If you’re a foodie, chances are you’re a pretty relaxed human – someone who enjoys sitting back, tucking in, winding down and savouring the good things in life. This is what makes Baixa House in Lisbon the ideal destination for gentile gluttons; it’s the absolute perfect place to revel in a vida linda.
Baixa House in Lisbon is the type of accommodation you always dream of finding when you travel to a new destination – it’s affordable, has a design edge, is super spacious and kind of makes you feel like you’re staying with your cool designer friend in Lisbon. The building comprises 12 apartments which vary in size and can sleep one to six people, each decorated individually by talented Spanish interior design duo Juan de Mayoralgo and Javier Carrasco in reference to a famous garden (a nod to owner Jesús Moraime’s background as a landscape architect).
Baixa House in Lisbon is drop-dead gorgeous (but not stuffily so)
Each apartment is bathed in light and boasts high ceilings that make for an open, airy, friendly atmosphere – you feel welcome from the moment you walk inside the door. The decor itself is a combination of old and new, with quirky touches and lush, oversized beds and couches that invite lengthy lie-ins and satisfying sit-downs.
It has an honest, authentic ambiance
Baixa House, as it stands today, is the result of the sensitive refurbishment of an 18th-century building that was erected in the wake of Lisbon’s devastating 1755 earthquake. The best part? The owners went out of their way to retain the original character of the building – a nice change of pace at a time when most developers find it easier and more cost-effective to gut the insides of old buildings they renovate and start from scratch.
“When we formulated our project strategy alongside José Adrião Architects, the decision was made to accept the building’s existing heterogeneous character,” explains owner Jesús Moraime. “The intervention was defined as a new addition in continuity with its history, incorporating the changes of different times and setting aside a possible restoration process.”
This is why they took care to save the original features – window panes, wooden floors, shutters, etc – to great effect. It gives the space a very real and authentic ambiance with heaps of character. In spaces like the kitchens and bathrooms, however, a complete overhaul provides a fresh, clean backdrop for socializing and relaxation with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from upmarket Lisbon accommodation. This is a fine line to walk, and Baixa House delivers with inimitable aplomb.
They support local artisans (LOVE!)
If there is one thing we adore, it’s businesses that support their local artisans. This is why we were so happy to learn that the apartments won an award for the use of traditional Portuguese furniture and materials, such as the local marble in the bathrooms. They also sourced everything from their glasses and flatware, to their handcrafted rugs, amazingly cozy blankets, complimentary bathroom products, linen and breadbaskets from ethical local producers. YAY for sustainable choices like these, right?!
Two words: The Breakfast
If you book a foodie stay at Lisbon Baixa House in Lisbon for one reason alone, book it for the breakfast. It will change your outlook on that B&B life forever, we promise. Not because it’s lavish and indulgent, because it’s just what you want when you sit down to a morning meal in a pretty apartment in Lisbon on a slow, lazy holiday morning.
Upon arrival, you are met by a form that enquires after culinary preferences, which is then magically transformed into a tailor-made selection of breakfast goods that are delivered to your door first thing in the morning. You simply open the door and unhook the pretty bag containing freshly baked rolls and a variety of other ingredients that can be assembled into a tasty brekkie without too much fuss.
Naturally, the fridge is also stocked with a variety of tasty local staples in the form of cheese, milk, yogurt, jam, and more. All you need to do is fill your plate, take a seat at the table and indulge in locally sourced goodness while you overlook the bustling streets of Lisbon. This is as idyllic as it comes, folks.
The neighbourhood is something rather special
Baixa House is named for the neighbourhood in which it is situated, and it’s easy to see why the owners chose to pay homage to their location when they selected the memorable moniker. The area is a beautiful example of neoclassical design and urban planning – it was completely overhauled after the infamous 1755 earthquake, which gave the city’s administration the opportunity to do things by the book. They took their time and remade Baixa into an elegant district with lovely squares, pedestrian streets, and plenty of picture-perfect cafes and shopfronts.
It’s also very centrally located for travellers who want to explore Lisbon at large. However, you don’t have to venture far to explore interesting attractions. Baixa itself is filled with things to see and do. You can go for a stroll along Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square) on the banks of the Tagus river, visit the world’s oldest bookshop (as declared by the Guinness Book of Records), visit the fascinating Museu Do Design E Da Moda with its epic collection of 20th-century fashion, and even explore Roman ruins dating back 2000 years. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
There are so many wonderful places to eat!
Another great thing about Baixa House is that is very close to some of Lisbon’s best-loved restaurants. Here are a few of the must-visit eateries (all tried and tested by Eatsplorer!) that is a mere stone-throw away from Baixa House:
Prado celebrates local seasonal ingredients and boasts a wine list filled with organic, biodynamic and natural Portuguese vintages. This farm-to-table restaurant serves delicious, sustainable dishes that evolve with the seasons and are meant to be shared with fellow diners. The chefs get very creative and might dish up anything from acorn ice cream with pearl barley, pulses and caramel to butternut soup with homemade goat’s cheese, depending on what’s in season.
Cantinho Do Avillez
Famous Lisbon chef Jose Avillez has several restaurants and one of his cantinas is nearby Baixa House in the neighbourhood of Chiado. Cantinho Do Avillez offers utterly delicious contemporary Portuguese cuisine influenced by the chef’s travels abroad, and flavours that evoke his childhood in Cascais. The menu covers classics from Cantinho do Avillez, but there are also some novelties, like duck escabeche with cherries, eggs with steak sauce and truffles, and a whimsical orange Swiss roll that harks back to the chef’s days as a child in his grandmother’s kitchen.
Martinho da Arcada
Martinho da Arcada is a lovely traditional Portuguese restaurant with a convivial terrace. It has been around since 1778, when it used to sell cooldrinks and ice. Today it is a quintessential European eatery with white tablecloths and small, dark wooden tables where patrons enjoy authentic local fare with a side of festive ambiance.
Taberna Moderna is a foodie hotspot with cool vibes, plenty of modern twists and (most importantly) amazing food. Here, food is meant to be shared and served in ample, home-style portions that look a little like overgrown tapas. Think scallop salad with Chèvre cheese, sherry vinaigrette and honey; tataki-braised tuna with sesame seeds; and Mediterranean-style rice with cuttlefish and aioli. YUM.
What are your favourite foodie things to do in Lisbon? Shout out below! ↓↓
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Writing: Anna-Bet Stemmet | Photography: Baixa House, Liezel Norval-Kruger, Taberna Moderna, Martinho da Arcada, Prado, Joao do Grao