Newsletter March 2014

Margarida Sampaio @

Wow, I guess summer really is on the way because just this past week I saw at least four tourists walking around the town (one even had his shirt off which instantly drew my attention) and there was even a small traffic jam at one point as people were struggling to park on the O’Farol!  

OK, so I guess it is not really quite up to summer standards yet but the town really is starting to kick back into life – and it’s a good job too because I think the locals and residents are about at the end of their patience levels with each other and some new faces are badly needed!


As always my continued obsession with the weather goes on and as is usual for this time of the year, you need to go out each day prepared to experience every season as we have regularly been seeing all four in a single day in the past month.

So I know it has been February but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been missing the sun and it is starting to look like that old tourism board quote of the Algarve having 300 days of sunshine every year may perhaps be a little exaggerated!

On the whole when I look at the weather across Europe I guess we still have it pretty good here and as we move into March the sun seems to be making more regular appearances and there have even been a couple of afternoons when you could take your coat off (not inside of course – it is always warmer out than in thanks to a lack of carpets, heating and general insulation in most places!)


During the winter months it can be difficult to find much going on in the town but March is normally the time of year when all the business owners return to the town to reopen their shops, bars and restaurants after the long winter and this year is no exception.

We have been seeing a lot of works going on to make improvements to businesses in the town and these are still on going at Tia Ilda, where some major renovation works are being done.  The whole place looks like it has pretty much been gutted and now there is a great glass window front to the restaurant on the ground floor, which previously had been very dark and gloomy and now should offer a view of the sea and beach equal to that on the first floor.

If you are driving down the road by the coast past Tia Ilda then look out for the workmen as they hang precariously off the building and also slow down a little further up by O Castelo, where there has been a ladder sticking out into the road (sometimes with a person on it and other times not!) for the past few weeks it seems!

We also have lots of works going on along the top half of Rua do Barranco (at the end nearest the sea).  Here the little shop next to 3 Jotas restaurant is still having lots of work on it with rumours circulating that it is to be another shop here.  We also have had the welding kit out and lots of men starring as one does the work at the little shop that was the Aqua Zen fish foot spa, next to the newsagents.  I haven’t heard what this is going to be yet but there is certainly some money being spent on it so hopefully it will be a welcome addition to the town for the summer!


Being as we are coming to the end of the winter we have all pretty much run out of things to say to one another in Carvoeiro (nothing new there I here you shout!).  This lack of conversation has no doubt helped to fuel the rumour mill which is always up to a good speed anyway in the town.

I would love to divulge some of the fantastic pieces of gossip that are going around but to be honest they are all so outlandish not even in Carvoeiro could they be true!  So instead I will stick to a couple that seem to be more realistic and less likely to land myself in court!

Firstly we have a bit of news about the building that used to be Barclays bank up the O’Farol past Café Fino.  According to whispers in the town this is going to be turned into a supermarket in the near future, although there are no firm details yet and the numbers being bounded about regarding the price of the rent makes it sound like thee could be a few negotiations to take place before we see anything here.

There are also many rumours about the changing of hands of a number of local bars in the town – but if you want to know more about this then I suggest you park yourself at a bar and listen to what is being said to catch up on what is going on – if you can’t find out some rumours in a bar in Carvoeiro then you are obviously not listening closely enough!!


There may be a lot of rumours going about the place but there are also lots of changes happening in the town that are common knowledge, especially when it comes to people moving about on the bar scene.

Firstly we will be saying goodbye to Sally and Mike in Bistro 72 and instead will be welcoming Richard and Debbie who have taken over the helm.

A big thanks to Sally, Mike and their team for always making people feel welcome and making the largest toasties I have ever seen in my life!

Richard and Debbie used to run Harrys bar in the past and will now be taking over in Bistro 72 with some new ideas and features so pop in and see them when you are over.

In Harrys bar we have Aaron now being joined by his partner Sue who will be working alongside Aaron, Ida and Bob in the bar and bringing in a few changes of their own.  The change over between the staff, which is seeing us say goodbye to Willemijn (hope I spelt that right) is being marked with a big party in the bar on March 29th , for further information pop into the bar to see what the details are.


With all the excitement of the changes in the town it is also good to know that some things are staying the same and March sees the reopening of Mungos Bar after the winter.  Look out for the usual faces and finding yourself doing some inexplicable dance moves at around 3am on a Saturday night after a couple to many glasses of wine (or is that just me?).

We also still have the weekly quizzes in town with the ever popular Hemmingways quiz on a Monday evening and the Wednesday night quiz at Harrys Bar is back too – both still filled with questions I never know the answer too and a good dose of team rivalry!

We also saw the ice cream shop on Rua do Barranco open back up again for the summer and just in time for carnival.  I am currently trying to avoid it as I have seen many new flavours and some old favourites that I don’t think my post Christmas diet can quite handle yet!


Well, it should be the end but no doubt there will still be the odd team that still has games to catch up on!  The darts season has once again been a great way for lots of people to meet up each week and help to beat off the winter blues – it is also much cheaper to sit and drink a beer while watching the darts in a warm bar on a Friday than it is to heat your own home most weeks.

Evert and John have done a sterling job keeping everything together and everyone in line once again and the presentation to see just who takes the trophies and for what, will be taking place on March 7th from 9pm this year in Carvoeiro Bar – so go along and see the winners and the losers on the night.


I know darts is classed as a sport by some but I struggle with the concept of any sport that encourages heavy drinking and smoking as part of the warm up – so on to other more traditional sports in Carvoeiro!

You may not be aware but Carvoeiro now has its very own football team FC Carvoeiro.  The team is made of guys of varying ages (I shan’t point out the more vintage members of the team!) and nationalities and is now part of a local league.

The team plays regular matches in the league with the last one seeing the boys draw 2-2 with a team from Aljezur.

FC Carvoeiro are desperately looking for sponsors so if you are interested or if you just want to go along and support them at games then like their Facebook page .

The Carvoeiro netball team is also still going strong with the training back up at Carvoeiro Tennis Club again thanks to some lovely new lights to help them see while playing in the dark (some say it improved the game play) and anyone interested in joining is welcome to come along from 6.30pm each Thurday.

The team have also started training for a youth team and children aged between 5-14 are encouraged to come along and give the game a go.  The training only costs €1 a session and is open to everyone and takes place before the main training session at 6pm on Thusdays at the Tennis Club – lets try and build up a great youth team and watch as they beat all their mums on the court within a year!


Don’t forget to drag out your most outlandish of costumes for carnival this year with parades taking place on Sunday 2nd March and Tuesday 4th March around Carvoeiro.

The parade will be starting each day at 3pm and is well worth coming down to see -. If only to see the taxi driver on his motorbike with his dog dressed up and his bum hanging out while dressed as a busty lady of questionable morals!

These are always a great day out and even if you are not in the parade yourself then there is no reason not to get into the spirit of things and get dressed up yourself – I will if you do!


If all the men dressed as women, women dressed as men and children dressed as trees has whet your appetite then don’t forget to buy up your tickets for the 20th Panto by the Algarvians which this year will be taking place on March 12th, 13th and 14th at the Lagoa Auditorium  fom 8pm.  For tickets email

Phew… with so much going on, I hardly even have time to sort out my own outfit for carnival this year (which will of course be fabulous!).  Don’t forget to catch up on all that went on at the carnival and more news from Carvoeiro next month with my newsletter,

Until then