As some of you might know, I’ve been interning for Made in Shoreditch magazine since May and thanks to hat I’ve got a lot of opportunities to go to free events, concerts, diners and festivals, which is, in one world just AMAZING and everything a girl my age (and with my type of hobbies) could wish for. I’ve been doing this freelance, so I’m not bound by any office hours and timings. I do what I want when I want to, as long as I can manage my time and hit deadlines. To be honest with you, I don’t really believe in 9-5 job, and I’ve fortunately already experienced what life in a press office feels like, so no regrets here, only excitement.
Although I’m super happy about my internship and my humble self was satisfied with having to write up to five articles a week for exchange of getting free food, drinks and access to fun events, something totally unexpected happened to me recently. Made in Shoreditch gave me the opportunity to go on a press trip to Portugal, to experience and review a new beach club in Portimao, in souther part of Portugal called Algarve.
Traveling and writing are two of my biggest passions, and I’ve always wanted to study journalism or creative writing to be able to travel for free, write about it, take fab pictures and even get paid for it, so you can imagine my happiness when I got my boarding passes and all the information in mail few weeks later. With the title “travel editor” (I screamed when I saw it) I sat on a plane and enjoyed my complimentary wine, despite it being 7 o’clock in the morning. All flights- from London and then back to Bratislava with Monarch airlines were provided, as well as accommodation and all the meals. Free vacation?I mean, how happier could I be?
A driver waited for me and another girl, an influencer and a blogger Olivia Cox- who then I found out was very lovely and made me a bunch of nice pictures- and took us to the hotel in our private car. We stayed in 5 star NAU hotel and apartments and each three of us shared a huge apartment with 3 rooms,2 bathrooms, living room with seating area and a kitchen. I would recommend this hotel to anyone traveling to Portugal with a group of friends or a family, as you can cook for yourself, watch TV in the living room and there is a lot of space for pre drinking and balcony hangouts. The complex compromises of three pools, bar and restaurant and also a mini market. The local beach is only 5 minutes walk from your room and is sooooo long! Super easy to find a good spot right next to the sea.
We spent most of our time hanging out by the pool at Blanco Beach club, next to Praia da Rocha beach with a large budget to spend on the bar.(I have to say we hit the budget one or two times hehe) I had to go check out the beach cause you know me, I’m a mermaid rather than a pool babe, even though my job was to stay in the beach club and enjoy its luxury services. My tasks included mostly taking pictures and videos, doing live streams on FB and IG and posting regularly on MIS social media accounts. Basically something I do on my own profiles anyway. Dream job haha.
Having to hang out by the pool all day meant endless Aperols and G&T’s for us, as well as pool snacks. The next day, when the missing parts of our journo group puzzle arrived-an editor of travel magazine and a couple- two lovely editors from Fused magazine, we all chilled by the pool and snacked our lives away together. The beach club is definitely one of the kind, with white setting and design, inspired by the white sandy beaches of Portugal. Check out my article for MIS here
You could kick back in your private cabanas with little Jacuzzi, or refresh yourself in the pool with a number of water streams, while the sun slowly slipped below the horizon and offered idyllic views of the pinky skies. Waiters kept us busy by making us ice-cold cocktails and music was getting louder as the night started approaching.
However, the more I stretched my limbs on the white leather bed and listened to DJ playing chill, summer songs, the more my heart gasped and yearned for the feeling of covering my body in sand and salty water. Beach hide-outs became a regular part of my free vacation and soon enough I explored a big part of the Praia da Rocha beach. The ocean was ice cold, and even though a large number of people could only wet down a half of their body, I was happily and excited as a little kid jumping into the waves and picking up sea-shells for my private collection.
One of the nights, think it was Saturday, I went to see Ace Hood performance in Blanco Beach and enjoyed the best view with complimentary shisha and drinks. The crowd was pretty hyped and people were dancing and shaking to the rhythm, sweating off the food and alcohol from their bodies. I forgot to say that the beach club also offers a selection of music acts and DJ performances during summer, like for example a concert of the famous DJ Khalid, French Montana and Kid Ink.
I don’t know why THE HELL I’ve never been to Portugal and I feel like this destination only became popular in the recent years, but I’ll definitely come back to explore more places here. The wide, sandy beaches and majestic rocks and cliffs all together create a memorable, one of a kind experience.
In the evening I visited the little town Portimao, where I enjoyed dinner and Port wine with myself in one of its traditional restaurants called Louisiana. Portugal is well-known for its sardines and and fresh seafood dishes, and since I love fish and calamari, I couldn’t resist having a big sharing plate all for myself. I was also lucky to find out that there was sardine festival happening in town, so I went down to buy some souvenirs and fresh melon with ham (local delicacy), while listening to some funky live tunes. This was the end of my vacation in Portimao and even though I was sad to leave this idyllic place and jump from 35 degrees back to 25, which was the current weather in Bratislava, I was also excited to unpack and start packing again. Where was I heading? The biggest highlight of my summer, a 6 week travel vacation to South East Asia with my boyfriend. We are almost in the middle of our trip already, in tropical Bali, so keep looking at my IG for pictures and stories.
I honestly hope that this press trip was only a start and that I’ll be able to go on more similar trips in the future and test my skills in travel writing so I can become a professional lifestyle/travel writer. Or at least, get a job after I finish my MA. That will do too haha.
For bookings at Blanco Beach:
Reserve Tickets and Tables:
Mobile: +351 964 364 442
Opens Daily at 11:00