Everyone has a smile – feel at home the moment you set foot in Torel Palace. Walk through the narrow gateway and into the courtyard of the two elegant mansions: one pink, the other a deep blue with wrought iron verandas, curtained in the summer for shade. Friendly João, Barbara and Ingrid have created a romantic city escape – find a sumptuous blend of beautiful colours, contemporary pieces, chandeliers, ornate ceilings, carpets on polished wood. There’s a cosy bar with green velvet chairs, two dining rooms, and a perfect pool with a covered sitting area of sofas, bright cushions and books. Bedrooms are sleek, deeply comfortable and named after past Portuguese kings and queens; snazzy bathrooms are gleaming. The buffet breakfast includes pastries, cheeses, chouriço, freshly baked cake, croissants and jams; there are high teas for children – and toys too. It’s easy to get to all the sights, and the nearby train station will take you to Sintra (Byron’s “Glorious Eden”) and medieval, walled Óbidos. Return to the pool, have a cocktail on the terrace, watch the sun go down over the city and river Tejo. A charming place.