We’re Open!

It is simply a stunning opening to the season here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House.

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It has been a long slog to get the garden tidy, I between heavy rain showers and high winds, but all turned good in time for our first guests. There is real warmth in the sun, and the spring bulbs are at their best.

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The April singles weekend is now fully booked, but we still have spaces for our Easter Weekend. Do come and join us at the historic and mystical Processione of Cristo Morto held on Friday evening 25 April in our beautiful medieval town of Gubbio. Saturday take time to explore the countryside or sweat in our sauna, we will be serving dinner with all guests seated together around our antique family table. Easter Sunday time for eggs, chocolates, and a special lunch here at Bellaugello Prices for three nights accommodation and breakfast from 450€ a couple
And for you energetic guys don’t forget to book for our hiking week 3-10 May. A chance to climb the splendid hills of the nearby Apennines guided by a fully experienced and qualified guide. Priced at 895€ per person for seven nights accommodation meals and qualified guide we still have limited availability for this week of adventure. Full details and itinerary are on an earlier blog post do check it out and join us

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Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria, Italy, is THE place to travel to and be seen this year

Recruiting – Come Join Our Team

We are looking for an enthusiastic professional guy to join our team this summer at Bellaugello Gay Guest House
You will have trained or worked or are working in the hospitality sector, be people orientated, open, and have a positive flexible attitude to life and to work duties.
Tasks include serving breakfasts and dinners, pool maintenance, cleaning and customer care. You will be working flexible hours and in return receive board and lodgings and a wage.
The job offers the chance to work with our small team in a delightful rural setting where we offer first class professional standards to our discerning international clientele. In your free time you will be welcome to use the facilities at Bellaugello including the infinity swimming pool.
Applicants must have a valid permission to work in italy, if you are from the EC there should be no problem. Send a brief resume, explain why you want to be part of our team when you are available, what languages you speak and attach a clear recent photo of yourself to info@bellaugello.com
looking forward to hearing from you!

Vacancy filled, thanks to all who applied.  I am looking forward to welcoming Paul to the team!  If  your dream is to work in a luxury gay guest house, do send me your CV, I will hold it on file and if suitable when a job comes up I will contact you.  Alec 08 April 2014

Glorious spring day, but which to do?

The sun has returned, and it is warm here in Umbria.  This morning I awoke at Bellaugello Gay Guest House and really surprisingly there was frost on the ground, the first frost of this winter.  Why oh why does it have to be frosty the morning after I cut and fertilised the lawns?  Last week continual rain and warmth mean the the lawns were looking bedraggled to say the least,  and it was clearly time to give them a trim.  Unashamedly early in February, but necessary.  So out with the big red cutting machine and up and down up and down, the result pleasing.  Then a bucket full of fertilizer and handfuls strewn on the cut grass, This morning frost.

So anyway frost or no frost, I had to be in Perugia this morning, off I trotted by the time I left Bellaugello it was bright sunlight, clear air, freshly washed countryside, so sunglasses necessary the car temperature gauge registering 20˚c.

Down to the agricultural merchants for their great fertiliser and a bag of lawn seed.  It is my annual pilgrimage  for the bags of lawn treatment, why change a successful regime.  Next door under the same ownership as the merchants there is a garden centre, a stroll through the depleted shelves thinking I might find some bargains and especially some nice roses, and a couple of hydrangeas, but no, the roses were all tired and sad, left over from last year, unwatered,unkempt and unloved, and the hydrangeas tiny and exorbitant.  I checked the labels of the plants, stalks cut well down, ‘likes sun or partial sun, do not prune’.  Haha!  They will be ideal I have a friend with a shady space between two buildings and he has filled it with huge terracotta pots planted with large hydrangeas, an effect owing to our south facing aspect, I cannot re-create here at Bellaugello.  However I want them for the bed outside the terrace of the Specchio Suite, although it too faces west and south it is shaded by a hedge and the roses I planted do not like the soil, so I thought to plant Hydrangeas, a big boosomy queenly flower, but they will not be coming from this garden centre.

I came away with a bird box. the softie in me loves the wild birds in the garden, from the smallest to the largest, yes, the owls are calling already.  As guests will remember Jenny is intrigued by the pair of blue tits that nest in the cherry tree by the main terrace, and their nest is in a particularly vulnerable place, so having spied a bird nesting box, I just had to have it.  I hope that a pair of birds use it to make their home there instead of the kamikaze cherry tree, or if not another pair make use of it.  There is already a pair of blue tits nesting in the beam above the entrance to one of the Suites, I see them darting out from under the eaves, joy to early spring days.

Next stop the huge pet store for dog food, then a small store for Alec food, and back up the hill to Bellaugello.  Ambling along I noticed the farmers out pruning their olive trees and also their vines.  Near Perugia they are in the Tiber valley and they are lower in altitude than we are here in Valdichiascio, so maybe they start the vines earlier.  I have already been pruning olive trees, discovering new ones in the jungle and hedgerows, the mild weather meant that I could prune with impunity…  like those words together!  but I have not got into the vineyard.  I decided to return to the olive trees, a bit hesitantly as there might again be frost again tonight.  I have a couple of large limbs that I want to take down with the chainsaw, I thought best not to, as the frost if it happens will not help the plants, so instead just a gentle prune of small branches and deadwood and I am wishing for no frost tonight.

Jenny kept me company in the Apetto, she has become a real farm dog.  Every time she sees the tools heading Apetto way she is there and first into the cab.  I am still mildly surprised that my day involves decisions on pruning grape vines or olive trees.  Several years ago in Scotland if somebody had bet me that I would have such decisions to make I would have had them certified.  However I am glad I do, being so close to the land here is a very important part of my life and running Bellaugello.

There’s snow on them there hills!

The clouds hanging low over the Apennines lifted slowly this lunchtime to reveal a dusting of snow
So to celebrate here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House I broke out the box of “Lindor Diva” champagne chocolate truffles, they too being dusted, not with snow but gold powder

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Four exquisite flavours laden with alcohol and lightly dusted in cocoa powder then rolled in gold the perfect indulgence for an ordinary day

Getting in the mood

Take 1kg raisins, 500g sultanas, 500g glacé cherries, 500g dried apricots, 300g dates, 330g prunes, add the jar of pungent fragrant dried figs that I did last year.
Chop and put in a large bowl.
Pour over liberal quantities of Brandy, Rum, Creme di Cassis, and Marsala.
Mix well
Marinade for three days

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Bellaugello Christmas cake is on its way!

The river Chiascio has gone exploring

Rain started last night and it has continued all day. It is real blustery, determined and wet. The wind is strong, the internet signal fades and goes then returns as does my enthusiasm for work. I have spent the day clearing drains, mopping, emptying the over-full swimming pool and generally fighting the floods, there is a pile of wet clothes and jackets filling my bath.

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Certainly not a day for being outdoors, rather snuggled up in front of the blazing log fire at Bellaugello Gay Guest House which, having got a new supply of wood in, is where I am heading now!