guesthouse, restaurant and more…

Through attention to remembering
a degree of harmony is achieved

In the heart of the historic centre of the beautiful city of Viana do Castelo and a stone’s throw from the emblematic Praça da República, here we are – the “Laranjeira” – a Guest house, restaurant and more…

In this house you’ll find: on the ground floor a restaurant with traditional cuisine; at the back a terrace for socialising; on the 1st and 2nd floors nine thematic rooms; in the next house (connected to this one) five studios and a multidisciplinary room – Space-espaço.

Francisco Laranjeira, the patriarch of this family, was always a man ahead of his time. Born in Cabana Maior in Arcos de Valdevez, he was left fatherless at the age of 11 and left for Lisbon at the age of 16 in search of a future that he couldn’t see in Cabana Maior.

Francisco needed to be emancipated at that age to start a career in commerce. He began by opening a business selling charcoal and snacks, where he made some money.

When he realised that the space that would become his guesthouse was available, he didn’t hesitate to move to Viana do Castelo.

It was 1946 when Francisco and his wife Maria, Vó Micas, rolled up their sleeves and started the project that would become the family business. Acquiring a farm near Viana do Castelo was their first concern, to support a business that would guarantee that their children would never go hungry. There he grew, sowed, and harvested the produce that supplied his restaurant for many years. As an entrepreneur, he also got involved in the construction and real estate business.

Later his sons, the eldest Manuel and the youngest, José, took over the patriarch’s legacy (1977) and took charge of the project until the day they decided to separate the businesses, with the eldest running Residencial Laranjeira, now a 3-star hotel in Rua Cândido dos Reis, and the youngest running the Guest House Restaurant Laranjeira.
José Laranjeira was born in this house (1949) and said: “My childhood was spent in this boarding house accompanying my parents and then I thought I had the profile to continue their business…”
José dedicated his heart and soul to this place and to serving all those who passed through for over 50 years, always supported at the back by his dear wife, Isabel, who still makes a point of going to the market to buy the flowers that decorate the restaurant’s tables.

In 2010 he was joined by his daughter, Helena, with the aim of supporting him, using her youth to refresh the image of the old Guest House, telling stories about the family, and recalling Viana traditions. At the age of 93, the grandfather left and the grandmother, who outlived him by six years, continued to live and walk around the guest house welcoming guests and visitors.

Today, this space, the oldest in the city in the hands of the same family, is run by Helena and Pedro, her younger brother, who is also joining the project a year before José, their father, leaves (2019). Pedro comes to support the leadership of the business, becoming the ideal partner for realising the new ideas that Helena proposes. More able to optimise processes, he has been a natural facilitator of this project’s growth.

From pub to renowned restaurant, from guest house Moderna to guest house and restaurant Laranjeira, 75 years have passed at the service of all those who have given us the honour of their visit. “We will certainly continue to record the stories of those who pass through here,”

– say Helena and Pedro Laranjeira today