BAIXA HOUSE

Lisbon, Portugal

May 2014

From the airport it’s only a short ride to the Baixa district, downtown Lisbon. Along the orthogonal streets of the neighbourhood are vintage hat shops, pastelerias (patisseries) and small yellow trams. You can smell the ocean and hear the sound of the¬†cathedral’s bells in the background. We stop in front of a shiny green door and look up to see this VIII century building all covered in blue azulejos. The Baixa House entrance hall is fresh and dominated by a wooden spiral staircase that goes up five floors interrupted only by white landings and multicolour windows. Our apartment, 4b Campo Grande, is inundated by the day light. The whole white rooms are warmed up by the light brown wooden floor and the pops of colour: industrial lamps, fresh flowers, the folk patterns of cushions, artisanal rugs and ceramics. The apartment overlooks the derelict roofs of the neighbourhood and the blue sky over Lisbon. It’s not long until Baixa House becomes a home to us, the starting and finishing point of every exploring trip to the city: Bairro Alto, the elegant Chiafo and the nostalgic Alfama are around us. Every afternoon, the fridge in the room magically fills up with fresh mango juice, pineapple yogurt, banana plum cake and local cheeses. Every morning at 8 am, a basket with warm bread is left behind your door. Sneaking out to collect it while still in your pyjama will become a joyful daily ritual.

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