A Sunday Treat

Of all the activities I might have seen myself pursuing in the Algarve, croquet was pretty low on the list.  Nevertheless on a damp, lacklustre Sunday, a warm welcome awaited at Bela Romao Croquet Club, and even a cosy log fire!

The invitation had come by way of the walking group I love to join whenever I am in the Algarve.  I have to confess that a sausage fair at Querenca had marginally more appeal.  But I had been to Querenca on a grey day (yes, the Algarve does have them!) in a previous year, and truthfully, I’m not all that keen on sausages.

Querenca on a cloudy day

Querenca on a cloudy day

So, the decision was made!

I had passed by on the E125 heading for Olhao many a time, but been completely unaware of the existence of the croquet club.  Up an unobtrusive track, a hefty door awaited.  A touch of the intercom and a smiley-sounding voice greeted me.  The door rolled back to reveal a large expanse of drive, and above, an attractive villa.  Climbing the steps to the pool, I looked for the lovely views to the coast that were promised.  This was a day for using the imagination, but the potential was definitely there.

The swimming pool.  Maybe another day?

The swimming pool.  Maybe another day?

It was two in the afternoon and play had been suspended for lunch.  Curious, I advanced into a small lounge, bar and restaurant.  The decor was welcoming, the open fire warm, and the tinkling laughter of our hostess, Lita, a pleasure.  I was shown to a bench seat by the window, with a menu to peruse.  The salmon salad with teriyaki was a natural choice for me, and my husband was very happy with Irish potato cakes, meat pattie and blackpudding.  Was it the lovely wine in the icebucket that was giving the room that cosy glow?

I got into conversation with one of the guests, and she described it as a “home from home”.  It certainly had that kind of atmosphere, and I found myself thinking that I would be more than happy with a home like this.

After lunch we were offered a complimentary game of croquet.  Lita was full of enthusiasm and I hesitated, but Michael had just polished off a large peach melba and was happy to return to Tavira.  The views were still a little murky but I promised myself a return visit to enjoy Lita’s hospitality again.

I’m wishing I was there this Mother’s Day.  You, too?  Enjoy yours, ladies, wherever you are.

49 comments

  1. This does have the look of someone’s well-appointed and comfortable home — I especially like the mismatched outdoor furniture. Your quip about it being a day for using one’s imagination made me laugh, but it is a really lovely place. 🙂

  2. Since I’ve got good internet right now, I’m catching up with all your posts! 😉 This place is so beautifully serene! The peach melba is giving me major cravings! I think I need dessert right now! Wonderful post! Portugal is on my list now! Thanks Jo!

  3. This would do me any day … *smile … great gallery again, love the view .. the pool and the food … maybe the lamp was a bit lost. That pudding … just my choice of dessert. Thanks for sharing your special day. I love reading about nice places, hotel and restaurants.

    1. You don’t like the lamp, Viveka? I wanted to take one home, but the colours in my Algarve house are blue and white, with a touch of yellow. Azulejo colours, of course!

      1. It is terrible weather here. It is rainy and freezing. I quite frankly would rather have snow because it is drier than and not so damp which chills the bones. The grayness kills me too!

    1. Crazy, huh? If you’d been there, Cath, we’d have had a game! I have played a long time ago but have just the haziest notion of the rules. David the coach was there, so no cheating!

      1. brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
        it’s probably 75 degrees here, overcast.. 24 hours free of rain, and no one is complaining at 10:30 in the morning! i am going to paint for an hour or so and join those who go to town on weekends! z

  4. What a brilliant little experience and a very enjoyable read. The food looks lovely and the whole idea of a croquet club is charming.

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