will be having Karaoke evenings, so it should liven it up a bit. When we first arrived in Carvoeiro it was very busy - I’m sure you all remember meeting there with visitors. There were also darts matches going on in the winter months. Since then it has changed management several times. The location is not great being situated at the end of the out road, but Le Doce my favourite patisserie, does very well during the day so lets wish them luck.

There is a new handbag shop in the village located on the in road just before the old market called Loja Rita. They stock very good real leather handbags, belts, purses and wallets. Everything is Portuguese by Marta Ponti and Belcinto. Their prices are a little bit more expensive than the other shops in the village, but being leather I think they are a good price. They range between 50 and 160 Euros. A friend of mine paid £180 pounds in UK - and that was reduced! Anastasia Popa whom I believe is the manager was very friendly although a little shy. She speaks a little English, so along with my “poco Portuguese” we managed to communicate quite well. She allowed me to take a few photographs but declined to be included in them. We wish her good luck for the future.

If you haven’t already heard there is now a new business called Cheese and Pickle selling British cheeses, preserves and provisions. They are not located in Carvoeiro but they are selling at Carvoeiro Tennis club – Thursday 4pm –6pm and Sunday 11am – 1pm. For all enquires telephone 282332934 / 939536347.
Staying on the subject of food (my favourite subject of course) - for anyone out there who is a sausage lover, the British Banger has now hit the Algarve. Westaways Sausages, the award-winning premium sausages from Devon, have made their debut appearance in the frozen food section in selected Intermarche’s, Ecomarche’s, Alisuper’s and other independent stores. We had a taster in Intermarche the other day and they are delicious with a great flavour and also GM free and containing at least 74% meat. They will definitely be on my shopping list and if anyone would like more information visit

John at Blue Rock butchers is always very busy. Each time I go in, there are at least four other people ahead of me. I tried biltong, which is delicious, as are their minted Lamb burgers. The beef olives, stuffed with minced beef and pork, caramelised onion and cracked pepper are very rich, but they melt in your mouth and have a truly delicious flavour. I have yet to try their ‘fillet steak in a Texan bbq marinade’ but I am sure it will be divine. Well done John, my Christmas order is on the way. John can vacuum pack for you and then the meat will be fine in the fridge for up to 21 days. Christmas order forms are now on the counter.

A craze sweeping the Algarve, in the wake of the U.K television success of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ is learning how to dance. There is a new dance studio, with lessons in English, based at Alcantarilha. Strictly Social Dance, as it is called, give a complimentary beginner’s lesson which can be booked from Monday to Friday between 2pm and 8pm. In the evenings from 8pm group dances will soon take place, with different dances each night of the week. This purpose built establishment, can transform from a dance studio during the day into a nightclub atmosphere in the evenings and the 100sqm sprung dance floor enables people to dance the night away. For more information contact Graham Wright on 282 314 900.
The Algarve is getting ready for Christmas and the decorations are being put up in the village, although I always feel they could make more of an effort at this - they are a little boring and minimal after all!! If you go around Lagoa they are a lot more interesting. My neighbour was all excited the other day telling me how beautiful the Christmas tree looked in the Square. I rushed down with camera in hand expecting to find a real Christmas tree, only to find a decorated pole, shaped like a Christmas tree in lights, which I am sure has been there before - I was so disappointed. I think we need to have a little word with the Freguesia. I do love to see the decorations but not the crowds rushing around like they do in the U.K. I was horrified on Saturday at Algarve Shopping - it was absolutely crowded, everyone was rushing around so you would have thought it was Christmas Eve not the 1st of December. The staff in Continente could not believe the crowds, and the queue for the wrapping service was unbelievable, it was crazy and is becoming more like the U.K. every year.

Quite a few of the restaurants in Carvoeiro are closed at the moment - whether it’s for a short break before the Christmas rush I’m not sure. Unfortunately the Round up Bar which was always great on New Years Eve is closed until March. Oasis is closed until February although Ele e Ela is open Christmas week closing on 26th. Maximes will be open though. I am really looking forward to our New Year’s Eve at Ma-Ja’s it should be a great night.

Well I am really late with this newsletter due to the fact that we have been in UK for my father’s 85th birthday celebrations and then on to Dubai to visit my Son. I will close now, but will give you a report on how fantastic Dubai was in my next

Thanks for all your support this year and I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year.