A journalist and writer with more than 15 years experience, I divide my time between London, Berlin and Lisbon, and write about art and culture, people and places, the climate crisis and the natural world, for publications across the UK, US and Australia.
In order to see this embed, you must give consent to Social Media cookies. Open my cookie preferences. I've been visiting the Azores for the past six years, drawn to return again and again by the epic landscapes and sapphire sea, and because this is a wondrous, green part of the planet not yet conquered by humanity.
LISBON - With its cobbled lanes, vintage trams and ancient castle, Lisbon oozes history. Its shops, too, offer a glimpse back in time. According to the city council, Lisbon has at least 50 stores that have been serving customers the same products from the same venue for more than 100 years, stores that were open and trading when horses were more common than cars and electric lighting was still a newfangled concept.
As 'download day' sees UK parents hurriedly filling tablets with videos to keep kids quiet, one family decided to mix traditional fun with activities on a break in Portugal
Much of coastal Algarve, particularly heading west between Faro and Lagos, has been geared towards crass mass tourism, from the upmarket resorts frequented by footballers to the low-cost thrills of Albufeira.
In the past five years Lisbon has had something of a makeover. Its historic cobbled lanes, pretty wooden trams, sparkling river and striking tiled façades are all still there but there's now a host of intriguing new spaces to visit, too.
This elegant three-room guesthouse is the kind of house you wish you lived in yourself. The bedrooms are large, light and tranquil with white walls, stripped wood floors, squashy sofas and fresh flowers. The shared areas are sophisticated and welcoming in an understated way.
The Azores, essentially volcanoes in the middle of the Atlantic, are all moody basalt mountains, jade green forests, waterfalls tumbling into crater lakes, and pasture hedged by bursts of white, blue, and purple hydrangeas.
As the sun sets, the houses that cover the city's many hillsides change tone, chameleon-like, from strong and vibrant to dusky shades of pink, gold, sage and pale blue. On the park lawn, a trapeze artist is balancing on a high wire in the last fingers of sunshine and two actors rehearse their lines under the violet blooms of a jacaranda tree.
We stayed at the locally owned Vanna Bungalows on the hillside overlooking the town. During the day we lazed in the hammock on our veranda, walked to the beach for a swim or explored the tracks that run along the jungle-covered hillside behind.
Politics and business
Since taking power in 2015, Portugal's Socialist Party has paired economic tailwinds with an effective political narrative about rolling back austerity. It's unclear, though, whether the party's success offers lessons for socialists elsewhere in Europe who are losing ground in the current political environment.
Trish Lorenz reporting from Portugal: The Portuguese navy is one of the oldest in the world, with a history that ebbs and flows back to the 12th century. As...
"I love everything about it, from the hills and the views to the jacaranda trees, the kiosks in the squares, the light, the sea breeze, the food and the wine. It's a very human city and it's architecturally beautiful," says Tariq El-Asad, 32, who has traded London for Lisbon.
Built on the steep hillside overlooking the Douro river, with the old port warehouses occupying the opposite bank, Porto's picturesque old town has steep medieval lanes with high, narrow town houses and wide, leafy squares with 19th-century palaces and grand neoclassical buildings. Known as the Ribeira, this historic centre is a Unesco world heritage site.
The ornate 18th-century Palácio Chiado in central Lisbon, which reopened this spring following a two-year renovation, is emblematic of Lisbon's revival. Now home to seven restaurants, a bar and private dining rooms, the Palácio is brimming with wealthy Lisboetas and expats alike.
Portugal has a rich artisanal heritage and, today, many of the world's biggest retailers, such as Ikea, source products and skills in the country. However, with the exception of Pritzker prizewinning architects Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, who both design modernist furniture and lighting, there have been few truly notable Portuguese designers and even fewer Portuguese designer brands to date.
Art, culture and design
Bordallo Pinheiro has suddenly become a cult hit. Trish Lorenz finds out why
The oldest is 90, the youngest 59 - and workshops in the Portuguese capital for older people who want to make street art are proving hugely popular
Sweden owes a lot to Austrian immigrant Josef Frank. His work paved the way for the likes of Ikea and Marimekko
African furniture is undergoing a transformation. Forget village handicrafts; today's designs are contemporary, high-end and beginning to sport "Made in Africa" branding. They are also a growing presence in both local and overseas markets. The continent's creative industries are on the rise, boosted by a buoyant economy and emerging middle class with a growing disposable income.
Many first-year university students in Portugal are being put through the mill by their peers, taking part in initiation activities that are supposed to be fun - as well as embarrassing. But how far will they go to earn their stripes? In a shady corner of Porto a rather gothic scene is unfolding.
Bringing together around 200 pieces by over 70 artists and designers, the exhibition ( barbican.org.uk) features the work of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Peter Blake alongside objects by designers such as Achille Castiglioni, Charles and Ray Eames and Ettore Sottsass, among others.
We are infatuated with luxury. In its January 2014 report, "Shock of the New Chic: Dealing with New Complexity in the Business of Luxury", the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) estimated that consumers spent a total of more than $1.8tn worldwide on high-end goods in 2012, and predicted that subsequent annual growth at 7 per cent a year would outpace GDP.
Slim, streamlined and playful, the swallow is a constant feature of the Portuguese summer. On almost any warm evening you will be able to see a flight of them darting over terracotta rooftops in Lisbon's old town, swooping across sunburnt wheat fields in Portugal's interior or riding the sea breezes on the southern Algarve coast.
The sun is scorching the courtyard in suburban Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, where Malian designer Boubacar Doumbia has set up a temporary workshop. Swatches of fabric from his new collection - hand-painted in intricate detail - are drying on the hot, dusty ground. A young assistant appears, bringing a bowl of mud.
Film and radio
Monocle's Lisbon correspondent Trish Lorenz explores the enduring appeal of azulejos - the decorative tiles that have been a mainstay of Portuguese craftsm...