Festivals Flavours of Portugal

The fair of the Partridge

Heading into the hills for a regional hunting fair

We are never too sure what to expect from Algarvian fairs and events, they can be wonderful, great fun or a non-event! So yesterday we had no idea what to expect at XI Feira da Perdiz in Martim Longo, I was though reasonably optimistic as hunting is the main occupation in the Alcoutim district, and there was a detailed programme. Festival flyerWe knew though never to arrive on time, and to expect the unexpected. Which in this case was the lack of fresh game for sale! I had envisaged from a hunting fair that there would be lots of fresh produce on sale alongside hunting equipment. There was plenty of cheese, dried meats, cakes, jam  and wonderful country crafts, there was no fresh game. It seems in Portugal they cook it all instead as there was a large marquee with numerous Tasquinhas inside serving traditional hunting dishes. Looked fabulous.

We made the fatal mistake though of deciding it was too early to eat at 12noon, and so by the time we had finished our shopping in the main hall and returned to the tasquinas at 12:30 (which still felt early) every seat was taken. Oops! Never mind the ‘Inicio da Corrida de Galgos’ was happening outside.

Corrida da Galgos

I am not normally a lover of dog races, but these greyhounds were clearly having a great time. And it was all so relaxed with the occasional dog escaping to explore the area, huge happy faces on the dogs faces at the end of each race and the ‘hare’ so obviously handmade and not a hare.

After watching a couple of heats we pondered what to do next. There were other events later in the afternoon which might be good to watch, however by this point we were hungry! And so we decided to leave all the fun of the fair and head off to Alcoutim. Only a few miles away and we knew an excellent place to lunch.

16 comments on “The fair of the Partridge

  1. Not quite as good as expected? It’s a funny old bit of the world. 🙂 🙂

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  2. I’d have to skip the meaty marquee!

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    • Yes really sorry I had lots of cake shots for everyone but they all came out blurry so couldn’t use then. As I said to Brian I was so excited by the numerous cake stalls I must have been quivering when I took the photos!!

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  3. I’m glad you were able to find somewhere else to eat instead of having to battle the crowd and wait for a table.

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  4. Don’t think I fancy that sausage. Hope you found somewhere with something better!

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  5. I am glad you didn’t have photos of hanging partridges. Hope the alternative lunch was as nice as the food in the photos. It’s late and I don’t need a midnight snack but am peckish now 🙂

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  6. Having lived in Spain for a fair while,and on a hillside,at 150 m,the local shooting assoc.puts down at least 10,000 partridge chicks,rabbits galore in the scrub,but never a carcase for sale!
    Even when the local president,of the assoc.came to apologise for filling our terraces and pool,with badly directed shot,hr was armed with bottles .
    We have never seen the results of their frenetic fusillades,but no more problems with badly directed shots(were they badly directed?)

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    • Yikes that would have been scary with the shot coming across, glad you didn’t get caught. Fascinating though to hear they never came with the ‘fruits of their labours’. In England noone eats it and so it is readily available in markets, but here it does seem to disappear. I guess you have to go out shooting with an association if you want it fresh.

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  7. Watching the dog race would have been interesting

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