Sunday in Colares

Trip Start Mar 01, 2014
Trip End Apr 05, 2014

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Flag of Portugal  , Estremadura,
Sunday, March 16, 2014

We were surprised we did not hear many church bells today echoing off the hills. The only sounds we heard were the dogs and the odd car. Families are together today, it is Sunday. They are all having a leisurely lunch, however long that may take, then heading off to the beach. That is what we did.

We hung out by the pool with our tea and coffee, the boys with their heads in their books and Debbie and I knitting "for the penguins"! Yes you heard that right we are using some leftover yarn and knitting little sweaters for baby penguins who have, or unfortunately will encounter an oil spill. More on that later! We are going for lunch at 2:00 to a little hotel down in Colares run by a women who lives just down the hill from us in Penedo. As the sun got hotter and the clock struck noon, Sangria was poured and Tony and Mike went for a little dip in the pool; it is getting warmer but not quite there yet. It is our last day together.

It is 1:45, off we go down the hill to Estalagem de Colares, The Colares Inn. In the early 1900's, Domingos Jose Camarao selected this ancient village to open his small tavern, which nine decades later became this Inn. Here they are known for preserving gourmet traditions along with a very high standard of service. It is cozy, comfortable and has a very welcoming atmosphere. With only a total of twelve rooms you can imagine the attention you would receive. At this quiet time of the year, we own the dining room which is surrounded by gardens. Carlos and another young man, Rueben took good care of us and were very happy to see us. They want company! They tell us all about the area and show us around the property. They are very cute.
Our meal choices were pork tenderloin with a rosemary cream sauce, filet of beef - Tony  chose a Roquefort sauce and Debbie a coffee one - Mike loves the cod so chose this once again. Everyone was very pleased, proved by the silence and rolling of the eyes after the first bite. Our meals are incredible, delicious, melt in your mouth perfect. To start we had a very crisp tomato and buffalo mozzarella rocket salad dressed just right, a fresh melon and Portuguese ham salad, their Parma ham is melt in your mouth, and the boys shared a Neapolitan Lasagne. Fresh pasta, layered with béchamel and a light layer of meat stuffing, perfect. It was Sunday, Tony needs a bit of pasta and this dish certainly did the trick. House wines have always been a great choice in Europe and have never let us down. We always record the label and purchase for our vacation home use from the stores. Not every one  is available to us, but truly there has never been a disappointment. They are proud of what they serve and want their clients to know what they feel is the best for their food unlike Canada where house wines are probably avoided most of the time by wine drinkers who appreciate.

A bit about the wine here - apparently Colares wine is famous. It is a robust velvety red. The older vines grow in a dry sandy soil with their roots set deep down in clay. These were the only grapevines in Europe to survive a disastrous insect epidemic in the 1800's that started in England and spread throughout Europe. This insect ate the tender roots in vineyards but could not get through the thick dense soil here, along the Atlantic.

To tell you a bit about Colares. It became well known throughout the centuries due to its plantations of fruit trees and the vineyards growing amongst the pine trees. There are a LOT of pines here in this area. The origins of Colares date back to before the foundations of Portugal. There are many legends but one of them I will relate, being the true meaning of the Village's name: a German Countess used her own jewelry (Colares means necklace) to buy this land, as she could not afford to pay for it with gold, the currency of the time. It truly lies in the heart of so much to see, hike, cycle, walk, drive, beaches, whatever, it is within easy reach of everything we have seen in the last two weeks. 

After lunch we drove to Azenhas do Mar, a small and lovely fishing village perched high on one of the cliffs facing the Atlantic. The village clings to the cliffs and below there is a natural rock swimming pool that fills with seawater at high tide. We travel through a beach resort, an idea everyone had today after lunch. Walking, driving, or sleeping in the sunshine was the order of the late afternoon sun. We arrived back home at half past six. Another great afternoon.

Needless to say, dinner was not on the agenda, just a very nice last visit rehashing what had been a very nice week with Mike and Debbie.  Our last game of Euchre pronounced Debbie and Mike the winners. In the morning we will take them to Caiscais to pick up their 'lil rattler' and they will be on their way to some wonderful adventures beginning in Porto and heading down to the Algarve region where they will fly home from Farro. We are excited for them.

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Katie on

Yummmmmm. Sounds so delicious! Also I can't wait to see those little penguin sweaters!!

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