BUSINESS PROFILES – Holding the fort
By RUTH SHARPE
YOU COULD easily wander into the Fortaleza da Luz and feel you have walked into some kind of medieval re-enactment. The place is steeped in atmosphere, the baronial fire provides a warm orange glow and, on entering, you feel sure that an enchanting evening has just begun.
The Fortaleza has become an institution in Praia da Luz since it was first restored by Brian St. John Webb in 1989. The restaurant has now been passed onto his son Luc, who has recently arrived in the Algarve from Paris.
The 16th century fort is popular, as it preserves Luz’s old charm in an area which is quickly becoming a sea of white villas and apartments. After another hectic summer, mainly due to the spectacular ocean terrace that overhangs one of Luz’s secluded beaches, the Fortaleza is ready to bring in the winter.
The baronial fire is always burning in the restaurant’s ornate interior. Customers comment that it feels like “the place that time forgot” and the paintings and décor give it that aura of mysticism only found when in medieval buildings.
The infamous Jazz lunch on the lawn takes place every Sunday afternoon and is a firm favourite among residents. The band plays in the extravagant gardens surrounding the fort, while customers enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet. The musical entertainment continues on Thursday evenings, when local favourites Adam and Wendy sing swing classics late into the night.
New manager and professional duellist, Luc St. John Webb spent two years at Le Cordon Bleu while living in Paris and is confident of the excellent food and service that the Fortaleza da Luz restaurant provides. The traditional Portuguese cuisine is prepared by an all Portuguese staff, a unique trait in the Algarve’s culinary industry.
People travel from all ends of the Algarve to enjoy a day out or a late night meal at the Fortaleza. The restaurant boasts a high number of returning customers, who make the Fortaleza a compulsory destination on every visit to the Algarve.
The restaurant is located opposite Luz church and therefore very popular for wedding parties. Its large capacity makes it ideal for an array of functions, and it is undergoing further extension on the terrace to hold even more customers for the hectic summer months next year.
Whether you want to enjoy a romantic meal, night out with your mates or just a drink on the outside terrace, the Fortaleza da Luz is a welcoming spot for everyone.
A diverse range of entertainment, perfect character and unforgettable staff make the restaurant a remarkable discovery for new visitors and a favourite haunt for locals.
People are already booking their tables for the Christmas party at Fortaleza, which includes a six course feast, complete with mulled wine and live coverage of the Queen’s speech! You can also bring in the New Year at the fort, but be warned … Luc’s sword may fly as the clock strikes 12!
The Fortaleza da Luz is open all year round from 11am-3pm and from 6pm-midnight. Visit their website at www.fortalezadaluz.com or call 282 789 926 or 282 788 993 for bookings.