I asked Paul Symington to amplify his remarks about the new places to stay and eat in the Douro Valley made in yesterday's article New museum, new mood in the Douro and this is his response:
Interesting and new places to stay:
Hotel Aquapura opposite Regua. Very luxurious in a beautiful old house with ultra modern extension. Very comfortable even if not the most typically Douro establishment.
Casa do Visconde de Chanceleiros. In Chanceleiros near Pinhão. Superb place run by a charming German lady. Small, intimate, remote and really, really nice. The real Douro.
Casa de Casal do Loivos. As above, but by a charming Portuguese chap. Near Pinhão, but with fabulous views. As above.
Quinta de Romaneira. Fabulously expensive (Christian Seely's venture with a bunch of ultra-rich French businessmen). Just 12 rooms, €1,100 per night all-in, but super luxury. Madonna/film star type place, but actually very well done (if you can afford it). I have visited (but not stayed!).
[The image shown above and below is of Tomba Chapeus, so called because the view is supposed to be so stunning that your hat falls off. Romaneira is in the middle distance. JR]
The Vintage House Hotel in Pinhão. Originally built by Taylor's, and then sold by them. Comfortable and central in Pinhão.
DOC restaurant on the Regua to Pinhão road at Folgosa. Very good new style cooking with lovely views of the river, in a modern building actually on the river bank. Good wine list.
Ponte Romana in Pinhão. Good traditional local cooking. Good wine list.
Cais to Foz in Pinhão. Cheap and cheerful with excellent grilled chicken. Neon lights etc, but good basic cooking.
Serpa Torta in Alijo. Well known in the region for very good local food. All the locals go there.
Graca's place in Provesende. The only place to eat, literally, in this beautiful and historic village. You eat what she has cooked. Only five tables, so arrive early. You can bring your wine at no charge.
Calca Curta in Tua. All the locals eat there, fun and interesting local food.
Zeca's place at Senhora de Ribeira. Also has a few basic but nice and comfortable rooms. Very remote but very, very lovely and isolated. Directly opposite Quinta do Vesuvio. Nothing happens but peace and quiet. The road stops there, so not much traffic!