Jill Turton, A Yorkshire Life prize winner on her trip to Vale do Lobo
PUBLISHED: 09:58 08 December 2010 | UPDATED: 18:16 20 February 2013
The chefs and restaurants and food producers weren't the only winners at the glitzy Yorkshire Life Food and Drink Awards, back in September. Jill Turton won a trip to Vale do Lobo
The chefs and restaurants and food producers weren't the only winners at the glitzy Yorkshire Life Food and Drink Awards, back in September.
Having put my tenner in an envelope, I was nothing short of gobsmacked when Harry Gration picked my envelope out of the hat for the top raffle prize: a flight to Portugal and three nights in the luxurious golf resort of Vale do Lobo in the Algarve with two rounds of golf on the championship course and use of a golf buggy.
Harry was sick with jealousy, especially as he's a golfer and I'm not. My husband mulled it over. He's not really a golfer either, apart from the odd round with his brother on a municipal course.
But when I Googled the resort and viewed the drop-dead gorgeous
apartment with its own private pool it was a no-brainer. My 16-year-old daughter reckoned all this glamour would be wasted on Dad; she would accompany me instead, and so October half term found us at Manchester airport boarding a Monarch airlines flight to Faro.
Our apartment was indeed fabulous - when we finally found it. Vale do Lobo is huge, 1,500 houses and apartments, two golf course, a tennis
academy, 15 restaurants, shops, a health spa and minimal signage.
We drove round and round and round again before we located reception. I lost count of the times we passed the security men in black shirts and gardeners sweeping the leaves in this immaculate haven - ever seen the Truman Show?
But what a place. Our apartment was pamperingly luxurious. We'd been upgraded to three bedrooms (and could have brought Dad after all).
Tall windows overlooked the pool, the interior was sleek and contemporary with acres of cool marble, black leather and electronic
Outside, we had our own sun terrace and a private pool. How cool is that? Very cool as it turned out, as bracing as Skegness but with fluffy towelling dressing gowns, a sun lounger and 70 degree October sunshine, nobody was complaining.
We swam and sunbathed, checked out the beach with its miles of clean, golden sands, did the local markets - Prada handbags 5 Euros - ate Italian, Asian, Indian and European, and did some valuable mother/daughter bonding.
In short, we had a brilliant time. Big thanks to Yorkshire Life and the generous prize givers, Monarch Airways and Val do Lobo, but please stick up a sign that says: 'Reception This Way'.