Set in a vineyard, between Braga and Guimarães, in the grounds of Quinta da Tapada, the Pool House has stunning views over the Serra do Lombão and Serra da Falperra. It is 10 minutes from the Roman city of Braga and 20 minutes from the World Patrimony medieval city of Guimarães. Taipas, with its weekly market, thermal spa, cafés, supermarkets, banks and shops is 5 minutes away and the village of Longos boasts several cafés, excellent local restaurants and a mini-market.
The Pool House is a short walk away from the owner's granite stone farmhouse, on a lower terrace, with stunning views over the mountains and distant villages. Guests arrive to afternoon tea and the owners are happy to organise wine and cheese tastings, guided walks through the forest, and generally to involve guests in whatever is going on locally.
Guests have free access to wander around the vines. They are also given a bottle or two of the house wine.
Fruit trees abound - figs in the autumn, oranges, lemons, kiwis in the Winter, plums in the Summer. Guests are invited to help themselves and to make fruit juice or even jam, if they are inspired.
The house looks over the pool, 5 metres from the veranda. The pool is tiled, salt-water and measures 12m x 6m. It is shared only with the owners, who aim to have a dip when guests are out. The pool is illuminated at night and the garden is lawned at the front and has fruit trees and raspberries behind the house. At night, in the distance, you can see the twinkling lights of various villages.
There is a solar shower next to the pool, sun loungers, a hammock, parasols, a marquee providing extra shade at the end of the garden, with a sofa and chairs below and various tables and chairs throughout the garden.
The house has 2 good sized bedrooms. The front bedroom has sliding doors onto the garden. The bed is Queen-sized (1.60mx2m). It has a large wardrobe, table, chairs, bedside lockers etc.
The back bedroom has twin beds, a large wardrobe, table, chairs etc. All the windows have electric blinds as well as white voile curtains.
The ceilings throughout the Pool House are sloping, beamed and of pine. The doors are also of pine and the bathroom has wooden panelling.
The bathroom has a large shower, heavy glass wash-hand basin and WC. The owners provide shampoo, shower gel, soap, toothpaste and there is a hair dryer.
The kitchen is fully equipped, with state of the art washing machine, dishwasher, induction cooker, microwave, lots of cupboards, Nespresso coffee machine, crockery, glass-ware etc. The table seats 4-6 people.
The sitting area is at the front of the kitchen and has a sofa, flat-screen TV with satellite TV, a DVD player, coffee table, bookshelves etc. It has large full length sliding glass doors onto the veranda, which has a table seating 8, a sofa and chairs, a wall-mounted large flat TV screen with satellite TV - all overlooking the pool. A few feet away from the veranda there is a built-in BBQ.
At the end of the pool is a pergola, providing welcome shade in the summer. Behind this is a private car-park. Guests enter through the wrought iron gates of the farmhouse and then turn off to their own car-park. A little gate gives them access to the pool area and house. Below the pool is a second complete bathroom, with shower, wash-hand basin and WC. it is set in a little terrace, with table and chairs, and views over the vines and the mountainside - a perfect place to enjoy a glass of the house vinho verde, watching the sun go down behind the mountains.
The Pool House is a beautiful place to spend time. It has central heating and an electric wood burner giving off a living flame as well as heat.
The views are beautiful day and night, summer and winter.
Behind the farmhouse there are forest walks, which come out at Sameiro and Bom Jesus. Both have beautiful gardens and several cafes, views over Braga and baroque churches. The area itself is rich in churches, monasteries, Celtic sites and natural parks. The seaside at Esposende is a 35 minute drive away. Porto is 1 hour away and it is possible to drive to the Douro valley and be back in time for afternoon tea.
The owners are happy to organise picnics, tapas, walks and cookery demonstratiions for those who are interested. Breakfast is ihcluded.
The Pool House is brand new and so everything is state of the art!