The Mercador gives an ahoy to Portuguese history with seven rooms themed around seaports of Portugal’s colonial days. Each room serves as a mini-exhibition of furniture, tapestries and artwork from far-flung lands like Macau and Goa (those Portuguese sailors knew how to get around), and the building itself was constructed with the riches of a Portuguese family who hit the jackpot in Brazil.
Many features from the swish 19th-century residence have been maintained, such as a big wooden staircase, which is adorned with plaster sculptures and wall hangings that pay homage to the plaster workshops that used to dominate the surrounding streets.
Not only is the guesthouse easy on the eye, but the owners have also paid attention to detail with soft scents and music drifting through the corridors to whisk you into relaxation mode.
Downstairs there’s a button-cute dining room, which leads out to a big garden. Here you can kick back with a glass of wine after exploring the galleries that line the streets outside, given the lodging is positioned in the midst of Porto’s funky arts district. The beautiful Crystal Palace Gardens are 500 metres away and if you’re lucky you might chance upon some summer fun here like a market or music festival. If not, just stroll the shaded pathways and snap the show-pony peacocks that love nothing more than posing for tourist photos.
Come breakfast time you can tuck into a continental spread of fresh bread, cold cuts, fruit and cakes, plus delish pasteis de nata (Portuguese tarts).
The Mercador is pet friendly so feel free to bring your pooch. (Just make sure Fido doesn’t munch the vintage furniture.)
|Venue name:||Mercador Guest House|
Rua de Miguel Bombarda, 382
|Price:||Standard rooms from €98 in low season and €108 in high|