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).