Text: Magnus Wittbjer Photography: Micha van Dinther
Exhausted from a three-day wedding with all the trimmings (great times with friends, friends of friends, family, extended family as well as an abundance of food and a few hang-overs) outside Lisbon, we headed inland to São Lourenço do Barrocal, a sizable, family-owned country estate.
200 years into the ownership, the old farm has been transformed into a tranquil retreat providing first class culinary experiences, friendly staff, sunsets and views no less than spectacular.
The cobble stoned walkways and roads and plenty of whitewashed buildings scattered about the property, makes the estate its own little village – one in which you speak at a low voice and keep the kids on a short leash.
The rooms, as well as the property as a whole, are sparsely furnished and uncluttered. Terracotta floors, whitewashed walls and rustic but minimalistic furniture make a perfect backdrop to a weekend farm-stay where you can focus on you.
Meander through the garden, find your way to the pool and enjoy a glass of crisp white wine, made on the premises from local grapes.
Finish your day with a meal at the eponymous restaurant where, as practice nowadays always bid (and we love), organic and locally grown produce plays first and only fiddle on the plates. The cuisine adheres to the region’s culinary traditions. It is simplistic and authentic, but tweaked to be on brand.
To us, the whole experience was great, including a few awkward exchanges and misunderstandings. The language barrier provided a few good laughs on both our and the young staff’s part.
Ps. One of the property's best kept secrets is the John Pawson-designed singular home which, unfortunately, we didn't get to see in person during our visit. But that gives us a reason to return.