Set beside a tranquil nature reserve, a glorious soft white-sand beach and the infinite blue of the Atlantic Ocean is the splendid 5* VidaMar Resort Hotel Algarve. The rooms are superb – contemporary, hugely spacious (measuring 42m2) and complete with air-conditioning, en-suite bathroom, complimentary wi-fi and tea/ coffee-making facilities.
Four restaurants take you on a culinary journey. Our half-board arrangement is based on meals at the Ocean buffet (international cuisine), but you may ‘dine around’ with €15 per person credit at Mamma Mia (Italian), Aji (Oriental) or Sunset (Mediterranean) restaurants. Other resort amenities include three saltwater pools, exotic gardens, walkways across the beautiful natural dunes and the SEA SPA, offering a range of indulgent treatments and therapies.
With two included drinks parties, the group will soon get to know each other. Bridge, played in large, air-conditioned rooms with sea views, fits around the excursions to maximise your enjoyment. Sandy Bell will present two seminars, followed by supervised play of set hands, with valuable support offered by the Mr Bridge team. Singles will always be accommodated.
Formerly a manager with the De Beers diamond group and a magistrate, Sandy Bell has played social bridge for 25 years. In 1995, she decided to set up a bridge club at her local yacht club in Port Solent. Single people in particular were encouraged to join. Sandy is a member of EBUTA and has thoroughly enjoyed teaching improvers’ bridge for the last two years. Her husband Graham, a retired naval officer, has played bridge for 40 years and assists Sandy with her Mr Bridge activities.
The rich history of Faro, now the administrative centre of the Algarve region, includes occupation by the Romans and the Moors, ransacking by the Earl of Essex (during which time the great book collection of the Bishop of Faro was ‘relocated’ to Oxford’s Bodleian Library) and two city-wide architectural transformations following earthquakes in 1532 and 1755. Most of the grand buildings we see today date back to the 18th century, though echoes of earlier centuries remain. On this half day excursion, which includes a guided walking tour, the stones of Faro tell their fascinating story.
The ancient city of Silves was the former capital of the Algarve, reaching the height of its prominence and strategic importance during the Moorish occupation, but referred to as the ‘Kingdom of the Algarve’ as late as the 19th century. This half day excursion takes in the Moorish Castle and 13th century Cathedral of Silves, then the typical village of Monchique, set high in the hills, where there will be time at leisure to shop for traditional local handicrafts.
Adega do Cantor is Sir Cliff Richard’s spectacular property in Guia – he has loved the Algarve for 40 years and is very hands-on in producing his own range of wine, from grapes grown in the vineyard grounds. Our half day excursion includes a guided walking tour around the vineyards with an explanation of the wine-making process and a tour of the temperature- controlled adega where the grapes and the young wine matures in barrels. No visit would be complete without a tasting, of course, and we sample the (literally) house wine with local cheese, smoked ham and sausage. There will also be an opportunity to shop for Algarve souvenirs near Adega do Cantor as part of this excursion.
Please note, these excursions are specially arranged for Mr Bridge customers and are subject to a minimum number of 10 participants.