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Inspired by Portugal, made in California. Online shop offering premium quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, herbal teas, artisanal honey, hand-blended salts and botanical skin care. Occasionally, specially curated handcrafted and vintage items from Portugal are also available.

Filtering by Tag: farmhouse

Progress! New windows & doors, and more...

Nuvea Santos Cobb

Ta Da! And we have progress! A beautiful new door and two windows have been replaced (the old ones were just too rotted away) and I think they look very charming. Electricity is being installed and there is running water! A bathroom has been installed, with a stone/tile floor to avoid any further water damage, and a repurposed wood beam created to house the sink, attached to the wall with a large stone from the garden. The shower has been tiled with local stone and other windows have been replaced with salvaged but more intact ones from a nearby restaurant. I can't wait to share the rest of the photos with you, especially those of you who've patiently followed along since the beginning of this painstakingly long process. xo



Casa da Nuvea: part vii, the future kitchen

Nuvea Santos Cobb

It's Saturday morning, and I'm browsing airfares for my upcoming trip to Portugal.

And so the daydreaming of what will be done on my little olive farm begins anew...Which means it's time for another update on the progress of the renovations.

This, dear readers, is what will one day be the kitchen.


This is what it looked like before we pulled out all the brambles and weeds.


Ta-Da! Would you just look at the progress?? It will be finished in no time.



I'm not quite sure what these gigantic rocks will be used for...they look like some sort of sculptural element, so I'd like to build around them but not sure what that will look like... I'm thinking a glass wall of some kind, with shutters to protect during inclement weather, or simple French doors, running the length of the room, to throw open on warm days and let in the scent of  wild rosemary from the garden. And a skylight, perhaps, to brighten the dark, winter days. There will definitely be a long, wooden farm table and a "rustic" chandelier...


The best part was dicovering...this. The beautiful, original bread oven. I can't wait to bake my first loaf of pao caseiro, the traditional country-style bread of Portugal.

Casa da Nuvea: part vi: the surrounding land

Nuvea Santos Cobb


Well, after my last post, a reader asked me if I was feeling stressed about the house in Portugal, but the truth is, I'm really looking forward to working with my hands and the immediate gratification of getting some work done after years of planning.


I've shown you photos of the outside of the house, and the interior. But I thought I'd show you what the surrounding land on the property looks like. There is a eucalyptus grove on one side. I know they are an invasive species and have taken over a huge part of the Portuguese landscape, but their familiar scent reminds me of my childhood in Portugal, so I really don't mind them.


The cottage is surrounded by a nature preserve and conveniently located in the middle of nowhere. I can't wait to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Portuguese countryside.


The grass has since been mowed down since it was very obviously a huge fire hazard in the dry season. I hope to keep a couple sheep or goats there in the future to keep it under control.


I really don't have any close neighbors, except this one and this is at back of the property.




I think this would be a great spot to write a book. Or paint. Or nap.


At last count, there were 25 olive trees on the property and I hope to help bring them back to health this year.


20131111-094604.jpgThe property isn't terribly large, but there is more than enough space to stretch out and it feels very private and secluded.


I. Can't. Wait.

Casa da Nuvea part II: the exterior

Nuvea Santos Cobb

stone cottage

OK, so before I post photos of the interior of the cottage and scare everyone off from ever wanting to stay there, I thought I'd show some more of the exterior that lets you see the place a little better.


The collapsing building on the left is the front part of the barn which is just big enough for a cozy sleeping nook. Someday. Not right now. Right now something would fall on your head.


A view of the back of the house…the little windows are for the sitting room and bathroom.


This is the side wall of what will one day be the kitchen. Right now, there's a bread oven. And the sky. I guess it's a start. I can serve bread and water if you come over.


Stepping back a little from the house is the current gate. If you look closely, you can see the state of the art security system - ahem - piece of twine, holding it together. Soon to be replaced by mounted lions and wrought iron. Just kidding.


The backside of someday kitchen...


The first photo is of view of the barn from the back, which will hopefully be turned into a separate living and sleeping area for guests. I'm thinking skylights and windows in there somewhere…and a fireplace.

Casa da Nuvea part I: first look

Nuvea Santos Cobb

stone cottage, Portugal, serra, country house, farmhouse

About five years ago I decided I was ready to go after my lifelong dream of having a little stone cottage in Portugal. Since I was (and still am) living full-time here in the U.S., I assigned my lovely Tia A. with the daunting task of finding just the right little dwelling for me. It had to be within close enough driving distance of Lisbon (should I want to go into the city for the weekend) and close enough for a day trip to the coast. It had to be in a pretty, quiet, off-the-beaten path spot, where I could keep a few sheep, goats, rabbits and a couple burros. I also wanted an olive grove, so I could press my own olive oil. It had to be dilapidated enough to be affordable, but still intact enough to be somewhat livable without too much of an initial investment. We looked all over the central part of Portugal the north being too damp and cold for me and the south too expensive) but in a perfect example of life coming full circle, she found the idyllic little spot in my family's village. The same place I had been coming to for years and had spent most of childhood. I bought it sigh unseen, from a local farmer who had known my grandfather.
Here are the first photos she sent me, my first look at Casa da Nuvea.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting some more photos of the house and the surrounding lands, and some of the improvements which are finally underway, after much saving of pennies.