A Weekend with Pedro’s Family – 22nd / 23rd September
We drove to Cabanas De Viriato on the Saturday morning to spend the weekend with Pedro’s parents Luciano and Amelia in a beautiful house.
We arrived to this fantastic house that belonged to their Grandparents originally. The house was primarily used as a winery and some of the pressing equipment still exists. Within the grounds they grow apples, peaches, and grapes, they are grown all naturally and tasted better than the apples I used to buy in Waitrose. The house comprised of eight bedrooms, two kitchens, a swimming pool, and numerous other areas. The gardens were amazing with orchards surrounding part of the garden. You could easily split some of the areas up and sell part of the house for a rural Portuguese retreat for families.
The house had been tastefully restored by Luciano and Amelia 5 years ago and it was a credit to both. Even though the temperature outside was 31 degrees centigrade outside the thick brick walls allowed the house to stay cool inside.
We were shown great hospitality throughout their stay. The cook (Fernanda) produced such amazing dishes that were traditional and so tasty. We asked Luciano if we would take the cook with us but he declined. Wine was another treat. I have never tasted wine as good as the wine produced by the family and Luciano kindly sent us away with two bottles which will be consumed on a special occasions as you cannot buy it in the shops yet.
A lot of the family joined us in the evening and in total there were 11 of us for dinner and evening drinks. We were there to also celebrate the Birthday of Luciano and Joaquim (Pedro’s brother-in-law). It is lovely to see the family get together and experience such a Portuguese setting. After our dinner of Carne a Alentejana (Rice with pork and clams covered with coriander) we sat out on the terrace drinking plenty of Portuguese Brandy – Agua Ardente. It amazes me how well all the Portuguese speak English, even the youngest children. In Portugal compared to Spain they do not translate films and TV soaps to Portuguese but use sub-titles only, this enables them to have much better understanding of English and they certainly spoke better English than my Portuguese, even after a few drinks.
The kindness and hospitality shown from all the family towards Carlotta and me was fantastic and it is a weekend we will not forget in a hurry. It was a shame we had to leave and hopefully we will again be able to stay with such kind people.
I have included some photos that I hope give you an idea of the place we were staying, Click on the images to make them bigger.
On the way back from Pedro’s family we stopped off at Coimbra, which is a major University town boasting the oldest university in Europe.