This is the first tour since November 2019 so there was a palpable excitement as we headed from Porto airport to Vila Real – our base for the five days. Staying in the Hotel Miracorgo which has a lovely setting overlooking a steep valley, our first activity was a pre-dinner drink on the outside terrace. Tucking in to some Ferreira white Port, I gave my customary welcome speech and set the scene for the days to come – an enticing mix of small, boutique producers and the big names such as Dow’s and Taylor’s.
We then boarded the coach and headed over to Cais da Vila – the number 1 rated restaurant in Vila Real where we were royally looked after. I thought I had booked a three course dinner but the dishes just kept coming! A delightful selection of local appetisers was followed by a Portuguese sausage creation on a spinach puree, a prawn and monkfish risotto, beautifully tender beef and a mango mousse with mango ice cream. Added to that were a surprise Pink Porto aperitif on ice and a tawny Port with the dessert and white flags were being waved – and its only the first night!