A friend of ours, who works on the North Sea oil rigs, has just bought a forester's cottage in the woods. The house is sited right next to the forest as you would expect and there is even a small private gate from the garden that takes you immediately into the trees. To get there you climb a winding forestry road out of Cesky Krumlov, on which you will occasionally meet large forestry lorries laden with trunks coming down in the opposite direction – not something to enjoy on the narrow road, but which mean that in the winter the road is kept clear of snow.
Alongside the cottage runs a track which after a brief spell among the trees takes you to an expanse of upland grassland and spectacular views across the Sumava mountains all the way to Austria. That is of course if you get that far. The woods behind the little house are a first-class place for collecting egg-yolk coloured chanterelle mushrooms in the moss covered ground. My friend's partner being Czech born and bred has of course discovered this fact and moreover in the spell after the rain did not even make it to the garden gate and into the forest before her basket was full of these treasures with their slight scent of apricots. I do wonder however whether having mushrooms reliably on your doorstep will not in some way reduce the enjoyment of the hunt. We shall see.