Excellent Cocktails at Hotel Locarno (Rome, Italy)

[Translate] Much loved and frequented by celebrities, especially during Apertivio (7:00 PM – 10:00 PM), the historic lounge bar inside the four-star Hotel Locarno dates back to 1925. Antique Art Nouveau style furnishings, a fireplace and original decorations take you on a journey back to the Twenties whilst the music, informally dressed staff and creative cocktails offer a modern twist. There are 1920s inspired drinks and Head Barman Nicholas Pinna even offers Masterclasses. (more…)

Lunch with a Spectacular View of Florence at B-Roof at Grand Hotel Baglioni Firenze (Florence, Italy)

[Translate] When I was researching my trip to Florence several moths ago, I have come to understand that food in Florence is fairly traditional. Tuscan food is based on the Italian idea of cucina povera or “poor cooking.” A concept that started very literally, it’s about simple meals that are inexpensive and could easily be made in large amounts. Today it remains largely the same – but by choice instead of economy. Tuscan cooking doesn’t use complicated seasonings or elaborate creations because they’re not needed. Instead it’s made using fresh, high-quality ingredients that bring out the natural flavors in each..

Modern Sicilian at Arà è Sud (Florence, Italy)

[Translate] When you travel through Florence, almost all of the food you will encounter will be traditional Tuscan fare that tends to be the hearty food because of its longtime history of cooking peasant food. Arà è Sud is a good option if you are looking for Sicilian fare that is tends to be lighter with the extensive use of seafood in its cooking but it’s still flavorful. Arà è Sud is a bistro type of restaurant that has a casual vibe but serves really good Sicilian food led by Chef Carmelo Pannocchietti. (more…)

Amazing Luxury Bed & Breakfast at Canto degli Scali (Florence, Italy)

[Translate] When I arrived to Florence, I stayed at the luxurious apartment at Canto degli Scali. This place is a beautifully restored and converted from a 14th century palace in the center of Florence into a series of charming apartments. Each of these units has been named after a Florentine “Canto” and they are all furnished with custom fittings. This makes them exquisitely unique and gives our hosts the impression of being in a real home from home. The idea for this project came from two brothers, Marco and Alessio Ducceschi, who were personally responsible for the restyled design of..

Dinner at Restaurant Assaje at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese Rome (1* Michelin)

[Translate] A 19th-century convent that was converted to a hotel, Aldrovandi Villa Borghese has carried a certain panache for years. Another special aspect of this hotel, which sits on the edge of the Villa Borghese garden, is that all of its opulence with antique furniture and wall tapestries when you walk at through the lobby/reception area. When we were escorted down to Restaurant Assaje, we had to walk through a small portion the beautiful garden. The restaurant itself is lovely for the elegant, minimalist with gray and white monotone color scheme that makes feel calm and make you focus on..

Dinner at Glass Hostaria (Rome, Italy, 1* Michelin)

[Translate] I’ve recently traveled to Rome and Florence, Italy! Both cities were great and they definitely have different personalities despite both places have a lot of pride for their city. The posts I will be putting up are going to be in relative random order rather than chronological. I will start off with a very good, creative dinner at Glass Hostaria led by its chef and proprietor Cristina Bowerman. Almost as renowned for its design as it is for its food, Glass Hostaria is a culinary fixture of the historic alleyways of Rome. The restaurant itself is a wonderful mix..

Tempo Dulu and Opium at The Danforth (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] The Danforth, as I’ve mentioned on my previous post, is a fantastic, luxury inn and it’s a fascinating place that houses an unexpectedly good upscale Southeast Asian restaurant, Tempo Dulu and a cocktail lounge called Opium. I didn’t have high expectations of eating good Asian cooking since Portland does not have a large Asian population compared to New York City or Boston. I expected great New American, farm-to-table food while I’m in Portland. However, Executive Chef Michael McDonnell and his team cooks dishes from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia while using local ingredients. The food that arrives to..

The Danforth Inn (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Raymond Brunyanszki, owner of Camden Harbour Inn and its Natalie’s Restaurant — two located in mid-coast Maine — had wanted to open an upscale Southeast Asian restaurant ever since he worked in the region as a tour guide early in his career. He knew he found the right place when he walked into The Danforth Inn while scouting Portland for a second hotel location. The building’s brick exterior and white columns exude elegance. Brunyanszki purchased the Danforth in May 2014 and has been renovating each of the 1823 hotel’s nine rooms, one by one, while keeping the property open..

Holy Donut (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] If there’s something I’m pretty excited to visit in Portland, it would be the famed artisan doughnut shop, Holy Donut founded and owned by Leigh Kellis. All of the doughnuts are hand made and with real, natural ingredients (like fresh blueberries and pomegranate) and still be intensely pleasurable and delicious and there’s some mashed Maine potatoes. (more…)