Casa Mãe is by far the most design savvy hotel I’ve ever stayed in. From the moment you step into the hotel lobby a sense of relief and relaxation washes over you. It’s the combination of the use of raw materials, the friendly faces that guide you to your room and the fact that Casa Mãe embraces slow living with everything they do.
The hotel is situation within the old city walls of Lagos and surrounded by a 7000sqm organic vegetable garden and a 10 minute walk to the nearest beach.
Combining old and new traditions through modern architecture Casa Mãe has a total of 30 rooms throughout three different houses on the farm.
We stayed in the 19th century farm house Casa Mãe, which the hotel happens to be named after too, in room Poço (meaning well in Portuguese). It is situated on one of the highest points of Lagos and boosts spectacular views of both the old city and the blue Atlantic ocean.
The space has been renovated yet still maintains it’s original character and has been furnished with an electic selection of Portuguese vintage pieces and contemporary furniture that immediately inspires your thoughts.
It’s the little touches that make this place so special. From the old school vinyls playing as you enter your room, the offering of organic fruits handpicked from the garden waiting on your table to the no-wastage homemade shower gel and shampoo. The design team behind Casa Mãe have thought of everything in true Portuguese craftsmanship.
Once we had settled into our room we headed to the pool to catch some last minute sun before dinner. A triangle shaped pool surrounded by greenery of all sorts and plenty of lazy lounging space.
There is also a causal fine dining pop up restaurant with a romantic terrace tucked-in between the house and the old city walls to enjoy and a mercearia (a grocery store) stocking some of Casa Mãe’s latest natural wine discoveries.
As soon as the sun left we went back upstairs to get ready for dinner but found that we had some time to kill before making our way to Orta, Casa Mãe’s onsite restaurant, so we headed downstairs to their communal living space.
An incredibly stylish art deco space filled with 2 metre high palms, lazy leather armchairs and delicious eye candy coffee table books.
Can I stay forever please?!
Dinner was an absolute dream. I felt like I had stepped on set for the Portuguese version of Lala Land. Fairy lights and palm silhouettes set the scene while the chefs busied themselves in the open plan al fresco barbecue.
We had oysters to start (the freshest oysters I’ve ever had!) and for mains I opted for the grilled squid with roasted egg plant and potatoes. Everything was cooked to absolute perfection and you could taste the farm to table mentality.
After dinner we took a stroll around the vegetable garden then headed back to our room where I took the greatest pleasure in drawing myself a big, steaming hot bath. With the current water crisis in South Africa and no bathtub in London I haven’t had a bath in almost a year!
I left the double story french doors open so I could enjoy the light summer breeze that was coming in through the windows and emerged myself in the water so that only my nose and eyes were sticking out. I stayed in the bath for so long that by the time I climbed out the water had gone cold and my toes had turned into prunes.
I wrapped myself in a fresh white bath robe and climbed straight into the tightly pulled cotton sheets of my king size bed. Utter bliss. It truly is the little things is life that bring the largest amounts of joy.
I fell asleep to the calm bustle of the Lagos streets outside.
If you book a stay as Casa Mãe I highly recommend adding breakfast to your stay. Everything is healthy, fresh and filled with ‘sunny’ flavours.
We ordered a table full of food and devoured it all! Everything’s organic with craft coffee (the first I’d come across in Portugal) to boast.
Breakfast highlight was definitely the boiled eggs with toasted soldiers.
(All of Casa Mãe’s chickens are fed kale and oranges!)
Casa Mãe also has a cool concept store next door to their lobby, LOJA, which stocks non-touristy but curated goods all about craft and Portugal. Everything in the store is either a collaboration piece or a limited edition piece from a project with a Portuguese designer or artisan.
All in all our stay at Casa Mãe blew my mind and I can not wait to go back to Lagos for a second visit. I think next time I want to try book a room in the modern section, Jogo da Bola, and hopefully catch one of their outdoor cinema experiences & perhaps a yoga class too.
If you ever happen to be passing through Lagos Portugal I can not recommend Casa Mãe more highly.
P.S Did I mention that it hasn’t even been open for a full year yet! Can’t wait to see what they create next.
All photo’s by myself and Justin Polkey
I’m constantly collecting things from Mother Nature that inspire me. Such as these beautiful dried up mini fynbos flowers I found while shooting in 40 degree heat out in Worcester South Africa.
fynbos: courtesy of Mother Nature
vase: @home The Homeware Store
photography: Justin Polkey
Today’s post is a sort of mini-ode to one of my favourite artists of all time, David Hockney, in celebration of his 80th year (even though his birthday is only in July) and the opening of his biggest exhibition to date.
An exhibition at the Tate gathers together an extensive selection of David Hockney’s most famous works celebrating his achievements in painting, drawing, print, photography and video across six decades.
An incredible artist that has involved over the decades with the use of new technology and continuously changing his style.
There’s this simplicity to his work and the use of colour that just pull’s you into the piece particularly his swimming pool series in the 60’s and 70’s.
If you new to David Hockney watch the video below for a brief look into Hockney’s life and his work over the decades. Doesn’t he make you smile form ear to ear?
“I like to enjoy now as there is only now” – David Hockney
left: the Aphrodite female nude form, Porcelain.
right: Odalisque, female nude form, Porcelain.