If gourmet dining, sunbathing and culture are on your to-do list, then Lisbon ticks them all off nicely.

A vibrant city crammed with plazas, museums and galleries, some of Portugal's best beaches are still only an hour away. Stay at the Palácio Belmonte, a beautifully restored 15th-century palace.

It's not surprising that Christian Louboutin loves the flamboyance of this place, with its red chandeliers and medieval tiles contrasting with modern artwork.

Be sure to kick off your own Louboutin heels for the cobbled climb to this hilltop hideaway.

None of the 11 suites would be out of place in an interiors magazine, but book the Padre Himalaya turret for a 360-degree view of the stars.

WOW FACTOR: A champagne breakfast on your own balcony overlooking the city rooftops as you watch the boats sailing past on the river Tagus below.

FLIGHT TIME: 3 hours

GO: Chic Retreats www.chicretreats.com offers double rooms from £255, B&B while British Airways www.ba.com flights start at £141.