An award winning journalist and writer with more than 15 years experience, I divide my time between Berlin, Lisbon and Madrid. A former correspondent, I specialise in the Iberian Peninsula region but also write about art and culture, politics, people and places from around the world, for English language publications across the UK, US and Australia.
**Winner of the 2021/2022 Nine Dots Prize**
Portrait shot by http://www.lenamucha.com
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.
This subterranean lair in Portugal's Alentejo is the perfect retreat...
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.
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
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.
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.
An ideas-sparking set of sculptors, architects and musicians has quietly settled into an alternative groove behind the dunes in Melides, Portugal
Our boat is floating on a gentle swell a kilometre or so from the island of São Miguel. The water is an incredible blue, a blend of turquoise, azure and ultramarine reminiscent of a Hockney painting. Diving in feels like jumping into the sky.
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.
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.
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.
Art, culture and design
Bordallo Pinheiro has suddenly become a cult hit. Trish Lorenz finds out why
Sweden owes a lot to Austrian immigrant Josef Frank. His work paved the way for the likes of Ikea and Marimekko
"The word 'design' isn't really part of the culture in India," says Rashmi Varma. "Although beautifully crafted products have been made here for centuries, I would say that a design industry, as we consider it in the west, only really began to emerge in the last 15 years."
Greta Grossman (1906-1999) had a diverse career spanning product design, interior design and architecture. Working in Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s, she counted Greta Garbo, Frank Sinatra and Joan Fontaine among her clients and her work contributed to the modernist aesthetic that dominated postwar Californian design.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hugging the coast of the Arabian Sea, the city of Dubai sits perched on the edge of a vast sandy desert, its climate hot, dry and inhospitable. For centuries, the surrounding area was home to nomadic people who survived in one of the harshest environments on the planet and built a rich, distinct culture of crafts to make the most of the desert's scarce materials.
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.
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.
Politics and business
The mighty Habsburg empire helped to shape the cities, sights and stories of much of present-day Europe. We map four cross-continental sites where its impact has been felt most keenly, from the splendour of its Iberian outposts to its fateful final days in the Balkans.
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...
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
Like the seven sun-dappled hills that overlook the sparkling Rio Tejo, Lisbon has had its ups and downs. Nevertheless, the plucky city has always bounced back and today it's positively thriving. We've combed the cobbled streets to find the best bacalhau, the creamiest pastéis de nata and the sweetest ginjinha.
Affordable prices and an alluring combination of sunny skies, glorious architecture, deep-rooted traditions, and thoroughly modern flair have made Lisbon into a top destination for travelers. Record numbers of cruise ships are now docking at the revamped port, and Lisbon has gained a reputation as one of the best spots on the continent for live music-from rock to jazz and classical-with many events held in the city's numerous leafy green spaces.
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...