Roll through Beira countryside to find a gorgeous stone quinta in a green valley. Once a simple riverside dwelling for two sisters, it is now a beautiful airy home with a quirky feel, colourful rugs, art-strewn walls and original beams and lintels – Alex has worked her magic. The kitchen and living area is spacious and relaxed: cookbooks aplenty, second-hand furniture heaps of character. Most things have been sourced from London flea markets and brought back by Alex in her lorry; the sideboard is an old chemistry table! Walk into the main bedroom through thrown-open double doors to find a comfy sofa and arty bits and pieces; this feels like home from home. Down a few steps from the kitchen is the bathroom, with a tempting sunken tub asking for candles and oils. Outside are lemon and orange trees, a tranquil stone courtyard with succulent plants, a traditional bread oven – an ideal space for a barbecue. You can walk down the lane to the river beach and swim, or take a dip in your garden plunge pool when the irrigation is good. A little paradise.