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The Bread-Oven Cottage

SuperhostElvas, Portalegre, Portugalia
Gospodarstwo ekologiczne (gospodarzem jest Miranda)
4 goście1 sypialnia2 Łóżka1 łazienka
Cały dom
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Miranda to Superhost
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Perched on a hill on a quinta once owned by Dominican monks, the cottage is a tranquil base for exploring the Alentejo countryside, convenient for many delightful day-trip destinations (see "The Neighborhood"). Closer to home, relax by the pool, stroll in the 15-hectare olive grove or along the lovely quiet road to Varche, grill on the patio, or wander around the lovely World Heritage fortress town of Elvas, 5 km away.

Miejsce
Our quinta is perched on a hilltop, with views over oranges and old olive trees to the mountains of Spain. At night, the stars are bright, and the lights of Olivenza, Spain, shine against the distant mountains. The music of sheep bells competes with the songs of birds (hoopoes, bee eaters, tawny and little owls, and nightingales, depending on the season) and the occasional crow of Sir Stilton, our late-to-rise rooster. Our 15-hectare olive grove is a magical place to explore, and a valuable wildlife habitat.

The cottage's sheltered patio offers a view, beyond a courtyard shaded by wisteria, past the quinta's entrance arch toward the mountains of Spain. Windows at the back in the kitchen and living room look out into an olive grove where sheep and our two horses graze.

At one side of the patio is the forno (bread oven; much like a tandoori oven or traditional pizza oven) for which the cottage is named, and which was once used by all the inhabitants of the quinta. (There is a smaller grill for you to use more conveniently!) The garden in front of the cottage contains rosemary and other herbs as well as roses, geraniums, a fig tree, a young lemon tree, and much more.

The cottage was remodeled in 2015, with entirely new wiring, roof, windows, tile, heating and air conditioning, and plumbing, but retains its original charm. Its thick stone walls and double-glazed windows—equipped with pull-down netting to keep out insects while letting in the cool night air—make it quiet, comfortable, and energy efficient.

The living room is furnished comfortably with a sofa and armchair and a small wood-burning stove (we provide wood). The eat-in kitchen is small but well equipped with refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, microwave, and everything needed for basic cooking and dining (if you don't see what you need, ask: we can usually provide it). There is a small table in the kitchen that can be extended.

The bedroom has a double bed, a chest of drawers, and a place to hang up clothes (with hangers). The sofa in the living room opens to a comfortable double mattress—however, the living room is the entrance room, and not very private, so the cottage is best suited to a couple with children, or good friends who don't need a lot of privacy.

Both kitchen and bathroom are decorated with hand-painted reproduction 17th- and 18th-century azulejos from Viuva Lamego in Lisbon.

Dostęp dla gości
The bread-oven cottage is at one end of a courtyard, with its own small garden and its own entrance. You will have the cottage completely to yourself, but we (Miranda, Krister, and our son Tor) live full-time on the quinta, and we both work at home. We are a working farm, with two Portuguese helpers here on weekdays, and occasionally volunteers who come from around the world to help us with projects and to help harvest olives in the fall.

You are welcome to use the pool at any time, but we also use it, mostly in the evening. We try to give you your space at the pool as much as possible, but if you would like to have it to yourself at specific times, let us know. There is a grill by the pool, with a bar counter next to it, and a table. You are welcome to use these: just let us know in advance, since we also sometimes grill or eat dinner there. The pool is 5 by 10 meters, with easy steps into the shallow end, and is quite deep at the far end. The pool house is a comfortable place to have a drink or read, with an outdoor propane heater to warm up cool mornings or evenings in the early spring or late fall. We supply beach towels in the pool house for guests.

You may explore Quinta Veloso's gardens, orange grove, and organically managed olive grove, which covers nearly 15 hectares, with thousands of trees and some spectacular views—a wonderful place for a picnic. Figs, oranges, lemons, limes, almonds, walnuts, grapes, pomegranates, loquats, and plums may be had for the picking, depending on the season, in the orange grove.

The upper courtyard in front of the cottage, with its wisteria-covered pergola, is a nice place to sit and eat breakfast, looking out over the orange grove and toward more distant olive-covered hills. At the far end of the courtyard is a small building where Miranda works sometimes (there are no windows from her office toward the courtyard). There is a dartboard on the wall, which you are welcome to use. Our chicken house is in an enclosure on one side of the courtyard, but they are free range, so we pass through to let them out in the morning and lock them up in the evening.

Another nice spot to sit is a small courtyard we call the mule house (it was once stables for the quinta's donkeys and mules), where we grow climbing roses, banana trees, and other plants.

The rose- and grapevine-lined allee leading to the nora (a Moorish well, with an impressive cistern below and a circular platform above, where a mule would walk around to bring up water for irrigation) is a good place to play boules, or sit and read. If it's hot, the sunken shaded patio in front of the nora's cistern is a cool, private hideaway, and the round top of the structure is a great place to sit below an ancient loquat (nespera) and look out toward the mountains of Spain. You can also play croquet on the lawn below the swimming pool, or sit with a glass of wine by the small ornamental pool in the laranjal (orange grove), through which water flows from the nora for some months in the spring, depending on how much rainfall we've had.

Our big olival is certified organic, and managed ecologically, with brushy areas of cistus or oak scrub deliberately left for wildlife habitat. It is a wonderful place to walk, run, have a picnic (we can supply a picnic blanket), or just explore. There are views of Elvas and its forts and of Spain from the top, and cistus and lavender grow wild among the rocks. Rabbits, hares, partridges, and even mongooses (imported by the Moors as rat-catchers centuries ago) can be seen if you are lucky, and the eerie calls of the stone curlew heard at night. In the day, the sheep lend a peaceful presence with their bells. When burning is permissible (fall through spring), we can arrange a bonfire among the olive trees.

At the back of the small walled meadow behind the pool is a barn for our two Irish sport horses, where they stay out of the hot sun in the day. At night they graze in the big olival. They are very friendly and love attention, but please don't feed them (we don’t want them to get pushy, and horses have delicate digestive system)—they will be just as friendly without treats.

October is olive-harvesting season, and a busy time on the quinta, with both Portuguese workers and WWOOF volunteers helping out. Guests may observe the harvest or might even be able to join in. We leave a bottle of our award-winning high-phenolic organic olive oil in the cottage for you to use. (Additional bottles are available for sale, if you would like to take some home.)

Inne ważne rzeczy
Our quinta is best for those who are looking for nature, gardens, historic interest, and a tranquil atmosphere. We are not a hotel or resort; this is our home, and it is a working farm. If you are allergic to flowers and herbs or uncomfortable around bees and other inoffensive insects, free-range hens, sheep, and cats, or require everything manicured, renovated, and perfect, this isn't the place for you. The cottage is a good size for two people—four can sleep in it, but there will not be much extra room.

We line-dry laundry and avoid harsh chemical cleaners whenever possible, and conserve water responsibly in the long, dry summer. The pool area is shared with the three of us, and sometimes with volunteers (though we will try to give you your space if you prefer). Please be sure that all of this is okay with you before you book!
Perched on a hill on a quinta once owned by Dominican monks, the cottage is a tranquil base for exploring the Alentejo countryside, convenient for many delightful day-trip destinations (see "The Neighborhood"). Closer to home, relax by the pool, stroll in the 15-hectare olive grove or along the lovely quiet road to Varche, grill on the patio, or wander around the lovely World Heritage fortress town of Elvas, 5 km awa…

Konfiguracja miejsc do spania

Sypialnia 1
1 podwójne łóżko
Wspólna przestrzeń
1 sofa

Udogodnienia

Wi-Fi
Kuchnia
Darmowe miejsce parkingowe
Pralka
Klimatyzacja
Ogrzewanie
Basen
Kominek
Miejsce przeznaczone do pracy
Apteczka

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Elvas, Portalegre, Portugalia

The tiny road to the nearest village of Varche winds for 2 km (1.25 miles) through olive groves and fields studded with holm oaks. A local shepherd drives his sheep across the road and back again every day, and his flock is often grazing unfenced along the roadside, an enchanting sight and sound, with the sheep's bells ringing.

There are spectacular views of Elvas and the distant mountains of Spain at the top of the village and just outside it. In the village are several restaurants, our favorite, Casa Alentejo, outstanding for its regional cuisine (many people drive from Spain to eat there). Very good wine from the local vineyards of Juromenha can be bought at the Varchotel shop.

There is an active riding stable in Varche, which offers lessons and hacks out at extremely reasonable rates.

The ancient fortified border town of Elvas (5 km from our front gate) is a fairy-tale place. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012 for its astonishing fortifications (the world's largest bulwarked dry-ditch system), small castle, beautiful churches, and immense Amoreira aqueduct.

Day Trips and Festivals

Elvas is an excellent base from which to explore many of the most beautiful spots in the upper Alentejo. Some of our favorite places and festivals within an hour or so's drive:

Badajoz (26 km/35 minutes):
Just across the border is the Spanish town of Badajoz with historical sights, a large water park, golf courses, a large shopping mall, and many restaurants and cafes.

Juromenha (16 km/19 minutes):
A magical ruined fortress, almost untouched by tourism, with Islamic walls, 17 towers, 45-meter-high keep, and spectacular views of the broad Guadiana River far below. A footpath runs along the river north and south of the fortress. Kayaking, windsurfing, and sailing classes may be arranged with Wadnature in the little village of Juromenha.

Olivenza, Spain (31 km/39 minutes):

The Ponte de Ajuda (Puente Ayuda; 17 km/25 minutes)
On the road to Olivenza, this is a beautiful place for a picnic on the rocks by the river.

Marvao (84 km/80 minutes)
This otherworldly tiny fortress town perched on a ridge of rock high above the Alto Alentejo may be our favorite day trip of all—we have been known to drive up just to have a walk around and a sunset drink, the ultimate quick getaway. There are two great festivals in Marvao: the fantastic Al-Mossasa Islamic festival ("the Festival of Three Cultures," in cooperation with the Moroccan national tourism board), in early October, and the internationally famous 10-day Marvao International Music Festival (July 22 to 31 in 2016), with artists such as the Gulbenkian Choir, the Novus String Quartet, the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, the Anglo-Portuguese Ensemble, the Wiener Klaviertrio, and many others.

Evora (84 km/1 hour)
Our favorite place in this very elegant city is the little Roman temple.

Monsaraz (66 km/1 hour)
We were married here, so of course we love it! Spectacular views from this tiny hilltop fortress over the Alqeva Reservoir and rolling cork-oak-studded plains. The wonderful restaurant Sem Fim, outside town down by the water, offers olive oil and wine tastings and tours of the reservoir on a Dutch sailing barge built in 1913.
The tiny road to the nearest village of Varche winds for 2 km (1.25 miles) through olive groves and fields studded with holm oaks. A local shepherd drives his sheep across the road and back again every day, and…

Gospodarzem jest Miranda

Z nami od: maj 2014
  • 113 recenzji
  • Tożsamość zweryfikowana
  • Superhost
I am a freelance book editor, and my husband Krister works as a book designer and indexer as well as renovating the quinta and managing our large olival (olive grove). We moved here in June 2015 from a farm in Virginia, and though renovating the quinta and the gardens, orange grove, and olival has been a huge undertaking, we have loved every moment of living here. We are both avid gardeners, and committed to preserving Veloso's historical character as well as making it a fruitful place. We love cooking a wide variety of food, and it's especially rewarding here, where it seems we can grow almost everything we need. We also love animals, and came here with three cats, a dog, and two Irish horses, which we board in the nearest village (we first came to Portugal for a week of dressage lessons on Lusitanos, and loved it so much that we were married in the Alentejo, not far from Elvas). We have a thirteen-year-old son, who is attending public Portuguese school in Elvas.
I am a freelance book editor, and my husband Krister works as a book designer and indexer as well as renovating the quinta and managing our large olival (olive grove). We moved her…
W trakcie pobytu
The cottage is very private, and guests may be completely undisturbed there, but there is shared space in the gardens and around the pool. The quinta is a working farm, so our regular helpers will be here most days, and at some times of the year, especially at olive harvest, we also host WWOOF (Worldwide Workers on Organic Farms) volunteers, who come from many countries to help us on the quinta. Many guests enjoy socializing with us or even joining us for cookouts, but if you prefer quiet and privacy, just let us know if you would like to be left alone, or if you'd like to have part of the gardens or the pool area to yourself at specific times. There is a lot of room!

We work at home and are usually available if needed. We enjoy meeting AirBnB guests from different countries and with different interests, and often can show guests around, offer a drink in the pool house, or play board games, boules, or croquet.
The cottage is very private, and guests may be completely undisturbed there, but there is shared space in the gardens and around the pool. The quinta is a working farm, so our regu…
Miranda to Superhost
Gospodarze Superhost to wysoko oceniani gospodarze, którzy dokładają wszelkich starań, by zapewnić gościom niezapomniane wrażenia.
  • języki: English, Svenska
  • Wskaźnik aktywności: 100%
  • Czas odpowiedzi: w ciągu godziny
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