For those who haven’t been, the Alentejo region of Portugal extends from the unspoilt beaches of the West coast, through vineyards, to the rugged hills on the Spanish border. It’s full of fascinating towns and villages, but the best bit of all is that it is totally unspoiled….and I mean totally!
A few years ago, I discovered a boutique B&B that seems to capture the feel of the region ~ Herdade do Reguenguinho. It lies ten miles inland from the surfers beach at Malhao, but this is no ordinary bed and breakfast.
When you arrive, you're drawn in by the beautiful flowers, and the orange walls that stand out from the surrounding countryside. The B&B is made up of two converted barns, with a cool courtyard in-between. The rooms (there are only eight) are good enough to move into – they make you ask “why haven’t I done my bathroom like this” or “we could do this with our lounge”! Stylish simplicity. The best bit of all is the infinity pool which overlooks the rolling fields, with day beds and bean bags to lounge around on. Ordering an ice-cold caipirinha to sip whilst completely chilling out is the best way to spend the afternoon!
Breakfast (a delicious range of fresh fruits, bread, hams, cheeses, yoghurts, cakes and homemade jam) is served either in the dining room or on the terrace, and light meals (amazing toasted sandwiches, salads and steaks) are available throughout the day. No evening meals are served, but there are some great restaurants nearby – in both nearby Cercal, and slightly further afield in Porto Covo. There's also an honesty bar, so you can fix yourself a drink, and lounge around reading the books left for the guests to ponder over, or head back out to the pool.
Stunning beaches litter this coastline, and there's a lake a couple of kilometres behind the house, so there's plenty to do if you want to get out and about. To be honest though, you can quite happily spend a couple of days totally chilling out without getting the least bit bored. You will need a car to get to Herdade do Reguenguinho, but that is the joy of this amazing B&B, and the Alentejo region itself - its isolation. You are delving into somewhere that very few people seem to know about, and life's all about discovering somewhere new, and very special.