A delightful two week stay; we were later than expected arriving but Phillip had a meal of soup, seafood pancakes and fruit salad waiting, with a bottle of his very good wine. (Later we discovered he had even more delicious reds and whites.) The cottage is spacious, with free supplies of logs for the fire; the separate bath and shower rooms are an asset (even more so with children). It stands high in a beautiful, inspiring landscape that deserves every support tourism can offer to protect it from monoculture that seems to have encroached on flatter areas.
Although the weather was mixed we managed to go out every day, sometimes for several hours at a time. Footpaths lead in many directions. The wild flowers were a delight and the birds we had hoped to see were almost all present. The dogs were great company and would not trouble any child. Phillip offered to keep them in kennels in case they warned off the birds but that wasn't necessary.
Cleaning and linen change were done as promised: this: even the fire was cleared. There was plenty of local crockery to use as well as mugs, wine glasses, cooking pots, cutlery and - something we have missed in some properties - several cork screws. We were delighted to support the cork industry, as we heard also that a film and a sculpture would be doing at the end of May. This came from the driver who was taking a load to David Nash for a commission at Kew Gardens, and we were privileged to watch this being loaded before Phillip took us on the fascinating farm tour.
Our bird watching highlights included two sightings of hoopoe, the second right outside the cottage as we prepared to leave, meeting a little owl perched on a fence post as we drove in one afternoon, and getting really close to cattle egrets and storks near the wonderful fortified town of Monsaraz, which miraculously seems to have avoided being a typical tourist trap.
We must add a word about Redondo, which seems to do nothing to promote itself. We went several times, finding something new each time.
Phillip provided excellent information and was very interesting to talk to. The holiday was, as we wrote in his guest book, more a home from home than a holiday property. It was like visiting a friend; in fact we feel we have made a friend and will certainly return, not least to bring away more of the excellent wine. Needless to say we recommend it highly.