A quick post from the road. I'm in Porto, staying at the Pestana hotel (below) on the waterfront, looking over to the town of Vila Nova de Gaia where all the Port lodges are located. The Pestana is a lovely hotel. The last time I stayed here in 2002 it was called the Carlton.
Last night we dined at the Factory House with Adrian and Natasha Bridge. It's a huge building that used to be the hub of the English Port Trade, liberated from the French in 1811. It is still owned and used by the English Port shippers, but there are now just three companies left because of mergers and consolidation: the Symingtons, the Taylor-Fladgate group, and newcomer Churchill.
Still decorated as it would have been 100 years ago, the Factory House is a piece of living history.
Every Wednesday the shippers would gather for lunch, drinking Port together, and playing guess the vintage. Wednesday was chosen because this was the day when no post arrived, so there wasn't much work to be done.
The Port last night? Fonseca 1970 from magnum. It was superb.