We’re now back from two blissful weeks in the Algarve, Portugal, relieved to have brought the sunshine home with us, helping to ease away our holiday blues.
Staying at the beautiful Hotel Baia Grande close to the beach in a breathtaking residential area on the outskirts of Albufeira, far from commercialisation, it was a time for pure family fun, eating fresh fish daily, swimming in sparkling turquoise waters, sunbathing on golden sands, watching dolphins play and even dancing by candlelight.
It was truly touching to experience the new sunny surroundings through Oliver’s wide eyes and inquisitive questions, “They’re aren’t sharks in the pool are they Mama?” and the ease in which new friendships were formed abroad with other children and families and also in my case, two lovely ladies I ended up partying with on the beach on our last night away.
We also met dear old friends and former neighbours of ours from London who relocated to the Algarve, sharing clams and sardines over red checked tables and seaviews and I even managed to go dress shopping at the super chic Algarve Shopping Centre (well I couldn’t let my Mummysgotstyle readers down now could I!). A post on Portuguese style is coming soon!
Alexander was also quite the hit at the hotel renamed by guests as King Alexander. There was actually a queue of German, American and Dutch guests waiting to hug and wave him off as the shuttle bus took us to the airport; I’ve never known a baby to get so much attention. Forget the Royal Baby, Prince Alexander is here!
Playing in the shade and adoring the beach in particular, Oliver was always occupied with new friends and Alexander was happy to play, continue his pursuit to try and walk, eat everything Portuguese and nap in between cuddles from hotel staff and guests. Peter and I took it in turns to swim and we often had time to eat dinner together as both kids had siestas from all the fun, in prams beside us.
During our 15 days away, we travelled the island, spending a night in Carvoeiro and a day by the port in VilaMoura.
We adored where we stayed in Albufeira and found on a walk near the hotel that the President of Portugal’s summer house was on the same street (we were met with friendly guards at the entrance) and it was obvious why he’d chosen this part of the island with its white washed villas decorated with floral tiles close to secluded beaches and discreet hotels.
Sir Cliff also suprisingly adorned billboards advertising wine everywhere and it turns out he too has a holiday home nearby.
With its warm climate, delicious food and the most welcoming and kind people, Portugal really is an ideal destination for a family holiday.
I feel so lucky to have had such a lovely break. We’ve returned feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and freshly inspired with new perspective and greater clarity that only holidays and breaks away from the norm bring.
Portugal, we miss you already.
Here are some postcards of photographs my husband Peter Broadbent shot whiles we were away.
Beach time with my boys.
One chilled dude as the sun shines on. And on.
Pretty tiling on houses near our hotel.
Clams and the place they came from.
Vilamoura-by the port enjoying Moet& Chandon ice cream!
Where I had morning and late afternoon swims. Delicious.
The Baia Grande Hotel.
Alexander proudly grins 6 teeth and enjoys crawling around the hotel, lifting himself up to pose and enjoying a well deserved nap.
Oliver discovers his love of the sea and swimming.
Watching the dolphins (which moved me to tears) at the must see Zoomarine, Algarve.
Photos to treasure.
A Gymboree for Oliver to play in when the midday heat hit and cuddles by the pool.
Hotel Baia Grande by night.
A candlelit beach we stumbled upon on our last night. Playing on the sand with the boys as the sun set was the perfect end to the holiday…
And then when they both fell asleep, Peter encouraged me to return with lovely friends I’d made at the hotel to enjoy the beach party. Another perfect end to the holiday.
What a holiday!
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