Pousada de Lisboa, Portugal: A capital hotel on the banks of the Tagus

Poet, playwright and government minister Antonio Ferro came up with the concept of the pousada in the 1940s: a hotel that offers an authentically Portuguese experience, via itssurroundings and gastronomy. There are now almost 30 pousadas dotted around the Portuguese mainland and islands; many occupy historic buildings in sublime locations. So, it was something of an anomaly that until this summer, there wasn't one in the capital, one of Europe's oldest cities. Happily, an opulent 18th-century sunflower-yellow Pombaline building, once home to Portugal's Interior Ministry, has been repurposed as the latest – and perhaps one of the grandest – of Portugal's pousadas. 

48 Hours In: Lisbon

This charming capital, which combines sea views, steep hills and old-world manners with a vibrant nightlife, is a joy to visit, says Mary Lussiana

Food that will serve up a serious debate

A dinner party with a difference will be serving up quirky dishes like “deconstructed caldo verde” (all the ingredients of soup served dried on a plate) and “the Lusophere Flip” (sous vide fish with sauces from former Portuguese colonies Macau, Goa, Brazil and Angola – which were once poor but are now thriving). The idea is to provoke debate about architecture and cities. “These Planetary Supper Club dinner parties are about getting people talking about the events of our time,” says artist and cook Zack Denfeld of the Center For Genomic Gastronomy, who devised the menus for the event, as part of Lisbon's forthcoming Architecture Triennale. “The fish dish for example is about imagining a more horizontal world where ideas, food and people flow equitably around the Lusophere.” Denfeld will also dish up Cobalt 60 BBQ Sauce (above) created with plants bred from mutations – which questions how we use and abuse intensive agriculture and bioscience in the kitchen.

More headlines

Cesaria Evora: Cape Verde's soulful 'barefoot diva'

Cesaria Evora, the "barefoot diva", became the ambassadress par excellence of her country, the small West African island group of Cape Verde, and one of the most famous African singers in the world. Her origins were humble and she represented that dying breed typified by the last of the old rural blues singers – an artist who genuinely lived the hard times her songs spoke of.