Awakenings of the soul

September 19, 2017

– Gotland Workshop –

Part 2 of 3

 

The quietude gave way to the commingle of strange voices; they came from all over as representatives of their very own corner of the world. I could see that twinkle and restlessness in their eyes, some greeted friends from other ventures and others with the joy of newly found ones. It is a grand thing to be in the midst of like-minded people. It is as if we all knew the language, we all wondered about the same things and came for the very same reasons.

Minutes turned into hours, with no apologies, the dim light embraced the air and I could feel the cold Swedish wind on my face waking me up. I confess that my attention got briefly scattered as everything was happening faster than my indolent demeanor could register.

In a wink, I found myself riding away on a chariot in the forest with Gotland horses, and on the next having hors-d’oeuvre in an ancient mill. I was elated by the scenario up to a point where I wished I could step out of my body and glance at the beauty of what was being created around me. Everything was meticulously styled for an abiding memory: the pale colors, the Prosecco, the truffled cheese – it all fused together in a perfect cadence.

Inside, the table was set and the glasses glittered while the candles where being carefully lit by Sam. The florals climbed its way up to the ceiling as a prolongation of the forest outside in a feast of vines and branches like a summer supper beneath an orchard.

I have been having a hard time finding the exact words to describe what went on then. The menu contemplated an endless number of dishes genially prepared by Olivia. The talent she puts in her dishes is beyond anything I have encountered in my life, it is as if they are a mere container of a story that is set to enliven you far beyond the concept of food.

The desserts perfumed the wine and elevated the communion. We told stories of a lifetime, laughed over whimsical thoughts and accommodated new friends. I realized then, more than ever before, how much I absolutely love food and how special it becomes when entertained in a gathering of beautiful people.

The house was filled with scents and the blurred light embraced us to bed, as the next day was an early start on route to Visby.

 

 

The morning sun copiously entered the small window of the room I shared with Eleni and Aslaug. I woke up to an unceremonious smile and a whirlwind of ideas about the day before and where I want to go next.

We were greeted in the garden to a beautiful breakfast done by Krissy. She is the master behind the scenes: that kind of lady born in textures, light, and shadows, floral arrangements and an effortless graciousness. This breakfast was the sum of it all, a style of intention. Crunchy crackers, cheese, and jams while Linda poured some coffee and caveats life as something worth living. I was content.

Visby, the island capital, is a walled city encompassing a small village with narrow streets, quaint houses, and shops. We walked freely, marveling every corner, every door, and frames. The private gardens, opened to my prying eye, withheld the mundane. They are the ones I long to see whenever I stroll around a town such as this, to take a snap, unsolicited – I know, shame on me!

We took a drive around the island and beheld the majestic nature unspoiled in the backyard of Sweden. Its colors and proximity to the sea shaping the tones to its will.

I am forever drawn to the north, to the cold and the soft blues, which is quite a contrast to the bright light in the southern Portugal. But for some reason I cannot explain, I always tend to direct my photography that way, like I am eager to find it here.

Hotel Stelor was the perfect portrait of a Swedish farm hotel where a delicious meal, set in the garden with local produce and a warm chat, awaited.

 

 

Back at the house, Linda prepared a demonstration of pie in the making, for us to photograph and learn. The backstage of Linda’s work is a marvel to look at. The concept of light, storytelling, and elegance that she brings is exactly what you see in her everyday work. There is no artificiality, no misleading, just pure talent. Linda played with the ingredients like an artist with her canvas. Her grace, that at a few times looked like a dance to the sound of River – Leon Bridges, was something to be appreciated without the camera in hand. I sat back in bliss, in that room filled with the last rays of daylight. I did take my shots, of course. I did it in the remains of the day when the hustle was done and the music echoed again in the empty room.

The night arrived without me noticing. The fire was crackling in the other room, bringing comfort in the form of burned wood, something crosswise time and place, just like home.

The farm dinner was placed in the kitchen, where we sat, ate and drank until the fire ran out and the tiredness took place.

 

Sponsors:

The ceramics are from Västergården  and the Glassware are designed by Brostecph 

You can check the Hotel Stelor here

Urgude 218, The Farmhouse

September 7, 2017

– Gotland Workshop –

Part 1 of 3

 

This is my story. My frame of what happened in Sproge Urgude 218, The Farmhouse.

It was something I did not hope, nor expected to happen, but life has this way of catching up on us, while we least expect, and suddenly and out the blue, I found myself on a plane at 3 am on route to Gotland, Sweden!
It took me four planes and a lost luggage to get there, but that tingling feeling that something special was about to happen was never lost and I was venturing onwards with no fear or reservation.

The Farmhouse, a place of a different era, was a sight. Its rough edges, its well-worn jambs and knobs were pure poetry in a fast paced world, and there I found the peace one always search and rarely finds.
The blue and bright colors were not a contrast, it was a blend, carefully placed to perfuse the small chambers I uncovered. And my room through a steep flight of stairs, all the way to the end of the hall was meant to be my orb through it all.

Olivia, Krissy, and Linda welcomed me with the warmth of long-lost family, and strangely I felt the weirdest feeling of being home like those walls had stories I already knew. I took a deep breath and simply enjoyed what was happening around, slowly taking it all in like I couldn’t spare a moment to oblivion.

I could say I found myself there, I had lost the vigor of life in what I do and where I was going. Don’t get me wrong, I am undoubtedly a fortunate girl to have such a beautiful family and to live like nothing’s of-miss, but that lacking thing you have on your chest that keeps you from an everyday smile, you know what I mean? Oh nevermind, don’t let me muse over this. The thing is I found the ebullience of a small child there, and that is something that lights me up whenever I think of it.

This was very real.

It said workshop on the title but it was an atelier for the soul, and I was left to my quiescence before all the other participants arrive.

 

 

The Workshop was composed by the lovely ladies:

Krissy from the Cottage FarmOlivia from Adelaster Food Textures and Linda Lomelino from Call me Cupcake

 

English Countryside

December 22, 2016

– Expedition to the Cotswolds –

 

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Before the end of the year, and before all your bucket lists are settled, I decided to give you something to think about for 2017, and believe me it’s worth it (I’m really getting ahead of myself here, aren’t I?).

An expedition to the English countryside has been on my mind for a while now, and since I “had to” go to London this December, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to visit the Cotswolds. 

An hour and a half drive from London it’s the perfect setting for early December days, with all the quaint stores decorating for Christmas, moody afternoons around the fireplace and the coziness of a true Cotswold’s wool blanket while the tea is on the making flooding the air with warm scents.

Antes do final do ano, das listas de desejos e afins, decidi trazer-vos algo em que pensar para 2017, e acreditem que vale a pena (2017 já? estarei a exagerar?).

A minha expedição ao campo inglês tem estado confortavelmente na minha lista já há algum tempo, e quando se apresentou a “necessidade” de ir a Londres este Dezembro, aproveitei a oportunidade para conhecer a região de Costwolds.

A uma hora e meia de viagem de Londres o cenário é idílico, entre campos de pasto a perder de vista, lojas e ruas decoradas com luzes e coroas nas portas. É em Dezembro que aquelas tardes confortáveis à lareira e o cheiro de um bule de chá sabem bem – Cotswold é isto e muito mais.

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Where to begin? Well, pick up a car, a classic one if you are not on a budget and drive all the way from London –  you can easily add half an hour to your itinerary, if you are not used to driving on an english car, trust me it can be a real deal (it was!) –  it’s the best way to go around Cotswolds, and although it’s a small area, it has tons of things to see.

Start in a fairly central area, like Stow-on-the-Wold, and stay in the heart of the Stow, in the Old Stocks Inn, the most charming little boutique hotel with wooden beams and lush details. Enjoy a plate of local cheeses and a hand of crafted hales in the bar before a world class dinner. Stow-on-the-Wold is a market town, and there is a lot to see, so boost yourself for a stroll around the little shops, cafes and tea rooms, or go for a walk to nearby towns, take your time, life runs wonderfully slow here.

Comecem por alugar um carro, é a melhor maneira de explorar a zona, arranjem um clássico se quiserem fazê-lo com o estilo que uma viagem assim requere (preparem-se para acrescentar pelo menos mais meia hora ao itinerário se não estiverem confortáveis com a condução à direita – é incrível a rapidez como nos vestimos com a pele de uma senhora respeitável ao volante que não ultrapassa os 50km/h em autoestrada). Procurem ficar numa zona central, como Stow-on-the-Wold, sugiro o Old-Stocks Inn um pequeno Boutique Hotel com todas as comodidades que os dias frios de Dezembro pedem. É indubitavelmente um bom ponto de partida, peçam a tábua de queijos no bar e experimentem um punhado de cervejas artesanais – eles estão habituados a este tipo de rebeldia alcoólica, principalmente após uma longuíssima viagem, antes de aventurarem num jantar no restaurante.

Stow-on-the-Wold é uma pequena vila mercantil e existe muito para ver, por isso aproveitem para explorar a vila, as suas pequenas lojas, cafés e casas de chá, deliciem-se a ver as inúmeras lojas com pequenas cottages à venda e permitam-se a sonhar, ou então metam-se simplesmente a caminho para as vilas mais próximas através dos trilhos desenhados, a vida corre maravilhosamente lenta por aqui, aproveitem.

 

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The beauty of The Cotswolds is getting lost in it. It’s the idyllic notion of the romantic English countryside, with all the sheep pastures and small villages. So, talk to a local about it, they all have interesting views and know hidden gems off the beaten path, nevertheless, do visit the Lower Slaughter for a glimpse of those quaint little cottages down a river stream, and the Upper Slaughter for the jaw dropping Lords of the Manor Hotel. Explore Bourton-on-the-Water and those beautiful bridges crossing the river, Bibury, Burford, Winchcombe and Castle Combe. Wander along the Thames for some interesting finds like Minster Lovell and its picturesque thatched roofs, you won’t be sorry. There is no right itinerary, just your own, so adventure yourself and dive deep in the area. Since the area is pretty small, you’ll probably need like 4-5 days to cover it and enjoy it without pressure, have a taste for lunch in local Inns and relish in some scones and mince pie in the numerous tea rooms in the area, feel yourself at home, thats the idea I believe.

Cotswolds é francamente bonito, e é, sem dúvida, a imagem romântica do Countryside Inglês, com todos aqueles caminhos pitorescos e pequenas vilas. Procurem inteirar-se da região pedindo conselhos aos que vivem na vila, podem até tentar falar aquele inglês meio macarrónico, com aquela pronuncia que para vocês se parece muito com a BBC, eles vão adorar-vos por isso e vão muitas vezes perguntar-vos de onde vêm, antes de contarem os cantinhos da região. Cada um tem uma visão interessante e sugere caminhos fora do percurso habitual dos guias turísticos, o que acaba por trazer novidades inesperadas. Não obstante, não deixem de visitar Lower Slaughter com as suas casas ao longo do rio, Upper Slaughter e a Mansão do Lord, parcialmente transformado em hotel, só para verem como é que a Mary Crawley, do Downton Abbey se devia ter sentido. Explorem Bourton-on-the-Water, Bibury, Winchcombe e Castle Combe, percam-se ao longo do rio Tamisa e descubram as vilas que por aí se escondem, garanto que não ficarão desiludidos com Minster Lovell e as suas casas de telhados de colmo. Não existe um itinerário certo, apenas onde a vontade levar, aventurar-se no campo é o melhor que Costwold tem.

A área é relativamente pequena, por isso para a visitar uns 4-5 dias devem chegar para a conhecer sem pressão, almocem nas Estalagens e deleitem-se com uns scones e uma mince pie nas casas de chá locais, sintam-se em casa, a ideia é essa.

Explore/Explorar

  • Cheltenham
  • Naunton
  • Stow-on-the-Wold
  • Lower slaughter
  • Upper Slaughter
  • Bourton-on-the-Water
  • Burford
  • Kingdom
  • Micketon
  • Bribery
  • Naunton
  • Winchcombe
  • Castle Combe

Visit/Visitar

  • The Old Mill, Lower Slaughter
  • Gardens/Jardins, Lords of the Manor – Upper Slaughter
  • December fair markets/Mercadinhos de Rua em Dezembro, Bourton-on-the-Water
  • Broadway Tower, Broadway
  • Chastleton House, Moreton-in-Marsh
  • Blenheim Palace

Stay/Ficar

  • No 131, Cheltenham
  • The Olds Stocks Inn, Stow-on-the-Wold
  • Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter
  • The Wild Rabbit, Kingham
  • Soho Farmhouse, Chipping Norton

Eat/Comer

  • The Tavern, Cheltenham
  • The Trout, Tadpole Bridge
  • The Kingham Plough, Kingham
  • The Wheatsheaf Inn, Northleach
  • The Porch House
  • Wild Thyme, Chipping Norton
  • Kings Head, Bledington

Shop/Comprar

  • Local Products/Produtos Locais, Stroud Farmers’ Market – Stroud
  • Perfumes, Cotswold Perfumery – Bourton-on-the-Water
  • Wool Garments / Vestuário em Lã, Cotswolds Woollen Weavers – Lechlade
  • Antiques/Antiguidades, Vintage & Paint shop, Stow-on-the-Wold
  • Sheep carpets /Tapetes em lã, Main Street – Burford
  • Vintage feel/Peças Vintage, Burford Garden Company – Burford
  • Cheese/Queijo, The Cotswold Cheese Company – Stow-on-the-Wold

 

 

 

 

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