So excited!

Our latest arrival…
The first in a series of specially commissioned chairs all with a “Bellaugello Back’s” theme.

20140731-173108-63068424.jpg

20140731-173108-63068056.jpg

20140731-173108-63068768.jpg
Claire’s Chairs has done us at Bellaugello Gay Guest House proud. Come join us this summer, have a dip in our glorious infinity pool and you too could have your own personalised set of dining chairs, a hot reminder of your stay here in the Umbrian countryside

The little things in life

I’m on the bus to Rome. Yes! I actually do public transport. Well it is so convenient the bus leaves the Bellaugello Gay Guest House road end at 06.00 and with a coffee stop enroute gets you to Rome by 9am, and to my utter amazement the bus has free wifi how advanced is that!!

20140315-074156.jpg
It’s a beautiful day and a beautiful journey through the Umbrian countryside into Lazio and on into Rome
The bus also continues to Fiumincino airport.
A return bus leaves Rome at 16.00, and brings you back to the road end at Valdichiascio for Bellaugello. A real relaxing way to get for a day trip to the eternal city and be connected too!

20140315-075236.jpg

Felice Anno Nuovo! Happy 2014

Utter silence, guys still sleeping, outside it is warm, sunshine, blue skies, harmony, a gentle breeze not even rustling the few remaining leaves hanging so tightly to the naked tree branches, so quiet even the bird song is faint and intermittent, a bee bumbles over the rosemary flowers, otherwise nothing, hardly a sound.
Way below in the valley the distant sound of water rushing over rocks as the river Chiascio heads downstream to begin filling the lake that will be in front of Bellaugello Gay Guest House.
The sauna is lit, time to work up a sweat and rid our bodies of the bacchanalian excesses of last night…

20140101-113728.jpg
Happy New Year, Felice Anno Nuovo a tutti !

I think I’m in love

I awoke the other morning in Munich to a beautiful sunny day and the bustle of city life – a few days away from Bellaugello Gay Guest House in delightful Umbria. The city is easily reached by a short flight from our nearby airport of Ancona.
It is a very civilized air route, Lufthansa fly direct and there is a damn good glass of red wine on the comfortable plane.
I am here following an invitation to a birthday party for one of a couple of great guests of Bellaugello who have become firm friends and live in a town nearby. Their hospitality was boundless and I have eaten to obesity not to mention imbibing the odd beer or two, interlaced with champagne and scoffed loads of chocolates and much solid Bavarian cuisine. We ended the stay by coming to Munich and the ballet in the delightful Residenz Theatre. A ballet about the hedonistic days Berlin in the 1920s. Ticket sales all going to a local charity for World Aids Day.

20131205-112028.jpg

20131205-112054.jpg
A beautiful setting, spectacular dancing, the principal having a smile almost all the way round his head, what a physique and boy could he dance!
I have shopped (figuratively) until I almost dropped – a cashmere coat with sable collar a mere €23,600 yes that is twenty three thousand six hundred euro, not a typo, wristwatches a snip at €101,000 ish and quite gross at that! Exquisite Nymphenburg porcelain teapot at €860 – and for that price it looks exactly like origami

20131205-112204.jpg

20131205-112220.jpg

20131205-112244.jpg

20131205-112258.jpgand a butcher shop with Irish fillet of beef at €89 a kilo, alas! all way out of my budget but none the less with the exception of the diamond encrusted Rolex all so beautiful. However to make up for all this decadence and for us mere mortals there is the Christmas market or markets. Every where one turns the streets are filled with overflowing stalls each decked with bright lights, tree decorations, nativity figurines, garlands, candles and of course stalls selling fragrant gluwein.

20131205-112459.jpg

20131205-112519.jpg

20131205-112530.jpgThere are people galore from all over the world but my interest was stirred of course by the Pink Christmas Market, lots of hunky goodies there;-) and I managed to pick up a pair of santa’s little helpers!

20131205-112707.jpg

20131205-112719.jpg

20131205-112810.jpg
And so today a bit of sanity was required and on the recommendation of my friends and it being a sunny crisp day a walk and visit to the Glyptothek museum took me to a place where I have fallen in love….

20131205-112906.jpg

20131205-112924.jpg

20131205-113019.jpg

20131205-113035.jpg
Of course as is my custom I have chosen an unsuitable man, and this one is even quite cold and unresponsive, but hell! he is beautiful…

Good morning winter!

Yesterday a glorious day I was busy up olive trees picking olives in the sunshine. We have picked the olives on the trees below the house, and now are busy at the trees in the field. The olives glistened, the sun was hot, in the shade less so, a need for warm fleecy clothes.

20131122-092750.jpg
but nothing prepared me for what greeted me this morning….

20131122-092937.jpg

20131122-093123.jpg….winter has arrived in Umbria. The Apennines are dusted with snow, as is the much lower Monte Subasio, the deliciously round hill above the town of Assisi seen to the south from the Diva and Giardino suites at Bellaugello.
By strange coincidence the phone has been ringing lots this morning, firstly the Frantoio at Montelabate where we pressed our olives a couple of years ago, and also a guy with a truck. On a day like today I should be making the most of the dry weather and be picking olives,

20131122-093520.jpg
But no, not today, for this is the day when they are delivering me olive stones.
Olive stones?! The guy must be mad I hear you say… You may well ask, why does he want olive stones? Is he planning to seed a new olive grove, fertilise the garden, or create a large sculpture? None of the above! Here the olive stones will be used to keep us warm at Bellaugello Gay Guest House. At the Frantoio until recently they were seen as a waste product of oil production but not now. They are dried, finely ground, and ideal for burning in our biomass boiler.
Up to now we have burnt a mixture of pellets and wood cut from our own woodland here at Bellaugello. My preference is for wood, but even I need my beauty sleep, and when the wood in the boiler is all burnt, it automatically switches over to burning the pellets, so keeping the house toasty warm, and allowing us to walk barefoot on cozily warm heated floors. Pellets, although the bags say ‘made in Italy’ there is a global discussion on the provenance of these pellets and indeed if they are actually ecological. From today we will be burning a mix of wood harvested from Bellaugello estate, and olive oil nuts. The nuts burn at a higher temperature and have a higher calorific value than pellets. Of course I am still waiting for the boiler engineer to arrive and set up the complicated control panel, but he assures me no damage will be done in the interim…
I do love the fact that we are now even more local, more ecological, and can proudly say we heat the house by olive nuts, how surreal does that sound! More photos to follow when the 3,000kg of nuts arrive and I have commenced to put them manually – with a bucket into the store! I must be mad!