A Refuge from the City

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Casa da Comporta was featured in The Telegraph:

'A refuge from the city': Casa da Comporta, the beautiful beachside villa an hour from Lisbon

Pego is one of Comporta’s best beaches: a hip, under-the-radar stretch of the unspoilt Alentejo coast, an hour south of Lisbon. Wild and backed by grass-tufted sand dunes, it is just 300 metres away from Casa da Comporta, a villa so tranquil that pop stars retreat here to recuperate after shows in the capital. With proximity to the sea rare in these parts, thanks to strict planning regulations, this 10-person villa is a super find.

A beautifully imagined, single-storey slab of polished concrete and glass, this casa from casa makes the most of its situation, with a wooden decked terrace that spans the front of the property and looks out across reed beds towards the coast. While the dunes prevent any sea views, it is a tranquil place to sit, in grown-up but ultra-slouchy Adico deck chairs, while watching the sun set and listening to the sound of crashing Atlantic waves.

“We wanted a refuge from the city,” the owner Joao, a father of three children told me. “And a place where we can share great moments with our closest friends.”

It’s clear that the villa has been lovingly decorated over some years, with most of the pieces in the house coming from the owner's frequent trips around the world, and visitors will immediately notice the property's homely feel. A selection of masks from Mozambique welcomes visitors in the lobby, while handicrafts and other indigenous pieces from North Africa and South America are dotted about the place. Varnished driftwood furniture, bought in Bali, makes a few appearances, with a tall bench in the hall and an impressive bowl-shaped coffee table in the lounge.

Joao refers to the style as "ethnic chic", but elsewhere the house is resolutely sleek and modern. The vast, floor-to-ceiling windows here are protected by stylish, slatted sliding doors that add privacy after darkness but also help keep flies and mosquitos at bay. Light floods in from all angles of the house thanks to the nearly 360-degree glass walls that surround the property.

The kitchen manages to feel fairly rustic, despite its industrial-like work surfaces, thanks to the scattered rattan baskets that we borrowed one day to collect shells from the beach. It’s stocked with a coffee machine and everything else you might need.

In the sitting room, a distressed metal dining table is accompanied by mismatched leather chairs, an oversized lamp and a cow-hide rug. A telescope for stargazing above the serene, undeveloped landscape stands next to the front terrace, while nearby woven baskets contain tartan throws for cosy sunset-watching.

We found ourselves thinking of the property as a sophisticated cave-like beach house that might appeal to bohemian Europeans. Cool inside and with smooth stone walls, the space is soothing despite all that exposed concrete. The building also features a peaceful courtyard and dining space that makes art of a young olive tree and tall papyrus grass.

Surrounding the villa is a sandy landscaped garden, with pathways curving through lavender beds and clumps of prairie flowers, past a roughly hewn children’s playground and up to a statement rooftop pool.

Here, a long, shaft of blue water cuts a streak across the roof in the direction of the sea. (Disappointingly, we didn't realise it is only heated on request - guests will need to pay an additional €195 a week for the service, and should give the owners at least a couple of days notice to ensure it's arranged in time.) A lawn, Weber barbecue, outdoor poufs and sun loungers are also found on the specially designed sundeck, which shares views of the surrounding countryside.

It's likely guests will spend their days enjoying Casa da Comporta's grounds and exploring the surrounding beaches and seaside restaurants, but the property again comes into its own come nightfall. The snug has a television, DVDs and a log fire for curling up beside after a wind-swept day at the beach, perhaps having borrowed the villa’s own boogie boards or bicycles.

There are five bedrooms in total (two with en suites). The master reveals a unique four-poster bed, the top of which is crafted to resemble the asymmetrical branches of the pine trees outside. The quilts in the other rooms are decorated in delicate florals that - what with all the bare concrete - look cool rather than chintzy.

With a good beachside restaurant, Sal, also just a short walk away, you have all the ingredients here for a blissful holiday. “Pego and Comporta are quiet and full of charm but also have so many things to do,” the owner added, and we found this to be true. “We have the best beaches in the world but also amazing countryside to discover. It is very hard to put a label on the area. It is pretty much unique.”

A Truly Oasis

Comporta still has several desert beaches even in high summer like Pinheirinho with its orange cliffs (reminding us the Grand Canyon or even Petra in Jordan due to its color and shapes). Torre Beach, accessible through the rice fields near the small village with the same name, where you can start your journey by doing a delicious walk on the rice fields and dunes before you envisage the true blue of the atlantic ocean. Next you can reach Brejos beach favourite of the French community. Finally and further south you find Vigia Beach known as Louboutin Beach since the famous shoe designer bought a property nearby.

For those aiming for more trendy environments, to see and be seen, Pego beach is the ideal spot. A wonderful beach with all the amenities for a perfect day by the sea, including delicious drinks and snacks, sunset parties with great DJ’s where one can dance on the sand while watching the sun fall in the sea, and the famous Sal Restaurant with its hippy chic atmosphere and an excellent selection of grilled fish and some few delicious dishes and desserts (don’t miss the lemon pie).
Also by the beach, at Carvalhal beach, try O Dinis (open all year around), a simple refugee without the glamour of other spots but with best fish in the region, honouring the tradition of the owners, a family of seasoned fishermen.
Besides the beaches, you also can relax with Yogashala Comporta. In the middle of a pine tree forrest, with bright green rice fields on your horizon ending in infinite sand dunes. After your yoga experience you can’t a miss a horseback riding in the fields and the dunes with Cavalos na Areia!

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Hungry after the beach and the shopping?

Celeiro

Celeiro

Don’t worry you have plenty of choices for dinner!
Famous Sal brought us Salburger – food and music concept. A couple of Roulottes gathering clients coming for a beer and a gourmet burger while listening to good music. Salburger is usually visited by well known DJ’s. It has a relaxed atmosphere and is ideal to come with the family because has plenty of space and games for kids to have fun. We strongly recommend you take a Portobello mushroom burger definitely our favourite also because we are meat avoiders.

Salburger

Salburger

Salburger

Salburger

New jewel of the crown is Celeiro at Sublime hotel. Here you will experience an authentic Portuguese cooking experience in stunning surroundings. The resident Chef makes use of regional products working with local fisherman and wineries. Try the razor clam ‘canja', the grilled black pork or 'peixe ao sal', and finish with sericaia for dessert.

Celeiro

Celeiro

Celeiro

Celeiro

Good news for all Comporta lovers: Because we had a cancellation, you can make a reservation with 10% off from the 10th to the 26st of September 2016! Contact us here for more details.

Comporta is a perfect place for shopping

Vintage Department

Vintage Department

"I love to arrive at the small village and revisit all those shops full of the prettiest and creative items on the boho style," says Laura Vieira, owner of Casa da Comporta, who has a keen eye to find the best shops in Comporta!

Loja Museu do Arroz

Loja Museu do Arroz

"My favourite stores are still Marcello’s Loja do Museu do Arroz where I always find pieces combining beauty, originality and superior quality. Here I shop for tunics, kaftans, swimsuits, dinning clothes, shoes or boots, tapestry, perfumes, radios and nice bijouterie, decoration articles for beach houses (or other houses). This is really a must in Comporta village.

Lavanda

Lavanda

Also in Comporta I love Lavanda featuring an eclectic selection of clothing, accessories and homeware with a refined selection of great brands (like Scotch & Soda or Christophe Sauvat). When leaving the shop you can take a rest and cool down at the neighbouring bar, Colmo Bar. I suggest you drinka glass of Rose wine or a Gin Tonic and eat some fajitas & Guacamoles or some toasts with salad and mozzarela. The bar owner will share with you all the stories and secrets of Comporta.

Christophe Sauvat

Christophe Sauvat

 

An interesting story is for sure the one of Christophe Sauvat that found in Comporta the inspiration for his new collections leaving behind the success of his previous brand Antik Batik and his former live in France, Bali and St. Barth.

Still in Comporta next stop should be at Rice, recently opened, of interior designer Marta Mantero where you encounter a very special selection of art and decoration pieces, perfectly blended with clothes and collars. In the same street another 2016 opening is Vintage Department, which presents a beautiful selection of design classics and vintage furniture, art and objects. A mandatory stop in your shopping journey.

Rice

Rice

Cotê Sud is the best spot for swimwear, with unbeatable quality and the most exclusive brands. Here you will find the best of the best tunics in organic cotton and cotton gauze (my favourites for being beautiful and utmost comfortable at the same time).

Cotê Sud

Cotê Sud

Vera Iachia

Vera Iachia

At Carvalhal, you can find Vera Iachia store. Vera is a famous Interior designer with strong worldwide reputation. She's known for creating the 'Comporta Lifestyle' with interiors, architecture and product design that marry a traditional Portuguese fisherman's vernacular with her seamless signature contemporary aesthetic. She works extensively with materials of the region and with the local craft and artisans who skillfully interpret her ideas. Enjoy and have a nice day at the shops."

Good news for all Comporta lovers: Because we had a cancellation, you can make a reservation with 10% off from the 10th to the 26st of September 2016! Contact us here for more details.

The Architecture

Known for fusing the interior and exterior in an exemplary manner, architect Pedro Ferreira Pinto signed the project of Casa da Comporta. Combining glass, wood and concrete, Casa da Comporta is a perfect example of Pedro Ferreira Pinto architecture, in which nature plays an essential role, bringing into the house the vast surrounding pine forests, rice fields and having the mountains as background, all brought to the intimacy of the built space.
Casa da Comporta is perfect opportunity to know Comporta and the unique nature that characterizes this paradise in southern Europe, but also to enjoy a house designed by one of the most emblematic Portuguese architects.