An Algarvean institution, it has been here since 1968 and although it was set up by an Irish artist (whose family still run it today) it is about as Portuguese as you can get, having revived and maintained a declining tradition of the area.
People who want to take a part of the Algarve home will find it in every corner of this working pottery. The decorators sit and paint in timeless tradition in the centre of the showroom.
What to buy
Absolutely everything! Unlike its brash and bold Spanish counterpart, Algarve pottery has a softness and a gentleness to the designs. The pastel colours and subtle designs are inspired by farmhouse kitchens and Mediterranean gardens. The tiles, plant holders and lights must be decking out a thousand homes in the UK.
The inspirational bit
The original owner, Patrick Swift, who revived the tradition and inspired the designs from ancient Phoenician and Iberian civilizations, has created a whole new generation of fans. Working with a number of specialists in the 1960s he helped restore a cottage industry that still employs some of the original decorators he trained.
What could be improved?
Nothing really. This is a real working pottery that does not give in to overt commercialisation. The pottery is beautifully presented and makes a gorgeous take-home gift to remind you of all things Algarvean.
A word of warning - this is not a great place for boisterous kids! The pottery is literally everywhere and it is the type of place where you will constantly be saying 'don't touch anything!!!'
They have a lovely café as part of the old house that is open from 9-5pm Monday to Friday and 10-3pm Saturday and does great light lunches - homemade soup, baguettes, jacket potatoes and salads. You can get a glass of wine and a beer as well as the normal soft drinks and they have superb cakes. Lovely outdoor seating area covered in tiles from the pottery.
On the left hand side of the EN-125 going towards Lagoa in, of course, Porches.
You can buy small gifts for under €5 and a really good plate or large lamp will cost around €100. They will make dinner services to order and have a beautiful selection of tiles for house names and table tops.
Monday to Friday 9am-6pm