Outdoor dining...

Need a break, want to get away from it all but not travel too far? Do you want privacy but at the same time some old-fashioned attention? Read on... 13 years ago, the owners of a very fashionable luxury store in Lisbon, Stivali, felt a calling, and it wasn't from fashion but from nature. Manuel Casal and E. Franck began buying, one by one, the abandoned stone houses in a village in the Serra de Sico, a mountain range near Coimbra. This is the centre of Portugal, in a long forgotten region, a rural setting if there was ever one. Called Vila Pedra Natural Houses, ( literally Stone Village ), we spent a few days there a couple of years ago and it was magically memorable. We ate lots of good wholesome food, drank lots of wine and really rested. It was around Easter time, so not so hot, but since the houses are super cozy and warm, one feels really comfortable. Is it romantic? It goes without saying that the surroundings are definatively going to get you in the mood. Is it appropriate for children? For sure, they love to go and see the chickens, the vegetable patch, the sheep nearby and to just run around and get dirty.

 

The stone village was restored with the utmost love and care and 5 years later the houses opened for guests. It soon began attracting guests from all over the world that came for a relaxing and truly away-from-it-all vacation. Rumour has it that some guests are truly world famous but it's a well kept secret!

Casa Nogueira

Details are surprising; Etro bed covers, design cared for rooms (which in reality are mini houses varying in size) delightful dinner services, warm bread every morning, fresh eggs from the chicken coop, all set in the natural beauty of the Vila’s garden. Relax on your own terrace or mini yard, or chill by pool, there's always something to do or not...just laze around. 

Casa Jasmim

Two summers ago, Vila Pedra opened their restaurant and last summer, the two primary schools of the village, a boys and girls separate buildings, from the 1940’s, as 2 new houses, decorated with vintage school decor. 

The kitchen at Vila Pedra.

In 2014, they launched their own produce : cheeses, wine,  red and white, (award winning silver medal in Brussels), sparkling wine, olive oil, honey and herbs. All grown organically on the grounds or locally sourced, these products are all chemical free and biologically certified. 

The beautiful packaging.

Stone everywhere, typical of the region

Chill out in the evening

Explore the surrounding countryside, by bicycle or walking, or go to my birthplace, Coimbra, a university city dating from 1290, still bustling with students in their capes, singing their traditional student fado songs.  


 

Há 13 anos, os donos de uma loja de multi marcas de luxo em Lisboa, a Stivali, sentiram-se atraídos a aventurarem-se numa nova vocação não na moda, mas na natureza. Manuel Casal e E.Franck começaram  a comprar, uma por uma, as casas de pedra numa aldeia abandonada na Serra de Sicó, perto de Coimbra. No centro de Portugal, numa região muito esquecida, um ambiente rural, se alguma vez houve um. Há uns anos atrás, passámos lá alguns dias,  e foi mágico, calmo, um sossego absoluto. Comemos divinamente, bebemos uns vinhos dos deuses e realmente descansámos. 

As casas da aldeia de pedra foram sendo restauradas com o maior amor e carinho e 5 anos depois, abriram para receber hóspedes. Conhecidas por Vila Pedra Natural Houses, começaram logo a atrair visitantes de todo o mundo que vêm para umas férias verdadeiramente relaxantes. Os detalhes são surpreendentes; colchas Etro na cama, uma decoração cuidada nos quartos (que na realidade são pequenas casas), serviços de jantar lindos, pão quente todas as manhãs, ovos frescos do galinheiro, tudo isto num conjunto de beleza natural no jardim da Vila. Relaxe na sua própria varanda ou no seu mini jardim, ou no chill-out junto da piscina. Há sempre algo para fazer… ou não ... simplesmente deixar-se estar na preguiça.

Há dois anos atrás, Vila Pedra abriu um restaurante e no ano passado, recuperaram os edifícios antigos da escola primária da década de 40, (para rapazes e raparigas ), como duas novas casas, decoradas num estilo vintage.

Em 2014, lançaram seus próprios produtos: queijos, vinho, branco e tinto, (o tinto ganhou uma medalha de prata no concurso de vinhos em Bruxelas), espumante, azeite, mel e ervas. Todos cultivados organicamente  e localmente, são livres de químicos e biologicamente certificados. É perfeito para uma férias romanticas mas tambem para estar em familia. As crianças adoram exploram o galinheiro, a horta e andar pelo campo. Recomendo vivamente e do coração!!

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