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‘Craft and Culture’ Experience

Craft.

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São Lourenço do Barrocal officially opened in July 2016 on the site of a historic estate which has been in the same family for over 200 years. This experience includes three nights in a Farm Room, daily breakfast, a pottery workshop, flower arranging masterclass, historian-led tour of the estate and two tickets for a visit to Fabrica Alentejana de Lanifícios.

Under the guardianship of the same family for over two hundred years, São Lourenço do Barrocal is a farmstead hotel, winery and spa, set in 780-hectares of Portugal’s unspoilt Alentejo. New for this autumn, the property is set to launch a three-night ‘Craft and Culture’ experience which invites guests to pay tribute to the region’s cultural heritage and time-honoured traditions, through a curation of local artisan-led experiences.

The estate comprises a 40-key five-star hotel, a winery producing first-class single-estate wines, two farm-to-table restaurants focusing on traditional Alentejo flavours and ingredients, a farm shop selling Portuguese contemporary crafts, regional delicacies and the estate’s own produce, and a spa by Susanne Kaufmann, the renowned Austrian organic cosmetics brand. It also features two outdoor pools, organic vegetable garden, vineyards, olive groves and stables with a horse-riding ring.  

Taking guests on a journey through Barrocal’s deep-rooted history, local historian Luís Lobato Faria will begin the experience by sharing centuries-old Alentejan tales as he leads guests on a guided estate tour, highlighting São Lourenço do Barrocal’s extensive connections and diligent preservation of its heritage. From here on, subsequent days will see guests delight over a pottery masterclass, floristry workshop and visit to century-old textile factory, Fábrica Alentejana de Lanifícos that still creates original, handwoven wool products today. 

 

POTTERY | Recognised as one of Portugal’s most revered pottery centres where many of the country’s renowned ceramics are created, São Pedro do Corval has long been home to families of master potters who have dedicated their lives to a craft that dates back to the prehistoric period. Through the new Craft & Culture programme, São Lourenço do Barrocal is offering guests the chance to learn from a handful of the region’s greatest artisans, such as local ceramist Hélène Falé who will lead a masterclass on the traditional Alentejan pottery style. Guests will take to the potter’s wheel to design their very own terracotta piece, before getting crafty with the decorative process using a traditional sgraffito technique, where layers of dry paint are scratched through to create contrasting patterns and textures. 

 

TEXTILES | The following day will encompass a visit to Fábrica Alentejana de Lanifícios, a 100-year-old textile factory in Reguengos de Monsaraz, just a 10-minute drive from Barrocal. This is an area famed for its intricate woven blankets which were once worn by local shepherds to protect them from the cold, and have now become a historic yet stylish adornment to homes across the country.  Helmed by designers Margarida Adónis and António Carreteiro, the factory produces high quality wool rugs and blankets, using coloured merino wool that affectionately mirror the colours of their surroundings in rich hues of oranges, reds, and browns. Internationally awarded for design and quality, guests will have the rare opportunity to see local artisans working the ancient looms to create both losango and espiga designs.

 

FLORISTRY WORKSHOP | The third and final day is led by local florist Catarina Cunha who invites guests to learn the secrets of flower arranging. The workshop begins with a journey through the estate where guests will relish in the nature that is central to São Lourenço do Barrocal and has remained unchanged since Barrocal’s beginnings. Changing with the seasons, Barrocal’s bountiful greens and wildflowers make for unique botanical creations as guests create individual arrangements filled with foraged findings such as thistle, olive branches, wild carrot flower and daisies. The fruits of their labour can be used as a distinctive table centrepiece for a private, candle-lit supper served from the estate’s farm-to-table restaurant, and replicated once home, reminiscent of their time at São Lourenço do Barrocal.

 

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