Bellaugello - The Blog

At home

Boy! life is good!

 

With morning views like these this morning at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Life just has to be great!
October view from Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, Italy #bellaugello ,#infinityswimmingpool,

mist hangs low in the chiascio valley below Bellaugello Gay Hotel, Umbria,Italy, #gayhotel ,#gayguy

It is a delightful week, the weather is still warm, sun fills the azure sky, and there is a sense of peace and tranquillity as I spend delicious days doing autumnal tasks in the garden.  The logs are stacked away in the shed, ready for the cooler winter days when we light the fires, lawns have received what I guess (and hope) is their final cut for the year, and hedges are being clippered, tidied up for the winter.  Of course the trees are beginning to shed their leaves, colours turning magical ambers and golds and reds, most still clinging tightly to the branches, but just enough falling to make sweeping up a necessary chore.

Today I am off to town, I have an invite for a halloween party, and need to find a mask.. What a horror, I find the thought utterly intimidating.  What do I wear?  It is a party of a newly made friend, and I suspect will be rather smart and full of handsome men, I am more than a little bit anxious about the whole thing.

And next week sees the opening of the TRUFFLE FAIR in our local town of Gubbio.  This is the 33rd year of the event, held over four days in the centro storico of this beautiful medieval town.  There will be feasts of truffles, wild mushrooms and chestnuts.  Umbria is a delight at this time of year, so many towns holding food fayres, sheer indulgence..  and then all to soon we will be picking olives, a task I adore!

 

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At home

A glorious afternoon

A distinctly autumnal feel to the air here today in Umbria central Italy
The sun is weaker and the light like the leaves turning ever more golden

Across the valley to Colpalombo as seen from Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, Italy #bellaugello #gayhotel
Out walking the dogs the view across the valley from Bellaugello Gay Guesthouse to the village of Colpalombo is a delight. I love the crisp clean air the dogs scrunching through fallen leaves and overhead clear blue skies. I’ve friends coming for the night, the fire lit dinner prepared, we are having kedgeree – I was just in the mood for fish, champagne is chilling and the table at home laid. I guess there is even time for me to sneak a shower at one of the outdoor showers on the terraces at Bellaugello , so nice to feel the hot water dancing off my body in the golden outdoors. Yes the outdoor showers have proved a great hit with guests here at Bellaugello Gay b&b They are well used and much appreciated, and now times are quoted it is my turn to enjoy!

At home

Well worthy of posting….

I really do not remember if I posted this photo to my blog, however if I did I make no excuses it certainly merits being posted tonight.

three guys in the infinity pool at Bellaugello Gay Guest House

 

Just some of the fun and frivolity at Bellaugello, Italy’s greatest Gay Guest House…

 

At home

The Bellaugello network is global

As you are all by now probably aware I love my job.  I live in the most utterly beautiful place, am surrounded by great friends, plenty of good wines and local food, and my business attracts great guys from all over the world to my door.

Bellaugello Gay Guest House has already established a loyal following, guys who return for holidays, guys who recommend friends who in turn visit and then recommend friends of their own.  Bellaugello is a place where friendships are made.  Several couples keep in touch with other guests, often across continents, one or other or both keeping me abreast of their friendships.  I love it so much. Some guys also become personal friends, kind and generous, their homes open to me.

I am often asked if I have a ‘black book’ of guests not allowed to return, asked to ‘spill the beans’ or ‘dish the dirt’.  I must confess to having few such stories to relate, a couple from last year, one from the year before, and this year none, I have had great guests, all a pleasure to have known and hosted.  Of course there have been disappointments, a couple of mediocre reviews on Tripadvisor which I felt unwarranted and got me down,  the indifferent summer weather that did so little to help the annuals bloom, and saw the chairs and cushions from the terrace yo-yoing indoors and outdoors, and has not helped the olives one bit, it is going to be a poor harvest this year.

However on the up side  there were lots of gorgeous men lazing languidly poolside, we hosted our first art show; paintings of the infinity pool by a Dutch artist Paul Van Andel, the subject of many paintings was decidedly male.  Many dinners and barbecues hosted, convivial evenings with engaging conversations, A friend realised another form of artwork using photographs of guys in the  Bellaugello infinity pool, and is now commissioned to produce personalized chairs.  Some great and thoughtful reviews on Google and Tripadvisor – guys there is still time to post your promised review…  The fruit trees were heavily laden this summer, delicious plum fruit ripe for the picking, I made kilo after kilo of marmalades, we killed our first pig – I had christened here Daphne, many of you ate and enjoyed bits of Daphne, our lavender ice cream was brought into production and as well as being served at dinner was also available poolside…

I digress.  The point of this post is for me to unashamedly promote another of my guests;  Bing Taylor, a fascinating cultured and well travelled guy a regular Bellaugello guest and now friend has sent me a link to a book he has written and is now published:

Maquis by Bing Taylor

Hot off the press: I have read the publicists material and have already placed my order.  Why don’t you?  an ideal Christmas present for your loved one, author signed copes are available right now!  TO ORDER: Maquis – the Secret War of Joseph Quantock CLICK HERE FOR LINK

At home

Autumn morn

Crisp, sunny, clear. Early rise today, guys going to the beautiful Umbrian town of Todi to meet their tour guide meant I was up early to make breakfasts.
Today the tour is of the vineyards of Montefalco, that beautiful town famous for its Sagrantino, robust elegant Umbrian wine. The guys are meeting their guide in the delightful town of Todi before heading for the Strada di Sagrantino, maybe the will stop at the “Carapace” that surreal building on the cantina of Lunelli so beautifully photographed by Steve McCurry, or maybe it will be Di Filippo, the family run cantina making superb biological wines, or maybe Adanti, another great family run cantina with a very welcoming visitor centre. I wait to hear this afternoon which cantinas were on the list and which wines were purchased…
The garden here at Bellaugello Gayguesthouse is looking great. I am midway through pruning the lavender, the Rosemary is in its second bloom, and the Caci tree is laden with fruit, I so love the colour of the fruit, I must admit it is the one fruit tree I grow for beauty not eating! Bobby came and joined me at the infinity pool, red clouds reflected in the still light, mist hanging low in the Chiascio valley.

sun warming the stone - the Azzurro Suite, Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, Italy

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Bobby wanting a drink - #infinityswimmingpool #bellaugello

Caci ripening in the gardens of Bellaugello Gay b&b near Rome

caci at Bellaugello gay guest house, umbria italy

and there are Scotch pancakes for breakfast

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Bellaugello backs

The backs are back

Thanks to “F” for this great picture of his husband in the infinity pool at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in glorious Umbria

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At home

Looks like a busy day tomorrow!

An industrious day here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House saw me delighting in the warm sun all day in the garden pruning the lavender. This is one of my huge October tasks, seemingly endless rows of still headily scented aromatic lavender all requiring to be pruned back
I cannot complain, the lavender grows well here and throughout the spring summer and autumn provides a fabulous how and intense perfume.
This year we have been exploring new ideas, and new recipes , making our own lavender ice cream, and roasting lamb with our lavender both frequently served at dinner here at Bellaugello Gay B&B in glorious tranquil Umbria. Of course our lavender ice creams went down extremely well poolside, thanks to the new freezer in the bar our guys could help themselves anytime to an artisan ice cream whilst soaking up the hot sun at the edge of our infinity pool… Glorious days!
Anyway back to the theme of this post. It concerns forty quintale… of logs!

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One of my neighbours has been cutting wood and I bought some to burn in our biomass boiler and in the fireplaces. So it arrived and I now know what I will be doing tomorrow! By the end of the week the logs will be neatly stacked, or that is the theory;-)

Out and about - Things to do

A trip round the lake – lungolago

Lago Trasimeno is the largest body of water in central Italy, it dominates the highway from Toscana to Perugia. The North shore is filled with towns such as Passignano and Tuoro that have a ‘seaside’ feel, there are shops filled with buckets and spades, inflatable armbands and floaty toys, restaurants abound, fish predominating the menu. The esplanade gives grandly onto the lake, the sun shining from the south over the water glistening on the limpid waves. Ferries take one onto the lake over to the islands, where one can have a damn good lunch.
But it is the south side of the lake I prefer, it is quieter, more remote, agrarian and somehow real. Every farm in this fertile environment has a stall selling their own Km Zero produce. I stopped at my favourite food place “Da Maria” looking like a truckers stop, even more so now that a major re-building project is underway And took my ticket. I love this place popular with locals and travellers, you eat well and the atmosphere is very convivial. Wait at the crowd, it is like the deli counter at the supermarket, fresh food appearing all the time,. I inspected the counter overflowing with local dishes and the wood fire cooking the ‘Torta al Testo” the local flat bread that is then filled with almost anything your heart desires. My choice of lunch was not the torts but instead fish from the lake itself, they are small fillets, dipped in light batter and fried – the nearest thing to British fish n chips here in Umbria. Utterly delicious, I took my tray and plastic plates and sat amongst the madding crowds in the dappled shade of the umbrella pines looking out over the lake.
Thence onwards to Castiglione del Lago, the ancient Umbrian castellated town on the border with Toscana. A delightful walk along the lungolago, a wee snooze in the sun on an all too convenient bench and a few photos – maybe he was the guy who caught my lunch…

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Castiglione is a town fully on the tourist trail, shops overflowing with cheeses, salamis, ceramics, lentils and pulses, and a few nice cafes to boot, it is very visitor friendly and easily reached for a day trip from Bellaugelllo Gay Guest House

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At home

Bright pictures for a grey day

I woke this morning to a monochromatic sky.

After days of hot sunshine, and brilliant vivid colours the weather has changed, an interlude, it is forecast to return to sun tomorrow, but to his morning all is grey and misty.  I love the mist, it clothes the green hillsides and woodlands in a diaphanous wispy cloak, images are blurred and distant hills meld into the sky.  There is not a breath of wind, even birdsong is muted, it is a day for a long walk along the quiet country lanes from Bellaugello Gay Guest House.  Passing from chapel to abbey, past ruined houses, fields freshly ploughed ready for seeding next spring’s crop, on down to the Chiascio river, running limpidly and lethargically, through the farmyard and back up the hill to Bellaugello and curl up in front of the fire, a cup of tea and good book in hand, gently dozing, the book slipping out of your fingers and falling on the cotto floor.  An autumn holiday in Umbria at Bellaugello Gay Bed and Breakfast is the perfect solution, relax, unwind.

And whilst here you can delight in one of our comfortable suites.  Today I feature the kitchen/dining room and bathroom on the lower level of the Giardino Suite, our south facing duplex.  Like Apple iPhone 6 we do colours too… Brightness on a monochromatic day.

The dining/kitchen of the Giardino Suite at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, ItalyThe bathroom of the Giardino Suite, Bellaugello Gay lodgings, Umbria, ItalyColours on a counter - the kitchen of the Giardino Suite , Bellaugello Gay bed and breakfast, near Florence, Italy

Tomorrow the bedroom…..

At home

Hyacinths anyone?

As the evenings draw in we served the first of our fireside candle lit dinners this evening at Bellaugello Gay Guest House

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