Let’s Play Bamboozled!
So, the first F.L.I.P F.L.O.P.S contestant Emily, Media Assistant at Sunny Heart Travel, has had happy travels so far on her adventure abroad to Portugal and has splashed her way to Round 4 of my interview questions!
ALL-INCLUSIVE/ STREET FOOD/ MEALS OUT
Emily, you’ve successfully reached the ‘Hungry Monkey’ in the ‘Game of Bamboozled!’ The exotic food glorious food is a top treat for most holiday-makers ready to tuck in and indulge! What were the most mouth-watering dishes you tasted in Portugal?
“Oh, the fooooood… At Hilton Vilamoura and out ‘n’ about… What can I say?! What a change to the roast potatoes and gravy I had been indulging on over lockdown! The fish fresh from the sea, the clams in a buttery broth, the prawns the size of my hand! I am however very partial to squid… Boy, do these guys know how to grill it!”
Talk us through new safety precautions that have been ‘brought to the table’ so to speak… How do you overcome any changes and challenges to safely feel the charm of ‘wining and dining’ on holiday again?
“With the weather being so glorious out here you are blessed with dining outdoors without needing blankets or a brolly! All the restaurants have plenty of outdoor seating and the indoor places are sure to give people lots of space to dine safely. So mask up and get out there!”
DELIGHTFUL LOCAL DELICACIES
What place can you recommend for the best ‘pastel de nata,’ the sweet traditional custard tart of Portugal, often sprinkled in cinnamon? I’m talkin’ the tastiest, flakiest, crispiest and creamiest custard tart you can find that’s legendary and lip-smackin’!
“Lucky for me, the hotel included a beautiful and big buffet breakfast which offered the most delicious mini Portuguese ‘pastel de nata!’ Sweet flakey, crispy pastry… Scrumptious! I made sure to tuck in with a side of fresh oranges and other exotic fruits to my heart’s content!”
How dazzling was downing a drop of the palette-pleasing port wine of Portugal?
“My Grandad was a lover of port, so I made sure to try a cheeky tipple for him and the port wine was a taste explosion!”
Have you tried the ‘Porto Tonico’ drink, the classic cocktail that’s swirled with twice as much tonic to white port, along with orange and a sprig of mint? It does sound rather refreshing?
“You know what, I missed out on that one! But next time I holiday to Portugal, I will be sure to! I’m partial to a mojito or apparel spritz so would love to try it!”
Authentic and aromatic local food will pack a punch of fiery and fantastic flavours so did you discover the delightful difference to any Portuguese food you’ve tried before? Were you impressed and how hot, hot, hot did you handle the Portuguese peri-peri flavours?!
“I love a peri-peri and the Algarve has it in abundance! So of course, I had my Sunny Heart Travel Advisors recommend where to go and boy, did they pick the spot… My mouth is still tingling!”
BACK TO THE BLISSFUL BEACH
Sinking your toes into toffee-tinted sands must have felt like a dream?!
“My trip was too short to see all the breath-taking beaches that the Algarve has to offer but my amazing Sunny Heart Travel contact, Tiago, told me all about those close to my hotel. First, I explored Falésia Açoteias beach for a little stroll and then settled on Praia dos Salgados. The sand was hot under my toes and yes, getting back to the beach was PURE BLISS! So much hotter than I remember so to avoid sunburn I was off to rent a beach umbrella and lounge chair. Grabbing my mojito and my book I kicked back and listened to the waves. Paradise.”
If you could share any golden nuggets of advice to help others have the safest and most hassle-free experience when trying to get back to holiday bliss, what message would you scribe in the sand?
“My advice for post pandemic beach bliss is get there early to find a safe spot and don’t be afraid to walk further down to avoid the crowds! So my message in the sand is simple: Don’t settle, explore, find the perfect spot.”
CULTURE & ATMOSPHERE
Did the locals give you a warm welcome and did you feel those usual care-free ‘Holiday Vibes?’
“What I have loved most about this trip are the friendly locals. There are so many Portuguese out enjoying the sun on the beach. It gives the Algarve a change of vibe to have so many locals holidaying here and not just tourists. But they are really needing our help to get the tourist industry back up and running over here, this is their lively-hood and they are ready to welcome us back with a big smile and an Olá!”
As we say in the F.L.I.P F.L.O.P.S Game of Bamboozled: “This is an audio question!” What traditional Portuguese sounds did you hear such as the legendary local music beginning with the letter F?
“The hotel I was staying at had posters going up about performances and special ‘Fado’ music nights coming from next week! (So, I think to myself, definitely should have booked at least a 7 night stay!) I did notice some restaurants have live musicians playing as you eat your meal.”
What alluring activities did you cross off from your initial bucket list of great things to see and do in Portugal? What safety measures and face mask policies were in place?
“When in the UK I try to avoid eating lots of fish, unless I know how sustainable it is. But what is more fresh than a responsibly line-caught fish cooked the same day?! A real treat for me! All the health and safety protocols put in place by the hospitality industry over here make it easy, safe and relaxing for holiday dining.”
A BALANCE OF PEACE & PIZZAZZ
What was the most relaxing and peaceful part of your holiday in Portugal?
“There is nothing more cleansing for the soul than a swim in the ocean. I always make sure to take a dip no matter the weather. It was roasting on the beach so I kicked of my shoes and ran to the ocean and took a dive into the deep blue… I’d love to swim here once Summer officially comes, the water will be so refreshing!”
What adrenalin-pumping activity was a real ‘riot’ of fun and thrills?
“The main thing I was craving this holiday was relaxing in pure hotel luxury and dipping in the pool (tick!) getting to a golden beach (tick!) and trying all that gorgeous gourmet food (tick!) One thing I do need to tick off is going on a super-quick souvenir shopping spree before I fly home tomorrow!”
To Be Continued…
This is part of a Bamboozled Blog Series, so click on the next part of F.L.I.P F.L.O.P.S for spilling savvy-traveller secrets in the GRAND FINALE…
© Copyright Author Kathryn Glover Sunny Heart Travel Ltd. 2019 to present day. All rights reserved.
For all the latest news and offers sign up now…