Absolutely West Essex November 2023

Page 104

Style, sunsets &

STORKS NESTS Portugal's Comporta Coast is perfect to combine with a city break in Lisbon Wo r d s C R Y S TA L M C C L O R Y


fter sightseeing and culture in charming historical Lisbon, we drive one hour and 20 minutes to hotel Alma Lusa Comporta. Our suite is beautifully designed and decorated in Comporta Style with terrace doors that open up to an outdoor pool. We are just in time for ‘Sunset Sessions’ with a DJ on the gorgeous rooftop bar with dappled light. Straw lamps and bunting sway in the breeze. A giant bird silhouetted on the orange horizon is a stork. Golden sun dissolves into a red hued sky. Hot footing it to the beach, as flip-flops

plunge into deep soft sand, to the boardwalk flanked by pinheiro bravo pine trees. Pure white sea shells are scattered on the shore. Waves reflect sunlight back as bright white glitter. Sand dimples in mounds of shade and light. Raffia parasols, then a sea of rainbow brollies, opens up to an almost deserted beach. At Ilha do Arroz for lunch of the tastiest tomato salad, delicious grilled prawns, and Padron peppers, sat at a superb corner table, with a view of the wide sandy beach and cobalt sea. The sea is chilly… well, it is the Atlantic, numbing and cooling hot skin, a contrast to the 35°C heat. The cool breeze acts like AC. Paddle boarders brave the ocean. We walk back past vibrant green rice

fields. The large quantities of water needed to grow the rice lead to mosquitoes that attract frogs, which attract the storks that migrate from Africa to make nests built on chimneys or bell towers. It's hot to shop, but the stylish outdoor market is open on weekends. The bar is buzzy, and we browse lovely merchandise – hippychic beachwear, kaftans, rattan hats, jewellery and artwork. Storks perch in giant nests above the tented roof. At GOMES we dine alfresco on the lawn, the white dining room has a cork tree suspended from the ceiling, roots and all. Wind gently caresses a cool Atlantic breeze over sun soaked skin at Carvahal beach. The hotel spa for massages is

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