Hotel Valverde Lisbon – an inner-city gem for foodies

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Heading to Lisbon any time soon and looking for some oh-yes-please accommodation in an unbelievably beautiful part of town? Hotel Valverde, Lisbon is where you book your stay if you want a lush haven in one of the most luxurious spots in the heart of this vibrant city. Inspired by London and New York’s Town Houses, it’s discreet and luxurious and your every need will be tended to without a moment’s hesitation. This is swoon-worthy, Eatsplorer-approved understated luxury at its undeniable best.

[Last Update: July 2022]

Situated along the grand and picturesque Avenida da Liberdade, this Lisbon stay is slap-bang in fancy-pants central, but the Hotel Valverde, succeeds in being warm, homey, and welcoming with the feeling of a private residence instead of coldly exclusive – a fine line to tread at the best of times; doubly so when your location is along the glamorous Portuguese equivalent of Paris’ Champs Elysées.

A Lisbon stay with truly inspiring (yet unpretentious) interior design

Beautiful, well-balanced design is such a joy to behold – it inspires without overwhelming and leaves you with a sense of rightness that smooths the edges of everyday life into something harmonious and inspiring.

This is exactly what interior mavens José Pedro Vieira and Diogo Rosa Lã achieved at Hotel Valverde Lisbon. Setting foot in the lobby, strolling through the lounge, making your way to the lush courtyard for an afternoon repast, or kicking off your shoes to relax in your room, every space creates an intimate, inviting environment.

Yes, it’s the big things, like the sensitive design employed in the layout of the restaurant and picture-perfect courtyard, but it’s also the little things, like the soft textures and lashings of sumptuous velvet that permeate the bedroom suites.

The interior has a classic and elegant style with works of art and interesting objects and antiques, but is it far from boring with contemporary furniture and lightfittings giving an edgy contrast.  In short: utter bliss.

The Courtyard, oh the courtyard.

The heart of Hotel Valverde is the lush courtyard with a swimming pool and outdoor seating areas which is situated adjacent to the Restaurant and Bar. With a flourish of flowerpots and uber lush vegetation, it is the ideal spot for reading, relaxing or having a private conversation during your Lisbon stay.

This intimate setting is where you can rest your weary feet and an oasis of calm and tranquility to come home to after exploring the vibrant city. Kick back with a light alfresco lunch, “Five o’clock Tea” or embrace cocktail hour with one of the amazing in-house cocktails.

Imaginative Portuguese cuisine served up by Chef Carla Sousa

Sítio Restaurant at Hotel Valverde Lisbon is the domain of Chef Carla Sousa, a descendant of Cape Verdean family from the Island of Santiago who spent a lot of time celebrating around the table whilst growing up.

It was at her father’s side in the kitchen that she cultivated her fascination and passion for cooking, never once doubting that this would pave her way into the world.

With a culinary qualification from the Hospitality School, she set out to cut her teeth alongside legendary Portuguese chefs like Victor Sobral, Luís Calçada, and Henrique Sá Pessoa. As the head chef at Sítio, her aim is to use her intimate knowledge of Portuguese flavours to celebrate its quintessential essence, and to create imaginative versions of well-loved classics that honour age-old traditions in fresh new ways.

TOP TIP: Fall face first into a batch of Chef Sousa’s feather-light pancakes for breakfast at least once. Alternatively, you can always break your fast on pastries, fruit, cured meats, and classics like eggs benedict (all exceptionally delicious).

The awe-inspiring Avenida da Liberdade

As we mentioned before, the Avenida da Liberdade is pretty fancy. Constructed between 1879 and 1882 in the style of the Champs-Elysées in Paris after a huge earthquake destroyed a large part of Lisbon, this expansive shopping avenue is something rather magnificent.

Measuring 90 meters across, it’s flanked by pavements in lovely abstract patterns, as well as a stupendous collection of mansions, hotels, cafes, theatres, and luxury flagship stores for famous brands like Cartier, Miu Miu, and Louis Vuitton.

If a glittering shopping session is not necessarily your thing, never fear – the Avenida da Liberdade also happens to be within striking distance of the colourful neighbourhoods of Principe Real, Bairro Alto, Chiado, Baixa, Alfama, and Castelo.

Not to mention Eduardo VII Park, the biggest park in central Lisbon with excellent views over the city; and the gardens of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, which have been declared a national monument and play host to regular exhibitions and performances. So it’s a no-brainer – what could be a better location for your Lisbon stay?

Tasty things to eat, see & do near Hotel Valverde Lisbon

However, the best part about finding yourself at the heart of the beautiful Avenida da Liberdade during your Lisbon stay has to be that you’re within walking distance of a bunch of very special foodie hotspots.

All you need to do is put on a hat and some sunglasses, sling your bag over your shoulder and amble in either direction – you are bound to stumble over something tasty to eat, see and do. Here are a few spots that were tried and tested and found to be quite wonderful:

Kiosk cafes along Avenida Liberdade

Avid people-watchers, assemble! If you’re the kind of traveller who enjoys watching the locals do their thing to drink in a bit of their culture, taking a seat under the trees at one of the many kiosk cafes along the Avenida Liberdade in Lisbon is bound to be your cup of tea.

Grab a glass of beer, wine or freshly squeezed orange juice, park at a table, and watch the world go by. Sundays are particularly special – this is when the area is wont to become alive with music and dancing. If you strike it lucky you might even come across some folks shaking it to the mesmerising beats of a Brazilian Forró in the dappled shade!

Fabrica Coffee Roasters

Fabrica Coffee Roasters is the perfect place to pick up a great cup of coffee. Grab it on the go before you set out to explore or sit down to enjoy the intoxicating scent of freshly roasted coffee beans in the raw, rustic space that draws some of Lisbon’s most trendy locals.

JNcQUOI Restaurant

JNcQUOI Restaurant is a very snazzy lifestyle concept venue that combines a restaurant, men’s clothing shop, French bakery, and bar all in one spot. Its location is something very special – it’s situated on the first floor of the century-old Tivoli theatre building with its high ceilings and graceful architecture.

Here you will find both a sit-down dining room and a relaxed deli/bar surrounded by a gourmet grocery shop. Head for the restaurant if you want to enjoy seasonal Portuguese and international staples prepared by Chef António Bóia, alongside a wine list of 500+ local wines (no kidding!).

You can also take a seat at the deli counter if you’re in the mood for a tasty small plate and a pretty cocktail. It also happens to be a great place to pick up a few art- and design-related keepsakes or gifts.

Gambrinus

Gambrinus is one of those neighbourhood restaurants that have stood the test of time. Here you can relax into a comfortable, old-world ambiance and enjoy throwback dishes like court-bouillon (aromatic broth), and traditional fish stew in a space that has been frequented by true-blue Lisboans for 80+ years.

Sommelier Lisbon

Sommelier Lisbon is the ultimate destination if you want to develop an appreciation of the best vintages, single varietals, and blends Portugal has to offer.

The wine bar and restaurant are open from the late afternoon and into the evening – a great spot to enjoy a sundowner and a pre-dinner bite after a long day of sightseeing.

TOP TIP: Sommelier Lisbon occasionally schedules free tastings, so check the dates on their website to see if there is one that coincides with your visit.

So, yes, if teleportation technology was already a thing you would probably find us at Hotel Valverde for brunch, afternoon drinks, and cozy stayovers rather often. Put it on your Lisbon bucket list straight away.

If you are after a cool designer apartment Lisbon stay have a look at our write-up of the amazing Baixa House.

Or whet your appetite for tasty stays by taking a look at our stories of other inspiring hideaways around the world – we’ve covered plenty of stays for food lovers from classic Karoo cooking classes and cottage stays in Prince Albert and the hot new boutique hotel Gorgeous George in Cape Town, to a fabulous Tuscany food tour with a stay in a bona fide villa, and more!

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Photography: Valverde Hotel | Liezel Norval-Kruger

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