“A funky country B&B in a converted farmhouse with a pool and exotic grounds, just 10 miles inland from the surfers’ beach at Malhao”
The hallmark here is elegant simplicity: terracotta-brick floors, raw eucalyptus ceilings, shuttered windows and good beds wearing smart white linen. You’ll find contemporary art mixing with colourful arts-and-crafts artefacts: locally-woven rugs, Indian printing blocks, tasselled lampshades, driftwood picture frames. It’s always uncluttered, with one wall given over to a particular piece, as if being exhibited (which it is).
The Six Senses Suite is in the main farmhouse (herdade). It’s enormous, with a proper sitting room and a private terrace with fireplace. The Standard Rooms and Suites are in the adjacent barn; which is connected to the main house by an open courtyard. They aren’t huge, but they’re pretty and homely, plus this isn’t the sort of place where you hide away in your room.
About 200m from the main house are 2 private Palafitas (suites-on-stilts). Named Land and Water, they have wooden decks, hammocks and outdoor hot water showers. Indoors you'll find double beds, sunken hydromassage tubs and kitchenettes (with refrigerators and microwaves). Great for honeymooners.
Breakfast is laid out in the dining room; if the weather is good, spin onto the terrace, if not, keep warm inside. You’ll find the usual Portuguese excess: plates of fresh fruit, sliced hams and cheeses, cereals, yoghurts, and irresistible cakes. Baskets of bread are waiting at the table, as are various homemade preserves.
Light meals are available throughout the afternoon; choose from omelettes, toasted sarnies, salads, burgers and sweet or savoury sweet crepes. Portions are huge. There’s also an honesty bar to keep you cool, so mix drinks, then head out to the pool; Ricardo likes his caipirinhas and will shake one up if you fancy.
For evening meals, you’ll have to head out. There are a couple of excellent restaurants close by and the local food is surprisingly good. In Cercal try Passarinho for good grilled meat and fish. Our favourite is Tasca do Celso, in Milfontes. It draws a devoted crowd for good reason; we loved extremely tasty peasant fare boasting delicious strong flavours.
Children are welcome and older ones will love splashing in the pool and the varied local beach activities.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Suite Oir has a mezzanine level with an additional double bed; most rooms can fit an extra bed or baby cot.