Who I am
My name’s Helena with 64 years of age, married with three children, two girls and a boy.
Actually it was one of my daughters, the one who lives and works in France now , who disclosed this type of project –prepare and serve a meal at home – which I joined through Portuguese Table. The idea was to combine my acknowledged passion for cooking with my pleasure to host people and having a special place for that would help too.
My interest for gastronomy dates back to my youth with an extra-curricular activity in my 7th form (11th form, now) . I still keep and look with affection at the hand-written recipes of the course I learned to make. All over the years I went on devoting myself with pleasure to this area and lately, after I retired as a teacher of Economics, I’ve deepened it with books, magazines, tv programmes and even with workshops and courses with acknowledged chefs…
Meanwhile the fact of having a rural estate enabled us the production of several products like wine, different fruits, horticultural products and aromatic herbs , the use of which has contributed to deepen the knowledge in this area and make meals on the spur of the moment.
Along this process I’ve always counted on my husband’s support. He is not only the wine-maker but he also supervises all the farm work to improve the final result. So, it’s with great pleasure and enthusiasm that we embrace this project which fits perfectly well with our way of being and of living.
In fact all over the years we’ve embraced countless events in our farm in which the gastronomic component has had a special place. Our birthdays as well as our relatives’ birthdays could easily reach over thirty people! Christmas and New Year’s Eve are usually spent there. But it’s mainly at Easter that we get together there with godparents, godchildren and their children and enjoy with much emotion the visit of the “Compasso” and its festive atmosphere with its special gastronomy like the “folar”, the roasted lamb, the “pão-de-ló”, the “papos de anjo”, everything as I usually cherish, handmade.
To highlight some events related to the wine we produce, namely the grape-gathering and the bottling of the wine, (always enjoyed with our friends’ help) includes a gastronomic event with a brunch in the middle of the morning and a nourishing bean dish for lunch. We also celebrate S. Martinho, our council’s patron, when we roast our own chestnuts and can afford guests the chance to taste our wine together with other suitable food for the event.
But it’s not necessary a special date to welcome our friends or our children, who can stay there and enjoy all the warm atmosphere. It’s often surprising when after a long time they still remember what they have eaten there and talk about that with enthusiasm …
The place has been called Quinta de Sebolido and it is located at Várzea do Douro. Overlooking the farm with vineyards, there is a small rural manor house with a chapel dating back to the beginning of the 18th century. It’s included in the map of “Douro Vinhateiro” written by Barão de Forrester and it’s referred by Viscount of Val-Flor in a book dated from 1836 in which he describes the main farms of River Douro. Belonging to the same family since the beginning of the last century, it was restored by the present owners in 1991 keeping the original building but adding facilities of comfort and leisure.
The site is suitable for great moments of rest in harmony with nature but also for special events which have regularly happened here for many years and for different reasons because of the pleasure of the owners to host relatives, friends and friends of friends.
They hope as hosts to welcome with comfort and quality those who visit them, providing an excellent gastronomic experience in a remarkable but relaxed environment.
For each event there is a specific menu – appetizer, first course, main course and dessert – inspired in the Douro gastronomy in harmony with the wines produced here.
The meal, made mainly with our wood-burning stove, is determined by two criteria: the use of seasonal ingredients as a basis and a clear preference for local products.
The superb view over River Douro invites guests to linger the meal, which can be followed by a visit to the farm.
• Cheese board
• Bittersweet jam
• Smooth codfish with basil and caper sauce
• Pork cheek confit with red wine reduction
• Smashed seasonal vegetables and fruits
• Sautéed greens
• Crème brulée with fruit kebab
• Almond and squash cake
• Wine selection, produced in-house
• Coffee, tea or infusion