Earlier this year I visited the Pine Cliffs Resort on The Algarve in Portugal to try out their new multi-million pound Serenity Spa expansion alongside the launch of heritage men's barbering and product experts Gentlemen's Tonic. You can read my review here. After coming back to good ol' Blighty I'm pretty sure I bored everyone I know by repeatedly telling them how amazing it was. And when I showed them the video I created of the resort most replied "no way is that in Portugal" but it is, a Grand Canyon-esque deep red & orange pine cliff on which sits a huge Luxury Collection Resort and golf course. Earlier on in the year, all of my best friends and I booked a trip to Albufeira, this time around it was not work, not blogging, it was a mates holiday, a self catering budget, villa holiday. We try to get away every now and again for a 'golfing & cycling' holiday which more often than not just turns into more of an 'eating & drinking' kind of holiday.
To try and keep the holiday as authentic as possible and to avoid another day of all-day-drinking it was a friend of mine Parky's responsibility to book the golf. To my amazement he booked us in for 18 holes of the 9 hole course (2 rounds) in the Pine Cliffs Resort, lured in by the incredible par 3 hole 6 which you have to tee-off over a huge drop in the cliff face and on to a tiny green. So it looked like I was heading back to my favourite place in Portugal only a couple of months after I left it.
We only made it around 9 holes because we were playing in 40 degree heat and we hadn't had a beer in like 8 hours, so the bar was quite tempting. My favourite place to eat in Pine Cliffs is O'Pescador, their on-site fish restaurant, perfect for a light lunch. I would recommend the plate of sardines to share as a starter then the linguine ai frutti de mare for main, it was delightful. It was during this lunch that we were made aware of the Pine Cliffs 25th Anniversary Summer Gala.
A UB40 concert, fireworks and an invite to the exclusive after party were too tempting for a bunch of 30 something year old guys who many of us grew up listening to 90s reggae/pop UB40 classics. Personally it always brings me back to driving around with my parents in our Ford Sierra of which my dad played classic UB40 tracks like rat in mi kitchen, red red wine and higher ground. Listening to UB40 live had me in fits of nostalgia, my parents would have loved it!
All of the above doesn't really portray what the holiday was mainly about, which was actually drinking pretty much breakfast, lunch & dinner....bars, clubs, food. So as the Pine Cliffs afterparty kicked off at 01:00 we had already been up and drinking from midday the previous day. For the few of us that made it to the afterparty, it was totally worth it as you can see from the pictures above, we just had fun and partied with everyone that has made Pine Cliffs Resort such a great holiday destination. The highlight has to be the phenomenal singing performance of Sisters G, who had the whole place singing and dancing.