Clean cuisine, useful waste and quaint oasis

Portugal Confidential is glad to see spring returning to the Algarve. As temperatures rise, so do our spirits. Our desire to discover is piqued!

Eat well, eat clean

You may have heard of the new wellness resort in the hills near Monchique called Longevity. The developers have pulled out all the stops in creating an environment to promote healthy lifestyle. OK, sure, the place has extraordinary views, a wellness clinic supervised by a famous Parisian doctor, and beautiful contemporary apartments. But what Portugal Confidential wants to know is: how is the food? 

Well, those clever developers have enlisted celebrated Lisbon chef Olivier da Silva to assist in this challenge. Longevity Cuisine by Olivier perfectly blends nutrition and taste. Although keeping an eye toward freshness, moderating use of salt and sugar, and balancing protein, carbs and healthy fats, Chef Olivier adds generous amounts of innovation in designing these well-structured and delicious dishes.

Highlights from the menu include avocado-mango guacamole with sauté scallops, fillet of codfish confit with black ink risotto (below left), fillet of black pork coated in herbs served with mango chutney, and lemon grass crème brulée.                                                                                                                                       

Ambiance is as fresh as the food. Light modern décor and vast views complete the dining experience. Find Longevity Cuisine by Olivier at the Longevity Resort, on the N266, north of Portimão toward Monchique.

Smelly waste to fragrant home

Want to save the environment and decorate your home at the same time? Check out Oon Candlemakers. These nifty Portuguese-designed products turn your excess cooking oil into sweet smelling candles (below). Seriously! Leftover vegetable oil from your fried potatoes becomes orange-scented tea lights.

Oil from your tuna tin will be transformed into jasmine-scented accents for your home. Oon Candlemakers are available at retail locations around Portugal or bought through Amazon UK. Retail price – €199 for the full system.

Quiet oasis in Golden Triangle

And finally, smack dab in the midst of all the action in the central Algarve is Quinta dos Amigos. This charming little retreat (top) sits hidden behind a wall on the road from Almancil to Quarteira.

The entrance is fairly non-descript and difficult to find. This is a good thing, because you really don’t want too many people to discover your new secret escape. 

Entering Quinta dos Amigos is like walking into a quaint little country village of colourful old world buildings, terraces, arch ways and bougainvillea.

The only thing that gives this complex away as a hotel is seeing guests on lawn chairs strewn around the pool. 

Isabel Vilela bought the 19th century farm property in the early 1990s. Since then, she has lovingly refurbished the farm houses and landscaped the property, creating a very pleasant atmosphere that has loyal visitors returning year-after-year. 

There are 20 apartments on the property, ranging from studios to three bedroom units. Each apartment is different in design and uniquely decorated in rustic colours and comfy furniture. Yet, amenities are modern; so you won’t lack for conveniences. In fact, each room is stocked with dishes and wired for internet. There’s even a library onsite.

And, the best part….Quinta dos Amigos is very reasonably priced, starting at €65 per night in low season.

Find out more about the above at …but, shhhhhh, don’t let anyone know we told you.