We opened our doors for the 2019 season in late April, and started with welcoming the most exquisite of guests. For me it is always a pleasure to greet returning guests, and this year was no exception, a truly fantastic start to the 2019 season at Bellaugello Gay Guest House.
Spring is a time of the year I love. The new buds on the plants, flowers bursting forth and insects busy feeding on the nectar. I find it somewhat amusing to write that I was happy to see the rain, but indeed I was. The winter had been unusually dry and rain was much needed. What fell was good. That slow constant rain that infiltrates the ground which was so parched, it soaked up the water greedily. The newly formed fruit thankfully was left intact. It is going to be another amazing year for the Apricots. The branches already beginning to bend low with the weight of the young fruit.
So kind was the weather that it was beautifully dry, sunny and warm over the long Easter holiday. This for me is when the season really comes alive. On the Friday evening before Easter we all headed into our local town of Gubbio to witness the ‘Processione di Cristo Morto’. A ritual that has been enacted for centuries. Getting a good position as the piazza filled, we soon hear the sound of the ‘Battistrangole’ the clackers that announce the arrival of the procession. It is strangely haunting
Candles, uniforms, hoods, and then the choir chanting the sombre ‘Miserere’, as the dead Christ is carried high on a litter. It is a magical moving event.
Next passes Mary…
and as the procession wends its way down medieval streets we are drawn by one of the fires that are lit in the centre of the beautiful town of Gubbio.
We head off to ‘Officina dei Sapori’ for a marvellous dinner before wending our way back home to Bellaugello.
I was lucky once again to have two beautiful artistic guests who helped me realise my concept of an Easter Breakfast table centre. Perugina chocolate egg sitting in a nest of fragrant camomile hay brought in by Daniela, and foliage from the garden. The guys surrounded the egg with hens eggs dyed with red and white onion skins, together with mini chocolate eggs and bunnies and speckled quails eggs. A veritable triumph!
Our local baker produced an exquisite cheese bread ‘Crecsia di Pasqua’ and a Colomba this year with peaches and champagne, all rather delicious and more-ish!
The food bonanza continued as we all headed off across the valley to join in the annual egg rolling and lunch at my good friends’ organic farm. We feasted on goodies brought by guests from their home countries or towns, and tucked into new season lamb roasted in the wood oven. A big hit was the pickled herring with rich eggy mayonnaise and the most delicious rye bread made by two guys from Copenhagen. The Rye bread was a huge hit (so good I wasn’t in time to photograph it!) and the recipe is now circulating widely here amongst friends. It could well be the next food trend in Gubbio!
After lunch we were entertained in the warm dappled sunlight in the courtyard by harmonica, flute and saxophone. A wonderfully relaxed and happy way of spending a Sunday afternoon.
Now I’m back in the garden. The rain and warmth brought on huge amounts of growth and I have much to do. The Wisteria is looking its best. Generous pendulous flowers hanging generously on the upper house. I have nearly achieved my aim of having it circle the house 360˚. The Owls have given birth, their owlets not yet fledged, but calling hungrily from their nest high in the wistera. Songbirds fill the air, they flit and dart from branch to branch as they feed their young. It is a huge joy to live in this magical place, to have such generous neighbours, and to be able to share it all with so many great guys.
Spring is truly a special time to be in Umbria. Why not join us next year?
Guys have been enjoying the outdoor shower under the canopy of Wistera, whilst I, being a late bird snapped a photo of the blossoms at midnight, before turning in, tired but happy.
Our next big historic group event is on 15th of May when we head once again to Gubbio to watch the ‘Festa dei Ceri‘ the race of the candles about which I have blogged many times. It is a marvellous occasion to get wrapped up in the most special Umbrian tradition. We still have some suites available so get booking and come join the fun.
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