Well, that’s that then. My family fortnight in Portugal is over and we’re on our way home. Having devoured all the magazines, books and audiobooks I had with me, I’m on plane with nothing by way of ntertainment – aside from the ever amusing company of the fabulous Hosie ladies, of course – alors, blog time. Travelling with my Bombay Duck passport cover, Paperchase laptop case and a slick of Chanel nail varnish from duty free I’m surrounded by fellow home-goers, the large majority of whom appear to have skipped on the sun cream – there’s a lot of skin resembling tan leather, and while I’m a huge fan of said material, I prefer to keep it to my accessories rather than my body. Silly silly people. A tan looks good, sure. Elephant skin does not.
My sister jumping for joy
As I sit here tapping away on my iPhone there is a large, white-haired man of around 50 across the aisle from me. He’s been giving me disapproving stares for a while, and I have continued to glare back with an expression as if to say “what?” I do not enjoy unwelcome male stares, especially when they fail to stop despite me repeatedly glaring back. Somewhat rudely, he has just turned to me, as if speaking to a child, and said in a very condescending manner, “Is that on flight mode?” I replied with the truth: “Yes,” not that it’s his place to be asking. If I was, say, the age of my mother, there’s no way he would have said such a thing in such a manner, and I hate being treated like a child by old people who think they know better.
Oh, this view’s calmed me down.
God, I really went off on one then, didn’t I? Sorry. It’s rare that I rant about anything, but that must have just got to me. Let’s get back to my holiday, shall we? We’ve had a delightful two weeks of doing, well, nothing. Our routine has been: breakfast, pool, lunch, beach, dinner, bed. And then the next day we’d mix it up by swapping the pool and the beach around. To quote my sister: “On holiday, because we don’t really do anything, meals are like our activities.” I adore the sea. Really, so so very much. I’m sure I could’ve been a mermaid in another life.
I like to swim relatively far out, where all around me is beautiful blue.
The sea is so clear that I can still see the nail varnish on my toes, and the colourful people back on the beach look tiny. Sometimes, and only for a few moments as I wouldn’t want to get swept away out of my depth, I like to just lie back and let the water hold me afloat, the gentle bobbing motion of the sea lifting me up and down. Bliss. On the rare occasions when we weren’t on the beach, in the sea or by the pool, mum, the sis and I got our explorer hats on. Exploring the town, that is – we’d call them shopping trips, but as all that’s on offer are the usual touristy souvenirs, we didn’t actually buy anything. Well, except for much needed consumables by way of refreshment. A freshly squeezed orange juice, Portuguese custard tart and catching up with the Royal Baby news
Fabulous fresh fruit for sale
That said, every year for as long as I can remember, I’ve admired these amazing chandaliers in the same little pottery shop. If I didn’t have a silly suitcase and baggage allowance to contend with, I so would’ve bought one by now. Actually, I probably would’ve bought a fair few.
So Preeeetty, No?
I love pretty cobbled European cities. They have such a charm about them, but of course, it’s hard to look anything but lovely set to a backdrop of flawless blue sky and sunshine. We’ve been staying near the western Algarve town of Lagos, and I absolutely love it. Sitting outside at a restaurant or café, at any time of the day, there’s always so much to look at, so much entertainment. Off out on the town. Not really. (Dress is from topshop a couple of years ago) I could quite happily stay in one place for hours and watch the world go by. Well, in high season anyway. I can’t imagine it’s as brilliantly bustling and buzzy in January. A man making giant bubbles is one of many street entertainers. Despite having come to Lagos most summers for the past 15 years or so (god, that makes me feel old).
Every year we discover new places, whether they’re new to the town or just to us. One of which this year was a fab little tapas place called Meu Limao – not authentic Portuguese, but we didn’t care. It was delicious. I don’t know about you, but I often find myself struggling to choose just one dish off a menu, so tapas is just perfect for when you can’t make your mind up. I seriously think “pudding tapas” needs to become a thing though, as I always want pretty much all of them. Sometimes I feel like I’d rather have three puddings rather than a starter, main and dessert. Before we arrived in Lagos, I said to my family “I bet a fro-yo place has opened up in the town,” because I just knew one would be really popular there. Lo and behold, I was correct, and naturally my sister and I found it ASAP.
Mine was topped with strawberries and smothered in melted white chocolate.
Unsurprisingly, we’ve had quite a few foodie treats over the fortnight, and it only seems fair to share some more with you. Food just tastes better outside somehow, doesn’t it? This was incredible. I kid you not. Supposedly an ice cream, but as far as I could tell it was more nutella than ice cream. Naturally, I loved it. And this is ONE scoop’s worth. Maybe the picture doesn’t do it justice, but this was HUGE. (Again, I loved it.) See, we ate healthy foods too! I love exploring the supermarkets abroad – heck, I love going round Waitrose! – and it’s always interesting to see unusual foods. Just look at all these apples! All the fruit and veg was just BIGGER in Portugal. Red peppers the size of my head? For sure.
This dear friends, is an Oreo mousse. Nuff said.
Also in an old topshop (pathetic excuse for a) dress – flimsy and cool, I live in it over my bikini on hols. Smoothie in my fave beach bar? OH, GO ON THEN. Twist my arm. Just on the edge of the main town lies Lagos’ marina, and it’s one of my favourite places to, you guessed it, sit and observe. I love watching the boats coming and going, and it’s extra pleasant if you’ve got a refreshing drink in your hand. Liking the look of all this? I wouldn’t blame you if you were, we had a LOVELY time. Last year I wrote a blog about some of my fave eateries round Lagos – check it out here.