Mamma Mia, Vidamar Resort Hotel, Algarve, October 2017

We always like to finish a holiday with a meal out. The hotel that we’ve been staying at all week has an Italian restaurant attached (not quite what you’d expect in Portugal, but there we go). Hotel guests can dine there at a discount, and they accept non-residents too, so a group of us decided to make this our dinner place for tonight.

We booked a table for 8pm, arrived on time, ordered drinks and food.

At 9:17pm the first part of our dinner arrived, for those of us that had chosen starters. We had a few preferences between us that needed to be accommodated, but we had already discussed these in advance when making our booking, and were assured there would be no problems.

There were problems. They were just unable to cope with more than 2 customers at a time. When you are absolutely starving, this is absolutely the worst.

The eternal dilemma over starters reared its head, some of us ordered one, others didn’t. Those that didn’t really regretted it, as they needed some kind of sustenace whilst waiting for almost 90 minutes for the main course to arrive.

Eventually it did, and mine was a rather average calzone, lots of dough and not a lot of filling. Others weren’t even this lucky, as not everything arrived as we had requested, and a few things were cold/undercooked.

All in all a very underwhelming experience for a pizza restaurant attached to a 5 star hotel. At least there was a nice view of the pool on our way back to the hotel.

An underwhelming end to a bit of an underwhelming stay at a place that promises much on its website.

Pedro’s Bar, Armação de Pêra, Algarve, October 2017

This is another of those “quick posts about places that we went” posts. It’s not going to be a long and in-depth review, it’s more for the record. We have been staying a few miles up the beach in Praia dos Salgados all week, and fancied something a bit different. It was a windy day but we walked along the beach to Armação de Pêra, which did involve a leap of faith across a tidal bar (the tide hadn’t quite gone out enough). Armação de Pêra is an old fashioned fishing village, where they still launch boats from the beach, so all the pots and paraphernalia are all out on the beach as you walk by.

We strolled around a bit and settled on a cheap beach side cafe where we had some toasties and salads and chips between us. Nothing out of this world and no photo for once.

So instead you’ll have to make do with a photo I took on the beach on the walk back. Into a head wind. Where we all got sandblasted. Forget micro beads. If you want exfoliation, just walk along a sandy beach into a head wind.

A lovely stroll to a quiet little village, despite the wind. It’s no Albufeira, and thank goodness for that. A simple no frills cafe on the beach, and that will do nicely.