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Porto in August with a non-drinker(!)

Posted: 14:07 Sat 12 Jul 2014
by SCP
Dear all,

I am travelling to Portugal for a week in late August, including 3-4 days in and around Porto. I can think of plenty to do, however, I am travelling with my girlfriend, who is a NON-DRINKER.
Thus far, I have secured permission to spend most of one day wandering around VNdG visiting port lodges (went there previously in 2011) and hoping that she will be mildly interested in seeing the big old barrels and tempted by lunch at one of the lodges (or possibly the Yeatman).

I would also like to do a day trip into the Douro valley and need your help.
We are thinking of taking the train early doors from Porto-Campanha towards Pocinho and back in the evening. Apparently the view is fantastic, so no worries on that front. Do you know of any restaurants that have great views and are not too far from a station on the train line. Also, are there any quintas that would be more interesting for a non-drinker for whatever reason?

Thanks for the help!
Simon

Re: Porto in August with a non-drinker(!)

Posted: 14:12 Sat 12 Jul 2014
by djewesbury
The train is indeed wonderful. If you're going as far as Pocinho is the train straight through or do you have to change? Perhaps it would be better to go as far as Pinhão and stop for lunch there - there are plenty of places to eat, perhaps at the Vintage House Hotel or LBV, both near or beside the river. You could also visit Quinta de la Rosa if you drop them a line. There are some lovely little cafés in Pinhão too, so you can take your pick. If you're going as far as Pocinho and back in one day you probably won't get to see too much except the view - I could be wrong though!

Re: Porto in August with a non-drinker(!)

Posted: 15:04 Sat 12 Jul 2014
by DRT
LBV is a good recommendation as it is very close to the station and the terrace looks straight out to the river with the towering heights of Carvalhas on one side and Quinta de la Rosa on the other. The food is good too 88)

I think there is some sort of archaeological site far up river (near Ervamoira I think?) but I don't know if it is close enough to a train station to be a practical option. Don't expect to see a taxi further up river than Pinhao!

The train journey is fantastic.

Re: Porto in August with a non-drinker(!)

Posted: 15:09 Sat 12 Jul 2014
by DRT
When you visit the lodges be sure to include Ramos Pinto. Their lodge is also a museum and is filled with works of art, antique furniture and other non-Port related stuff so will perhaps be more interesting than those that are only filled with barrels. The new Graham's restaurant is also worth considering.

Re: Porto in August with a non-drinker(!)

Posted: 15:15 Sat 12 Jul 2014
by djewesbury
DRT wrote:The new Graham's restaurant is also worth considering.
Definitely. It's excellent. Sit in the conservatory and enjoy the view, and do their lodge tour beforehand; I'd rather eat here than the Yeatman for lunch. Ramos Pinto and Graham's are probably the best lodge tours; most of the rest repeat the same information in slightly different ways and get very repetitive very quickly. Graham's is also the only one I know that brings you to the cellar (though you can book a tour of the Yeatman's cellars).

Re: Porto in August with a non-drinker(!)

Posted: 01:39 Sun 13 Jul 2014
by AW77
Next to the Yeatman, there is also the Taylor's lodge which has a very good restaurant called the "Barao Fladgate". It's a a bit long in the tooth now compared to the new Graham's "Vinum" restaurant, but it has a very nice terrace where you can enjoy your meal over a magnificent view of VNdG and Porto.
When in Pinhao, you should get a taxi to Sandeman's Quinta do Vau (it's around 10 to 12 Euros for one way). They have a quite interesting tour and as they're on top of a mountain a breathtaking view of the Douro valley.

Re: Porto in August with a non-drinker(!)

Posted: 10:43 Sun 13 Jul 2014
by SCP
Fantastic suggestions here, thanks for the help and will definitely be taking advantage of pretty much all of them!

Looks like lunch at Pinhao at LBV, plus Quinta de la Rosa and/or this should do the trick.
AW77 wrote:When in Pinhao, you should get a taxi to Sandeman's Quinta do Vau (it's around 10 to 12 Euros for one way). They have a quite interesting tour and as they're on top of a mountain a breathtaking view of the Douro valley.
Is there anything beyond Pinhao on the line to Pocinho, or just the view?

In VNdG:
Ramos Pinto happens to be my favourite producer of [whispered quietly on these boards] brown sticky stuff, so will definitely check out their lodge, as well as Graham's and many others.
I had lunch at the Taylor lodge last time I was in Porto (2011) and remember being very impressed by the food, drink and view. Is the view from Vinum or the Yeatman comparable?

Re: Porto in August with a non-drinker(!)

Posted: 11:23 Sun 13 Jul 2014
by AHB
SCP wrote:Is the view from Vinum or the Yeatman comparable?
Both have fabulous views. The Yeatman's view is across the river of Oporto while Vinum is on the inside of a bend in the Douro which means that you sit on their terrace looking upriver at the Dom Luis bridge and the quayside of Vila Nova de Gaia. Both are terrific views.

Re: Porto in August with a non-drinker(!)

Posted: 11:37 Sun 13 Jul 2014
by DRT
SCP wrote:Is there anything beyond Pinhao on the line to Pocinho, or just the view?
There is a nice little restaurant at Feradossa, close to Quinta de Cachao. The restaurant is on the site of the old railway station, which was relocated about 1km upstream when the river was dammed and the railway line moved. If you and your girlfriend are up for a short walk before lunch stay on the train to Feradossa and then walk back towards Pinhao until you come to the restaurant. You could then walk back to Feradossa and keep walking another km or so until you reach Vargellas where you can catch the train back or go further on into the Douro Superior.

Here is a link to Feradossa on Google Maps. The new station is located where the railway bridge meets the south bank of the river. The restaurant is the red roofed building 1km to the west. https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@41.14270 ... a=!3m1!1e3

Re: Porto in August with a non-drinker(!)

Posted: 22:56 Sat 19 Jul 2014
by SCP
Sounds like Vinum and Feradossa it is then. Thanks for all the help. I'll try to write up a trip report when I get back to share the fun.