01 September 2017
In Mid-July a group of self-styled “Portoheads’ travelled from the Clifton Club to our reciprocal club in Northern Portugal, the Oporto Cricket & Lawn Tennis Club. The ostensible reason was to attend the OCLTC’s Classic Vehicle Rally. That Porto is of course the Port Wine capital of the world was entirely secondary.
Proceedings commenced on the Friday with a formal lunch at the Factory House, a splendid 18th Century Neo-Palladian building, the exclusive club of Directors of English Port Houses. Prior to the lunch Portoheads were treated to a private tour of the building; subsequently a number were shown the sights and sounds of the hectic riverside. Saturday morning, and in an assortment of vehicles mostly begged, borrowed or stolen, the party made its way up the beautiful Douro valley to have lunch and taste wines, ports and olive oils from the extensive and impressive Quinta de Ventozelo. Overnight was spent in the Douro. Sunday dawned on the magnificent sight of 30+ gleaming and beautiful classic motor vehicles driving the panoramic road that hugs the Douro back to the Oporto Club, stopping en route for coffee and cakes at the Convento de Alpendurada. On arrival at the club, cars were lined up on the cricket pitch while drivers and passengers enjoyed a lengthy BBQ lunch with white wine, red wine and of course Port flowing liberally. It was a long night. As were indeed all the nights. Portoheads will be pleased to know that the traditional tour ethos that ‘what goes on tour, stays on tour’ applies. Some in particular will be pleased to read this.