Hot sunny June days at the moment seem endless and effortless. During the days the guys have been enjoying lazing by the pool, and in the evenings we have held some delightful dinners on the terrace, the now fragrant lavender ablaze with fireflies flitting too and fro, it is a magical time here in Umbria.
Of course we are busy watering the garden, I have this aim to keep lawns green. Whilst the lawns might not be of Wimbledon tennis standard, we do our best to keep them from burning, which in 32˚c heat and no rain to speak of for many months is an ever increasing challenge. The garden is bountiful, ablaze with colours and fragrances, this year it seems to have matured. Whilst apricots are beginning to turn golden hues, on the lower terrace our vegetable garden has also begun to yield delicious produce. We have already begun to harvest salad leaves, zucchini and cucumbers which find their way into the kitchen to be magically transformed by Isabella into delicious dishes, last night we dined on chilled gazpacho and the slow roast loin of pork was accompanied by stuffed zucchini.
It was an occasion for a celebration, one of our guests celebrating his birthday, and a specially commissioned chocolate cake was made, and delicately decorated with petals from David Austin roses hand picked from our cook’s own garden.
Earlier in the week a couple of guys on a long holiday in Europe celebrated an anniversary with a private candlelit dinner on a terrace deep in the garden. An antipasto sharing plate, to start, hand cut gnocchi with truffles sourced here in the valley and at their request a roast of local lamb, washed down with a great Sagrantino di Montefalco from the cantina of Adanti. They told me the evening was the highlight of their European trip. It is so rewarding for the team to hear that we are doing the right thing.
This week we have laughed to “Hyancith Bucket” and ” ‘Allo ‘Allo” stories, and I have had a lesson in digitizing maps. It seems that my hand drawn map of walks through the valley (a copy of which I am told resides in the MoMo) risks being superseded by a digital version downloadable to a smartphone. Whilst I like the convenience of a digital map – I have suggested long ago to our local tourist office in Gubbio that they cease production of their paper town plans and invest in a digital version that we operators can send out together with booking confirmations, (still no response) I find myself flattered when guys still ask for my hand-drawn copy, but I do ask myself for how much longer will I be photocopying?
We have received our new range of bathroom products specially made for Bellaugello by Domenico and Luciano. They source Argan oil in Morocco which is hand extracted and then here in Umbria transformed into soaps, shampoo and shower gels which we have in the suites. I am so delighted to be finally offering a good high quality organic product made here in Umbria.
With the pool water at 30˚c it is just too tempting to rise off the sunbed and splash in the pool and cool off. This week we have a large number of returning guests in the house. They met here on various holidays and have become friends and last year booked to return this week to spend time together on holiday. It is so very rewarding to welcome back so many ‘regulars’ and to catch up with their news, and give them a place to refresh and relax and have fun, to forget the daily grind.
I have to round this post off by mentioning two guys who flew in all the way from Chicago specifically to spend a few nights at Bellaugello. They have been here before but just felt the urge to return, thanks guys, it was great to see you again.