8 vegan luxury experiences in Porto and the Douro Valley

In a region that is known across the globe for fine wines, Port and creative cuisine, but not perhaps for plant based and vegan friendly luxury, we were excited and intrigued to head for Portugal and research our 8 vegan luxury experiences in Porto and the Douro Valley.

The Yeatman

The Yeatman is the first luxury wine hotel in Portugal and a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux association of hotels, it is a multi-award winning, classic luxury property like no other in the city of Porto. It boasts some of the most impressive, panoramic views in town which can be enjoyed throughout the hotel as well as from the balcony of each of the elegantly designed guest rooms and suites.

Situated on the south side of the Douro River in the Villa Nova de Gaia district, The Yeatman neighbours the world’s best Port wine houses making it the perfect destination for those wanting to take a tour around this historic area.

Wine lovers will also appreciate the ability to choose from a selection of 83 different wines and Ports available by the glass in line with each of the 83 rooms and suites which are sponsored by a wine producer; their legendary ‘Wine Book’ showcases an incredible selection and they are known to have the largest collection of Portuguese wine anywhere in the world.

Enjoy a perfect start to the day with breakfast at The Orangerie, which offers breathtaking views across to the old town of Porto and a relaxed atmosphere with both à la carte and buffet options available; we sampled a number of items from the extensive buffet and the team were on hand to prepare ‘made to order’ vegan dishes which were very enjoyable indeed.

Gastonomic Restaurant

Portugal had 5 restaurants that were awarded two Michelin stars in the 2017 guide and you can find one of them at The Yeatman; make a reservation at the ‘Gastonomic Restaurant’ to enjoy the creations of Chef Ricardo Costa and his team, paired with excellent wines and personable service.

Innovative dishes with delicate and imaginative presentation make up a menu which delivers on flavour as well as style, local ingredients are used to produce cuisine in which the traditional flavours of Portugal are interpreted and presented with contemporary flair.

Being vegan seemed to be no issue here and our multi course tasting menu of plant based delights left us seriously impressed.

Taylor’s Port

Port wine is exclusively made in the Douro Valley so there is no better place to enjoy this iconic drink than on a visit to Taylor’s which is situated next to The Yeatman. Having celebrated their 325th anniversary this year and considered to be “the greatest of all Port shippers” this really is the perfect destination for those who wish to learn about the history of Port wine and also have the chance to sample their fine products.

We were pleased to learn that all vintage Port that is produced by Taylor’s is suitable for vegans and has no animal derived products used in the production or filtration process, this is also correct for some other Port wine from Taylor’s including their Late Bottled Vintage Port as seen in the picture below.

Hotel Infante Sagres

Don’t miss the opportunity to sample part of Porto’s history when you’re in town by staying at Hotel Infante Sagres, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World and an excellent choice on the edge of the old town. The hotel is a true classic, built in the 1950’s but offering a sense of history that far surpasses this with ornate chandeliers, a grand stained glass window and suites that are filled with antique furniture and art.

The eagerly awaited refurbishment which is due to be completed by Spring 2018 can surely only add to the charm, we were lucky enough to check out the newly re modelled rooms which are both modern and stylish yet still complimented the historic splendour of this property.

The room service menu had vegan dishes clearly marked which was great to see, and the staff at breakfast happily prepared a special vegan breakfast including black sesame crusted seitan and vegan pancakes to accompany our selection of fresh seasonal fruits, the service was wonderfully friendly and accommodating.

Six Senses Duoro Valley

Sustainable luxury brand Six Senses comes to the Douro Valley offering an opportunity to stay in a beautifully restored 19th century manor house with breathtaking views of vine covered hills and the Douro River. This is a place to relax and unwind with a full programme of activities such as yoga, painting, wine tasting and more, but it’s also an excellent base to explore the region and neighbouring wineries.

Breakfast is served at The Terrace and lunch can also be enjoyed here giving guests ample opportunity to enjoy local, fresh and organic ingredients including those grown in the resort’s own organic garden. For breakfast vegans will enjoy smashed avocados on seeded bread, roasted tomatoes in organic herbs and protein packed dishes like tofu scramble and flaxseed smoothie shots.  Lunch gives the chance to eat delicious beetroot infused giant couscous with roasted vegetables and tantalisingly fresh green gazpacho soup.

Terroir Restaurant

Dinner at Terroir Restaurant is an absolute must. The menu is imaginative and extraordinary with mainly plant-based creations which will suit vegan diners well. Locally sourced organic produce are prepared with skill to highlight the flavours and textures of the wonderful fruits, vegetables and other traditional ingredients and cooking techniques of the region.

The ‘Chlorophyll and Cherry from Resende Risotto’, ‘Onion Textures with Vegetable Purée and Mushroom Broth and ‘Beetroot Tartar with Wasabi Cookie’ are sure to delight.

Six Senses Spa

Six Senses Spa Douro Valley offers a spa experience that is certainly worth travelling for. Professional, highly skilled spa practitioners provide guests with treatments and / or entire lifestyle programmes that offer the best in holistic health and wellness. Signature treatments use natural and local ingredients such as olive oil, citrus fruits and grape extracts, harnessing the power and healing properties of the surrounding environment. The Alchemy Bar Workshops and Treatments available teach guests how to create their own natural products such as scrubs, wraps and masks, all using local, in season, organic ingredients and essential oils.

There is a fully equipped gym and yoga studio, with daily complimentary classes including cross training and arial yoga, the indoor pool and spa complex provide a perfect space to relax and rejuvenate, as does the choice of different traditional sauna and steam facilities.

Quinta da Pacheca

Take a tour around the historic Quinta da Pacheca wineries and learn more about how the famous wines and Port of the Douro Valley are produced. Finish your enjoyable and informative tour with a wine and Port tasting before heading to The Winehouse Restaurant for lunch where vegans can be easily catered for; the views of the surrounding vineyard are the perfect accompaniment, as are the paired wines from the estate.

Porto and the Douro Valley offer an excellent luxury destination for vegan travellers, providing ample opportunity to sample the best of what this famous region has to offer. From the history to the wines, the views and Portugese inspired gastronomy, Porto and the Douro Valley should be on everyone’s must visit list.

Paul Eyers is Founder of Vegan Food Quest.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Jack says:

    Okay,let me say something about the food.To be honest, my mouth is going to be watering as I am watching those pictures.For me, the priority is accommodation while traveling. Thanks for sharing!

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