Twice a week (Tues & Sat), the streets of Campo de Santa Clara are filled with one of the largest flea markets in Lisbon. Feira da Ladra (the thieves fair) is filled with wonderful looking antiques, ceramics, Portuguese tiles, vintage wares, plus the bric-a-brac that makes it way into most markets. The vibrancy and energy is a pleasure to experience.
We wove our way through the stalls and the pavements lined with goods, stopping often but checking our watches as we were actually heading to an appointment that if we didn’t stop being distracted we would be very, very late.
Our destination was Santa Clara 1728 which we found at the top of the market and away from the main bulk of trading. Stepping into Santa Clara is like stepping into an oasis of calm. Tranquility cloaks you and you just feel quiet.
The renovation was carried out by architect Manuel Aires Mateus and the attention to detail, the craftsmanship of absolutely everything is simply sublime. The marble pieces in the shower room were cut whole and fit seamlessly, the baths are just objects of beauty. The clean lines, the simple furnishings, even the mechanisms to open the shuttered windows all ooze quality and skill and a real appreciation of artisan craft.
Most bedrooms have views of the river and the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora, a 17th Century church and monastery. Waking here would feel incredible.
There is also a secluded garden that just needs a little more time to flourish but when it does I’m sure that sense of calm and clarity will extend to that space too.
This is not the families only project they have created the incredible Cabanas no Rio that started life as two old fisherman huts
And if that’s not enough have a look at Casas na Areia, something that started as a weekend house project that ended up becoming one of the worlds best small hotels.
Joao & Corinne thank you very much for sharing Santa Clara 1728 with us.