October 29 will be forever kept in my memory and in my heart. The day I joined this unique piece of Art: The Presidential. Welcome aboard.

The feeling of making part of the history of this exquisite train is indescribable, sounds cliché but it is a dream come true. 
Gonçalo Castel-Branco, the dreamer behind The Presidential, felt it love with this train...and no wonder why. As soon you see this remarkable blue train it is love at first sight. It is magical, it is beautiful, it is Portuguese heritage coming to life

The Presidential contemplates the best that life can offer: traveling, magnificent food and precious moments.

Fernando and I were very curious about this train and to experience it overcome our expectations. As soon we had arrived to São Bento Rail Station you could had heard a "Wow" and a long sigh from my part. What a beauty. To think that this 1890's train had transported key figures - Queen Elisabeth II or Pope Paulo VI to name a few - and in 2010 was restored becoming more beautiful than ever. 
A big Thank You to Gonçalo Castel-Branco for that, for believing in his little daughter wonderful idea: to create a moving restaurant and he did it. In The Presidencial we are delighted with the most memorable Chefs in each edition. 

In the Harvest Edition of that October sunny Sunday we had the pleasure to attend the gastronomical weekend of the "Rising Stars" with Chef Vasco Coelho Santos from "Eskalduna Studios" and João Oliveira from "Vista" who recently won his first Michelin star. What a superb Menu, which you can discover while seeing our personal coverage in the pictures below. A warning for foodie lovers: your mouth will start watering. 
At the same time you can delight yourself with Niepoort wines while contemplating the most stunning landscape in the world: Douro. My roots are from Douro as I had grew up in this Portuguese region with my grandparents, parents and siblings...to me it is idilic. To be able to admire the vineyards in those rich Autumn shades alongside the river. Priceless.

After a few hours enjoying a perfect meal with the nicest couple who sat in our table we had arrived to "Quinta do Vesúvio" from Dona Antónia typically known as "Ferreirinha", an incredible strong woman who made this place and herself a Portuguese legend. Gonçalo Castel-Branco told us the story of "Quinta do Vesúvio" in the most passionated way, in the same way he did when he presented us the train as soon we had sat on our carriage. Phenomenal speaker and host. Same to Vera who so kindly received us, Marta and everyone in the organization. Congrats to the brilliant team.

Nowadays "Quinta do Vesúvio" is owned by the family Symington who had deeply believed in this project and who opened the doors of their house in which we could had a cup of tea or coffee, taste private label vintage Port wine (probably one of the most delicious I have ever had) and had long conversations in the terrace watching some guests smoking cigars and sharing laughs...in that moment we wished that time could stop. Stop for a little longer...

Coming back to Porto was a feast for every sense with live music and numerous surprises along the way which I am not going to reveal so you can personally discover. A magnificent personalized and autographed book is included. 
The late dinner included smoked meats, a delicious bread selection from "Gleba", cheeses such as azorean "São Jorge", pâtés... finishing with sweet treats and caldo verde with a modern twist. Ah, and more Port wine of course. 

The Presidential was the Gold Winner of the Best Public Event in the World of 2017. We couldn't be more prouder and even before that price was announced, The Presidential was the Gold Winner of the Best Event of our lives

Save the date: the magic of The Presidential is back again on April 7 and you can be part of it.

The Presidential Menu 
by Chefs Vasco Coelho Santos & João Oliveira

Appetizer: Prawn, Oysters, Orange, Gazpacho

Hot Appetizer: Boletus, Bacon, Trumpets of Death, Beans
Fish: Squid, Grain, Curry, Fennel
Meat: Milk Veal matured 45 days, Charcoal, Celery, Marrow

Dessert: Citrus from North to South

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