Archive for the ‘Quinta’ Category

The Quinta Story

Friday, November 13th, 2009

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!

At the Birdfair

Friday, September 4th, 2009


Bird Fair 09, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Smithy, Araby, Beetle and Kate

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009


Smithy, Araby, Beetle and Kate, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Four of my favourite ladies.

The Quinta’s choice of wines June ‘09

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

The Quinta’s choice of wines June ‘09, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

…. 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

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

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 ….

Carolina & Honey 20090601

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Carolina & Honey 20090601, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

Carolina and Honey have become firm friends!

Floor tiles

Friday, January 16th, 2009

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.

Building works

Friday, January 16th, 2009

20090114_2360, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

These diggings invariably fill with water during the winter and provide a haven for wildlife of many varieties – water is always in short supply this far south.

New work - clay

Friday, January 16th, 2009

20090114_2349, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

The clay is then ground down to a finish paste inside a rock crusher and water added to produce a uniform but rough paste. This is put by hand into a simple mould, (coated with ashes to ease its leter extraction), and flattened with a wooden spatula.

New work - clay

Friday, January 16th, 2009

20090114_2353, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

From here it’s passed to one side onto a simple metal plate which is then picked up and, on it’s way over to be laid out to dry, is striated by hand with a milky mixture made of a different clay.