Category Archives: Shopping

Paraiso Artesano – Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

When you drive from Lagos along the N125 towards Sagres after about 20 kms you will discover the most amazing and probably one of the best selections of pottery on the Algarve. It is the second pottery shop on the left-hand side just before Vila Do Bishpo. You can’t miss it It’s easily recognizable as the front elevation is covered in decorative wall plates. However as you can’t turn across the road you will need to continue until the next roundabout and then turn back towards Lagos.

I say shop but Paraiso Artesano is actually so huge ‘pottery warehouse’ is a more accurate description.

I was completely blown away by the huge selection of ceramics and terracotta, craftwork, linen and variety of miscellaneous gifts and knickknacks. But be warned, they only take cash. They also have a seconds area where you can pick up some good bargains.

Paraiso Artesano - Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano – Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano - Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano – Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano - Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano – Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano - Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano – Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano - Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano – Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano - Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano – Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano - Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano – Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano - Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano – Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano - Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano – Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano - Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

Paraiso Artesano – Pottery Shop, Vila do Bispo, Algarve

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David Cameron visits the sleepy town of Aljezur

Aljezur, is the first location in my “Out and About” series
where I review various towns and villages in the Western Algarve.

Aljezur Market - Western Algarve, Portugal

Aljezur Market – Western Algarve, Portugal

The sleepy town of Aljezur is now well and truly on the map since the British Prime Minister and his wife, Samantha, visited the local market to buy squid. It made me smile when I read the newspapers were more interested in reporting on David Cameron’s dress sense, than information about the town itself.

Aljezur Fish Market

Aljezur Fish Market

Aljezur Fish Market

Aljezur Fish Market

Aljezur, still has the rustic charm of a small Portuguese town as yet unspoilt by the ravages of mass tourism.

View from Aljezur Fish Market

View from Aljezur Fish Market

Directions:
Take the A22 motorway west, towards Sines and drive to the end. At the roundabout drive straight across, direction Sines (N120). Drive up the wibbly wobbly road for about 20 minutes and you will eventually reach the Moorish town of Aljezur. N.B. trust me, you won’t fall off the end of the world – there is life after Portimao and even Lagos.

Aljezur

Aljezur

Where to eat:
Piza Bica
Tel. (+351) 282 998 693
Cruz – Igreja Nova
8670-089 Aljezur
(On the road to Monchique)
Horário:
De Segunda a Sexta, 12:00H ~ 14:30H e 18:30H ~ 22:00H
Sábados, Domingos, Feriados, 18:30H ~ 22:00H

Restaurante PONT’A PÉ
Largo da Liberdade
8670 ALJEZUR
(near the taxi rank, by the bridge)
Tel. (+351) 282 998 104

Restaurante RUTH – O IVO
Tel. (+351) 282 998 534
Rua 25 de Abril
8670-088 ALJEZUR

Aljezur, Western Algarve - Portugal

Aljezur, Western Algarve – Portugal

Local Beaches:
Praia do Monte Clérigo – Western Algarve

Praia da Arrifana

Praia da Arrifana, Western Algarve - Portugal

Praia da Arrifana, Western Algarve – Portugal

Praia da Amoreira (closest beach to the town of Aljezur)

Useful Contacts
Câmara Municipal

Tourist information:
POSTO DE TURISMO DE ALJEZUR
Rua 25 de Abril, 62
8670-088 ALJEZUR
Tel. (+351) 282 998 229
E-mail: turismo.aljezur@turismodoalgarve.pt
Aljezur

Aljezur, Western Algarve - Portugal

Aljezur, Western Algarve – Portugal

Indoor Activities

COMPLEXO DESPORTIVO DE ALJEZUR
Pavilhão Desportivo (Sports Centre)
Tel. 282 990 021 – Fax 282 990 022
Piscinas Municipais (Swimming Pool)
Tel. 282 990 023
Fore more information regarding opening times and a full list of activities, check out the Camara Website here.

Local Surf Schools
(Information to follow)

Cultural Organizations

Tertúlia – Associação Sócio-Cultural de Aljezur
Morada: Rua de Lisboa
8670 ALJEZUR
Tel: (+351) 282 998 870 / (+351) 969 979 550
Correio Electrónico: tertulia.aljezur@gmail.com
tertulia-aljezur.blogspot.pt/

Associação de Defesa do Património Histórico e Arqueológico de Aljezur
Morada: Rua João Dias Mendes, 48
8670 – 086 ALJEZUR
Tel: 282 991 011

View to castle

View to castle

Aljezur Market
Opposite School
3rd Monday (morning)

Aljezur market sells a variety of goods including a great selection of vegetable plants, clothes, hardware and underwear etc. Unlike some touristy markets you are unlikey to find dodgey DVD’s, fake designer brands. If you want a real insider tip about life in Portugal, why not mingle with the locals, and for lunch sample the delicious BBQ’d chicken and chips washed down with copious amounts of red wine served in beer glasses. Yes, you read correctly – beer glasses!

David Cameron (British Prime Minister) and his good lady certainly missed out on this experience!

Health warning – if you’re squeamish look away now!

Waiting to be served at our local butchers for “home-made” beef, and hopefully horse-free, burgers gave us the opportunity to study the array of “unmentionable” delicacies on sale.

The dubious identity of which even made Mr. Piglet’s toes curl in horror. However, our debate is quickly forgotten when I whip out my camera and start taking photographs. Mr. Piglet looked like he was about to evaporate with embarrassment while the surprised butcher and bemused customers looked on. Yes, I know I’m strange it runs in the genes.

Rabo Porco

Rabo Porco

My heart missed a beat and my stomach turned when I saw these…

I mean, what are they? I wonder if I’ve ever eaten any inadvertently since living in Portugal – my trotters are already twitching in horror. People ate horseburgers in the UK without knowing so why not rabo porco in Portugal? Can you imagine the uproar in the UK if burgers were found to contain these little beauties? Eating horsemeat would be the least of their worries!

…and this, I was about to bolt for the door…

Pigs Head

Pigs Head

Yum yum, pig’s ear griddled or braised

Pigs' Ears

Pigs’ Ears

And finally in my rouges gallery of food horrors I present chicken’s feet and chicken’s whotsits. Not sure which part of the chicken whotsits belong to, and to be honest I’m not sure I want to.

I wonder if you manicure chickens’ toenails before you cook the feet? Perish the thought – otherwise I suppose it must be similar to finding a fish bone in your mouth.

Chickens feet and ?

Chickens feet and ?

Is it me or am I the only one who’s squeamish?

Yes, I am seriously considering the idea of cutting meat from my diet.

Related articles
Could you eat horse meat?

A Visit to São Teotónio Market

I enjoy going to the country markets and one of my favourites is the market at São Teotónio near Odemeira, in the Alentajo. I refer to the term “country” because I’m not so keen on the markets held in the tourist towns of the Algarve. These are usually full of the rip-off-tat such as fake designer clothes, watches, sunglasses and general toot (slang for rubbish). To be fair, there are also many useful items for sale as well, but when I can buy these from local shops and supermarkets for the same price or even less, and the stall holders won’t negotiate what’s the point?

You also have to contend with the over-eager gypsy sellers who thrust their wares in your face while clinging to your arm to detain you in a desperate attempt to make a sale – they make my skin crawl!

Mr. Piglet says I over react. My body language resembles that of a cat warning a dog not to approach. If you close your eyes and picture the way a cat’s hairs stand on end with hostility as it spits and snarls in warning at a dog, that’s me! Or perhaps I resemble the Rooster below?

Make my day!

Make my day!

I know stall holders have to make a living but if they allowed people to look without accosting them surely they would stand more chance of making a sale?

Anyway, I digress! (I think you can tell they rile me)

One of the reasons I love the São Teotónio Market is because it has a separate area where many of the stall holders are genuine producers and you can buy anything and everything from rabbits, chicks, roosters and ducks, to local honey, meat and cheeses. Plus all the vegetable seedlings, plants and trees I need for my garden. I’m not keen on the imported toot from China. Actually thinking about this statement EVERYTHING seems to be made in China now! Yes, OK, I’m a market snob!

An "Eco Friendly" alarm clock

An "Eco Friendly" alarm clock

I am fascinated by the poultry and song birds for sale. Mr. Piglet considers himself fortunate we do not have a large garden because I’d be a real sucker and want to re home them all.

Chicks and ducklings

Chicks and ducklings

I love the local honey. Perhaps I should change my name from Piglet to Winnie the Pooh!

A great selection of local honey

A great selection of local honey

There was even a “still” for sale to make your own medronho (strong liquor).

Distill your own Medrohno

Distill your own Medrohno

The “feel” of this market is somehow different and more friendly. For example when I asked the plant stall holder for advice, in my hesitant Portuguese, several people gathered round to listen and offered advice. Despite the language barrier you realise there are as many opinions about how to grow a particular vegetable as there are people.

However, weeks later the plants have matured and it looks like I’ve ended up with five cucumber plants plus one “miscellaneous” instead of the four zucchini and the two cucumber plants I’d asked for! Something definitely got “lost in translation” somewhere along the way.

The sausage stall fascinates me with its selection of stuffed intestines available in a variety of shapes and sizes. They could be something else of course, but we won’t ponder on that thought too long. Moving swiftly on…

These could be unmentionables...

These could be unmentionables...

I was never keen on goat and sheep’s cheese, but my taste buds are definitely changing. However, I’m still yet to discover why some of the harder goats cheese resembles soap, both in texture and taste. Does anyone know why?

 I love the selection of cheeses

I love the selection of cheeses

As lunchtime approaches the air is filled with wonderful aromas. Our senses now on red alert we are unable to resist temptation and stop at one of the food areas for lunch.

Al fresco lunch at the market

Al fresco lunch at the market

Rustic no-frills BBQ’d chicken, chips, salad and a generous jug of red wine eaten al fresco as we people-watch, is perfect and absolutely delicious.

Delicious BBQ'd chicken and chips washed down with tumblers of red wine!

Delicious BBQ'd chicken and chips washed down with tumblers of red wine!

As we study passers-by it suddenly occurs to me that the majority of older Portuguese men wear Trilby style hats or flat caps.

Two most popular styles of hats - I much prefer these to baseball caps

Two most popular styles of hats - I prefer these to baseball caps

You can easily spot the Brits and Germans because they usually wear baseball caps. I keep threatening Mr. Piglet I’m going to buy him a Trilby or flat cap. I think he would look rather dapper.

The market at São Teotónio is held on the first Monday of every month and well worth a visit.

What do you like or dislike about the markets in your country?

Raisins – I “wonder” why they have pips?

Post inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge This week’s theme is “Wonder”

Lucky I tried them!

Lucky I tried them!

Our very basic knowledge of Portuguese often means simple tasks turn into a challenge; today’s experience is a typical example. Although
I continue to study Portuguese I am struggling – the more I try, the more stressed I become!

After my recent “oven” saga I was keen to bake my favourite carrot cake so I gathered all the ingredients together adding them to the mixing bowl as per the recipe. Now,  I don’t know what made be “steal” a few raisins as they went into the cake mix, but I am glad I did! Crunch crunch When I started to chew the raisins I realised, to my horror, they still pips in!

Why sell raisins this size complete with pips, for goodness sake? What recipe could possible require pips?

I looked in horror at the raisins I’d already stirred into the cake-mix and cursed; they would need picking out – one by one!
The thought of leaving the raisins, and baking the cake regardless, did momentarily cross my mind but was quickly dismissed. Common sense prevailed as the prospect of chewing cake and removing pips at the same time did not appeal!

The clue as to why these particular raisin had pips may be on the product label but I am sure I can’t see the word “sementes” which I thought meant (seeds) pips. This is not the first time I’ve been caught out – so what’s the secret?

What am I missing here? Please can anyone shed some light on this mystery. The label says “Passa Uva Moscatel” what words should I be looking for so the raisins I buy are pip-free?

After all the raisins were extracted – I finally used sultanas. This is my carrot cake.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Related posts: Carrot cake recipe

The Grocery Shopping “Experience” in Portugal

Living in a country where English is not the first language certainly takes you out of your comfort zone, especially when it comes to food shopping. Imagine walking into a supermarket and suddenly there are none of your favourite foods and familiar brands; throw the added complication of language into the mix and you may well feel you have landed on Mars – an Alien in a foreign land.

Chickens feet

Chickens feet are not on the menu tonight

Many of the cuts of meat you buy ‘back home’ do not seem to exist here, or if they do, you don’t recognize the description. So much unfortunately gets lost in translation.

There are also things you do recognize like chickens feet, pigs ears, half of a pig’s head and “unmentionables” that you would not want to eat however well presented!

Makes my trotters twitch just thinking about this. Sorry no Pigs head or ‘unmentionables’ photos.

Joking aside quality of meat, in Portugal, especially fresh chickens, turkey and pork, is excellent and far exceeds that of the UK.

The simplest food shopping foray often turns into a ‘mind game’ as you study the labels, product descriptions and pictures for clues. It’s not always easy to find products when you can’t fully understand the language. You ponder for ages and think “what is this for?” or “what does that do?” as you wander up and down the aisles looking for various everyday items such as self-raising flour, caster sugar, short crust pastry, herbs and spices, spray to remove dust from the TV, normal toothpaste (not for dentures as I inadvertently bought once). You scan the shelves looking for inspiration praying for guidance or at least some form of heavenly intervention such as an assistant who can speak English. I have tried asking for help, in my limited Portuguese, but often pronunciation of some words such as massa (pastry) and maça (apple) sound so similar that you are offered completely the wrong product.

A classic example of the above was when I asked an assistant for eggs (ovos) and she directed me to the grapes (uvas). Frustrated, I performed a chicken laying-an-egg impression, complete with full clucking sound effects. The assistant momentarily stunned by my performance then directed me to the fresh chickens. Shaking my head the poor assistant looked at me as though I had just been released from a lunatic asylum such was my enthusiasm to get my point across. More egg laying impressions. She then enlisted the help of another assistant (she probably thought there was safety in numbers) further chicken impression and both dissolved into laughter at my elation when we did eventually locate the elusive eggs. I can just imagine her relating the story of the “mad English clucking woman” that evening to her family. Poor love, probably had too much sun…!

On a positive note since living in Portugal my ‘charade’ skills and animal impressions have dramatically improved, I eat more fresh fruit and vegetables drink more wine and TV dinners are definitely off the menu.

How would you fare?

You may also enjoy:
Bacalhau anyone?
and
Grocery Shopping – 5 Useful Tips!

Margaret in Chile shares her bad translation experiences. Hilarious!
http://cachandochile.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/bad-translation-fun-menus/

Cost of Living – Grocery Prices

Shopping!!

Supermarket Savings

Supermarket Savings


I absolutely hate supermarket shopping with a passion!

Living quite a way from the big supermarkets, as we do, I organize meal plans and my store cupboard with military precision. However, we usually end up visiting at least 3 supermarkets to make sure we procure everything on the “list”. The shopping expedition usually involves a round trip of about 4 hrs by which time I have lost the will to live!

Here are some typical costs (September 2010) so you can make your own comparisons. I have included prices on branded and non branded products to give you some idea of the potential savings if you are working to a budget. You can make further savings if you use loyalty cards

Meat and Poultry
Turkey Steaks €7.69 kg
Chicken (whole) €1.99 kg
Minced Beef €6.98 kg

Dairy
Eggs XL x12 €0.99
Fresh Milk 1Ltr €0.74
Cathedral Mature Cheddar Cheese 200g €3.99
Goats cheese (Continente) 180gr €1.99
Butter (Continente) 250g €0.85

Fruit and Vegetables
Lettuce €1.49 kg
Tomatoes €1.49
Lemons €1.49 kg
Oranges €0.99 kg
Pears €1.49kg
Potatoes €0.99kg
Onions €0.79kg

General
Brown Sugar €0.94
Flour Continente €0.59
Breakfast Cereal (Silueta) 375g €2.11
Cornflakes (Kellogs) 500g €2.69
Cornflakes (Continente) €2.69
Bread – Bimbo Sliced loaf 820g 1.94
Bread – Continente Sliced Loaf 600g €0.79

Cleaning products

Cif power clean (bathroom cleaner) (750 ml)
Vanish Oxy Action stain remover (500gr) €6.46
(Continente) Oxy Action (500kg) €3.79
Ariel washing liquid (40 washes) 4.4L €8.95
Persil washing liquid (58 washes) 4.35L €10.63
(Continete) washing liquid (40 washes) 3L €6.19

Toiletries
Colgate toothpaste 75ml €2.69
Continete toothpaste €0.94
Palmolive soap (pack of 4) €2.76
Garnier Fructus cream shampoo 750ml €8.89
Garnier Abre Solaire clear protect (factor 30) 200ml €13.99
Garnier Abre Solaire clear protect (factor 10) 200ml €12.99
Toilet rolls (Continente) 24rolls €6.96
Toilet rolls (Scotlex) 24 rolls €10.49

Soft Drinks
Coca Cola 2L €1.40
Coke (Continete) 1.5L €0.79
Fruit Juice (Continente) 1L 0.66
Fruit juice (Compal ) 1L €1.19

Alcohol
Beers – Superbock 10 x 33cl €5.26
Wine – from €0.75

I also have lots of prices on a range of pet foods if anyone is interested?

The prices in Portugal seem to have risen considerably. How does the above list compare to prices in your home country? I would be really interested in some feedback…Is Portugal cheaper or more expensive?

Grocery Shopping – 5 Useful Tips!

Supermarket "Loyalty" Cards

Shopping – The survival guide and more…

…or should I say a stress free guide?

1. Write your shopping list in Portuguese. This is really useful if you are unable to find a product and you do not speak Portuguese. You can at least point and grunt to the item on your list when asking a shop assistant for help.

2. Check the prices/offers on the shelves relate to the product you are looking to buy. Sounds obvious but you can easily be caught out, especially on Special offers!

3. Take advantage of, and understand, how the various loyalty cards can be used to your advantage

4. Try the supermarkets own brand products. These will considerably reduce your grocery bill if you are working to a budget. The easiest option when you move to Portugal is often to buy branded products just because you recognize them! Be brave –experiment!

5. Buy fresh Portuguese produce in season and support local farmers markets whenever possible.


I loathed grocery shopping in the UK but in Portugal it has taken on a whole new dimension with the additional challenges of language and unfamiliar products.

My weekly shop was, and often still is, a challenge. A quick visit to the supermarket can result in a 4hr expedition! Until you are familiar with the various brands nearly every product you pick up needs to be scrutinized carefully. There are, of course, no English instructions on the packets so you just have to hazard a guess as to very basic things like cooking instructions and to the suitability of cleaning products etc. I often hear English tourists debating the meaning of a particular label and I now help them as best I can. I have ‘that’ t-shirt, as they say, so I might as well wear it!

Another challenge to overcome, is pricing. Unfortunately, I have learnt the hard way as prices on the shelves above or below a particular product often bears no relevance. Indeed, after careful scrutiny of all the pricing labels the only one you are interested in is often not actually displayed.
Great!
I usually find a helpful assistant and ask the price “quanto faz este preço ?” (How much does this cost please?” I don’t know if is this grammatically correct Portuguese but it has the desired effect

If you do not speak Portuguese I suggest you learn a few basic words to help you at least resolve some of the mysteries you will encounter while shopping.

For example, on my first shopping expedition all I needed were a few basic items such as washing powder, toothpaste, butter and low fat milk. I quickly located the isle for the washing powder/liquid and was presented with a whole array of unfamiliar products. I studied each product for absolutely ages looking for inspiration and finally decided on a product with a picture of a washing machine and some clothes on the front of the packet. OK good start. However, I don’t know what made me hesitate before putting the washing powder in my trolley, but lucky I did. I eventually found a young assistant who could speak English. I explained what I was looking for and showed him the box I’d selected. He shook his head. “This product is not to wash clothes it is to clean your washing machine and will bleach your clothes.” Whoops, lucky escape. He then kindly escorted me to the correct isle, asked a couple of questions as to coloreds and white washing and duly suggested a couple of reasonably priced products.

I was so impressed I showed him the toothpaste I’d previously selected and apparently it was for dentures!

At this point you may be asking yourself WHY I was not selecting branded products such as Persil or Colgate? Yes, that would have been the easy option but branded products are very expensive in Portugal and often the Supermarket brands are just as good and a lot cheaper – and as they say “Every little helps!”

Below is a very brief overview of some of the supermarkets I have used. The list is by no means complete but at least provides you with some examples along with their website details

Mini Preco
Low prices and good offers on their Cartaõ “Clube Minipreços”

‘Dia’ is equivalent to their own brand products and are really good value. They have a loyalty card “Clube Minipreços” It’s still a mystery as to how it works but when I receive a till receipt it lists several products on special offer. The offers are only valid for so long so it’s worth noting the “VALIDO ATé date” near the top of the till roll receipt. Product discount offers – are highlighted in yellow on the shelf price label.

This link offers and excellent explanation (Portuguese only) as to how the “cartaõ clube minipreço”
www.clubeminipreco.webside.pt

Don’t worry – there are plenty of pictures so it’s self explanatory.

Continete or Modelo
A massive range of own brand products. They also have a loyalty card Cartaõ Continete
and we are often sent discount vouchers and special offers through the post. There are also many in store half price promotions for card holders. You also receive petrol discount vouchers to be spent at some Galp petrol stations who in turn you receive a discount voucher from the petrol station to be spent at Continete/Modelo. These are on the receipts so hang on to them and present them at the till.
There is also a time limit on both offers.
www.continente.pt

Pingo Doce
Good selection, plus quality own brand products at reasonable prices. I have not seen a loyalty card advertised. This needs further investigation on my next shopping trip and have made a note to update my blog with info…(update 15/09/10 – I went to Pingo Doce today and was advised they do not have a loyalty card)
www.pingodoce.pt

Lidls
Needs no introduction. Lots of German products many good offers and low prices.
www.lidl.pt

E.leclerc
I rarely shop at this supermarket so I am unable to comment as to prices, quality etc. However, they do have a loyalty card
O Cartão E. Leclerc
www.e-leclerc.pt

Intermarche
A good variety of products plus they offer a loyalty card.
www.mosqueteiros.com

Please share your “shopping” experience in Portugal, along with any useful tips and supermarkets I can add to the above list! I look forward to reading your suggestions!