Casamento – A Portuguese Wedding

With Lesley Williams

tat-pic-1I love getting good news emails, it certainly beats the spam and notifications of special offers from the milkman. So when an email from Tatiana Bento, our one-time resident chef, popped into my in box I was pleasantly surprised. On opening it I was delighted to read that she and Dave her partner had decided to get married. “We’re sorry for the short notice, but we hope you and Simon can make it,” it read.“It’s next weekend ”. Holy Moly, I thought I was impulsive! The fact that this wedding was to take place in the Algarve didn’t deter us.

A quick scan of the internet and we had secured our flights and accommodation – however did our parents do anything last minute without the wonders of the world wide web? Direct flights from Bristol Airport meant that we could work right up until the last minute, and be back at our desks for Tuesday morning.

A plus point was that the weather was still very warm in Portugal and we were feeling very deprived of sunshine. Apart from our wedding finery all we needed to pack were our swimming togs, shorts and t shirts – so hand baggage only was quite in order.

To make life easier, we booked an overnight stay in a pub with rooms just 10 minutes from the airport. We’d eaten at The Dundry Inn, in Dundry several times but this was our first overnight stay. It’s got 2 en-suite rooms and continental breakfast is served in your room. It’s a great place to start your holiday off in a relaxed way.

Next morning after the short drive to the airport, we dropped the car off and were soon in the departure lounge. After a 10:30 flight we arrived in Portugal in time to pick up a hire car, drive to the beach at Faro and still be in time for lunch. The temperature was about 28 degrees centigrade with a warm breeze – in a word – perfect. After a few hours of relaxation we headed into Olhão, where we had booked into a hotel as Tatiana and David’s holiday let ‘The Marmalade House’ was already taken. Casa do Poço was un-known to us – it was one of the last places available at short notice – but in this case it was serendipity. What a find – newly opened, this 4 bedroom hotel is of a very high standard and just a short walk to the seafront. Owner Rui has done much of the conver-sion of this typical Portuguese building himself; creating stylish, modern rooms while retaining many of the original features such as the vaulted ceilings.

tat-pic-2The wedding took place the next day at six o’clock in the evening when the temperature was a little bit cooler. It was held in a restaurant in Faro and was presided over by a registrar – all very relaxed and laid back. Once the formalities were dealt with it was down to some serious celebrating. We left the party at 2.30 in the morning while others carried on until 7:00 am! As you can see from the photographs, Tatiana was a beautiful bride – Dave scrubbed up pretty well too.

tat-pic-3The celebrations continued the following afternoon when we took water taxies to the island of Farol – the nearest beach to Olhao. Some caught up on their sleep while others played Frisbee in the sea. Back on the mainland and it was more eating, drinking and general merry-making – the Portuguese certainly know how to party.

The following day we had a site visit to Tatiana and Dave’s latest project – another holiday let. They have had to completely gut this traditional Olhao town-house, but they should be open for business in time for Easter. Knowing just how high their standards are, I know that this one will be stunning, and I can’t wait to be one of their first visitors.

Our return home the following afternoon brought us back down to earth – literally. It was a short break but we managed to fit in several hours on the beach, lots of eating and far too much drinking.

I’ll let you know when the new house is open for business. In the meantime The Marmalade House is available on

Thanks to Jacqui at Bristol Airport for organising our parking.

Bristol accommodation:


Olhao accommodation:

Casa do Poco: Facebook: @casadopoco.olhao



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