Hard not to fall for this grand, warmly rustic, old village manor house. It’s not smartly styled but it has stacks of charisma. Massive oak beams, interior shutters at tall windows, the vast stone kitchen sink and Juliet balcony are all original. The Lawsons, based in England, totally fell for the place and its delightful, quiet village setting and have poured upbeat energy into its renovation. They’ve gone for colour-themed bedrooms with an easy-going mix of furniture; two have comfortable double beds, the third sleeps three in a metal bunk bed (double below single). Bathrooms, and kitchen, are practical, a tad quirky, not posh. The big kitchen/living room – with a snug area by the log fire – is where you’ll linger over meals at the antique table or up on a modern bar stool. Down the long hallway the lounge too is a happy mix of antique and new (sofas and TV): one of the walls is a clock. Ancient Alvorge has a monthly market in the square and a couple of shops, including an excellent bakery – hurrah! You’re close here to Roman treasures and the UNESCO cities of Coimbra, Tomar and Alcobaça make great day trips.