Herdade da Matinha Country House & Restaurant

I love to travel to quiet places and to connect with nature with my husband. However, I also have this strong desire of being by myself in silence. I need it to really reconnect with myself and to be able to listen to that little voice inside me. Corona hit us all hard in very different ways. I missed the ocean terribly and I missed having room for myself. On a rather short notice, I decided to visit my parents for 10 days and to take out three days only for and with myself.

I drove almost two hours listening to my favorite music through the soothing landscape of Alentejo and arrived and a calming retreat: Herdade da Matinha, a place surrounded by Costa Vicentina's nature. In October, high-season is over and most places get very calm. I check-in at Herdade da Matinha on a Sunday afternoon and you could truly feel that everyone had just checked out. I encountered a peaceful and warm atmosphere.

Herdade da Matinha is an invite to slow down and appreciate the rhythm of the seasons. Since 1996, it's a family estate. Alfredo, the owner, started by renovating the main house. Initially there were only four rooms and a kitchen. He loved to welcome guests in the house and at their table. They enjoyed meals and the sound of classical music. Today, Herdade da Matinha consists of 35 rooms, every room is one of a kind. It's a place where children are welcome but space is equally made for those who enjoy privacy and tranquility. I was definitely looking for tranquility and stayed at the latest addition to the estate: Rose Club. The Rose Club is a homage to Alfredo's grandfather, Joaquim Moreira da Silva, who used to be one of the biggest rose producers of the country. All rooms in the Rose Club benefit from their one shared private pool. My room had a beautiful view and terrace overlooking the estate. I loved its interior in a grayish but warm blue.

Rose Club

Rose Club room design

Terrace to my room

Private pool for Rose Club guests only.

Beautiful sunset from my private terrace.

Sustainability is not only a buzz word at Herdade da Matinha. When Alfredo arrived at the land that would eventually become Herdade da Matinha, the soil was almost inert due to mining and agricultural activities, intense pastoring and severe floods in the area. So, he embarked on a mission to bring the land back to life. He didn’t know anything about how to restore the land and balance the ecosystem in a long-term and sustainable way. But Alfredo loves being challenged! And so he studied hard and ventured on different regenerative agriculture techniques to restore the area and planted more than 55,000 trees, from cork oaks and pine trees to

medronho trees (all endemic to the region). Today the Moreira da Silva family and its guests can admire a land with a heart that beats strongly, and they can even enjoy the taste of the seasonal harvest provided by the vegetable garden. The estate also has a fruit orchard with oranges, apples, quinces and figs. Although it’s still not self-supporting, it provides just enough fresh ingredients used by the kitchen staff to prepare delicious meals at the restaurant Mesa.

Mesa truly surprised me with its creations. Back in the day, Alfredo was in charged of the cooking. He passionately created new recipes, perfected them over time, experimented with unusual combinations and transformed this activity into a fun dynamic to enjoy quality time as a family. Along with the traditional Portuguese dishes, Alfredo was also strongly influenced by three generations of ancestors coming from India, various European cities, certain parts of Africa and by his Jewish heritage. Today, Herdade da Matinha offers a gastronomic experience that adapts to different likings, yet keeps the original Mediterranean-Portuguese

influence from Alfredo’s recipes. During my stay I had the best Açorda de Bacalhau ever. It was served slightly different than the traditional one but it had the signature taste. Can I please have the recipe?

Herdade da Matinha also offers a range of well being activities. You can take cooking, painting or yoga classes. Or like me, enjoy an amazing massage. During my stay, I recharged my batteries and lived with the rhythm of nature. I woke up with the sun, listened to nature and soak in the strong and transformative sound of the waves at my so loved Costa Vicentina.

Thank you for the hospitality and kindness, dear team of Herdade da Matinha.

Wellness area

Owner's house: an invite to relax in every corner.

The restaurant also serves lunches for example on the terrace of the owner's house.

You can also book experiences around the estate.

My biggest crush: the Atlantic Ocean at Costa Vicentina

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1-2, 8-14, 17-18, 24-25 © Taste of Portugal

All others © Herdade da Matinha