TRAVEL

Good food, good wine, good de­sign: there’s a rea­son all your hippest friends are go­ing to Lis­bon right now

Sharp - - CONTENTS - BY PETER SALTSMAN

Boast­ing the world’s old­est wine re­gion along­side cut­ting-edge de­sign, Por­tu­gal has never been more timely.

POR­TU­GAL IS THE MODEL OF

re­silience. Through­out its his­tory, the coun­try has been down and out, but kicked back up again — af­ter the in­va­sions of the Celts, and the Ro­mans, and the Ber­bers, and the Arabs, and the Moors. Even­tu­ally it be­came one of the most pow­er­ful sea­far­ing na­tions in the world, con­quer­ing half the globe on the backs of its re­lent­less ex­plor­ers. But the New World — and the new world or­der — wasn’t al­ways kind. The fi­nan­cial cri­sis and the Euro crip­pled its econ­omy; peo­ple left for greener pas­tures in North Amer­ica and be­yond; the coun­try stag­nated. You’ll hear lo­cals talk about all this mat­terof-factly, al­most like the weather. But since then, the Por­tuguese have har­nessed their col­lec­tive pen­chant for warm wel­comes and turned the coun­try into one of the world’s great des­ti­na­tions. It pro­duces (al­ready pro­duced, but that’s a tech­ni­cal­ity) fan­tas­tic wines in its two ma­jor grow­ing ar­eas, the Douro to the north and the Alen­tejo to the south; its chefs are be­com­ing cel­e­brated for their sig­na­ture sim­ple style of cook­ing; and its com­mu­nity of young, cre­ative en­trepreneurs have opened a slew of high­de­sign ho­tels and restau­rants that are wor­thy of your next hol­i­day.

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