Portuguese ceramics are well known worldwide for their high quality, beautiful designs and creative heritage. Travelling around the Algarve, you’ll find glazed tiles everywhere – in churches, houses, palace façades and in gardens. On one of our daily outings, we found one really remarkable and noteworthy place.
Welcome to Porches Pottery. Step inside this walled garden and you’ll find a charming 18th-century Algarvian style farmhouse turned into a robust craft workshop.
Porches Pottery was founded in 1968 by two artists, Irish Patrick Swift and Portuguese Lima de Freitas. Their dream was to revive a traditional Algarve pottery industry that was rapidly dying out in favour of more modern techniques.
And they did just that. Porches Pottery has proved that with hard work and dedication, what began as an experiment to revive a dying craft, quickly turned into the prosperous enterprise that it is today.
Porches Pottery designs have a certain softness to them. The pastel colours and subtle patterns are inspired by farmhouse kitchens and Mediterranean gardens. Our favourite was the Primavera series with its dainty, blue and white flower designs.
There’s so much to look at; plates, cups and bowls painted with playful fish, deer and birds.
Delightful tiles, lamps and candleholders. Everything can be custom ordered and shipped worldwide.
I could have, (and pretty much did), spent all morning here, admiring and choosing what to bring home to match our dinner sets. And all that oohing and aahing made us thirsty so we made our way to Bar Bacchus café, part of the same farmhouse, for some coffee, fresh orange juice and Portuguese custard tarts, they are sinfully delicious.
Bar Bacchus café’s walls are covered in original tiles by Patrick Swift and even the table tops are hand painted. Very, very pretty.
For a light lunch, the café also serves homemade soups, baguettes, jacket potatoes and salads.
Since the weather was wonderful, we sat down on the bougainvillaea clad terrace, where the hand-painted, ceramic tile work all around you, make you feel like you’ve stepped into a piece of art.
Porches Pottery, EN125, Porches 8400-451, Algarve | +351 282 352 858 | website
GPS: 37°7’35.01″N 8°24’40.54″W