Thu 18 Aug 2016 13:16

Remains of the old fortifications run along the nearest beach and part of the marina. The fiesta is over and 16th August saw winter hours come in.fort

As part of the festival, we ate at the pop up Madeira restaurant. We were seated at the end of a table with benches, occupied by 6 members of a local family. This charming family helped us through the portuguese menu. We ate exquisite steak kebabs with fresh herbs, fries and sparkling sangria - heaven. Caroline even had a pudding - passion fruit in a condensed milk mousse, a local speciality. In return we settled the debate about the pronunciation of the current football league champions - while it was tempting to leave them with the US version 'lie-sesster'.

At the end of the festival, we wanted to go back, but they were already packing up, so we went to the only pop-up one left open, run by a restaurant from along the road, serving Azorean fare. Big mistake. Their version of the kebab includes chicken. If you put both chicken and steak on the same kebab and cook the steak rare, the chicken comes out rare too! Fortunately we spotted this on a neighbouring table and asked for the chicken to be cooked separately. It wasn't, so the whole kebab came out well done. Caroline had a steak with gravy and 'batate frites' - fried potatoes. We asked and were told these were homemade chips. Delight faded with the arrival of American chips made soggy with the gravy - must remember no-one actually speaks English and chips are crisps! To add insult to injury the meal was expensive by local standards. NB, Trip Advisor rated this restaurant relatively poorly - so far Trip Advisor has been pretty accurate.