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Some cities are like people, they may appear serious and austere, but they share their hidden treasures with those who take the time to get to know them. Porto, anchored to a granite cliff, conceals a stunning variety of architecture with an intermingling of eras behind its veil of mist. At first sight, this art-deco house covered with beautiful, dark green azulejos reveals nothing of the luminosity that lies within. Each room, however, is bathed in brightness and the elegant simplicity of the materials and furniture further enhances the light. Knowing that peace and quiet awaits them at the house, guests are free to explore the busy streets of the city down to the Douro - the river that defines the city's soul, as great filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira once said.
I fell in love with Portugal twenty years ago. After living in Lisbon for seven years, I settled in the beautiful city of Porto two years ago. I love people, culture, language and rhythm...I feel at home here! Perhaps it is the friendliness and warmth of the locals; or the granite, which was always present in Extremadura and Brittany during my childhood and my youth.
The house is on three levels. Green azulejos adorn both facades overlooking the street and the garden. Azulejos are small glazed faience tiles. Their etymology comes from the Arabic word "al zulaydj" which means "small polished stone". They were imported into the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors during their occupation in the 12th century and introduced to Portugal by King Manuel I after a visit to Seville in 1503. The house's original elements tell its story - the carpentry, the moldings, cast iron radiators etc. The wooden floors are original and the ceilings are more than three metres high.
The house was built in the late 1920's by the current owner's grandfather. It has been passed down through the family for three generations.
For breakfast, we serve natural, local products: broa d'Avintes, fresh bread, Portuguese cheese, cakes and jams that I prepare myself and seasonal fruits and juices from the market. I adapt to each host to ensure that they feel at home here.
These are a few examples from the list of places I recommend to guests: Matosinhos (the fishing port) for the best fresh fish which is grilled on site; "O Buraco", probably one of the best traditional restaurants in Porto, it is very close to the house; "Pedro Limão" (a personal favourite) offers modern cuisine but always with a good Portuguese base; "Semea", rua das Flores, is relatively new but already a must-see, it is modern with beautiful products. Some shops: Coração Alecrim and Patch to look for a bit of everything, clothes made in Portugal or vintage trinkets; vida portuguesa to find all kinds of Portuguese products (traditional and crafts) ... And rua de Miguel Bombarda where most of the art galleries are. At the Guarany café, you can enjoy a traditional Portuguese coffee in a beautiful 1930's building on the avenida dos Aliados. Last but not least, do not miss the São Francisco church in the district of Ribeira and near the Douro, it has a rather simple facade that contrasts with the impressive Baroque interior.
95 € - 135 € / night
There is a small library on the ground floor, whilst one of the bedrooms, the dining room, the pantry and the kitchen are on the first floor. The latter opens onto the garden. On the top floor are the other two bedrooms. All rooms have an en suite bathroom. The dining room, library and small garden are communal spaces, accessible to guests of the house.