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Advent Time - Christmas and New Year in Baixo-Alentejo

Monte do Carvalhal, 1 de Dezembro 2020

Monte do Carvalhal, December 1, 2020

The most beautiful time of the year has arrived, at least for me.

But in times of so much uncertainty and fragile promises, each one of us tries to live this time with the certainty that Health is, however, the greatest asset we can receive and conserve.

It makes no sense to talk about offers or gifts, when the times we are going through also ask us for some restraint in the midst of so many restrictions and confinements. Personally, I don't live Christmas with the intention of acquiring "reams" of offers and gifts for everyone.

It's not up to me to judge how everyone lives this season, I just ask that we at least try to buy Christmas souvenirs in Local Commerce, looking above all for what is National, after all, Made in Portugal, it's Good, it's Portuguese.

I suggest you look for that this year, avoid what you always buy, the perfumes, the bonbons, the Mobile Phones, the Consoles, the Clothing Vouchers from Store A, B or C, and try to look for Local Producers who try to sell their products in several Stores and Own Spaces in your cities, towns and even online.

And why not, if possible, go to some Alentejo Towns or Cities and discover Flavors, Articles made in an Artisan way and help small Entrepreneurs and Artisans? And why not, try to take your own small household this year and discover a Christmas or a few days of vacation outside your city?

It is even possible to spend your Christmas Eve in countless Local Accommodations, Rural Tourism and Rural Hotels in our Baixo-Alentejo. Many are already promoting their spaces, just like us, stay tuned!

Have you even thought about purchasing your Sweets, Smoked Products, Cheeses, Olive Oils, Wines & Spirits near the Accommodation of your choice?! I know that not everyone will be able to do it, but those who can help small entrepreneurs in the interior, we all thank you from the heart.

With my move to Baixo-Alentejo this year, I discovered countless places and products of impeccable quality that you can easily buy in Serpa, Moura, Vidigueira, Vila de Frades, Cuba, Beja.

I am remembering, for example, Casa Cavalheiro in Moura, which produce their own Sausages – Sausages, Catalão, Choriça de Carne, Cracklings, Papada, Entremeada, Bacon, Ham, Paleta, delicious !

Not to mention the fantastic cheeses (“DOP SERPA” from Ovelha) from Eira da Vila, Tradiserpa, Requeijão 100Histórias, in Serpa, or from Pacheco Cheesemakers in Cuba, Almocreva or Alcino in Beja, many of them even send to your houses, just find out!

And you can always buy our good Alentejo Bread in numerous Bakeries, we even provide it to our Customers daily, until the 25th or 1st of January😉 and we recommend some of the places where Bread is still “Bread”.

And as man does not live on Bread alone, in the Land of Olive Oil and Wine, like ours, it would be bad if I did not leave some good references to acquire for sure and, even visit when possible – Olive Oil PDO de Moura, Olive Oil from Vidigueira, Herdade dos Cotéis, Quinta N.Sra. das Neves, but also Biological products from the Serpa area, such as Olival da Risca, and my favorite Herdade da Mingorra and ours, Burrico, this one just for consumption at home, for now 😉.

And then the sweets, you ask?! Well, without them, Christmas wouldn't be the same... As well as trying to make known to our Customers what is Local and genuine in our Breakfasts, I myself try to discover and taste some of the sweets in the region, some that they are even very similar to the ones my Grandmother from Monte used to make and until now, I have had few disappointments, that is, my taste buds have not been dissatisfied with each tasting...

From Popias, to Oitos, to Borrachos, to Pastelinhos de Gila, to Bolos Folhados and Folhadinhos, to Those with Olive Oil, to Bolos da Amassadura, to Costas, Popias Whitewashed, Almond Tarts, Fogaças, Azevias, come and try the flavors of this little corner of Alentejo, whether in Moura, Brinches, Pedrogão do Alentejo, even at Casa Paixão, in Serpa, famous for its Queijadas, we discover Bolo Rei e Rainha - as in the old and famous Luís da Rocha (also known for his Porquinho Doce, its Trouxas de Ovos, Queijadas de Amêndoa and Pies) in Beja or, the wonderful Conventual Sweets in Maltesinhas and even Bonbons & Artisan Chocolates in Mestre Cacau and, homemade flavors in ArtPão in Beja (for me the best Bread and the best Almond pie). And if you are a Vegetarian, there are savory and sweet options at Sabores do Campo, also in Beja. Come, so you can even order and taste these typical, homemade and yes, authentic flavors on your Christmas Eve, I assure you.

There are many other Producers that I have not mentioned, you can also find many of their products for sale in small neighborhood stores or spaces such as Intermarché, in Moura, Serpa & Beja, and many of excellent quality, whether in Confectionery, Bakery, Smokehouse, Meat Black Pork, Cured, Buttery & Fresh Cheeses, Olive Oils and Wines, I buy some myself.

And the wine, you ask?! Because, as an Oenophile, and a lover of discovering new nectars, both Wines and Spirits, Liqueurs, Sparkling Wines, the Alentejo is already a Region so rich in Aromas, and also for this reason we build Private Wine Tours from Évora and Beja, We try to make this unique wine region known to all who visit us. Close to Monte, we have fantastic Enoturismos, Wineries of Producers that are worth knowing, tasting and buying not only for the Christmas Supper, but to go discovering whenever you want. They ask which I advise, but I can only say that, if they come, it is worth taking at least 2 days to discover so many treasures: Granja Amareleja, Adega Marel, Monte da Capela, Cortes de Cima, Herdade Grande, Ribafreixo, Adega Cooperativa da Vidigueira , Quinta do Quetzal, Quinta do Paral, Herdade do Rocim, Herdade do Sobroso, Herdade dos Machados, Paço do Conde, Figueirinha, Herdade da Mingorra and much more! And since you're thinking of coming here, think about learning about Talha Wine, which has been made here since Roman times. Take 1 day to learn about its history at the Talha Wine Interpretive Center (Vila de Frades) and taste the saying, I advise Casa das Talhas (ACV) in Vidigueira and in Vila de Frades to Honrado in his Cella Vineria Antiqua, the ACV – Talha wine, Adega do Mestre Daniel (Projecto Talhas XXVI) in Vila Alva or at Quinta da Pigarça in Cuba. Afterwards, visit the Roman Ruins of S.Cucufate, the Convent of Nossa Senhora das Relíquias do Carmo da Vidigueira, the Casa-Museum Quinta da Esperança, there is really a lot to discover this Christmas, New Year, or whenever you want. And don't forget the real Pias Wines, not the ones you can find in the BaginBox at the Supermarket, but the genuine ones, only produced by the Margaça Family and, by the way, if you want to taste it to your teeth, have lunch at Adro in Pias, one of the my favorite restaurants, along with many others here in the area, which I also recommend – O Vermelhudo, O Molho, Retiro do Ernesto - in Moura, O Alentejano and Molhó Bico in Serpa, Adega País das Uvas and Restaurante da Quinta Quetzal in Vila de Frades, or the fantastic Dom Dinis in Beja.

But, if you are looking for yet another type of offer, why not consider a Boat Trip on the Great Lake with AlquevaTours, a Canoeing Adventure with AlentejoBreak, a Jeep-Safari from the Medronho Museum, a Balloon Ride with Emotion , or a Wine Tasting Workshop with Burrico D´Orada. See, there's really a lot to do around here!... You can even buy some Experience Offer Vouchers, it's always something no one expects 😉.

And if you lack inspiration, try to find out and make known the small Treasures of Local Handicrafts in this Region, Handmade products that, in such a genuine and careful way, seek to preserve the Knowledge of Past Generations and disseminate them in the present and in the future. . Decorative Pieces in Cork, in Buinho, Furniture in Wood from Ferreira do Alentejo, Basketry, Handcrafted Footwear, Beringel Pottery, Alentejo Blankets in Wool, colorful and unique. If you want to have more information, please visit , discover some of these articles in small Commerce in Serpa, Moura, Vidigueira, Beja, Cuba, Beringel, the Artisans thank you your help.

And of course, if you really come, be sure to visit the municipalities of Barrancos, Moura, Serpa, Vidigueira, Cuba, Alvito, Beja, Mértola, Almodôvar, Aljustrel, Ferreira do Alentejo, Castro Verde and Ourique, all of which are an integral part of our Baixo-Alentejo!

I could go on listing several reasons for coming and discovering the interior Baixo-Alentejo and making your Christmas different, richer in History, Gastronomy, Culture, but I only leave one request for all of you:

_ This Christmas and even in the New Year, buy Local, help small Commerce, Small Entrepreneurs and Artisans, buy Portugal. We all appreciate it. After all, by purchasing Products, Stays, Experiences (Local), you are also helping to maintain the livelihood of many Families, of an entire Community, because the countryside really needs you, today and always.

Very grateful.

Well done.

We are waiting for you, in Baixo-Alentejo.

Rita Valadas

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