SÃO TOMÉ

Lonely Planet (UK) - - São Tomé & Príncipe -

PLACE TO STAY

Omali Lodge is a sight for sore eyes after a long flight, with its nat­u­ral pool and wa­ter­fall sur­rounded by im­pos­si­bly tall palms and beam­ing bar­tenders. In the ho­tel restau­rant ex­pect a San­tomean spin on Por­tuguese dishes with 95 per cent lo­cal in­gre­di­ents: do­rado fish burger with a squid ink bun, lo­cal sugar cane spir­its and bras de grouper – a tra­di­tional Por­tuguese dish usu­ally made with cod and potato, here with grouper and grated man­ioc. Rooms are sim­ple and re­fined, with ex­posed brick­work, spa­cious bath­rooms and a bal­cony or court­yard overlooking the pool (rooms from £135, mains from £8; oma­lilodge.com). Named after a mag­i­cal tree, Mu­cum­bli has six wooden chalets overlooking the ocean. The dark-sand beach is a 10-minute walk away, or you can join an or­gan­ised bike tour of the is­land. The Ital­ian own­ers serve hearty pasta dishes (rooms from £60; mu­cum­bli. word­press.com).

PLACES TO EAT

Sit on the ve­randa overlooking the rain­for­est at Casa Museu Al­mada Ne­greiros. For £10, you can try a tast­ing menu of lo­cal dishes such as fried sword­fish with okra and aubergine, and rice with ‘mos­quito herb’ (face­book.com/ casamuseual­mada ne­greiros). Papa Figo is a pop­u­lar terrace snack bar in the cap­i­tal dish­ing up an in­cred­i­ble choice of fish (mains from £3; Avenida Kwame Nkrumah).

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