Enjoy a scenic drive of just over an hour from the international airport in Oporto and you will arrive in the UNESCO world heritage listed Douro Valley. This is not only the oldest demarcated wine region in the world but home to Six Senses Douro Valley where you can experience unrivalled luxury, be pampered in the Six Senses Spa, sample fine wines from the local vineyards and dine on local, organic vegan cuisine.
Sounds dreamy right?
The award winning Six Senses Douro Valley is a renovated 19th Century manor house offering guests a choice of 41 rooms, suites and apartments, each luxuriously appointed and many (including our ‘Quinta River’ room) with stunning views accross the majestic river.
Take the chance to explore the surrounding vineyards, sign up for a tile-painting workshop and take a guided tour through the vibrant organic vegetable garden. Practice yoga, (Hatha, Ashtanga and arial yoga classes available), go for a run or take an art class. Or you could spend the afternoon learning how to make your own all natural face scubs and cleansers before joining wine tasting with the resident sommelier. The comprehensive, varied (and often complementary) activities program at Six Senses Douro Valley offers another element to what will surely already be an outstanding stay. We sampled a few different activities (all were brilliant we must say).
The Vegan Food:
Like every other Six Senses property we’ve ever stayed in, the vegan food was a total highlight of our stay. Expectations were high and we weren’t disappointed.
Breakfast on The Terrace
It’s hard to think of anywhere more scenic or beautiful that the terrace at Six Sense Douro Valley to begin your day; breakfast is a relaxed and laid back affair allowing for plenty of time to soak up those mesmerising views.
There was an extensive buffet with multiple vegan options including seasonal fruits (the figs were divine), a selection of cereals with soya milk and seeded breads with accompanying homemade preserves. Add in flax seedy superfood pots, fresh fruit juices accompanied by a never ending supply of espresso and the day was off to a perfect start.
But what about cooked breakfast items you might ask? Fear not, the chef and his team were on hand and happy to prepare a hearty, flavoursome scrambled tofu and also smashed avocado wholegrain toast. We love a good tofu scramble and the Six Senses Douro Valley version immediately shot up there with our favourites. Just so good…
Breakfast on The Terrace at Six Senses Douro Valley really was the perfect start to the day.
Lunch at The Vale de Abraao Restaurant
The Vale de Abraao was where we enjoyed lunch during our stay, it’s open throughout the day and guests can choose to be seated in The Dining Room (see all the action live in the open kitchen) or outside on The Terrace with all those stunning views.
We selected a vibrant and nutritious beetroot couscous dish which was outstanding, also a smooth and velvety vegetable soup topped with mushroom tempura. These dishes were a perfect lunchtime treat as well as being light and healthy too.
Dinner at Terroir Restaurant
Chef Ljubomir Stanisic offers “balanced healthy eating with the occasional indulgence” at the newest dining venue Terroir Restaurant which is situated next to the pool so you can enjoy the beuatiful evening ambiance.
His wonderful menu uses ingredients sourced locally and from the organic garden which is located adjancent to the restaurant, this really is ‘farm to table dining’.
We were mesmerised and delighted by dish after dish of beautifully presented and vibrant creations that tasted divine. As vegan guests it was impossible not to dine here every night but it was fantastic to see other non vegan guests loving the culinary wizardry from the kitchen too (and returning again and again).
Dinner at Terrior is pretty much guaranteed to bring you some ‘pretty as a picture’ dishes where the visual presentation makes you stop (and probably want to photograph your food!). Luckily the taste, the mix of flavours and textures always matched the presentation.
The menu at Terrior is in no way like other restaurant menus you might see on a trip to the Douro Valley. Take ‘Risotto de clorofila e cereja de resende’ – Chlorophyll and cherry from Resende. A risotto with chlorophyll and cherries? Could this possibly be so unusual that it was a masterpiece of cooking and imagination? Absolutely yes. The sweet, sour cherries were the perfect balance for the green risotto and we have to admit that there was a certain pleasure in eating something that seemed such an unusual combination on paper, turned into a fabulous success on the plate.
Oh the simple pleasures of good quality, natural ingredients cooked and seasoned well. No need to do anything but let the ingredients speak for themselves. If you love the taste of tomatoes ‘Tomatada com sabores do Sao Joao’ – Tomatoes “Sao Joao” (tomatoes, peppers, onions) is a must try dish for you. Different varieties of tomato cooked delicately to preserve their sweet, tangy and rich offering to the world of taste.
We could talk about the food at Terroir all day (we loved every dish we tried) but you can read a more detailed review with lots more stunning pictures here.
The Vegan Essentials:
There wasn’t just a non-feather pillow available, but a whole pillow menu to choose from. Delicious natural scented pillow anyone?
The in-room amenities offered were by the fabulous, natural homeopathic based The Organic Pharmacy and were all vegan. Most of their products are suitable for vegans (just check for things like beeswax) but with a full ingredients list on their website it’s easy to check.
Time at the Six Senses Spa should definitely be on your ‘to do’ list during your stay. Whether you select a massage or treatment with one of the skilled therapists (we did and it was top quality) or you spend time in the pool and spa area (think peace, quiet, multiple different steam, sauna and shower varieties) you are guaranteed to leave feeling renewed.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Check-in to Six Senses Douro Valley for a vegan friendly luxury escape from it all set amongst the vineyards and scenery that the area is famous for. Vegans will feel well at home with some exciting dining options (full review of our plant based favourites at Terroir Restaurant can be read here). Enjoy the activities or just soak up the birdsong and the peace and quiet, the choice is entirely yours.
We were guests of Six Senses Douro Valley but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Six Senses Douro Valley
Quinta de Vale Abraão,
Telephone: +351 254 660 600
Cost From: From £505 / $655 per night (August 2017)