Romantic Romania: The country escape that has become an unlikely celebrity hotspot
Maramures, stretching from Transylvania to the Ukrainian border, is becoming something of an unlikely hotspot. Interior decorator Nicky Haslam has recently bought a farmhouse and Prince Charles has been singing its praises for ages.
And I know why: the countryside is ludicrously pretty and the peasant way of life beguiling. Hay meadows full of rare wild orchids stretch up into wooded hills, the pace of life doesn’t get much faster than the two nags giving me a lift, and the sense of getting away from it all is overpowering.
I felt I’d gone back 100 years when I came across four shepherds hunched under a temporary bower of hazel twigs milking sheep. Their dogs, big, fluffy blighters, eyed me warily, but I was the cagey one – these hardy mutts are bred to fight off wolves. They might look cute but they’re not for petting.
The shepherds got their job done quickly and in an hour had the basics of cheese. Work done, they invited me to share their lunch: sarmale (cabbage leaves stuffed with spiced mince), doughnuts and the local brew – apple brandy.
PS: Multumim Vali!