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A real success for the Quinta!

Driving through Cortebrique this morning and someone shouted out to me, “Congratulations!”
“What for?” I asked.
“Why, for being #1 on Google of course; didn’t you know?”
“#1 on Google? I had no idea”, I replied truthfully. Though both Daniela and I work hard to promote the Quinta and countryside tourism in general in this area, I had no idea we’d apparently been so successful. “What search terms were you using?” I asked, intrigued.
“Quinta Portugal,” my friend replied, “and what’s so clever of you is that “Quinta” isn’t even in the name of your site. You beat all the big boys, all the other tourist sites and even all the “Quinta for sale” sites. Very smart. Congratulations! How did you do it?”
I had to come clean of course and say I didn’t know; as I say we work hard at our internet presence here, and maybe our Birding Site helps in this respect, but whether I know how it came about or not, it’s still a huge feather in our cap and we’re justly proud of ourselves and all of us hope our many friends and volunteers will be too, as it’s just as much thanks to all of you as to anything we’ve done.
Right, enough scribbling, I’m off down to the village to get the bubbly!

Tripadvisor-0318

Tripadvisor-0318, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

We got this in the post today and we’re absolutely blown away by it!
We realise of course that we’d never have received it but for all of our guests this year who contributed their time by writing a review on us, so may Daniela and I take this opportunity to thank all of you – and of course all our staff this year who worked so hard to making the Quinta a success, Fatima and Dulce of course, but also those who volunteered their time here, Marcus, Susanna, Des, Shirley, Brian, Steve, Araby, Maria João, Ann, Bronwyn, Elias, Flora and Carolina; this is as much a certificate of excellence for all of you as it is for the Quinta as a whole, so a million thanks to all of you.
We look forward to doing more of the same in 2011!

Core-Party-9715

Core-Party-9715, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Well, we had to have a party to celebrate Daniela’s and my marriage so we had a few friends over … the party was actually a run of parties, four days in fact, but these were the core members. This was taken before we sat down for the first night’s dinner; i might post some “during the party” shots but I think I’ll spare you the “after the party” ones ….

The Quinta Story

Many people have urged me to tell the Quinta’s story on this blog, and seeing as I haven’t written anything for, (heavens above!), two months, it seems only fair that I should do something a little special, so here’s a small video Daniela and I put together over the last week; we hope you enjoy it!

The Quinta’s choice of wines June ’09

…. the Quinta’s wine choice as organised by Heather! Our ethos here is that all our wines are Portuguese, all of them have real corks, and …. all of them have a bird either on the label or in the name! This third point is very important!
Seriously though, Portuguese wines are gorgeous and we are very insistent that all of ours must have real corks so that we do our bit to keep the Montados alive, which is an absolutely vital industry in our area.

Heather 20090601

Heather 20090601, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Let’s also introduce Heather, our volunteer for these next few months, here measuring the water temperature yesterday morning – it turned out to be a very balmy 24ºC, (75ºF), warm enough for me to go swimming!
I came up afterwards to find she’d cleaned and organised the bar, even down to getting the heights of the bottles aligned ….

Floor tiles

20090116_2369, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

A visit to the factory ….

A good many of our guests remark upon our floor tiles which are very beautiful but also hard wearing, and, best of all, don’t show the dirt – a priceless asset in the damp, mud-producing winter!
They’re made in southern Portugal, principally around the Algarvian village of Santa Catarina and a few days ago we had to go down there to buy some more for a new floor we’re making this winter, so I thought I’d make a small “photo diary” to show everyone how and where they’re made.
The “factories” are usually small family affairs, employing approx 5 people each, and are situated right on top of the raw material, a band of red clay that stretches the length of the Algarve, but which is of a particularly fine quality around Santa Catarina itself, and this village gives its name to the tiles.

First of all the raw, red clay is dug out of the ground during the summer and stored for the year’s work ahead.