Porto in Feb

Post your experiences of travel, especially for the Douro region. Make recommendations for places to stay and visit or ask advice from those that have already been there.
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idj123
Warre’s Otima 10 year old Tawny
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Porto in Feb

Post by idj123 » 22:51 Tue 26 Feb 2013

Off to Porto this Thurs, 4th time for me but first for my better half. Aside from Vinologia and the Solar vdp, anyone got any other suggestions re Port drinking holes? And what about eating establishments-been a few years since I last went but I remember Chez Lapin being good (obviously, the Yeatman is now a possibility)?

Also, probably not the right thread but as I'm naming all the tables at my upcoming nuptials after Port Houses, I need to buy some Port Miniatures-should be no problem for most in Porto, but I can't recall ever having seen miniatures from Niepoort-has anyone else? As Niepoort's arguably my favourite Port House, I'd be reluctant to draft in a substitute! Talking of miniatures, has anyone seen 'better' than a 10yr tawney in this this format?

Should have probably started this thread earlier than the Tues before!

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AHB
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Re: Porto in Feb

Post by AHB » 14:02 Wed 27 Feb 2013

You might struggle to get more replies, but I'll offer what thoughts I can. I'm also interested in where you plan to stay - I'm always looking for good hotels that are reasonably priced in Oporto / VNdG.

Port drinking holes - Quevedo's lodge a block behind the main quayside road; the Dalva wine bar, the Graham wine bar in the Lodge, Dick's Bar in the Yeatman (expensive - but where else can you get Scion by the glass?)

Eating places - I've enjoyed O Paparico (dinner only, booking essential), Yeatman Hotel (nouvelle cuisine), Book (not a bad restaurant in an old library), The Taylor Lodge. I've not eaten at the newly opened restaurant in the Graham's Lodge but I would put money on it being top notch - if you do eat there, please post your thoughts in a new thread so we can see what you think.

Niepoort do bottle tawny and ruby in miniature format, but I've not seen anything other than these basic wines in 5cl bottles. But any reason why you don't put a couple of half bottles on the table instead of a collection of miniatures? Use half bottles and you have the full range of wines to choose from. I've never seen anything more upmarket in 5cl format than basic tawny or filtered LBV.

Enjoy the trip. Let us know how you get on.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

idj123
Warre’s Otima 10 year old Tawny
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Re: Porto in Feb

Post by idj123 » 19:46 Wed 27 Feb 2013

Yes, I realise I should have posed the questions a bit earlier but hopefully there's still time until we go on Thursday pm to garner a few more responses. However, yours is pretty comprehensive and so thanks. Staying this time at the relatively new Pousada-the Palacio Do Freixo-really wanted the Yeatman but given the wedding cost, couldn't quite stretch to it (especially when factoring in the cost of the breakfast). I'll report back on the PDF.

Would love to go for the h/b approach instead of miniatures, but the latter constitute 'favours' for which there is no corkage charged whereas the corkage on a full bottle of Port is an eye watering £90 per bottle (plus VAT)!Mind you, I've managed to persuade them to waive any such charge on the Taylors 1945 VP on the grounds that it may be oxidised and is largely ceremonial ( by sleight of hand I'm also intending having a couple of 63s as back-up)! I'll be seekimg more advice on decanting time for the Taylors on another thread.

Although I've been before I'll certainly be visting the Grahams lodge and so if we dine there, I'll revert.

Glenn E.
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Re: Porto in Feb

Post by Glenn E. » 01:06 Thu 28 Feb 2013

Drinking holes: the bar at the Pestana Porto has a good selection and is on the water. Last I was there the bartender's name was Pedro and he took excellent care of us. It is just one block down the hill toward the water from Vinologia.

Restaurants: definitely the Taylor lodge. The Yeatman also looks good, as does D.O.P. If you like Porto's official sandwich, the Francesinha, then the best one is easily the one served at Bufete Fase on Rua de Santa Catarina. It is difficult to find, but worth the search. If you can't find Bufete Fase, Cafe Majestic is just down the hill in the walking district of Rua Santa Catarina and theirs is also very good. And as already mentioned, the Graham's lodge just opened their new restaurant, Vinum, and I'd probably try it just since it is new.
Glenn Elliott

dcs
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Porto in Feb

Post by dcs » 05:38 Thu 28 Feb 2013

Just FYI, the last time I met Pedro he had moved to the Pousada in Porto - the Palácio do Freixo. This is run by the Pestana group. He is occasionally back at the Hotel Pestana, but only to fill in.

Of all the restaurants, O Paparico is my favorite. It's a must go for me.

idj123
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Re: Porto in Feb

Post by idj123 » 15:29 Thu 28 Feb 2013

Thanks Gentlemen, will revert with an update on my return!

idj123
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Re: Porto in Feb

Post by idj123 » 23:09 Sun 17 Mar 2013

Ok, a brief update on our trip to Porto the other week. In terms of accommodation, would highly recommend the pousada-the Palacio Do Freixo, a wonderfully converted old civil building with plenty of character. It's about a 1/2hr walk (on the airport side) along the river to the Ribeira quayside (but as the weather was a sunny 15 degrees c in the day, this was pleasant). Not sure whether it was because I started talking football to the chap on checking in or that it was quite quiet (most likely) but we were upgraded on arrival to a corner room (no. 206 if you ever need to ask for it) which afforded wonderful vistas over both the Douro and the pousada gardens. Service very attentive with two good and taken-up recommendations for restaurants. A standard range of Ports on offer in the bar from the Fladgate Partnership-Taylor's and Croft (including a couple of Taylor VPs, which I'm ashamed to say I cannot recall which-though one I think was priced at 25 Euros for a glass!).

First lodge trip was to Graham's, which I've visited a couple of times before but all change now-the new visitor part is just about fully open although the general public tasting area not quite (hence we sampled in the VIP tasting area). We did the tour which I followed up with a tasting of of one the VP flights on offer. In hindsight I should have taken a notebook but I believe I sampled the 2000 (although it could have been 2003!) 1994 and 1983, of which the 94 was my preference (although the 94 Vesuvio which I was also given to try was even better imho). Anyhow, sampling over and a bottle of Graham's crusted purchased (which my other half had found to her liking) we took tapas in the bar area of the recently opened restaurant (although we were told that the official opening by the President of Portugal no less, is on 21 March). Didn't view the restaurant prices but the tapas prices were not unreasonable as was the lovely drop of Douro red I had (again, no notebook but all the Douro reds I had on the trip were real eye-openers). I believe it was at Graham's that we were told that not only the solar vinho do Porto was closed, but it didn't sound like it would would be re-opening. Also heard that Graham's (and assume the rest of the Symington estate) would very likely be decalring the 2011 vintage (but then you all probably know this already). Visited Taylor's (and sampled the 2009 vintage-too young for my liking), but not the Yeatman.

Paid the usual visit(s) to Vinolgia where the owner, who's been there 18 years was bemoaning the fact that the last of the 1952 Dalava white had now gone (on reflection Vinolgia is fine for tastings but a bit on the expensive side for single drinks). We couldn't manage to get into O Paparico as it was fully booked on both the Friday and Saturday (pity as the lady on reception was echoing what has been said elsewhere about this restaurant. I would however recommend a restaurant (just off the Ribeira quayside) for good value authentic cooking and another great h/b of a Douro red. Unfortunately, the name escapes me at the moment-but it'll come back! I can however remember the name of a nice place on the VNdG side-Bacalhoeiro. Also visited Quevedos wine lodge and the Dalva wine bar.

Lastly, the required number of miniatures were secured,excepting Niepoort, but including Noval over 40yrs (who'd have thought it) for 5 or 6 euros as I recall! Sorry, not so brief after all!

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AHB
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Re: Porto in Feb

Post by AHB » 09:25 Mon 18 Mar 2013

Thanks for posting. You remind me of why I enjoy going to Oporto / VNdG.

Please do post the name of the restaurant when you remember it. Restaurant recommendations are always useful - plus the post will improve your status from Cruz Ruby! Always a good thing :D
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

idj123
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Re: Porto in Feb

Post by idj123 » 22:15 Tue 19 Mar 2013

After a bit of detective work (or more precisely following the the penned line on the map drawn by the lady on hotel reception!) I can confirm that the name of that lovely homespun restaurant was Adega Sao Nicolau. Great food, great wine and great value! Phew- I can now move away from Cruz Ruby!

Andy Velebil
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Re: Porto in Feb

Post by Andy Velebil » 18:53 Sun 24 Mar 2013

idj123 wrote:I can now move away from Cruz Ruby!
And are now Cheap Ruby. No worries, we've all been there and it to shall pass :wink: :lol: :lol:

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