Let me tell you a little about Lumi.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful palace in the heart of Bairro Alto in Lisbon.
It was a majestic building with a grand ceremonial staircase at its heart, huge renaissance windows and framed by walls over a metre thick in places. Commissioned by the powerful widow of one of the Counts of Lumiares it must have towered over the surrounding landscape. Was she happy in her palace, this indomitable Countess? Sadly we will never know for sure (we like to think she was). What we do know is that a century later the Palacio dos Condes de Lumiares was sold off and all that remained when we stumbled on it three years ago were three crumbling facades, lots of greenery and some pretty impressive graffiti (Lisbon is famous for its graffiti – but more about that another time).
So, why did we choose this palace at this time in our lives? I guess everything just slotted into place. We had already fallen in love with Bairro Alto – the vibrancy, the joie do vivre – there is something just so, well…refreshing!… about this neighbourhood of Lisbon that we would defy anyone not to fall in love with it. Plus the position of the palace, perched on top of the hill, was perfect; even before we sent up the first drone we knew the views from the rooftop would be fantastic. And, why now? Because we were looking for a challenge and three facades, lots of greenery and a brick-load of graffiti was nothing if not a challenge!
From the off we set ourselves 3 rules:
1) Do justice to this wonderful old palace
2) Use an abundance of local talent; local materials, local artisans, local team, local produce, local chef
3) Create a fabulous, comfortable, luxurious boutique hotel that really fits in and complements the local scene
This blog is a chance for us to talk about all of that. To share the stories of some of the artisans whose work – both functional and decorative – is at the heart of The Lumiares. To share the places that we think are special in the neighbourhood – where we go to drink, to eat, to chill out. To flag up when the fun stuff is on in Lisbon and what it’s all about anyway (Sardine Festival anyone?!)
Dip in as little or often as you like. But please get in touch – any comments, suggestions, advice or simply questions are more than welcome.