house of wonders

The Cascais village has a special charm. Just a few miles outside of Lisbon and by the ocean, as soon as the first rays of sun emerge from the horizon, locals mix with tourists through the narrow streets bordered by colourful houses with beds of flowers in window boxes. Among all these houses, one stands out. On the door, a wooden sign reads “What a beautiful day!” and the promise that there is sunshine on the rooftop welcomes us in. We are inside the House of Wonders, a place with magical energy that makes us feel at home.

What is the House of Wonders? This three storey house is a restaurant, an art gallery, a café and a sightseeing spot all in one. Going from room to room and floor to floor, you can experience this curious and enchanting locations.

The first floor houses the restaurant which is the ideal starting point for your journey inside this house. A happy team is ready to cook vegetarian dishes, soups, quiches, tarts and salads, combining foods of a multitude of colours and flavours to satisfy your taste buds. You can have your meal inside or outside at one of the tables next to the street before further discovering the curiosities housed within.

With your appetite satisfied, continue on to the second floor. There you’ll be welcomed by Anna, the heart of the House of Wonders and the mind behind its creation. Ask her to explain in detail how the pieces of art in this room were made: there are wooden boards, which used to be parts of boats, and which tell us that real life is lived with sand under your feet and salt in your hair. There are stones, which once lived on many beaches, and unique drawings of cornucopias and mandalas, dreamcatchers and an endless number of handmade pieces. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see first-hand these pieces being made in the small workshop on this floor. You’ll have to resist the temptation to take everything home with you!

After visiting the workshop, and if the weather permits, there’s nothing better than sitting under the Cascais Bay sun, so walk up the stairs filled with flowers, shells and maps (this is a place of the world!) to the rooftop. Don’t rush getting there and instead look at the writing on the wall telling you that life is a journey. On your way up, stop at the third floor to order a fresh drink, a freshly squeezed orange juice or a beet and carrot juice, all made to order are a vitamin rush for your body.

When you get to the rooftop you are in a true haven. Put a straw hat on to protect yourself from the sunlight and relax on one of the sofas, all made of recycled materials and decorated with colourful pillows, while listening to music of the world and, between the chords, the ocean.

Stick around. Enjoy this journey, so rich to your body and mind, and leave the House of Wonders with fresh energy, happier and promising yourself you’ll come back.

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