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Raising the bar around Portugal


From warehouse-style bars with industrial interiors to cosy period properties and cosmopolitan cocktail lounges, Portugal offers an eclectic bar scene. Verity Hogan samples some of the very best

Verity Hogan ,

Cinco Lounge
Cocktail lovers may never want to leave Cinco Lounge once they spy its extensive, ever-changing menu and take a seat in its opulent interior. The cocktails here, which are made using only premium spirits and fresh fruit juices range from old favourites to inventive new mixes – the lounge is the first place to pioneer the aged cocktail, kept in wooden barrels to mature. The atmosphere is relaxed to encourage experimentation and the mocktails are delicious enough to convert even the most dedicated cocktail connoisseur.

Cinco Lounge, Rua Ruben António Leitão 17A, Principe Real, 1200-329 Lisbon, +351 21 342 4033

Allegro Bar, Pestana Palace
With its neo-classical styling, old-fashioned bar stools and wooden floor, Allegro Bar is a bastion of tradition. Enjoy a light meal and variety of classic and more experimental cocktails, complemented by calming live piano music that serenades diners each evening. Be sure to pay a visit during the day to try the equally excellent afternoon tea.

Allegro Bar, Pestana Palace, Rua Jau 54, 1300-314 Lisbon, +351 21 361 5600

Radio
Radio offers a simple concept, executed extremely well. Set on the ground floor of a period townhouse, this former mechanics’ yard is stripped back and minimalist; its polished concrete floor and corrugated cement panelling provide a stark, industrial feel. The dance floor is extensive, surrounded by multi-coloured timber to provoke a party mood, while the outdoor terrace is an added highlight, perfect for summer drinks with friends.

Radio, Praça Dona Filipa de Lencastre 178, 4050-260 Porto, +351 93 632 0033

MusicBox
The aptly named MusicBox excels at providing live music, welcoming both local and international bands alongside world-renowned DJs who specialise in every style from reggae to rock, hip-hop to house. This isn’t a venue suited to early birds but night owls will revel in its midnight opening time and dance floor that is filled until dawn. MusicBox attracts an eclectic, suitably stylish clientele; its alluring interior features an arched entranceway and retro video wall.

MusicBox, Rua Nova do Carvalho 24, Lisbon, +351 21 347 3188

Clube 3C
Set in the historical centre of Porto, Clube 3C offers something to suit every taste. By day, it is a cosmopolitan restaurant offering modern European cuisine with Portuguese notes and set menus that boast plenty of choice for fans of meat and fish and vegetarian diners. After midnight the venue really comes alive, transforming into a lively club that offers themed nights. Refined weekdays are soundtracked by live jazz, blues and bossa nova while wilder weekends are accompanied by a playlist of pop-rock classics that are always guaranteed to fill the dance floor.

Clube 3C, Rua Cândido dos Reis 18, 4050-151 Porto, +351 22 201 8247

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