Monte da Ravasqueira – very unique wines from Alentejo

The Monte da Ravasqueira, very near to Arraiolos, is a project by the José de Mello family, that has been focusing for decades in developing a unique property, 3000 hectares of a rare and idyllic landscape in Alentejo.

Among hills, different levels and several dams, Monte da Ravasqueira has been transforming itself throughout the years.
From a property famous for horse breeding, fruit production, to the first vineyards in 1998 and to the revolution of its wines with the arrival of the young oenologist Pedro Pereira Gonçalves. Who has been innovating the company project since 2012, from wine tourism to the vineyard, precision viticulture, to the wines.

Pedro Pereira Gonçalves 

But on with what really matters, the wines and their tasting. The scenario couldn’t have been any better: a table at The Yeatman, along with signature food by Ricardo Costa (** Michelin).

After a series of well-accomplished snacks and a light, relaxed tasting of the simpler wines from Monte da Ravasqueira, we went to the table where the wines started flying to other levels.

MR Premium Rosé 2015

MR Premium Rosé 2015 – Clearly one of the most interesting Rosés in the country, made 100% of Touriga Nacional and undergoing a battonage phase and a stage in wood. A complex and sophisticated wine, showing that rosé can be more than a light wine for Summer moments. With a less intense aroma than the previous edition, it still had a beautiful fruitiness in contrast with some light smoky notes. It gains dimension, power, and exoticism in the mouth, with the minerality, freshness, and complexity of the light notes revealing a beautiful wine that asks for a table and food.

And it was so very well accompanied by a bolder and technical interpretation of the classic Caprese salad, where Ricardo Costa mixed the three classic ingredients in a series of Spanish avant-garde techniques. To that “molecular” experience followed an umami bomb, with a dish of cuttlefish, scarlet shrimp, whey and smoked eel. A dream!

Ravasqueira Family Reserve 2016 and MR Premium White 2014

Ravasqueira Family Reserve 2016 – A white with many awards, that despite the combination of Alvarinho with Viognier, results in a classic profile, with a stage in French oak, revealing some citrus and peach notes, while the mouth brings us complexity and richness.

MR Premium White 2014 – A great white, better when tasted at a slightly higher temperature than usual for white wines. A combo of the Viognier, Alvarinho, Arinto and Marsanne castes, with a stage in sur lies wood, resulting in a fresh and complex enough wine, with white fruits and citric notes, and a light touch of kerosene. It shows a fantastic acidity and a minerality that lasts through its entire long ending. A great Alentejo white!

 Two beautiful wines that accompanied very well the greasiness and richness of the chef’s proposal, a codfish, low-temperature egg, prosciutto, and coriander dish.

  Monte da Ravasqueira Vinha das Romãs 2014 and MR Premium 2014

Monte da Ravasqueira Vinha das Romãs 2014 – Where once existed pomegras, nowadays are Syrah and Touriga Franca strains, that combined result in an impressive wine, with a certain classic character, through a long stage in wood, allied to the freshness and lightness of a more modern wine. Great concentration of dark fruit, very ripe and clear, contrasting with the spices and vanilla notes of the wood. In the mouth it still reveals fruit, with freshness, acidity, and lightness, unusual for a wine that spent 20 months in recent wood. A strong wine, full of personality, living a great tasting phase, but with a good future in a cellar.

MR Premium 2014 – One of the most powerful wines of Alentejo, resulting from the Syrah, Aragonês, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca combo. MR Premium is one of those wines you want to keep for a long period of time, its immediate tasting promises an even greater future. A wine of great concentration, bringing to the nose a good complexity of aromas, from dark fruit to spices, forest aromas, and herbs. In the mouth, it’s clearly a wine of strong emotions, lots of fruit accompanied by great tannins and a rare finesse. A wine you should keep for a good amount of time.

Here the choice was consensual, Vinha das Romás, it’s readier for consumption, elegant and easy; harmonizing nicely with the suckling pig dishes.

Two suckling pig dishes according to Ricardo Costa 

Speaking of it, high score to the perfect roasting of the suckling pig, with a crystal crispy skin and juicy, tasty meat. And, if the combo of avocado and Mexican mole was good, the brothy rice with suckling pig and black truffle was simply delicious.

Pineapple, Green Tea and Pistachio 

Monte da Ravasqueira Late Harvest 2015 – Producing a Late Harvest in the Alentejo heat seems like a contradiction, but the result of precision viticulture combined with high winemaking techniques is somewhat modern and surprising. Inspired in an Ice Wine process, this 100% Viognier wine, lives and reflects the caste with its citrus and apricot notes, combined with syrup fruit and honey. It’s beautiful that this wine reveals a surprising and pleasant freshness besides its sweetness, showing the care to follow more modern trends.

A wine that went really well with the dessert, light and fresh, as I always like to finish my tastings.

After dinner was time to yet another nice surprise of  Monte da Ravasqueira, its liqueur wine.

Monte da Ravasqueira Vinho Licoroso  Alentejano 

Monte da Ravasqueira Vinho Licoroso Alentejano – An Alentejo liqueur wine of rare pleasure, inspired in a classic “Ruby” Port Wine, where it gets its main castes and in aguardente (distilled beverage). A fruit rich liqueur, with marked tannins, but very elegant and also a bit fresh, good for the tasting. A wine to drink right away, and keep the pretty bottle.

All in all, the Ravasqueira wines are booming and showcase one of the most interesting projects in Alentejo. Proving it’s possible for a big company to create distinguished, bold and different wines.

Monte da Ravasqueira

Versão Portuguesa

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


“Amar e Mar” (Love and Sea) is the motto giving the name to one of the restaurants in the renewed city of Leça da Palmeira, open since 2016 by young Matilde Silva, whom after a good experience at Nova Tendinha decided to embrace a bigger and bolder project.

For that she challenged Pedro Silva, one of the youngest of his generation, he passed through several starred restaurants, Pepe Vieira, Serge Vieira or even the classic Villa Joya. But he made himself a cook in Ricardo Costa’s kitchen at The Yeatman, and alongside João Vieira at Vista he got the weight of responsibility and the commando voice; with a short but intense career in fine dining restaurants it was seemingly easy to define the path of the restaurant, good produce, technique, comfort and signature combinations, almost like casual fine dining.

The space, right next to the ocean, combines an interesting terrace for the evenings and two comfortable and nicely decorated rooms, besides a private room in form of a sphere that made a lot of ink run in the national media.

But let’s focus on our experience, that fortunately is yet what makes us visit restaurants! Decided to put ourselves in the hands of the chef we opted for a small tasting of several moments of the menu, in smaller portions than usual.

Toroshimeji, carrot and turnip pickles and Asian vinaigrette  
And we started well, with a dish of well-tunned flavors and contrasts, revealing a good hand in the kitchen. Excellent balance of textures and acidity. It could benefit from a thicker cut of the toro, for it to release all its richness and greasiness into the combo.

Water and Soap
Followed the bread moment, based in the water bread recipe, served warm and accompanied by a good “soap”, a butter with hazelnut. One of the best bread proposals in town!

Foie Gras, caramelized apple brioche  
They call it foie gras brûlée because it is caramelized before being transformed and molded into a parfait. Great presentation in form of a fresh liver, served with a nice caramelized apple brioche. Nice texture and pleasant combination of flavors, although it could’ve benefited from a more intense foie gras (coming from an addict!).

Accompanying the appetizers were two cocktails, in a good level, a tiki and a classic, that went very well to initiate the meal.

 Signature cocktails 

Steamed sea bass, pig’s ear, crustaceans, shrimp, squid and roasted fish broth  
A dish that showcases this young cook’s school, and happily, a very sharp sense of flavor! Rare in a chef of his age! Good pasta on the ravioli, good filling, tasty broth connecting the elements, especially the contrast between the ear and the remaining elements. The fish was on the limit of its cooking but still giving a nice tasting.

We recently tasted a new and delicate version of this dish, excellent in shape and presentation with a thin noodle.

Harmonizing was a hard to find in the market proposal, the Maldito Branco, made by Dirk Niepoort for Ljubomir Stanisic, a wine with a strong mineral component, fresh, light and with a captivating aroma. A pleasurable wine to drink!

Ox cheek, mushrooms, carbonara ravioli, veal tendons sauce, and cheese foam
Again high score to the sauce, full of flavor and class. Well-accomplished dish in terms of flavor contrast and textures, all very well balanced. However, the cheek was lacking some succulence.

Linguini, chanterelles, and truffle
Fresh pasta, nicely worked in a comfort dish, full of flavor and good products, where the cheese, mushrooms, the aroma of the delicate truffles melted into perfection.

On the glass was another wine from the Dirk & Ljubomir duo, the Éclair 2011, a classic year of powerful wines and full of body, elegant and fresh, combining very well with the richness of the dish.

Pineapple, rum, and lime
As a palate cleanser, we got a pineapple “lollipop” semi-frozen, with a rum and lime sauce. Different, interesting and accomplishing very well its purpose.

Bubble – banana mousse, popcorn, chocolate and samphire 
The desserts are on the same level as the starters and the mains. With a special care in presentation, using molds and haute cuisine techniques and the result is very positive, like on this particular dessert where a good banana mousse combines with the chocolate sauce, the crunch from the popcorn and the samphire salt to create a very interesting result in the mouth.

There was still time to taste the Ammartier with a “diamond” arriving at the table, a well-accomplished combination of white chocolate with tropical fruits, coconut, and lime.

Lastly, and forgetting the night was long, we finished with excellent bonbons produced in-house. A nice surprise!

Some of the bonbons at Ammar  

Service was efficient, calm, good treatment and knowledge about the dishes served. To improve, just the timing between some dishes.

Final Remarks
“Há mar e mar, há ir e voltar…” (“There is sea and sea/There is ‘going’ and there is ‘returning'”), Alexandre O’Neill wrote this famous phrase in form of a warning for those adventuring into the ocean, but pun intended it’s easy to want to return to Ammar when we get to know the work this young duo is taking to good port. A restaurant where comfort cuisine and signature cuisine live together in a very peculiar way, and that I really like!

Sure, there are always details to improve, but the care, the flavor, and detail that chef Pedro Silva already puts in his dishes are synonyms of an auspicious and smiling future!

Ammar Restaurante Cocktelaria
Average price: 35€ per person without wines 
Rua de Fuzelhas Nº 5, Leça da Palmeira
+351 229 958 241

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Metropole Genève

This past winter we discovered the elegant Switzerland, and along with it, its wonderful hotels and flawless services.
After Lucerne and Lausanne, we adventured into Geneva, and here found one of the most emblematic hotels in the country, the Hotel Metropole Genève.

This historic building is more than a century and a half old and its located at the iconic Rue du Rhone.

Located right in the heart of town, it has a privileged view over the lake and it’s surrounded by the most luxurious stores. Being relatively close to the Old town and the financial area makes it the best option both for those traveling for work, or for pleasure.

First Impression
What can you say about a neoclassic building from 1854?!
The red awnings outside give it the charm of timeless elegance, the reception follows the same line.
The reds predominate, mixing with some beige and brown, but even the Christmas tree salutes us with the color of passion!

The inside is also neoclassic but with a certain touch of comfort and coziness.
We were welcomed by a nice team that quickly took care of our check-in and showed us around the hotel.
The Metropole was renewed in 2016, however, some changes weren’t possible because the hotel is City Heritage. And, being a former hospital, some bedrooms are a little smaller. But, the renovation, despite keeping the original design, brought more modern and bigger rooms and areas.


There are 111, plus 16 luxurious suites.
We stayed in a Lifestyle Lake-Side Room.
Ours had a view to Lake Geneva and the famous Jet d’eau, one of the most iconic postcards from Geneva (I don’t really get why, but can’t argue with tastes!), it had a special focus in home automation, without putting comfort aside.

Once again, bright colors are used to create an interesting chromatic game, assuring a perfect symbiosis with the wooden floor.

The tv in the mirror, the inclined Turkish bath in the shower or the handy smartphone system (fast, unlimited internet, local and international calls, useful info about the city, exclusive promotions, and 24h concierge), made our bedroom even more appealing.

 The view over the Jet d’eau

 The terrace of restaurant Gusto

There are four excellent options at Metropole. Close to the lobby, we have the eclectic The Mirror Bar. A space that transports us to a trendy and vibrant ambiance, with its red tones and mirrors.

The Mirror Bar

It works on a daily basis as bar/restaurant for a snack or simpler dishes accompanied by wine or cocktails, a hot chocolate on cold afternoons, or simply enjoying a nice leisure moment. The bustle of guests and locals in the evening is impressive, among work meetings or just pleasure moments.

 The view over the lake from the MET Rooftop Lounge

On summer months, there’s also the MET Rooftop Lounge, a space that assures the most enjoyable sunsets in town, very cosmopolite, with a great view to the lake, the city, and the mountains.

Gusto, of classic Italian cuisine, is the perfect place for a relaxed lunch, or a romantic dinner, where the Chef, a true ambassador of the Italian cuisine, Alessandro Cannata, delights us with his creations.

Here we had the chance to experience one of the most creative and innovative tasting menus of Italian base served outside the country.

Among good bread, champagne, and light snacks we started a surprising meal, where there was time for a delicious cuttlefish tagliatelle with puttanesca sauce, small raviolis “capeletti em brodo” which combo and broth left me good memories, and of course, a delicate venison loin, with a delicious sauce and crunchy veggies.

 To finish, a nice deconstruction of the classic Tiramisu, and an obvious Mont Blanc (as seeing it through the window…!).

Gusto has a simpler version, downstairs, the La Cantina del Gusto,  where breakfast is served, and also a self-service lunch.

La Cantina del Gusto

 And for two years now, it also serves one of the most famous brunches in town.
Besides these spaces, the hotel has another space outside, the La Brasserie du Parc des Eaux-Vives, a traditional French cuisine restaurant located a few km from the center of town.

Besides the usual services, like room service, wi-fi, laundry, and concierge, Metropole has also a few other services for its guests.

The location is probably one of the best in the city, making it easy for those traveling for fun, but also for business travelers.

It is equipped with six rooms, prepared for any kind of event. And the Restaurant Hotel du Parc des Eaux-Vives, 5 min away by car, also has 5 rooms.

The hotel has a nicely equipped gym, with natural light.

Big hotels, business style, rarely are my first option when traveling, however, some show me that a hotel can have a lot of movement without losing its identity.

And Metropole is an example of that, even with wide spaces, full of guests, you can feel special.

A good example of the service quality was when we realized we left our macbook cables on a hotel we previously visited, and the staff (some of them portuguese by the way) quickly took care of our problem with the other hotel.

These small details really do make the difference!

And it is always a privilege to stay in a building so iconic and full of history!

See you soon Geneva!

Hotel Metropole Genève
Bedrooms from 270€
Quai General Guisan, 34 – Geneva
+ 41 223 183 200

Versão Portuguesa

 Photos: Flavors & Senses

Posted in Hotels | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


There’s no denying that we’re living exciting days concerning the new Portuguese gastronomy, new chefs with new techniques and audacity, stimulating restaurants, and specialized producers. However, every time I get excited and challenged by the boldness and creativity of these chefs, I also seek to balance that side with a simpler cuisine, authentic, and above all, based on the product.

In contrast to many other countries, like our neighbor Spain, for years, the Portuguese few or nothing worried about knowing and highlighting our produce, or about restaurants specialized in this or that. All this with the due exception for the famous Leitão à Bairrada (suckling pig) – many Portuguese families and friends know very well the National Road Nº1, crossing the town of Mealhada, and there have delighted themselves with one of the most famous national dishes!

It’s a mythical dish in the country and along with the wine, the greatest highlight of an entire region. However, there are different restaurants and different piglets, and there are also emblematic spaces outside the usual address.

One of those spaces is located in the small town of Fogueira, at Sangalhos, the restaurant Mugasa, open more than 40 years ago by Álvaro and Helena Nogueira, it became famous for the several dishes built around the suckling pig, and of course, the chanfana, one of the oldest dishes in the region. Nowadays, leading the stoves is Ricardo Nogueira, born and raised between the kitchen and the wood ovens, he’s now been improving the technique and the selection of the product, taking the best possible products to the table – a kind of Victor Arguinzoniz of suckling pigs.

But on to our meal, installed in the comfortable and recently renewed room, the choice was obvious and served at a good rhythm, starting with the always tasty bread of the region.

Suckling pig “Iscas”
For starters, we taste other parts of the piglet, like these iscas de cebolada. Delicate and less intense than the ones from its “heavier brother”. Great seasoning, although I must confess I rather prefer other textures of the liver, more undercooked, and a bit less dry in the mouth.

Suckling Pig “Cabidela”
Masterfully prepared, this fake cabidela (made without blood), deserves a trip to Mugasa just by itself! A combo of piglet offals, nicely stewed, finished in the wood oven, below the piglet, absorbing all the juices from the roast. Delicious!

Leitão à Bairrada

Several are its secrets, but not all hidden from those visiting Mugasa, first, the suckling pig – they only use the little ones, not over 4,2kg, and all raised in liberty in the fields, developing a better fusion of muscle and fat. And then, of course, the cooking, roasted in a specific type of wood, and with the care of those making this for a living. Last, but not least, the cut. Ricardo Nogueira’s technique is beautiful to watch (always a highlight to watch) and better to taste, with all the small pieces, and the amazing crispy skin. Everything is perfect, the taste, the texture, the greasiness, the juiciness!

Coconut pudding
Once the amazing Abade de Priscos pudding of Miguel Oliveira was already gone, we went for a nice coconut pudding, with two layers, balanced sweetness, of good texture and flavor. A nice surprise!

We also tasted the aletria, hard and dry as traditional in the area, leaving no memory to us used to a creamy and rich aletria.

The wine list is another reason to visit Mugasa, firstly for the quantity and variety of national sparkling wines, mostly from Bairrada, and secondly for the amazing price/quality ratio. Sinful for any oenophile!

In our case, we accompanied the meal with a sparkling Vinha Formal 2010 from Luís Pato.  A wine going through a beautiful tasting phase.

Final Remarks
Unfortunately, and for many years, the product cuisine in Portugal lost its place to cheaper and of fewer quality products, something very different to what happened in our neighbor Spain. Happily, with the conscientization of the guests, and the improvement in terms of our products, we’re starting to see a new direction, new chefs, new products and new guests, worried about the quality of what they’re eating more than the beauty of the presentation.

Well, this Mugasa is just that, one of our Product Temples; and Ricardo Nogueira is nowadays the face behind the future of this delicacy, and the passion he has for his work leaves no one indifferent. We need these examples to put our gastronomy on the map.

Suckling pigs? There are many, but Mugasa is unique!


Average price: 25€/ pax without wines 
Largo da Feira, Fogueira – Anadia
+351 234 741 061

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


Prado was the most awaited opening in Lisbon’s gastronomy scene for a while. Since opening, in the end of 2017, it has been a case of success, where from the most gastronomic conservative to the most cosmopolite traveler, everyone surrendered to António Galapito’s cuisine.

I remember meeting Galapito between the kitchen and the grill at Mercado (see), where he commanded the helm of the casual and Portuguese space of Nuno Mendes. A place where Portuguese flavors and ingredients gained other forms and techniques and about which I remember writing it was a restaurant, that for several motives, we missed in Portugal!

Well, destiny had written a return to his home for Galapito, full of ideas and dreams, very proper for a 27-year-old cook, with a conviction and a traced path few would dare to take.

Installed in the lower floor of Lisboans (a refined and nicely recovered local accommodation), Prado has brought to Lisbon a simpler cosmopolitan view, with care for nature, sustainability and the origin of things, in a time when many other places just go for luxury and spectacle. Using London as an analogy, let’s say that most of the openings wanted some Mayfair, and Galapito brought a bit of Shoreditch and East London into Lisbon.

This space transmits the idea of “farm to table” and a certain post-industrial ambiance, very common in Nordic countries. Large, nicely lit, with a very Lisbon(ish) vibe, the result is a well accomplished cozy space.

From the kitchen we expect dishes revolving around Portuguese products, worked with rigor and restraint, allied to a very unique line and creativity. A meal where you don’t expect a menu and a set circuit of starter-main-dessert, the idea is to taste more dishes, share, and enjoy the flavors of familiar products worked with boldness and creativity.

Bread from Gleba
Fresh goat butter, smoked salt and sea lettuce
Whipped pork fat, garlic and bay leaf
And we started very well, with an excellent wheat bread from gleba bakery, with a basis on one of the oldest and tastier kinds of wheat (“trigo barbela”) produced in Trás-os-Montes (almost extinct nowadays due to this new generation of bakers and cooks). A rich and tasty bread, with a sinful crust making us want to dip it in the butter like hungry animals. A great start that we kept repeating during our meal – can anyone resist a nice warm bread?

Arouquesa meat tartar and grilled kale 
Full of flavor meat, nicely seasoned and without too many elements, with shitake mushrooms and a cured yolk to intensify the richness and umami, served in a kale taco, grilling the kale dehydrates it and gives it more flavor; over grilled it would be amiss, but like this it was a nice moment of flavor and texture.

Squid, leek, and ink
The name indicates what appears in front of us, the Azores sea in wonderfully prepared squid strips, a broth intensified by the squid ink, and the crunch of the leek. Flavor and restraint, in a great dish that showcases the cuisine at Prado.

Smoked bacon toastFlorina apple, and pennyroyal 
Good bread, with equally good stuffing, is always a moment of pleasure; even more when the bread is from Gleba again, covered by thin layers of a rich and very well worked bacon, Florina apple (another almost gone product), bringing it some texture and sweetness, and the pennyroyal with its minty notes refreshing the combo and elevating the fatty notes of the toast. Could all the sandwiches in the country be like this…

Arouquesa sparerib, fermented lettuce and toasted butter
Similarly to the meat in the tartar, this sparerib was also full of flavor, perfectly cooked and elevated by the rich aromas and flavor of the fermented lettuce, the onion and the burnt butter sauce, and of course, perfect to dip the bread in the end. Delicious!

Mushroom ice cream, barley, dulse and caramel
First, the name leaves us slightly apprehensive, but remembering a wonderful mushroom ice cream I had in Turkey, the final choice had to be this. And gladly it was, it looks and has the texture of a sundae, it was perfect, with the right amount of sweetness, and a certain salinity elevating the dish. Also great the remaining elements, with the caramel and the barley bringing the sauce and the sweetness wrapping the dish, the dulse seaweed brings fresher notes. There’s no other sundae in the city that could compare…

Besides his talent and ideas, young Galapito also knows to surround himself with great talents, and I’m not necessarily talking about the kitchen, the products he uses come from passionate and talented producers, the bread of Diogo Amorim (Gleba), and of course, the cocktails of the wild fox, aka Constança Cordeiro (recently opened a new bar in the city, Toca da Raposa). Creative cocktails, where Portuguese flavors and ingredients become the basis of the mixology. A good example was the excellent “Prado Collins” we tasted, with vodka and a very well accomplished mix of lemongrass and tangerine.

The wine list also follows the path of minimal intervention and natural wines, with several national and international options, to please both the most conservative wine connoisseur and the most hipster guest. In our case, we tasted a good Rufia Branco from 2016, produced by João Tavares de Pina at Quinta da Boavista, Dão.

Final Remarks
A new wave of cooks, producers, and even clients is redefining the new Portuguese cuisine, a cuisine based in fantastic ingredients, roots, and flavors, but also lightness, technique and presentation, the world has been giving these people. That is one of Galapito’s merits, respecting Portuguese ingredients. Besides, another good argument in a scale already full of positives –  the cost/benefit ratio is one of the most interesting in Lisbon, a city getting more expensive by the minute.

A much-needed restaurant in Lisbon, that opens the way to other young talents that see it like an example that you can do it the good way in this tiny corner of Europe. Adding to the many words written and the many comments online, Prado was just elected by Condé Nast Traveller to the list of best new restaurants in the world in 2018.

And with all the merit!!

Average price: 35€/pax without wines 
Travessa das Pedras Negras, 2 – Lisbon
+351 210 534 649

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


These past few years, with the tourism development, Porto has been through an ocean of changes, for better or worse. From the real estate bustle, new hotels, new roads, and of course, many new restaurants. Good restaurants, young and talented cooks, nice decorations and even some bold projects that we hardly imagined would work; And, of course, there are many bad businesses in the mix and lots of spaces that for whatever reason didn’t work.

The lack of success or simply the acceptance of failure wasn’t on João Cura and Sofia Gomes’s plans when they decided to open their first restaurant, with a name that anticipated the wish to conquer and leave their mark…

Well, the truth is the success came, maybe even faster than they expected, so much is the receptivity and the many and good reviews Almeja and the cuisine of João Cura has been getting. João is still a young cook, of those who abandon a college degree to follow their passion in front of the stoves. From the Hospitality school in Coimbra, he went to Barcelona, where he worked at the starred Dos Cielos e Cinc Sentits and the at the famous Monvínic, creating a project of “at home chef” and the rest is his present, being drawn at the number 819, of Rua Fernandes Tomás.

With a fine dining concept, Almeja intends to ally a signature cuisine with a good price/benefit relation. The decoration translates just that, simple but tasteful, keeping the old lines of the former Japanese grocery store located in that place.


The experience starts in fine dining mode, with the snacks arriving quickly at the table, first, a croquette, with panko crusting, crunchy outside and very creamy inside, could’ve been just a bit less greasy and more flavorful. Followed a great madeleine with chorizo and apple gel – very good!

 Chorizo madeleines, with apple gel 

And then the bread, a homemade sourdough, with good aroma and texture, very well accompanied by a butter with milk crunch and salt flower, and a great Angélica olive oil.

Toast, cabeça de xara (traditional Portuguese pate), marinade and apple 
The presentation transports us to French pastry, but don’t be fooled by the accurate aesthetics of the plate, here is present a good Portuguese tradition. Nicely prepared cabeça de xara, elevated by the acidic touch of the marinade. A very good dish, in which I just missed some crunch, once the toast and the apple didn’t much present that texture.

 Mushrooms, parsnip, and lemon 
One of the best moments of the evening was this “simple” plate of wild mushrooms, with a velvety parsnip puree and lemon sauce, which freshness contrasted with the earthy notes of the remaining elements and took the dish to a beautiful level.

Chicken Soup
A comfort dish on a cold night, simultaneously a reinterpretation of our famous chicken soup. A good consommé, low-temperature egg with a perfectly cooked yolk, and the pasta replaced with small ravioli. The touch of leek gave more flavor to the dish.

Mondego Rice
João Cura’s “Portuguese cuisine” is not just the reinterpretation of classic recipes, but also the attempt of presenting new products and national producers that few may know, a good example of that is his homage to the Mondego rice. Using probably the best national rice “Arroz da Ereira”, to create a great, great dish! Rice, cockle, razor shell and squid, all perfectly cooked and enrichened by the intensity and salinity of the samphire and the plankton. A great dish!

Pork belly
Flawless pork belly, moist with crunchy skin, nicely paired with pak choi and some fun potato souffle in the shape of piglets that must take more time than the rest of the dish together! Very interesting also the demi glacé jam elevating the entire dish.

 Mangococonut, and lime  
A light and fresh dessert, as I like, but a bit lost among the creamy and gelly textures.

Banoffeebanana, peanut and white chocolate 
The last dessert brought back the level of the previous dishes, here with a great combo of textures, from the cake to the gel and the purees, the crunchy and the excellent caramelized white chocolate. A great ending!

Our choice of wine went to a Riesling Duriense, 2015, by Marcos Hehn. An elegant wine, showcasing its caste very well, and an acidity and elegance that worked very well along the meal. About the wine list, it’s based mostly in small national producers, where everything is good, but also a bit too “right”. A bit more boldness in the choices, to go with the boldness of the plates is something to think for the future.

About the service, I was expecting a bit more “casual” and less fine dining, from the beautiful tableware to the white gloves, or the little service details, everything was very close to a top restaurant. Also here, Almeja wished more and better, revealing a nice surprise, especially for presenting a differentiated service to a broad public.

Final Remarks
In less than a year, João Cura has made this Almeja one of the most interesting projects in the city, good products, nice technique, an accurate aesthetic sense and honest prices (rarer each day). Besides the menu, Almeja can be discovered through a tasting menu (55€) or in a very interesting lunch menu (15€), where some tests for new menus are made. The cuisine is Portuguese with some and obvious influences of the chef’s life in Spain. Showing knowledge but with a restraint capacity rare in young chefs, that usually try to show everything at once and eventually fail.

If Almejar is to wish or want something very badly, this Almeja dreamt, wished and became a refuge in this competitive Porto of gastronomy. So we’re just left with accompanying the work of this young talent and his team because the future is theirs to draw…

Average price: 30/35€ pax without wines 
Rua Fernandes Tomás,819 – Porto

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Restaurant Brasão – Felgueiras

We often hear that tradition is not what it used to be, that this or that place has changed, or about the good old days. Unfortunately, this is true most of the times, but every now and then, some places change for the better, recreating themselves, and simply continue to satisfy and surprise us.

A good example of that is António Carvalho, who has been giving life to the regional gastronomy of Felgueiras for over 40 years. By his hands, the Santa Quitéria has become epic, he passed through the Algarve and settled at his original Brasão, where he continues to experiment and learn as any of the young talents around.

To get there is easy and we soon arrive from Porto to the road of Refontoura, where you’ll see a big billboard with the chef’s picture assuring you’re at the right place.

Inside the restaurant you’ll find António Carvalho among the room and the kitchen, offering his suggestions and charm like a good cicerone is meant to. And we started very well with a good and varied basket of bread and a cheese and smoked traditional sausage platter, also with prosciutto, the latter a bit salt dominated.

Followed some nicely worked “pataniscas” (a type of fritters usually with salted codfish), and the first surprise, a home smoked salmon, that surely no one dreams to find in a traditional Portuguese cuisine restaurant. Says the chef he learned to work the salmon on his trips to Brazil, and glad he did…

Home cured salmon

 Grouper Soup 
The most memorable soup I had this year, a grouper soup that combines everything our traditional cuisine should be, good products, simply worked, substance, freshness, and lots of flavors! The generous pieces of fish, combined with the poached egg, the tomato, peppers, and the pasta, make this deceptively simple dish a genuine interpretation of our tradition.

Brasão is worth the visit even just to taste this soup!

Baked Octopus
Nicely sized mollusk, exquisitely cooked, with the perfect texture. Rich and greasy as any good roast should be!

Grilled meat with “arroz de Fumeiro” (rice with traditional smoked sausages) 
A good sirloin steak, perfectly grilled, showing that also the meats are especially worked and selected. But the best was really the rice, rich and flavorful, with vegetables and beans, making of it almost a complete dish. Very good!

Orange Tart
A good orange tart is always hard to find, sometimes the texture is not right, sometimes it’s too sweet, and few (or none) times it comes close to my mother’s recipe, that marked my palate and set the bar very high. Well, here the tart is very close, nicely executed, without excesses, with a fresh flavor. An ending with some freshness after an already long and heavy meal.

But there was still time to finish the meal with one small pine nuts and carrot muffin, cooked to order, moist, warm and very tasty, becoming a choice to our next visit!

Pine nuts and carrot muffin

The wine list is another highlight of Brasão, with many and good options from every region of the country, especially Green and Douro wines. For this meal, we opted for a fantastic Alvarinho from Quinta de Santiago.

The service ran smoothly, with a nicely worked mise en scène, revealing more care than we usually find in a traditional style restaurant.

Final Remarks
An immaculate meal, as by the way they always are in our visits to Mr. Carvalho’s realm. A master, to whom retirement seems very far away, so much is the vivacity and charm he battles within every service.

The cuisine at Brasão showcases perfectly what we intend from our cuisine, good products and lots of flavor. Speaking of flavors, on Wednesdays (or by order) is served a ribs eye, steam cooked, whole, for 8h, that is to die for. This allied to the grouper soup is, for sure, a heavenly combo.

Unfortunately, and mostly in big cities, there are few great traditional cuisine restaurants left, so people and spaces like Mr. Carvalho and his Brasão make us believe that every trip and km is worth it to delight ourselves with the enchantments and wisdom of those who dedicate their lives to the unique and authentic flavors of the truest traditional Portuguese cuisine!

Restaurant Brasão
Average price: 20€/pax without wines 
Rua da Liberdade, 4082, Refontoura – Felgueiras

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lausanne Palace

An imposing Belle Epoque palace, the singularity of a privileged view, and the art of welcoming, make of this Lausanne Palace one of the best hotels in Switzerland.

Located in the heart of Lausanne, with the stamp of the Leading Hotels of the World, the Lausanne Palace was one of the best experiences I ever had in a hotel.

A palace that witnessed the beauty and bohemia of the 20’s, kept, since June 1915, the same premise – the Swiss hospitality, with the happiness and comfort of its guests as the main goal.

Since 2016, with Ivan Rivier in charge, the Lausanne Palace perfectly represents the success of luxury hotels, in which the Savoir-être and the Savoir-faire are the great pillars of hospitality.

We arrived at the hotel after a beautiful train journey from Lucerne (see), and once the central station was just 500m of the hotel, we walked there.

First Impression

The first thing we see as arriving is the facade, going back in time and imagine ourselves as part of a glamorous story from the Belle Epoque. The balconies with their red sunblinds give it the typical elegance of a Parisian hotel.

The hotel is surrounded by the city, the Geneva lake, and the Alps.

We entered and were welcomed with the so delicate “Bonjour Madame”!

The lobby is huge, and ahead of us is one of the bars of the hotel, full of guests with the typical combo of bustle and relaxation.

It’s the Bar 1915, with an intimate ambiance, while in an open space. Surrounded by flowers and decorated woth sober colors, giving it a comfort atmosphere.

You feel like experiencing it even before the check-in!
We were forwarded to the reception, to our left, and welcomed by the team that took care of our check-in without delays.

The reception, with high marble ceilings, crystal chandeliers, and neo-classical columns, shares the grandiosity of the facade of the hotel!

There are 140, including 30 Suites and Junior Suites.
We stayed in a Suite Lake View, by far one of the best rooms I’ve ever stayed at!

With some generous 100m2, distributed by a living room with sober colors and a comfort ambiance; an elegant bedroom, breathing relaxation and luxury; and two bathrooms, the smaller one with a shower and the bigger one with bathtub; and lastly but most importantly, two balconies with one of the best views ever, the Lake Geneva and the magnificent Alps, covered in snow, a magical combination with the sun felt that day.

It was here we spent half of the afternoon, with a dreamlike scenario, accompanied by chocolate, fruit, coffee, and tea we had available in the room.

To perfume our afternoon there was a red roses bouquet with a welcoming letter. The atmosphere was just perfect – of comfort, elegance, and familiar as if that was our house (and oh! if it could be!).

Besides the free wifi, here the minibar is also free, with juices, non-alcoholic drinks, and some snacks.

In the bathroom, the products we have available are from the renowned British brand Penhaligon’s.
The bedroom is extremely functional and can be controlled from the bed. About it, and unfortunately for me, they invested in the mattress firmness and not in the wrapping softness as I like.

That night, we also got a bottle of Champagne Deutz, some snacks, and another rose! And at that moment we were sure there is no hospitality as the Swiss!

They are unbeatable in the art of welcoming (and happily they discovered my passion for “bubbles”!)

Restaurants and Bars

One of the hotels’ ex-libris, because it has several spaces with very high quality.
The Bar 1915, that I mentioned before, is the center of the hotel, where guests and locals come together for different breakfasts, cocktails along the day, or business meetings in an interesting space. Besides it, there are three more bars.

The LP’s Bar, with an urban-chic atmosphere. Basically a place in Lausanne where you go to see and be seen!

A modern decoration with touches of colonial, it is prepared to satisfy our wishes from the morning till dawn! The panoramic terrace enchants those who decide to stay there and relax.

At night, the bar transforms into a bohemian place where anything can happen, with live music from Tuesday to Saturday.

In this bar there is the famous Krug Room, an intimate space, combining two of the biggest pleasures the comnon mortal can have, books and wine – particularly the selection of the best Krug champagnes!

Another place of interest is the Habana Bar, as the name indicates, a space for the tobacco lovers, and not any tobacco, but the famous Cuban one! A place for very peculiar tastes!

With a decoration between the elegance of wood and the sparkle of leather, this bar is a space full of personality.

And to finish the bars, we have another one, quite different from these, a Vegan Bar, the Yogi Booster, the first vegetarian and organic restaurant of Lausanne, with a series of menus with healthy and natural foods, and a detox cuisine.

This food experience can be made with the detox treatments of the spa as well.

And on to the restaurants, there are four, one of them with a Michelin star!

Between the four spaces, the choice is very varied, with options to every taste: the Sushi Zen Palace, a traditional Japanase to the lovers of this type of food; the Côté Jardin, famous for the brunch, with mediterranean flavors, serving all the meals of the day, and where we had the chance to have a great breakfast with the Alps as scenario; the Brasserie du Gran Chéne, with its Parisian style, taking us back to the past with the elegance of the Parisian Brasseries and the flavors of the great French gastronomy. One of the spotlights is the oyster bar.

  And lastly, the acclaimed and starred La Table D’Edgard, headed by Edgard Bovier, one of the main gastronomic references of the city and the region, combining haute cuisine with one of the most beautiful views of the city.

The Lausanne Palace is a luxury hotel prepared to satisfy every need of its guests.
Equipped with five rooms for events and celebrations, prepared to welcome hundreds of people, without ever neglecting an excellence service. But, if the focus is business, the hotel is also a step ahead, with its eight rooms technologically equipped to welcome dozens of people.

If like me, the goal is to relax, the CBE Concept Spa is the perfect place. Constituted of an interior warm pool, jacuzzi, two areas (men and women) of a Turkish bath, treatment rooms and the best gym I ever saw in a hotel.

Nothing is left to chance and the feeling of well-being and plenitude is a constant in this space.

Besides these, the hotel as all the typical services of a luxury hotel and some more you may need. You just have to contact the concierge or any other member of the staff.

Of my stay, I’m left with nostalgia, gratitude and mostly, fascination. How can a centennial hotel be so timeless, be so traditional and at the same time so cosmopolite, be so genuine and so caring of its guests, and when it has the size of a palace be so authentic and perfect in the art of welcoming?
But yes, a hotel can be all this!

And of my experience, I take, above all, authenticity and hospitality.

See you soon Lausanne Palace!

Lausanne Palace
Bedrooms from 270€
Rue du Grand-Chêne 7 – Lausanne
+41 21 331 31 31

Versão Portuguesa

 Photos: Flavors & Senses

Posted in Hotels | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Located in central Switzerland, the geographic and historic center of the country, Lucerne is one of those cities taken straight out of a fairy tale.
It’s the biggest of central Switzerland, situated in the margins of Lake Lucerne.
Started as a fishing village, but from 1220 it had an important role in economy and commerce with the opening of the Gotthard Pass.

Mainly Catholic, marked by its history in leading the Catholic resistance during the Reformation period. Currently, and since the XIX century, tourism is the main economic activity.

One of the many reasons millions of tourists are drawn to Lucerne is the Classical Music Festival.
Lucerne is one of those cities you can easily see walking around, being able to explore it in a day. Two days well spent are enough, three to four days if you also want to explore some more cities around the Lake Lucerne.

The city is divided into North and South by the Reuss River. In the North margin is the medieval Old Town and in the South margin the train station, where you’ll probably arrive in Lucerne.

Focusing on this last item, how to arrive in Lucerne?

Flying to Zurich and taking the train to Lucerne is the simpler and quicker way.
Train tickets should be bought in advance (see), and brace yourselves ’cause they’re expensive!
If you intend to visit several cities in the country, one of the options is flying to Zurich or Geneva (depending on the cities you want to see) and rent a car or travel by train.

What to do in Lucerne?
There are some mandatory places in Lucerne, and whether you like it or not, you’ll have to accept there will always be tourists in the must-see spots. Well, what are we anyway? Tourists! Can’t fight with that. You can always visit and explore the less seen side of the city but you must have to see the ex-libris as well! Right?

To see

South Margin

Right next to the train station arises an imposing modern building, entirely built of glass. The KKL or Kultur-und Kongresszentrum Luzern, aka, Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre.
Here you can find, besides conference and showrooms, the Kunstmuseum with Swiss paintings from the XVIII century to the XX century, as well as temporary exhibits that regularly change.

Around 400 meters to the left (facing the river Reuss) and if you wish to maintain the Art environment, you have the Rosengart collection, where many of the works collected by Siegfried’s art negotiators, and his daughter, are exposed; it also has works of Picasso, Cézanne, and Monet.

But museums aside, let’s discover another type of art, in a very specific style, religious art.

Lucerne Jesuit Church

Also on the south bank of the river, we have symbols of religion, the Jesuit Church, from the XVII century, with its onion topped towers built later in the XIX century. The interior is baroque and on the ceiling is possible to enjoy the apotheosis of Saint Francis Xavier.

Very close is the Franziskanerkirche, an older Franciscan church, from the XIII century, initially built in a Gothic style but altered throughout time with baroque and renaissance.

The Lucern History Museum is also on the Southside, in a renaissance building, and here you can see all the history of the city. Beside it, there is a great option for families and kids, the Natural History Museum, with highlight to Zoology, Paleontology, and Geology.

North Margin

Crossing to the North side of the city, we immediately get to see two of its spotlights, the SpreurerBrücke and the KapellBrücke, the most emblematic bridges of Lucerne.
The first, the oldest wooden bridge in Europe, dating from the XIV century, crossing the river sidewards. It was a part of the old fortifications. In the middle, the bridge is connected to the Wasserturm, an octagonal tower, that once has been a lighthouse, a prison, and treasury!

Walking along the tower take a good look at its ceiling, you’ll find paintings about the history of the city, as well as the life of St. Leodegar and St. Mauritius (martyrs who became patrons). Some are very worn out, and some of the panels were destroyed during a fire in 1993.

The SpreurerBrücke, also made of wood, is a bit more recent, from the beginning of the XV century, and crossing it is also staring at its ceiling panels of Kaspar Meglinger that showcase the Dance of Death culminating in Crist’s triumph (North-South way).

But let us now focus on the Old Town!
This was my favorite area, staying at the Hotel des Balances we were right in the old town, and each time we stepped outside the hotel and walked around, we kept finding new details, a new alley to explore, a new story!

The Old Town managed to stay well preserved and real until today. The facades of the historical buildings are painted with frescoes and provide beautiful moments of wonder to those watching. The historical neighborhood of Lucerne is a vibrant place, full of stores, bars, and restaurants.
A place where you can truly feel and experience the life of its inhabitants and the essence of the city.


One of the most beautiful squares is Weinmarkt, the old square where wine was sold, its composed of lovely houses, mostly former guilds. Another interesting square is the Kapell-Platz even more vibrant in the market days. It’s named due to the Peterskapelle, a chapel built in the place of a church from the XII century.

The beauty of Lucerne is to just walk around it, without any worries, nor looking for something specific, just let yourselves go by your curiosity and be amazed at each alley, each detail, and enchantment of this little medieval town.

Above the Old Town is the imposing Museggmauer, the well-preserved north section of the medieval wall that surrounds around 850 meters of the city, from the north of River Reuss to the North Margin of the Lucerne Lake. The wall has nine towers, but only three of them are open to the public, and only during summer.

Northwest of the old town there are some highlights to be seen, the Bourbaki Panorama, one of the few left panoramas in the world, that portrays the marching of the French army against Switzerland at the orders of the General Bourbaki during the Franco-Prussian war; the Richard Wagner Museum – the composer lived in Lucerne for a period of time where he composed some of his works; and lastly, the emblematic Löwendenkmal, the figure of a giant dying lion pierced by a spear, to pay homage to the Swiss guards of Louis XIV of France, who defended the Palais des Tuilerries in 1792 when it was attacked by revolutionaries. This sculpted lion, in a sandstone cliff over a small lake, emanates drama! (Much more exciting than the Manneken Pis in Brussels!).

If you have more time to visit the city, you should also take time to enjoy the Swiss Transportation Museum. An excellent option for a family trip. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to go there.

Another option if you have the time, is to visit other cities around Lake Lucerne.

But, if like us you only have two days, the ideal is to just walk around town, absorbing the best Lucerne has to offer, its authenticity, the medieval beauty, the history and natural beauty.

Waking up in the morning and getting to see the sun reflecting in the lake while rivaling with the white from the snow on the Alps is an unforgettable privilege.

See you soon Lucerne!

Where to stay
Hotel Des Balances

Versão Portuguesa 

Photos: Flavors & Senses

Posted in Cities | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hotel des Balances

Located in the enchanted city of Lucerne in Switzerland, the Hotel des Balances is a four-star Boutique hotel, that could easily be a five!

Being a part of the old town, the sensation is of being in another era, initially medieval but quickly we can identify very bohemian and cosmopolite features, being its restaurant one of the most trendy and elegant in Lucerne, with a terrace and bar with privileged views over the river.

The roots of the hotel, or at least of the region, date back to the XIII century, perfectly located between the fish and wine markets, an area always considered noble, with its view over the lake, the best look over the city.

But, the life of Hotel des Balances starts in 1837 and evolves as one of the most emblematic hotels in the city, by the hands of Jean Haecky and Fritz Rindlisbacher.

First Impression
We started our visit to Switzerland in the small city of Lucerne and went straight to the hotel. I knew it was near the river Reuss, and the views supposed to be amazing, but I never thought our stay could be as incredible as it turned out to be!

As soon as I saw the hotel from a distance I realized the beautiful balconies overlooked the river, and the Jesuit church on the other bank, also to the left was the KapellBrücke and to the right SpreurerBrücke, some of the city ex-libris!

The picturesque balconies, the refined and elegant aspect, and the connection to the river reminded me some of Venice’s palaces.

As we got close to the hotel the bustle of its restaurant was already noticeable.

 The emblematic facade of the Hotel

Going around to the entrance, we have one of the most beautiful facades in the city. It demonstrates the style of the famous Swiss artist Hans Holbein, and surely no one is indifferent to it.

We entered and were welcomed efficiently and with sincere smiles.

The reception reminds us of the 20’s and the Belle Époque, and the room was decorated for Christmas, very simple and elegant. A very cozy environment, I must say. A Boutique Hotel, with all the comfort and coziness I love.

Our check-in was quick and we were offered a cocktail voucher to the bar, and a free pass to the public transports, easing our trip around the city.

They are 56, of several types, Single Room, Double Room, Junior Suite, Suites, and Romantic Suite (specially designed for a perfect honeymoon!).

We stayed in a Junior Suite, constituted by a very comfy living room, a bathroom with a wonderful kit of L’occitane products, and an elegant bedroom. The sober and neutral colors plus the golden details, give the right amount of comfort versus simplicity to the area.

But the true highlight of this bedroom was the balcony and the amazing view from it. The river Reuss became our confident and the Swiss Alps covered in snow our most perfect horizon.

At our disposal at the bedroom were coffee and tea, and to spoil us a little, the Hotel des Balances decided to show the Swiss hospitality is the most complete of all – offering us a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, fruit, and chocolates. And what a beautiful moment we had on our balcony. A moment to remember, for sure!

The only negative was the poor soundproofing of the bedroom, otherwise, it would’ve been just the perfect stay!

Inside the space of the hotel, there is the Restaurant Balances (awarded with 14 points in the guide Gault-Millaut), the Bar Lounge and the Terrace. Considered one of the best spaces in the city, probably one of the trendiest, with a cosmopolitan environment with a bohemian touch and of a constant party, with all the relaxation needed for us to feel good.

An extremely elegant place, similar to the rest of the hotel, with a breathtaking terrace, where friends from around Lucerne meet daily.
We enjoyed a very tasty dinner, with a constant in-n-out of tourists and locals around us.

From the dinner, highlight to a contrasting beetroot, salmon, and spicy radish dumpling, with a good contrast of earth/sea flavors, and freshness.


 Beetroot dumpling 

Seabass, parsley emulsion, pumpkin risotto with cranberries and bacon

There was also time for a flawless seabass, a great selection of refined cheeses and an excellent dessert of Chocolate with yuzu and hazelnut.

 Chocolate, Yuzu and hazelnut

After the dinner we went to the bar, accompanied by some Portuguese friends in a joyful coincidence, where we had the chance to see an amazing moment like a Piano Batlle! A usual moment in the nights of the bar.

At the bar and Lounge is also possible to enjoy a meal and wine.

Regarding the breakfast, you can have it at the restaurant, similarly to the other meals of the day, but we opted to have ours in the room next to the reception. A more intimate environment, with a Christmas-y decoration, and a range of fruit juices forming a true color palette. An excellent breakfast!

Besides the usual services, like room service, wi-fi, laundry service and concierge, the Hotel des Balances also has other services to its guests.

You can also say the location is probably one of the best in town, making our life easier.

Concerning business trips, the hotel has three rooms for either conferences, events or celebrations, and two of them can even be joined to form a bigger one.

If you like your stay to be personalized, just talk to the concierge and the plan will be prepared to your taste, from visiting museums, a shopping day, go to a show or take a boat trip to other towns around Lucern.


The Swiss hospitality turns any stay in a moment of perfect harmony, and that is noticeable at Hotel des Balances.
The team is young, nice and caring about details. The environment is elegant but relaxed, and being a relatively small hotel, you still get that feeling of being at home.

I felt so welcomed and spoiled (and I just don’t say that because of the Veuve Clicquot!!!).

Hotel des Balances is one of those cases where we see sometimes some of the four-star hotels are better than the five ones!

Located in one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in Switzerland, it makes us feel special.


A magical place, full of history, but at the same time trendy and cosmopolitan.

A place where you leave already wanting to come back!

Hotel Des Balances 
Bedrooms from 150€
Weinmarkt, CH-6004 – Lucerne
+41 414 182 828

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

Posted in Hotels | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


    Seeing the World with

    Travelling with

    In the Company of

  • Meta