Dinner at Grande Hotel do Porto restaurant in Porto, Portugal

A few weeks ago, I was with my husband in Porto, Portugal. During our stay we visited lots of different bars and restaurants and today I would like to tell you about our dinner at the Grande Hotel’s D. Pedro II Restaurant.

Location:

Grande Hotel do Porto is located on a famous shopping street- Rua de Santa Catarina. The restaurant is located at the quiet area of the hotel-away from all the hustle and bustle of the main street.

Atmosphere:

The D. Pedro II Restaurant offers its dinner a space where guests cross daily with local clients and passing tourists that when strolling by Santa Catarina Street can’t resist the temptation to come inside

The hotel has an exclusive décor and some beautiful pieces of art are visible throughout the communal areas. Many famous guests have stayed in this property. The restaurant is named after D. Pedro II – the former emperor of Brazil, who found refuge here during the fall of the Monarchy in that country. At the time, the royal entourage took up the entire first floor of the Hotel and stayed here for a while.

The menu:

Antonio-our waiter brought us our menus in no time and that’s when we discovered that the restaurant offers a great selection of dishes. Both myself and my husband are a massive foodies so we were looking forward to our meal.

To start with, we received a complimentary amouse brioche – a glass with some smoked haddock.

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I then ordered a stuffed Portobello mushroom with truffle and vegetables cream and quail egg. It was really tasty.

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My husband ordered some smoked ham cantelloni with arugula in pesto sauce, gratinated brie croutons with honey. He enjoyed it and finished it in no time.

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For our mains we both decided to have a fish. I ordered some bream fillet with olive cream and roasted peppers composition. It was mouth watering!

My husband had some braised salmon with bread crust and chard sautéed in garlic sauce. Not only his main was presented nicely, it tasted even better.

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Dessert is always my favorite part of any meal and I had some beautiful creamy coconut cake and fruit composition. It was delicious!

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My husband ordered a cheese board with a nice selection of cheeses and finish his meal with a glass of traditional port.

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Overall experience:

We both had a nice time at the D. Pedro II Restaurant. The restaurant serves tasty food and offers a great, friendly service. It is also very conveniently located so I would definitely visit it again

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

http://www.grandehotelporto.com/en/restaurant-bar/d-pedro-ii-restaurant/

Address:

Rua de Santa Catarina 197,

4000-450 Porto, Portugal

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

 

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Dinner at The Artist Bistro in Porto, Portugal

Last week, I was with my husband in Porto in Portugal. On our last evening, we booked a table at the popular local restaurant – The Artist Bistro. It was definitely the best meal we had whilst in Portugal.

Location:

The Artist Bistro is located inside The Artist Hotel. The hotel is based in a former art school and provides a contemporary and comfortable environment, inspiring and developing the skills of the current students of the Hotel and Tourism school who work there. It is just around a corner from a famous shopping street and commercial area of Rua de Santa Catarina. The metro closest station (Campo de Agosto) is just a few minutes away.

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Atmosphere:

The Artist Bistro is inspired by the artistic heritage of the building which has previously hosted an Art School. The decoration of the restaurant is classy and elegant.

All art visible in the restaurant is made up of pieces from previous students of the old school Soares dos Reis.

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The dinning experience at The Artist Bistro is designed to socialise with the art one can see, smell, taste and feel. The atmosphere of the restaurant is warm and inviting. We were welcomed by Katia who was attending our table through the night. She was really friendly and professional. Quiet jazz music was playing in the background…

The menu:

Do you like surprises and trying new things? If you are quite open to the new experiences and you like being surprised then you will love The Artist Bistro. The key aim of the Head Chef – Hugo Dias is to surprise his dinners with a unique experience of sampling some great locally sourced food.

You can now be surprised by selecting one of 3 sampling menus:

  • Myth 5 experiences
  • Musa 7 experiences
  • Bistro 9 experiences

What all of these menus have in common is that they change on a daily basis and they offer dinners a combination of unforgettable flavours. At the beginning of the meal, we were asked if we had any allergies and whether there were any ingredients we really didn’t like. Our waitress took notes and explained that every course we’ll  receive will be a surprise-we could only choose what type of main dish we wanted to receive (fish/ meat / vegetarian). The really unique think about this restaurant was that we didn’t know what we will have for any of the courses!

We decided to try a Musa – 7 course dinning experience. Each dish was beautifully presented and made from fresh seasonal foods.

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While sipping some crispy white wine, our first course arrived- oysters with some red onions.

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We finished them in no time and the waitress brought us some mouth-watering mushroom soup with some olive oil, croutons and chives. It was delicious.

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From the next course onward we were surprised with different dish each. We received ‘Samosas de Artist’. We decided to play a game and identify the ingredients of our samosas-a great way of having fun whilst enjoying your meal. My samosa was with goats cheese with pumpkin and my husband received a samosa with a chicken and chorizo filling.

Next, we received some vegetable brioche with some potatoes, carrots, peppers, balsamic vinegar, courgettes which were all baked with egg. It was really enjoyable.

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Moving on, I received caramelized scallops with a cauliflower mouse-they were divine.

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My husband, on the other hand, got an octopus with a lime foam with breadcrumbs and site salad. It crackled like a sea because of the foam popping up.

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Following on from our great seafood dishes, I received some green beans stew based on a traditional Portuguese sausage and bread in a rich tomatoes sauce.

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My husband got some pork belly, crackling with balsamic vinegar.

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Before our main dishes were served, our waitress brought us some lemon & vodka sorbet to clean the palette. It was really refreshing.

At the begging of our meal I decided to have a fish main and I received some beautifully cooked sea bass paired up with an appetizing vegetable puree.

My husband decided to have a meat main and he received some quail with roasted carrots, potatoes pure in a port sauce with some figs and rosemary. It was the best quail he has ever eaten-extremely tender and cooked to perfection.

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If you read my reviews regularly then you will know that a dessert is always my favorite part of any meal. I received a delectable chocolate brownie with large pieces of nuts and some vanilla ice-cream.

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To finish off his meal my husband received a pear that was boiled in port and paired up with some raspberry ice-creams.

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Overall experience:

We both had an amazing time at The Artist Bistro. As I like surprises and trying new food, I was delighted with the concept of discovery. The restaurant serves delicious food with a twist. In addition to food, the service was great and the restaurant is conveniently located so I would definitely visit it again.

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Website:

For more information and to book visit:

http://www.shotels.pt/restaurantetheartistbistrot/en/home

Address:

 Rua da Firmeza 49,

4000-099 Porto, Portugal

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

 

The House Ribeira Hotel in Porto, Portugal

Last week, I was with my husband in Portugal for 4 days. This time we visited a picturesque city of Porto and stayed at the trendy House Ribeira Hotel which was transformed into a modern hotel from an abandoned ballet school and theatre.

Atmosphere:

As soon as we entered this trendy, boutique hotel we felt welcomed and the front desk staff were extremely accommodating. As we had a very early morning flight and arrived at the hotel at 10a.m., we dropped our bags and took some advice from the receptionist who recommended for us to take one of the bus tours. When we came back to hotel, around 5p.m. on that day we were welcomed with a glass of Port wine whilst filling in the paperwork-a really nice touch that made us feel appreciated and welcomed.

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The hotel is addressed to a modern, urban audience that seeks not only a great place to stay during their travels but also the authenticity of this marvellous city.

Location:

The House Ribeira Hotel is superbly situated in the centre of Porto’s downtown area. The river is only a minute away by foot and there are lots of restaurants and cafes nearby. The nearest station (Sao Bento) is only 700m away. The main square is only around 15 minutes walk from the hotel and the shopping district and the famous Rue Santa Caterina street is around 10 min walk from the hotel.  Most other key attractions (i.e. Alfandega do Porto, Luis I Bridge, Port Wine Cellars, Palacio da Bosa) are within walking distance making it a perfect place to stay whilst in Porto.

The Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport airport is around 20-30 min from the hotel and the taxi costs around 30-40 Euros.

Facilities:

The House Ribeira Hotel has only 56 rooms spread over 6 floors. The hotel’s design is meant to make you ‘feel like home’.

This theme is visible everywhere, starting from the reception, moving to the bar and breakfast area and ending in the rooms. If you like a modern, funky look then you will love the sitting in one of the multifunctional areas located at the opposite sides of the reception.

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They are furnished with a mix of bench seating, with some interesting cushions and colourful stools, which create a modern, vibrant and colourful look.

Next to reception, there is an open refrigerator stocking a selection of 24/7 ‘grab and go’ packaged sandwiches, snacks and fruit juices. Nice when you just need to get a quick snack on the go.

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Daily breakfast service is available from 7:30a.m.-11a.m. and the cafeteria is open from 1p.m. -11p.m.

Room:

We stayed in a premium room located on the forth floor . Our room was equipped with a private bathroom, interactive TV,  mini bar with a selection of soft drinks and wine, safe, air conditioning. There was a free Wi-Fi available throughout the property. Our bed was comfortable and the room had a simple, modern design. There was a walk in wardrobe as well as study desk with 2 chairs.

Our bathroom had a contemporary, open-plan design with glass-panelled toilet and shower cubicles. Some basic toiletries were provided.

Overall experience:

Although, we were in Porto for only 3 nights, we had a great stay at the House Ribeira Hotel. The hotel has a perfect location, staff was extremely friendly and our room was comfortable and  modern. I would definitely recommend it to any travellers who enjoy chic looking surroundings and like to feel like home whilst away.

If you consider visiting Porto then you can book your stay at The House Ribeira hotel through Booking.com. In addition, if you book your accommodation via this referral link, you’ll get £20 in cash.

Address:

Rua do Infante D. Henrique 26,

4050-492 Porto,

Portugal

Website:

http://www.shotels.pt/thehouse/home

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Holiday destinations: Porto, Portugal

Last week, I traveled with my husband to Porto in Portugal. Porto is Portugal’s second largest city after Lisbon set on the northern bank of the Douro River.

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The city is located inland from the Atlantic and the visitors can visit one of its popular beaches which I just a short train ride away.

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Although, Porto is not known as a city-break / weekend break destination, it is quickly becoming one of Western Europe’s most respected tourist destinations. In 1996, the historical center of Porto was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. This year, the city was nominated by WTA (World Travel Awards) in these 2 categories:

  • Europe’s Leading City Break Destination 2017
  • Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2017

The city boasts an extensive history, interesting tourist attractions and a buzzing nightlife.

If you like sightseeing then there is a lot to see and the city will appeal to a wide range of different visitors. As we arrived quite early on Saturday morning, we decided to take one of the sightseeing bus tours to quickly see all the main sites prior to exploring this colorful city on foot. There were lots of opportunities to admire the viewpoint of the terracotta rooftops and the city’s dreamy architecture.

Here is a short list of my suggestions of places worth visiting:

  • The Ribeira district – the oldest district of the city which is filled with ancient houses, narrow cobbled streets and numerous family owned restaurants, cafes and bars.

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  • São Bento train station – a 19th-century railway station located in the centre of Porto that features some beautiful tiles.
  • A mini-cruise down the Douro rivers admiring the architecture of the city and its beautiful bridges.
  • Dom Luís I Bridge – a double-deck metal arch bridge that spans the River Douro between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia in Portugal.
  • Palácio da Bolsa –  a historical building built in the 19th century by the city’s Commercial Association in Neoclassical style.
  • Casa da Música – a modern design, 12-floor concert hall & top floor restaurant  completed in 2005.

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How to get there?

It’s never been easier to get there and Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates year round flights and holidays to Porto from Birmingham, London Luton and Manchester airports with fares, including taxes, from £42 one way (£77 return).

For further information or to book Monarch flightsMonarch Holidays or Monarch Hotels, please visit www.monarch.co.uk

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I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

X

Pauline

Dinner at Forelles Fine Dinning restaurant in Fishmore Hall Hotel

During our recent stay at Fishmore Hall Hotel we decided to book a table at hotel’s Forelles Fine Dinning restaurant. As we are both massive foodies and the restaurant is among the best places to eat in Ludlow, we decided to check it out.

Location:

Forelles Fine Dining Restaurant is located in Fishomore Hall Hotel that is only a mile away from Ludlow.

We booked our table for 7:00 p.m. We were greeted by a friendly waiter who took us to our table and made us feel welcomed.

The restaurant has a welcoming decor featuring simple beige chairs. Each table displayed a candle and a rose to add a bit of romantic atmosphere for its dinners. There was lots of natural light coming through the large French windows giving dinners opportunity to relax whilst admiring the beautiful countryside. The relaxing music was playing in the background.

The menu:

Forelles Fine Dinning restaurant offers classically based, modern British cuisine and welcomes both residents and non-residents who can choose from two menus; a three course A la Carte menu, as well as a six course tasting menu with the option of pairing each dish with an accompanying wine.

The menu at Forelles Restaurant offers a nice selection of dishes that are all built around the best produce from the area. The Head Chef-Andrew Birch provides his diners with a high quality, traditional cuisine with a twist that is based on a fresh and locally sourced ingredients from producers from all over the Shropshire Marshes.

We started our evening with some wine and we  some complimentary bread, olives and nuts.

We decided to try a six course tasting menu. As we weren’t sure which wine to go for, we decided to go for the accompanying wines.

To start with we received some signature Orkney hand dived scallops with some cauliflower, apple and ham hock croquette. They were divine. Our sommelier brought us a glass of unoaked Chardonnay Australian (2016) white wine. It offered a rich and creamy mouth feel that lead to soft tropical fruits and orange zest on the palate.

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Secondly we received some Isle of Wight tomato with black olive crumb and some goats curd. It was mouth watering and accompanied by some Pinot Noir, Whitehaven (2016) wine. This delicate petal rose brimmed with refreshing crushed strawberry, cherry, watermelon notes that lingered.

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Thirdly, some Gigha Halibut was served. It was definitely my favorite course. It was cooked to perfection and accompanied with some sea vegetables and spiced seafood bisque. Absolutely perfect combination! Our sommelier presented us with a glass of Gavi di Gavi Italian wine (2015) that had aromatic, zesty notes with apple, lime and kiwi. It was juicy with a citric and mouthwatering feel creating a refreshing, satisfying finish.

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Next, we had some corn fed duck breast with some smoked potato puree, carmelised shallots and hispi cabbage. It was flavorsome. For this course we received some Saumur Champigny Vielles Vignes French wine (2014) – a medium bodied red with a winning combination of plump black fruits and a refreshing dryness on the palate.

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Moving on, it was time for two sweet courses. As I have a bad sweet tooth, I was looking forward to trying them. First of all, we received some lavender cremeaux with raspberry meringues and raspberry sorbet. It was delicious. Our sommelier brought us some Chardonnay Navarra (2012) dessert wine of intense gold colour. It was deeply complex with notes of tinned pineapple, apricot, quince, orange peel and rosemary honey.

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The last course was ‘chocolate delice’. A rich dark chocolate dessert accompanied with some sorbet based on black cherries and ice cream, which was scrumptious. Our sommelier brought along some Black Muscat, Quady Elisim wine (2014) with a rose-like aroma. It was very intense on the palate and full of fantastic rich velvety fruit.

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Overall experience:

We both really enjoyed our fine dinning experience offered by Forelles Restaurant. If you wish to try some superb Shropshire’s cuisine then I would recommend trying one of the Tasting Menus with the accompanying wines. All dishes were delectable and presented beautifully, in addition to service which was flawless so we couldn’t have asked for more. We cleared the plates in no time which is always a good sight.

Address:

Forelles Restaurant at Fishmore Hall, Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 3DP England

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Bank Holiday stay at Fishmore Hall Hotel in Ludlow, UK

2 weeks ago, we decided to travel to Shropshire for an extended Bank Holiday weekend.  We left London during the early afternoon and after a few hours drive we arrived at Fishmore Hall hotel in Ludlow.

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Atmosphere:

Fishmore Hall has a very informal atmosphere and from the moment we stepped in to check-in until the moment we checked-out we felt welcomed. All the staff were friendly and professional.

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Location:

Fishmore Hall is situated in Shropshire, around a 3 hour drive from London on the outskirts of Ludlow. The town is well-known for its food festival, interesting shops and historic castle. It is a great holiday destination with many walking trails and sightseeing opportunities to meet the demands of even the most demanding travellers.

 

The beautiful view of Brown Clee Hill and Titterstone Clee Hill can be enjoyed from some of the hotel’s bedrooms or its garden. We spent a romantic afternoon overlooking the fields and rolling hills whilst having a few drinks in the hotels relaxation area located in its gardens.

Dining in an elegant atmosphere may be enjoyed in the restaurant at Fishmore Hall, with views across the beautiful countryside through the large French windows. Afternoon Tea upon arrival may be arranged.
Within close proximity to the hotel are activities ranging from golf to fishing and horse riding. Fishmore Hall is just 1 miles from Ludlow, famous for its food festival, restaurants, shops and historic castle.

Facilities:

Fishmore Hall Hotel has been awarded 3 red star status by the AA. Red Star hotels represent the most outstanding examples in each star category and signify the best in the British Isles.

Forelles Fine Dinning restaurant offers classically based modern British cuisine and welcomes both residents and non-residents who can choose from 2 A La Carte Menus. We decided to have our dinners in there and we weren’t disappointed – both menus were delicious. For guests looking for a more relaxed dining experience, light meals and snacks are available in the elegant setting of the Brasserie. In addition, guests can enjoy a Classic Afternoon Tea which was recommended as one of the best afternoon teas in Shropshire.

 

All visitors can also relax at the guest lounge with and have a drink at the bar which offers a nice selection of drinks and cocktails.

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If, like me, you enjoy having a moment to yourself and a bit of pampering then you will love that the Fishmore Hall Hotel has a luxurious spa – SPA SHELL- overlooking the Shropshire hills.

 

The SPA SHELL features a sauna, steam room, and an outdoor whirlpool. A range of prestigious Elemis treatments and massages are available.

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I decided to have Elemis Garden of England Rose Massage whilst my husband had a classic Full Body Massage. We both really enjoyed the spa facilities and our massages.

 

Room:

Fishmore Hall Hotel is a privately-owned boutique hotel that offers a plenty of rooms to choose from. We stayed in the Executive room (no. 5) which was deeply comfortable, elegant and sexy.

It had a flat screen TV and a very comfortable king-size bed. In addition, there was a desk, table and chairs, and a complimentary Wi-Fi. Our mini bar was stocked up with some local goodies and some complimentary milk and water were given.

 

Our bathroom was spacious and walk in shower as well as a separate bath. Some soft towels, bath robes and slippers were provided. The bathroom was equipped with a selection of exclusive Elemis toiletries.

 

Overall experience:

Although, we stayed only for 2 nights, we had a very relaxing time at Fishmore Hall Hotel. It is a place where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings in a modern SPA, in addition to being able to unwind in peace and quiet whilst admiring the surrounding nature. What’s more, if you are a bit of a foodie then the hotel’s restaurant will definitely meet your expectations as it offers excellent locally-sourced food.

 

If you consider visiting Ludlow then you can book your stay at Fishmore Hall through Booking.com. In addition, if you book your accommodation via this referral link, you’ll get £20 in cash.

Address:

Fishmore Road
Ludlow
Shropshire
SY8 3DP

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Holiday destinations: York, UK

A couple of weeks ago after work, we drove to York with my husband to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.

York is located in North Yorkshire in England. It is a historic city that has a rich heritage and was part of major political events in England throughout the history of UK. It is also a popular tourist destination for millions and, nowadays, tourism is an important element of the local economy.

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The city was founded by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major trading centre and became the capital of the northern province of the Church of England. In the 19th century, York became a known hub of the railway network and a confectionery manufacturing centre.

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The city offers a wealth of historic attractions and I would definitely recommend a visit to:

  1. York Castle Museum
  2. The Shambles
  3. York City Walls
  4. York Minster Cathedral
  5. Yorkshire Museum and Museum Gardens
  6. Jorvik Viking Centre

During our stay we had some great meals but I will review them in another post.

If you consider visiting York then Booking.com has a range of great properties where you can relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing. In addition, if you book your accommodation via this referral link, you’ll get £20 in cash.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post!

X

Pauline

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