Caso Do Forno (bread-oven Cottage)
Cottage with 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom and shared pool in Elvas, Portugal
Booking cost: £0.00
From £327 per week
Cottage to rent in Elvas, Portugal
Cottage overview - owner's description
Serene cottage on tranquil historic farm
Casa do Forno is a tranquil refuge, best suited for those who appreciate nature and a sense of history (our quinta was once owned by Dominican monks, and has a very fine Moorish nora [water wheel and well building]). The cottage is set a little back from the little courtyard complex of buildings that make up Quinta do Veloso, giving it and its patio and front garden complete privacy. From the sheltered patio, covered with a pergola, there is a view past the quinta's entrance arch and courtyard walls to the mountains of Spain. Windows at the back in the kitchen and living room look out into an olive grove.
At one side of the patio is the entrance to the forno (bread oven; much like a tandoori oven or traditional pizza oven) for which the cottage is named, which was once used by all the inhabitants of the quinta. We can show you how to use the forno for a unique culinary experience, or you can grill on a small freestanding charcoal grill, beneath the forno's exterior chimney. Your own private garden area contains rosemary and other herbs for cooking as well as a fig and a lime tree for your gin and tonic (orange, lemon, almond, grapes, and many others can be found in the quinta's horta, or garden area).
The living room is furnished comfortably with a sofa and armchair and has a small wood-burning stove (we provide wood). The eat-in kitchen is well equipped with refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, and everything needed for basic cooking and dining, including a bottle of the quinta's own organic, traditionally pressed olive oil! There is an electric juicer for oranges picked in the laranjal. The table in the kitchen can be extended to seat four. Laundry may be washed in the main house.
Both kitchen and bathroom are decorated with hand-painted reproduction 17th- and 18th-century azulejos from Viuva Lamego in Lisbon.
The cottage was remodelled in 2015, with entirely new wiring, roof, windows, tile, heating and air conditioning, and plumbing, but retains its original charm. Its very 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.
Guests may take walks in Quinta Veloso's organically managed olive grove, which covers nearly 15 hectares, with thousands of trees—a wonderful place for a picnic. You can pick fruit in the horta (garden or "home farm," with many oranges as well as, depending on season, plums, apples, peaches, persimmon, loquat, lemon, lime, walnut, almond, and more). After swimming in the pool, you might lounge under a palm tree next to it, or in the pool house, a pleasant place to read or have a drink. An outdoor propane heater allows guests to sit outside on cool evenings.
We can supply a croquet set to use in the olive or orange grove, balls for a game of boules, and board games for a chilly evening by the fire.
There is a washer/dryer in the main house, which guests may use.
Interaction with Guests
We work at home, so we are at Quinta do Veloso most of the time. The cottage is very private, and guests may be completely undisturbed there, but there is shared space in the gardens and around the pool, and we enjoy meeting people. Much of the time we will be working in the daytime (I edit, and Krister works in publishing as well as managing the quinta), but available if needed. At other times we will be free to show guests around, offer a drink, or play board games, boules, or croquet.
At the times of year when burning is permissible (fall through spring), we can arrange a bonfire cookout among the olive trees. October and November are olive-harvesting season, and guests may observe or try their hand at picking or at curing their own table olives. On request we can provide a picnic hamper for taking out into the olival, or drinks, snacks, or a light meal in the pool house. We often eat at the excellent village restaurant and enjoy taking guests there.
The 46-acre quinta is very peaceful, perched on a hilltop with views across our own orange grove and the rolling hills of the area and out to the mountains of Spain and, at night, the lights of Olivenza. The silence is often broken only by sheep bells, bird song, and the occasional crow of a rooster.
The large olival is a wonderful place to walk around, with spectacular views out to Spain from its highest points. For those who would like a longer walk, 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 a large water park in Varche (open in summer) and an active riding stable. We keep two horses at the stable and will be happy to introduce guests to the owners.
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.
The magical ruined fortress of Juromenha, with its Islamic walls, 17 towers, 45-meter-high keep, and spectacular views of the broad Guadiana River far below, is less than 20 minutes away. A footpath runs along the river north and south of the fortress. Kayaking, windsurfing, and sailing classes may be arranged with Wadnature in Juromenha.
We are only a few kilometers off the main Lisbon-Madrid motorway, for motorists. A commercial bus service runs several times daily between Lisbon and Elvas, and there is high-speed rail service from Madrid to Badajoz, a half-hour drive from the quinta. We can pick guests up from either station by arrangement.
Other Things to Note
The Casa do Forno is completely renovated and up to modern standards, but Quinta do Veloso's entrance arch, its grape-covered allee, and its cappella (small family chapel) will appeal to those who appreciate the patina of age and a sense of history. We made it a priority to restore the nora due to its outstanding historical interest, and to bring the orange and olive groves back to health after decades of neglect, and will be focusing on sensitively restoring other parts of the quinta over time.
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This cottage is:
Outside this cottage in Elvas, PortugalThis cottage is in the town but in a quiet area. It has a shared pool, a barbecue, outside lighting, a patio heating and a garden. Car hire is recommended as the cottage is less than a 15 minute walk to at least a couple of shops, bars and restaurants; however parking is available if required.
Prices and availability
Updated 12 June 2016
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1 bedroom, Sleeps 2:
- 1 double bed
There is also 1 cot
Shared pool, Size 5m x 10m, Depth 2m
Living area seats 4, Dining area seats 4, Air conditioning bedrooms only, Central heating, Open fire, Hair dryer, Towels / linen, Washing machine, Car hire recommended
Cooker, Crockery, Cutlery, Dishwasher, Fridge, Freezer, Glassware, Kettle, Microwave, Oven, Pots / pans, Toaster
Barbecue, Outside lighting, Parking, Patio heating, Private garden, Shared garden
Children, Single gender groups, Pets
Private Owner From Elvas, Portugal Member since Feb 2016
Last logged in: 8 months ago
Number of properties: 1