28 Jul Exquisite Estoril & Luxury Living On The Lisbon Coast
Estoril is a stylish and fashionable Portuguese beach resort that is situated on the gorgeous coastline that extends to the west of Lisbon.
I had the opportunity to explore this charming part of Portugal and travel along its stunning shoreline in search of luxury lifestyle.
I have travelled to various parts of Portugal taking in Porto, Madeira and the Algarve and my Portuguese experiences were different every time, but always pleasant. My love affair with Portugal was set to continue and I was looking forward to exploring the luxury lifestyle on offer via Estoril, Sintra and Lisbon too.
My early morning flight from Heathrow via TAP Portugal was made that much more welcoming as I was flying Business Class and had access to the excellent Lufthansa Business Class Lounge.
After a very smooth flight that took just over two and half hours, I had now arrived in Lisbon and I was now ready for next Portuguese instalment.
My private transfer from Lisbon airport to my hotel was swift and efficient and I thoroughly recommend this service for its ease and excellence.
My residence for the next few days is the handsome and well appointed Palacio Estoril Hotel which is located in the heart of Estoril, approximately twenty minutes from Lisbon and set amongst well-manicured gardens with sublime panoramic views over Estoril and the Bay of Cascais.
My spacious bedroom has a classic look and feel throughout, gracefully decorated with modern touches which make it most inviting. Furnished with a comfortable King size bed, generous marble bathroom and a private balcony with marvellous views completed the room nicely.
This grand hotel is walking distance to the beach, the largest casino of the Iberian Peninsula and the train station, so should you wish to explore beyond the hotel grounds, everything is within strolling distance.
An outstanding pool area and an excellent Banyan Tree Spa space are just some of the other delights on offer at the hotel too.
The Palacio Estoril hotel is famed for its film appearance via the James Bond movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and for its serene surroundings that writer Ian Fleming was so inspired by as he penned Casino Royale. It’s so evident to see why this dazzling outpost was and still remains a firm favourite with royalty, dignitaries, VIP’s and celebrities.
A lovely lunch followed at the Bougainvillea Terrace restaurant which is very chic and overlooks the hotel gardens and pool area.
After relaxing by the pool for a few hours and taking in the warm sunshine, I was looking forward to dinner which was taking place at the classy Grill Four Seasons restaurant situated within the hotel. This sophisticated eatery seats 80 diners and is split across the ground floor and mezzanine level amongst a calm and serene ambience.
My starter was a very tasty Avocado Cannelloni followed by a delicious main course of Veal with wasabi. I had just enough room for dessert which came in the shape of a dreamy and satisfying Curd cheese tart.
I really enjoyed my dinner at the Grill Four Seasons and it was the perfect way to end a lovely day spent in Estoril too.
Being based in Estoril offers the advantage of being able to plan great day trips to surrounding towns and cities. I took the opportunity to visit Lisbon which took approximately 30 minutes by train.
I explored the historic Belem area which is known as Portugal’s Golden Age, a time when Portuguese adventurer’s ruled the seas. It was wonderful to be amongst such fabulous art and culture in the form of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Ajuda National Palace and the iconic Monument to Discoveries.
A quick pit stop ensued at Antiga Confeitaria de Belem to try the world famous and divine Pasteis de Belem of which is a must visit.
Lunch at the Can the Can restaurant situated on Lisbon’s largest plaza was a pleasant affair and the menu offered was very appetising.
Whilst in Lisbon it was so good to discover the Chiado and Baixa quarters of the city where you’ll find the traditional café’s and shops side by side. After a stroll along to the Praca do Comercio it was on to the hip and trendy Sky Bar for a swift mocktail. This uber cool rooftop venue is slick in appearance, has great music, a fun crowd and superb views of the Lisbon skyline.
Dinner that evening was served at Gambrinus, a formal seafood diner and one of Lisbon’s oldest restaurants frequented by Portuguese socialites, VIP’s and dignitaries. Located in the downtown of Lisbon and decorated with exotic woods, the main room has a capacity for eighty people and offers traditional Portuguese dishes, with a variety of fish and seafood on the menu amongst a quaint and serene atmosphere.
I thoroughly recommend the sizzling and mouth watering spicy prawns platter as a starter, you’ll certainly love this dish if you’re an avid seafood fan.
The following day I took a trip to Sintra which is simply adorable and a historic Portuguese town that is set amidst a wave of cooling hills, mountains and forest area.
The journey took approximately 25 minutes and was well worth the trip. I explored the romantic Pena Palace located at the top of the Sintra mountains above the town of Sintra and it didn’t disappoint. The palace is a wash with vibrant pastel blue, yellow and pink colour schemes throughout and a variety of gargoyles adorn the building at almost every turn.
The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the seven wonders of Portugal too. I witnessed breathtaking views at the top of the palace and on a clear day, this stand-out piece of architecture can easily be seen from Lisbon and surrounding areas. It’s no wonder Sintra is regarded as one of the best day trips from Estoril of which I totally agree.
After much walking and no doubt working up an appetite within the lofty heights of the Pena Palace, a relaxing lunch at Café Paris was welcomed. Situated in the centre of Sintra, directly opposite the Royal Palace this appealing looking restaurant serves both traditional Portuguese and international cuisine.
The dish that caught my eye on the menu was the traditional cod with cornbread (Bacalhau com Broa), a real favourite with the locals. Lunch was so nice at Cafe Paris of which I enjoyed sitting out on the terrace watching the hustle and bustle of this cute town go by, however, it was now time to say farewell to Sintra and travel back to Estoril.
Arriving back in Estoril and I was certainly looking forward to my much-anticipated spa treatment at Palacio Estoril’s Banyan Tree Spa.
The impressive stand alone spa is surrounded by lush, well-maintained gardens and calm sea views.
Chan, my excellent Banyan Tree Spa therapist started proceedings with a relaxing foot bath, a refreshing herb based beverage and a few moments of tranquillity before my treatment began. Chan then began my session which was a heavenly back massage that consisted of my back, shoulders, head, face and neck areas. The almond scented oils went to work straight away and I could feel the immediate benefits.
This spa experience was excellent, my body soothed, my muscle tension released and I felt completely relaxed and rejuvenated. For those of you who like a nice, relaxing massage from time to time then you’ll certainly enjoy the luxurious service that Bayan Tree Spa at Palacio Estoril has to offer.
My final dinner in Estoril whilst on this current Portuguese trail took place at the Conceito Food Store. Chef Daniel Estriga’s restaurant is based in Bicesse, an unassuming residential area. This best-kept secret takes you on a culinary experience like no other and the dishes served were simply exquisite.
The open kitchen allows you to view Daniel and his passionate team create your dishes before your very eyes. The very essence of the Conceito Food Store is to challenge its diners to take a risk with their culinary choices and experience something completely new.
With every dish served, Vanessa, the first class maître d’ for the evening explained everything about the dishes that were about to be served which made my food journey even more exciting.
For starters, I was served a delectable Cauliflower Puree, which consisted of egg yolk confit, almonds, nuts and black garlic which was lovely.
Next, I was served a fish course which was tasty Octopus filled with chestnut, pumpkin and pack choy.
At this point a very inviting palate cleanser of pineapple, basil and coconut were introduced which worked extremely well.
The following plate was a meat course which consisted of a full-flavoured Chicken breast, marinated with celery puree and mushrooms that melted in my mouth and I so enjoyed.
The final destination of this sublime food expedition was dessert and came in the form of a deconstructed apple pie which was zestful, tangy and a real treat.
All the dishes were well presented and left me extremely satisfied, combined with the clean, chic look and feel of the restaurant and the brilliant service, I would thoroughly recommend Conceito Food Store to all food enthusiasts looking for that ultimate gastronomy experience.
My final day in Estoril saw me take a quick trip to Cascais, an attractive fishing town which boasts some of the finest beaches of the Lisbon region. I took a nice walk along the promenade that follows the coastline between Cascais and Estoril.
It was populated with regal looking 19th-century houses, Lido’s, beach front café’s, bars and restaurants too. I also got the chance to visit the Casa Das Historias, an art museum that displays a permanent collection from Paula Rego, the local famous artist.
With that, my Estoril adventure had reached its conclusion and my departure from the Palacio Estoril via my sterling private transfer back to Lisbon airport was now underway.
In short, the Palacio Estoril is an excellent luxury hotel and an ideal destination for a family, couple or a solo explorer looking to discover and experience a premium travel getaway along the Lisbon coastline.