I’ve got news!

I’m thrilled to announce my latest collaboration – with Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort and Hotel , a resort that appears to have barefoot luxury all sewn-up. Martinhal frequently spawns incredible write-ups as well as equally incredible awards (including ‘Portugal’s best family resort’ at the prestigious World Travel Awards 2013) so I’m really excited to be working with these guys.

A brand new challenge!

I think it’s fair to say that I’m used to developing child-friendly recipes for brands and have also offered my fair share of tips in getting kids to eat the right stuff – but this year I wanted a really exciting and innovative project – and I’m thrilled that Martinhal have jumped on board.

So during October half term (Oct 26-30) I’m launching my most ambitious challenge to-date: my 20 A Day Challenge. I’m aiming to fast-track Martinhal’s younger guests to 20 fruit and (mainly) veg a day, transforming their attitudes to their greens (reds and yellows...)

I’ll be leading workshops with guests aged 2-13 in ‘food is fun’ cookery sessions (these will closely resemble my Toddler Chef workshops).

5 a day is old news...

I’ve developed a set of brand new recipes exclusive to Martinhal and these (along with my hard-won tips and techniques) are custom-designed to transform kids attitudes to their food - something that parents at Martinhal will reap the benefit of long after they’ve dusted the sand from their shoes.

As part of the sessions, kids will be taught a variety of cookery skills, engaged in mini challenges, and - all in the process - encouraged to broaden their palates. There will of course be a big emphasis on fun, a totally non-pressurised environment, and plenty of cake and ice cream in addition to the carrots and broccoli!

All who take part in the 20-a-day Challenge will receive recognition and reward, along with additional prizes for ’good attitude’. For those who complete the task of trying all 20 fruit and veg, there will be special prizes.

I miss sunshine

I’ll also be offering a demo for parents, answering questions as well as revealing some of my secret tips and techniques.

If this sounds good, then come and join me for a bit of autumn sunshine (this place isn’t just for summer – the incredible climate means its open year round).

Martinhal Sagres is a really beautiful but totally relaxed, non stuffy five star hotel and resort. It’s located on the quiet western coast, set on a private nature resort overlooking a stunning sandy beach. Accommodations are low-rise with plenty of green landscaping and beach’y views – all leading to a sense of tranquillity and Zen.

Yoga, wi-fi, and heated pools

With five pools (all heated – the only hotel in the Algarve to do this year round!) and a choice of three restaurants, you need never leave if you want to simply flop and ditch the idea of driving (guests can be picked up and chaffeur driven from Faro airport about an hour away). Activities range from snorkelling to yoga to everything in-between (I plan on hiring bikes with the kids as well as trying paddle boarding – great for core strength apparently). Wi-Fi is free throughout the resort.

Newsflash: parent of a toddler finishes their coffee...

But it’s families who are particularly drawn to Martinhal. In fact both Martinhal Sagres as well as its new sibling, Martinhal Quinta are owned by a formerly London-based couple who themselves have kids (four of them!) and therefore know exactly what it takes to create a relaxing family holiday. Ever experienced a rushed lunch with a toddler in tow? Well at Martinhal for example they cleverly designed a restaurant with a fully enclosed play area just below and in full view (replete with giant trampoline) – so you can finish your meal in peace while junior plays happily. All the restaurants in fact have manned ‘kid’s corners’ to enable parents to enjoy their cappuccino “with the foam still on it!” Nice touch.

Dolphin watching

Martinhal offers stylishly designed family houses as well as hotel rooms. Accommodation comes with stair gates / high chairs / door protectors (on request) through the baby concierge service. Perhaps the biggest pull of all are the children’s clubs (available year round and offered at no extra charge from November through to April). There are five and these cater for guests aged from 6 months to teens - with a team of fully qualified and dedicated English-speaking staff along with a host of activities. Toddlers at Raposinhos for example can try their hand at face painting or an exciting outdoor treasure hunt. Meanwhile teens have access to the Blue Room, a self-contained games room with a cinema space and the latest video games as well as the more traditional table tennis, pool and table football. Kids can learn to surf (Martinhal is next to Sagres, one of Europe’s surfing capitals), or go dolphin watching, or there’s football / tennis / swimming coaching.

There’s also a spa, fabulous tennis courts, a gym, a water sports centre, and terrific looking food and wine from a choice of three concept restaurants. Babies are offered fresh, organic purées in the restaurants – and Ella’s is available at Mercado (the onsite resort shop).

What frequently crops up in online reviews is the service. Whatever you want they’ll sort for you (before you even know you want it) kind of thing.

And I’m headed there for half term. I know. I’m a lucky girl. As are the kids and the man.

But again, come and join me – I’m making it my business to transform fussy eaters so consider it a working holiday for your toddler – creating far less stress for you back at home, and a late summer sun tan to boot. Win-win.

To book or for more details, head to http://www.martinhal.com/sagres/