Charlotte Scott’s Trasierra

lemon_smallIf you’re longing for the Spanish sun, olive groves and lemon blossoms, Charlotte Scott’s 16th century olive mill-turned family house hotel, Trasierra, would satisfy all these cravings.  Visitors who travel an hour north of Seville are lucky indeed. They will find themselves in a sunny white-washed and red-tiled finca, snuggled into the heart of the Sierra Morena mountains.

Trasierra is blessed with the alegria de Andalucia, a contentment which comes from plenty of sunshine, local wine (tinto,) cracked green and black olives and a wicker chair in the shade to enjoy it all. Fifteen double bedrooms in converted cottages and stables sprawl around the Scott’s big white hacienda. The cottages nest under jacaranda trees among roses and jasmines on thyme-scented terraces. Along the walkways are colossal, ancient terracotta olive jars filled with century plants and young olive trees. These add to the timeless mystery of the finca. Lemon and orange trees provide shady arbours to sit under, and their blossoms perfume the air. No roads are visible, only olive and oak groves which clutter the dusty hills, where little black pigs called havalines scavenger among the encima cork oaks, greedy for acorns (bellottas) which they adore.

Staying in Trasierra is like being a pampered house guest in a friend’s hacienda. There are no locks, no reception desks and no televisions. Spanish tapas of manchega, jamon, chorizo and home-pickled olives are served to you on your veranda with iced dry sherry (jerez) followed by Andalucian platos, cooked on demand and served when and where you like… under pink and white oleanders in the front courtyard or by the pool. Many bedrooms have sitting rooms, and all have comfy beds made up with Volga linens and chintz covers for true English comfort, with a Spanish twist. Charlotte has made sure that her guests have a comfortable night’s sleep.

Originally conceived of as a holiday for paying guests on painting courses, Tansierra soon became sought after as one of the most relaxed and picturesque places to stay in Southern Spain. Moonlight dinners on a garden terrace often end with the grown-up Scott children, who are talented musicians, playing flamenco guitar and singing with local troups.

Trails through the wild flowers for walking and bird watching, autumnal mushroom-picking jaunts, or riding through the coarse brush, chestnut woods, olive trees and orange groves offer plenty of activities for the mornings and evenings, leaving the afternoon free for a siesta. There’s a floodlit tennis court and bicycles are available for excursions into the hills. The less athletic can simply laze by the pool and look forward to the next platters of fresh anchovies, gambas, Spanish tortilla, croquettas, or pinchitos.

George Scott, who exports Trasierra’s own olive oil and pata negra hams to the UK, has started a wild partridge shoot just ten minutes from the house. The birds are high and fast and the shoot features a delicious al fresco lunch with more local specialities.

Trasierra offers a genuine Andalucian experience with plenty of alegria. Ole!

— Mrs M

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  • Charlotte Scott