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Autumn richness in the Ribeira Sacra

autumn vines in the village

autumn vines in the village

November 2009. 

Perhaps you would think that a wet, rainy November here in the Ribeira Sacra doesn´t sound much like fun, but for those of us who live here this is a fantastic month for foraging.  This is the time for collecting sweet chestnuts to roast over the open fire – and even if, like us, you don´t have a chestnut grove of our own – you can fill a couple of baskets up with chestnuts that have fallen on the roadside or onto the trackways.  The best way to cook sweet chestnuts is over an open fire but you can oven-roast them too.    We find that if you leave the chestnuts a few days they dry out slightly and taste sweeter than when completely fresh. 

October and November is also the season for wild mushroom picking and this year has been a bumper year.  The mild temperatures and rain have made for an extra long mushroom-picking season.  There is nothing as exciting as going out into the fields and woods with a few of Lluis´ baskets looking for wild funghi is one of our favourite autumn occupations.  Here in the Ribeira Sacra – unlike the UK where laws of trespass limit your enjoyment of this traditional country pursuit – you are free to pick wild mushrooms in fields and woods – unless they have animals in, have closed gates or fences. 


dried fairy ring and cep mushrooms for winter stews

dried fairy ring and cep mushrooms for winter stews

We pick the locals´ favourite, the parasol mushrooms, but also anis-scented horse mushrooms which are good for freezing – no need to blanch or sauté first –  and fairy ring mushrooms and ceps which we dry.  All these go into the rich winter stews which we make from local beef and red wine.  We do our winter cooking in the earthenware cooking pots still made locally by hand which are wonderful to use and look far nicer than industrial saucepans (not that easy for our cottage guests to take back home as souvenirs but those that do are rewarded for their efforts). 

autumn view from est tex y c2aThe autumn colours here are wonderful at this time of year.  Flame-coloured vineyards cheer up even the greyest november days here and on sunny days we are rewarded by the sight of the autumn oak trees turning gold all over the hillsides.    The grass is now lush and green, fully recovered from the heat of summer which reduced it to straw. 


autumn colours and natural dyed linen scarf

autumn colours and natural dyed linen scarf

The colours of nature here  always inspire me and so it is no wonder that some of the autumn colours find their way into the hand-dyed woven textiles made at the textile studio. 



  • Ref.  Bubble Scarf (Rainbow II) SOLD
  • 19cm x 180cm + fringe
  • Materials:  Linen, hand-dyed with natural dyes, undyed linen, fine wool
  • Washing Instructions:  Gentle hand-wash in warm water. 
  •  Description:  This unusual one-of-a-kind scarf is a double-weave textile – a complex weave with the cloth woven in two separate layers which takes twice the time to hand-weave compared to a conventional scarf.  This double-weave construction, using linen in combination with a very fine wool yarn, gives the piece a deliciously crinkly texture which means that, despite being 75% pure linen, it won´t wrinkle.  The gently glowing colours are the result of hand-dyeing using natural dyes, some of which are from local plants cultivated or collected sustainably near AC Textile Studio (north Spain) where the piece was hand-woven.   After a gentle hand-wash you have the option of ironing the piece or not.  Ironing will make the piece flatter – and wider – whilst leaving the piece un-ironed will enhance the crinkly texture of the scarf.   This scarf is unique and non-repeatable.
  •  Price:  120 pounds + 6.50 pounds p&p (to UK / Europe)
  • How to buy:  email lluisyanna@terra.es
















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