Advantages Great value, great food, fantastic setting
Disadvantages I forgot my camera!
I am told (and I can think of no evidence to contradict the claim) that Lisbon has the rare distinction of being the only capital city in Europe from which you can watch the sun set over the ocean. It's an interesting but rather irrelevant factoid since we were not on this occasion in Portugal's capital but the same can be said for its second city Porto, which sits on the Atlantic coast in the north of the country. When I was invited to go for dinner on the beach a few weeks ago I was quite glad that my colleagues booked at an unfashionably early time for Portugal which meant that we were in situ to make the most of the sunset.Our destination for the evening was Bar Fuzelhas which sits on the Fuzelahas Beach in Leca da Palmeira, a northern part of Porto. If you drive north from the city along the gorgeous coastline, Leca da Palmeira sits just beyond Matosinhas. If like us you drive in from the easterly direction from Santo Tirso, you could be forgiven for thinking that it sits rather too close to one of the biggest and smelliest oil or petrochemical refineries in Europe. As we passed the Petrogal refinery, breathing through our noses, I did wonder why on earth anyone would choose to dine so close to something so unpleasant. And as I looked at the massive ugly Soviet-style tower blocks I wondered why anyone with any sense of smell would choose to live there. We parked up on the sea front and thankfully the wind was in the right direction and all we could smell was the salty, slightly fishy aroma of the sea.
We arrived at about 8.15 pm, so early that the only people eating in the restaurant were the staff. They offered us a choice of all the tables but suggested we take the best one - a round table at the end of the dining room closest to the beach and with the best views. One of the waiters called it the "wedding table". We didn’t put up a fight!
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