This converted 300-year-old greenhouse enjoys peaceful surroundings in one of Lisbon’s oldest botanical gardens. Used primarily as a function venue, over time Estufa Real has built up a solid reputation on Lisbon’s restaurant circuit. It’s an ideal daytime choice; sunlight pours through the giant glass windows and spills onto the wicker furnishings within. The creeping trellises and exotic flora of the gardens are the perfect antidote to city life.
Any sense of urgency dissipates immediately and reality seems a forgotten concern. Only lunch is served, although dinners can be arranged for groups of 30 or more. But it’s the extravagant Sunday buffet that proves to be the main draw for customers. Well-to-do families spanning the generations venture here to feast on a spread that reaches almost banquet proportions. Expect to find tables occupied for several hours as diners savour an unlimited supply of food. And if Cupid happens to shoot his arrow, wedding receptions can be arranged for around £100 a head. A culinary event.