Family lunch Portuguese style!

I love this country! Im sure I dont have to keep mentioning it, you know. Wonderful weather, our farm and animals, the people, the surroundings, the food, the wine - need I go on? So I was really excited to be invited out by our friends Andre and Leah, they had organised a special Birthday lunch for Leah’s dad John and his lovely lady Bev who were visiting from the UK. This trip was also very special, Johns first meeting with his first Grandchild Oscar, so lots of reasons to celebrate.

On the way to The venue in Travancinha, a village very close to us, I came across this idyllic rural scene, I had to stop and take a photograph.


We have been experiencing very wet and windy weather (which means lots of snow on the Serras too) everything is really green and wild flowers are coming up everywhere, there is more grass than the sheep can deal with.

On Saturday, the day of the lunch, the sun came out and it was absolutely beautiful.

The lunch was being hosted and prepared at a Quinta just outside the village belonging to cousins of our very good friend Andre. We have known Andre almost since our first visit to Portugal. We first met on a very hot day in August 2003, he and his brother were employed as labourers for a Portuguese builder we were using to put in our first floor for us. They had to mix and carry a massive quantity of cement - all day! It was well over 30 degrees and there is absolutely no shade right outside the house. Andre was 17 years old.

Andre came to live with us in the UK for a short while and stayed for 11 years, during that time he met his English girlfriend Leah. They then came back to live in Portugal in 2017 and have now had their first son Oscar. The lunch venue is interesting, a lovely old quinta with lots of wonderful trees and plants, the owners are keen gardeners. Like many Portuguese houses they have an outdoor kitchen which has ovens and a grill made of the local granite. Ze de Vale Andre (to give him his full title!) and his wife Alice cooked traditional grilled chicken served with chips and salad along with large quantities of their homemade red wine, a bit rustic but after a glass or two it tastes fine!

Such an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday lunchtime, great people, good food and warm sun - it doesn’t get much better than this. “Convividade!” as they say in Portuguese, which, roughly translated means with familiarity/togetherness/to get on well together - a lovely sentiment and another reason to enjoy this wonderful country as it is very common here. Little Oscar seemed to enjoy it too!