House Of Joy: Vila Joya, Portugal

Vila Joya literally means ‘jewellery box’ which is appropriate, given that the boutique hotel is one of Portugal’s hidden gems. Blissfully exclusive, the oriental palazzo overlooks the Albuferia coastline, and as some of the world’s finest golf courses are within eyeshot, if you’re heading there to improve your game you’ve picked the right place. Golf is the main diversion here and head pro Jose Ferriera…
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John Graves: Any Port in a Storm

It was with great interest, excitement, and some trepidation, that I headed out to Porto. The great writer Robert Graves had told me in “Goodbye to All That” that the Portuguese are the dirtiest people in Europe and not in a good way. I went there in search of new wine and found an old wine…
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Port’s el Douro

The first time I drank port I was 17. My local football side had just been knocked out by our arch rivals and in an act of youthful rashness, I grabbed my fathers Port and proceeded to drown my sorrows. It was during this tumultuous time a great thing happened, I discovered this smooth and…
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The Fight Against Time

Not because of the weather and shortened daylight hours, although the former has been particularly frightful this year. No, November signals something much worse, it is the month of my birth and therefore cannot possibly fail to remind me of my fast approaching senility, along with the distinct possibility that Roger, as he never fails…
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Porto, Portugal

Guide books are always banging on about what good fun it is to get “lost” amongst winding streets of medieval cities – but I can tell you from hard experience that it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. At least, it isn’t a good idea to go the wrong way under the glare of…
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