|Minimum Stay||4 nights|
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This is a little jewel of an apartment, close to the historic heart of Porto. It is completely renovated, and tastefully furnished with pieces individually commissioned from a Portuguese craftsman, along with original paintings and prints. There is an L-shaped open plan sitting room with dining area and kitchen; a double bedroom; and bathroom with walk-in shower and wc. A small balcony opens from the sitting room, facing west. The kitchen area has sun in the morning, while the sitting room, with a distant view of the sea, has sun from early afternoon until it sets. The name of the street, Monte Alegre, means Mount Happiness.
The apartment is fully equipped with kitchen and laundry appliances, china, cutlery, pots and pans, bed linen, towels, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, hair dryer… and so on. You only need to bring your toothbrush!
There is no noise from traffic. In the morning a cock crows in someone’s garden, and in the evening you may hear a dog or two barking as its owner comes home. Enjoy walking in the streets around the apartment, looking at tiled houses in the Portuguese style, historical buildings and public gardens.
Supermarkets and locally owned shops are within a few minutes’ walk from the apartment, along with medium priced restaurants, and a swimming pool with gymnasium. Buses and metro within easy walking distance get you to the historic centre of Porto in about ten minutes. There is easy access from the airport. The River Douro is not far away, and then come Porto’s town beaches and cafes on the promenades overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
I was a small-town girl in New Zealand, well-behaved, earnest, always did my homework, and so on. At the age of twenty-four I was transplanted with my husband to London where he studied international relations and I studied Renaissance culture.
Our son was born in London, and in 1986 we bought our yacht Peter Duck. We moved to Harwich and bought the Old Custom House with a view of the River Stour, yachts and ferries. We sailed Peter Duck round Britain and later to Russia. My husband died in Russia, I sold our Harwich house, and bought an apartment in St Petersburg, which I renovated.
No longer a small-town girl, I lived in St Petersburg for eleven years, first working on a replica ship building project and then teaching English and writing stories and poems, going to the opera and concerts, and spending summers at my friends' dacha in the forest.
In 2008, I decided to move to a new country. It must be democratic, warm, have an old culture, be close to London where my son lives, and completely new to me. My finger landed on the map of Portugal.
I fell in love with it the day I woke up in Lisbon on 9 January 2009. I had put on my Russian coat, hat, gloves, scarf and boots, and gone out for a walk. Blazing sun, historic buildings and wonderful views caught my heart. By the afternoon I was carrying my winter things over my arms and looking for estate agents.
I chose to live in Porto and never regretted it for a moment. I have wonderful friends. I also have a cat called Desdemona, who is an enchanting companion, and a gorgeous apartment. This is a friendly, comfortable and endlessly interesting city. Now I write, travel, cook for friends, entertain, read, lie in the hammock in the garden, and think life couldn't be better.
Ann Palmer purchased this apartment in 2015
I had some money left over after selling my apartment in St Petersburg and buying one in Porto. In 2014, I decided to buy a second apartment, where I would live from time to time, where my overseas friends could stay, and which I could also rent to visitors. For this reason I chose something that I could turn into a home.
Above all, it is light and sunny. I was able to make a big L-shaped room by combining several small spaces: it flows through the sitting room, dining area and kitchen, and ends in a laundry area. I liked the fact that the entrance hall was not too small and felt welcoming. So although the apartment has only two rooms, it still feels spacious. Sliding doors open from the sitting room to a small balcony with a view across the city to the sea in the distance. I love to stand there in the fresh air, watching the sun go down.
This neighbourhood is friendly and homely. There's a mixture of traditional tiled houses with gardens, and small apartment blocks – mine, with four floors, is an example. Street names are intriguing: Zambezi, Limpopo, Zaire… They show Portugal’s past and continuing links with Africa. Small family-run food shops and restaurants are everywhere in the quiet streets around the flat, mingling with more commercial supermarkets and other shops in the busier roads. There is no traffic noise at night, and in the morning a cock crows in a neighbour’s garden below my kitchen.
When I want urban buzz, I walk for twenty minutes past an old military base, past a small garden and chapel, across Boavista Avenue, and into the historic centre where it is hard to choose among all the things to see and do – all within one and a half kilometres of my apartment.
I can’t live without light and space. This apartment has all the sunlight I could want, and a sizeable sitting room joined to the dining and kitchen areas gives plenty of space to move about in. I’ve always liked before and after in houses, and I’m fascinated by the process of getting there.
The bathroom was a challenge to the builders and me when we renovated the flat. From cracked pink tiles crowded with pipes and fittings, we have created a calm flow from grey to white, there is not a pipe to be seen, and the walk-in shower is a dream.
Waiting to emerge from the bedroom with its damp walls, peeling wallpaper and worn out carpet, was the present warm, inviting room with polished wood block floors. I had a metal and glass side table specially made for this room, whose red enamel complements the dusky blue bed cover and cushion.
The sitting room was even worse – the first thing I saw was black mould on the walls. I still can’t believe my eyes when I look around it now, because it is so beautiful. Instead of double doors that got in the way of furniture, I designed sliding doors like Japanese panels. A furniture craftsman made me a sofa, a wonderful red Chinese sideboard, a wood and leather safari chair, and four really stylish dining chairs to go with the dining table.
The kitchen and laundry area is the final evolution of my design ideas: what should be hidden is hidden, what we see looks gorgeous, and it is absolutely convenient for working in.
I enjoyed playing with ideas and design while this apartment was brought to life, and now I am looking forward to welcoming friends and guests.
We have thoroughly enjoyed Porto and particularly staying in your apartment. It was perfect. The weather has been ideal for us, not too hot and we have walked more than 100 kilometres but caught a bus from Serraveles museum to Matosinhos and returning to Casa da Musica yesterday. We had a wonderful day with Antonio and Branca touring the Duoro Valley. They are a lovely couple and we hope to remain in contact with them.
If the apartment is a jewel, Ann Palmer is the diamond in the jewel. She had thought of everything to make our stay in Porto comfortable. The apartment itself is as described, ideal for a couple. Having stayed in many apartments we were overwhelmed by the welcome here in Porto. Ann had not only left a bottle of wine but also milk, cereals, fruit and vegetables so we did not have to rush out to buy anything.
Whilst the apartment fully justifies a five star rating, there are some negatives to consider. Firstly, like many buildings in Portugal, this is an apartment block without a lift. The apartment is on the top floor and requires a climb of about 60 steps; it does not make coming and going easy. Secondly the position is a couple of km from the historic centre treatment of the city. There is a bus stop near the apartment but the bus does not run on Sundays or holidays. We tended to walk to and from the city centre. Neither of these negatives would make us not want to stay in the apartment next time we are in Porto, but might be of concern for some. Thank you Ann for making this a memorable stay.
Amazing host! Ann received us with a wonderful smile, home baked bread and wine (what can be better than this). The flat is exactly as in the pics: clean, well equipped, very bright and you get a cozy feeling like being at home. Ann had everything prepared from a list of restaurants, bus passes and all the information we needed to get around. Nice, quiet neighborhood, 10 min walk to the metro. We highly recommend Ann's place and if we return to Porto, this is the place to stay. Thank you Ann for all your kindness. Oh! and hungry at night? delicious pizza just across the street called "Da Mattia pizzeria."
The apartment was tastefully decorated, very sunny, all new appliances , very clean and located in a quiet neighborhood. The hostess stocked her apartment with food, flowers and a bottle of wine. We were overwhelmed by her hospitality (meeting us at the train station for starters), leaving specific instructions for transportation, good restaurants and stores in her neighborhood. The location was convenient to public transportation, and although we never walked to the center of town - it was about 20 minutes. She also recommended excellent tour guides who took us into the wine country for the day in their car. We can not say enough good things about the entire experience.
Die Wohnung ist gräumig und ruhig gelegen. Die Austattung ist einfach hervorragend. Man hat alles, was ein Haushalt braucht. wir wurden sehr nett empfangen und mit Informationen versorgt. Es hat uns sehr gut gefallen und wir würden den Aufenthalt in dem Domzil weiterempfehlen.
The historic centre with UNESCO heritage listing is close to the apartment, as is the River Douro and Atlantic Ocean. Nearby - some historic parks, and pleasant city squares. Tourist shopping: 15 minute walk to Rua Cedofeita.
|Rental Period||Minimum Price||Additional Nights||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event Price|
My Standard Rate
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
The flat will be cleaned and the bed changed during a stay of over a week. This is without extra charge. There is a washing machine for your personal use, but you will not have to wash the bed linen and towels. No smoking or pets.
* Approximate monthly price. Actual pricing will depend on the days of the month you stay.