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By C.T. Sorrentino “His Holiness”. I first saw him on TV, a documentary, 60 Minutes, I forget exactly where or when, but he i...

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Coimbra, Portugal: Historic, Epic, 1580 Manor House, Superb Hospitality, and a Terrific TravelValue!

Quinta do Regalo
N111, 3025-309 
Coimbra, Portugal
Phone: +351 962 045 695
Prices: €€€€
Upon reaching the Quinta do Regalo in Coimbra, you experience the exciting sensation of traveling back in time. The stony gate opens on a charming winding path, flanked by an abundance of flowers and trees that immediately make you feel welcome and at peace.
At the end of the driveway stands the house, a villa dating back to 1580 that has kept its charm intact through the centuries. Our hosts, Vitor and  and Helena, were waiting for us and showed us to our room, giving us a little time to put the bags away and refresh ourselves. 
There was a great attention to the latest anti-Covid measures: everyone was wearing masks, there was sanitizing gel in every corner and we were also provided with shoe covers to use inside. Needless to say, everything was spotlessly clean.
We were led to the back garden, overlooking the huge swimming pool and the countryside. Under an arched porch, we sipped freshly made lemonade with mint and some homemade cookies, while our host wrote down our info and gave us some tips concerning local restaurants.
We were then given a tour of the property, that is impressive. The house, embellished on the outside by a towering bougainvillea and lovely flowerbeds, has been kept as it was with the addition of modern comforts. The walls are covered in azulejo tiles, the furniture is mostly antique, the wood floors are shining clean with beautiful, strategically placed carpets scattered about. 
Our room was a little jewel and we really felt as if we were stepping back into the 16th century. Two windows overlooked the lawn and small gifts, including the delicious cookies and cakes, water and locally grown fruit, had been left for us on the table. The bathroom was modern, with a wide, comfortable shower and a huge double sink. Local ceramic and flowers, as well as a variety of luxurious towels and bathrobes, awaited us.




Adjacent to our room was a small sitting room with a wardrobe and, on the other side of the corridor, a huge living area with an inviting fireplace, a billiard table and, last but not least, a wall sized panel of hand painted and gorgeous azulejo. The attention to every small detail was stunning! 

The rest of the property was just as charming and incredibly well kept. We visited the chapel, no more in use but still elegant and solemn, and the surrounding land, where organic fruits and vegetables, grown on the spot, then reach then the guests’ table. Vitor was a knowledgeable host, proud and passionate about his place and his activity.

Breakfast was an unforgettable experience too. We were given the choice of eating inside at the huge dining table, surrounded by antique furniture and ceramic, or outside under the porch, overlooking the countryside and Coimbra. We opted to sit outside and were welcomed the following morning by a veritable buffet. 
Coffee, tea, muffins, ham, cheese, yoghurt, cereals, fresh fruit, jam, butter, freshly made scrambles eggs, coffee and teas … you name it! But the highlight was certainly the bread, freshly baked by Helena – who also gives baking lessons, by the way. There were several different kinds of bread in the basket, warm and soft, it was impossible to eat just one roll. Helena also bakes the cookies and the cakes that tempt you wherever you walk inside the house, so be warned that you will put on a couple of kilos at least.
The property is in the countryside and is very quiet, but it is actually a few minutes away from the city of Coimbra, so you have the best of two worlds: you are surrounded by relaxing greenery, but in less than fifteen minutes you can reach museums, restaurants and shops. 
Coimbra is a beautiful city that has a lot to offer and Quinta do Regalo is an ideal place to stay: you will be in touch with nature, pampered by two very attentive and kind hosts, and, at the same time, be near all the places you want to see.

CombatCritic Gives Quinta do Regalo 10 BOMBS OUT OF 10 and a spot on my WALL OF FAME!

Ten Bombs Equates To:


Translation for Civilians: 

HOOAH!: "Phonetic spelling of the acronym HUA, which stands for 'Heard Understood Acknowledged.' Originally used by the British in the late 1800's in Afghanistan. More recently adopted by the United States Army to indicate an affirmative or a pleased response." - Urban Dictionary

"The Department of Military Science and Leadership, University of Tennessee claim HOOAH 'refers to or means anything except no' ... Regardless of its meaning ... the term is an expression of high morale, confidence, motivation and spirit." - WarChronicle.com

"The U.S. Air Force stole 'HOOAH' from the Army because we were part of the Army until 1947 and rather than waste a bunch of time coming up with something new and unique like "ROO-YAH" or "HAL-A-LOO-YAH", we said 'screw it, let's go with HOOAH' ... thanks Army ... HOOAH!" - CombatCritic
Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19/'20/'21 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of Quinta do Regalo on Yelp

Zomato - #1 Ranked "VERIFIED" CONNOISSEUR (13) - Over  4 Million Review And Photo Views ... And Counting #1 Reviewer in Portland, Oregon!
Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"

Booking.com - Frequent Traveler "Genius"


Google Maps - "Top Photographer" With Over 3 Million Views!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube and our sister channel, CombatCounselor Chronicleswith Over 1,250 Subscribers and 1,000,000 Video Views ... HOOAH!

Title: Coimbra, Portugal: Historic, Epic, 1580 Manor House, Superb Hospitality, and a Terrific TravelValue!

Key Words: CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, hotel, accommodation, destination, business, review, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, Quinta do Regalo, N111, Coimbra, Portugal

Copyright 2022 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Santa Barbara de Nexe: GrandMama Mia ... That's Delicious, Authentic Italian!

La Piazza (Italian)
R. Vicente Brito 8005-491 
Santa Barbaran de Nexe (Faro) Portugal
Call: 289 999 430
Website: N/A
Prices: €€€€
I visited Santa Barbara de Nexe for the first time when the contractor we hired to remodel our Olhão apartment took me there to select a gas cooktop for our new kitchen. I found the small town quiet and quaint, but, otherwise, never gave it too much thought.
While reading an article in The Portugal News about an upcoming Deep Purple concert and an interview with lead singer and song writer Ian Gillan, he mentioned that his 'favourite restaurant in the world' is La Piazza in Santa Barbara de Nexe, so I had to try it ...

PROS

- The owners are from Italy and it is a 100% authentic, Italian, family operation - mom and dad were in the kitchen with son Fabio and his lady friend serving
- The restaurant is large and comfortable with a big wood-burning stove, so it was nice a toasty on a chilly winter night
- The menu has a nice selection of antipasti (starters), pizze (pizzas) primi (first dishes - pastas), secondi (second dishes - meat/fish), contorni (vegetables/potatoes), and dolci (sweets) at reasonable prices
- The Caprese Salad (€7.95) was very good, Funghi alla Crema (€7.95), and the accompanying bread crusty and fresh
- I had the Vitello alla Milanese (€18.50), coming with a side of spaghetti bolognese - the cutlets were delicious and tender, the spaghetti perfectly al dente, and the bolognese molto buono ... HOOAH!
- My wife ordered an entree size portion of the Tortelloni al Burro e Salvia (butter and sage - €9.95), her favorite, and she was a very happy camper - I concured
- My son went for the Vitello all Pizzaiola (veal cutlets in a tomato sauce - €18.50) - just like my Nona Tomasina used to make ... GRAND MAMA MIA!
- The homemade Tiramisu (€4.95) and Fondente al Cioccolato (€4.95) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream were a perfect conclusion to my 65th birthday dinner ... Grazie a tutti voi!





CONS

- Having tried, as always, to provide a balanced review, I really had to think hard to come up with anything that could use improvement
- The large wood stove was nice in terms of warmth and ambiance, but it did get a tad too warm at times
- A large group of around 15 arrived well after we were seated, but their drinks and starters arrived much sooner than ours - Fabio and his lady friend could have probably used an extra hand or two that night
- It would have been a nice touch had someone on staff, at least, wished me a happy birthday

Turns out that La Piazza is not the only great restaurant in tiny Santa Barbara de Nexe with a former Michelin-star restaurant (now Michelin Guide recommended) as well as a highly rated French restaurant and others located in the area, making Santa Barbara the 'Culinary Capital of the Algarve' ... OOH-RAH!

CombatCritic Gives La Piazza 9 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Nine Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19/'20/'21 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of Restaurante La Piazza on Yelp

La Piazza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Zomato - #1 Ranked "VERIFIED" CONNOISSEUR (13) - Over  4 Million Review And Photo Views ... And Counting #1 Reviewer in Portland, Oregon!
Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"

Booking.com - Frequent Traveler "Genius"


Google Maps - "Top Photographer" With Over 3 Million Views!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube and our sister channel, CombatCounselor Chronicleswith Over 1,250 Subscribers and 1,000,000 Video Views ... HOOAH!

MENU


HOURS
Title: Santa Barbara de Nexe: GrandMama Mia ... That's Delicious, Authentic Italian!

Key Words: La Piazza, Italian, Rua Vicente Brito, 8005-491, Santa Barbara de Nexe, Faro, Portugal, 289 999 430, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

Copyright 2022 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

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