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Twilight, Travel, and Treats

Reflections of a Twihard on all things twilight, travel, and treats.

This post has been a long time coming. Like over 6 months. But better late than never. I am finally over the
month of having both my kids birthdays, Christmas, New Years, and three other family birthdays. Phew!

This is the last of the Europe 2010 Travel Posts

London
Venice
Bologna Part 1 (Parmigiano Reggiano) and 2 (Balsamic Vinegar and Prosciutto)
Florence

Tuscany posts will be split into
Part 1 - Greve in Chianti - where we stayed
Part 2 - Montepulciano (Twilight Set)
Part 3 - Volterra and Sienna



Tuscany - Part 1 - Greve in Chianti


We left Florence and drove a short way south towards Sienna on the SS 222 (about 90 minutes) into the Chianti region. We stayed outside a tiny town called Greve in Chianti. Very cute hillside town but our hotel was up on a hilltop.

Hotel


See how the road goes uphill in this cartoon? They aren't kidding.

Yes it's a dirt road going up. Did a number on our little convertible rental.


We stayed at Villa Bordoni. It's a 16th century Tuscan villa that has been completely renovated by a Scottish restauranteur. The place was fabulous - right down to the hand painted antique floor tiles from the Amalfi coast.

The reception area
Part of the gardens - taken while having breakfast on the back porch

The view from the back garden out over the countryside


Most of you know I'm an indoor girl to the extreme. But this place was so pretty I actually sat on the back porch to have my breakfast.





Common sitting area


Our room

All 10 rooms are different in this villa. My whole impression of a hotel rests on how much I like the washroom. I was thrilled with this one and in fact my favourite part of our whole trip was this hotel shower.

Our room
Don't be put off by the weird mirror in the washroom.

My husband loved the TV in the mirror.



Absolutely love this shower!
So you can't see but there are two rainfall showerheads in this shower. Plus a bench which has 3 jets on each side that gently spray you. Plus a handheld shower head. Nine jets in one shower - I wanted to take this home.

Food

Did I mention that our hotel is owned by a restauranteur? Well the Villa Bordoni restaurant itself is very well known. The parking lot for the hotel was full every night with restaurant patrons.

we didn't do the outdoor dinner but I'm sure it's lovely at candlelight
The service here was very good. We came home late one evening and were famished. They had closed down dinner service but still offered to make us something.

Super yummy fancy mushroom soup

Warm chocolate cake


More Food

We had some spectacular meals in Tuscany. In Greve in Chianti itself there is a main town square. We went to Nerbone di Greve. It was peaceful and the food was hearty Tuscan. Some of this food isn't for the faint of heart but we loved it.

Take a peek at their menu online to see the interesting selection - warning to all vegetarians.


sorry for the blur - a flash felt too intrusive for this lovely patio

I crostini toscani di fegatini - Toasted bread with liver pate

Il bollito misto - Boiled mixed meat - ox-tongue, tripe, stuffed chicken neck

Yum for pickles and relishes for the boiled meats.

I fagioli all'olio - white beans with olive oil

L'ossobucco all fiorentina - Marrow bone in the florentine style


Honey mascarpone panna cotta - seriously licked the cup after!

Officina della Bisteca - The Ultimate Beef Dinner



My husband loves steak. Apparently when his mother was pregnant she had to have beef every night or she felt ill. There are stories of him going to bed with steak in his pockets from dinner because "his eyes were bigger than his stomach" and he couldn't finish his meal.



We first saw the famous butcher Dario Cecchini on the cooking travel show David Rocco's Dolce Vita on Food Network.

This guy is a meat fanatic.

Here's his lament for "the death of beef" when Mad Cow disease was at it's peak

The butchershop is in a tiny town called Panzano about 15 minutes south of Greve in Chianti. It has a space upstairs that seats dozens of people for this special beef dinner (or Sunday 1pm lunch as we did). For 50 euros you get three different types of beef plus wine, sides, and dessert.


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Click to enlarge

we sat very close to this fire. Everyone's sweating by the end
beef "sushi" - steak tartare - they do cook it lightly - so good!
Huge porterhouse steaks - Bistecca alla Fiorentina
always having white beans with olive oil from now on

yummy olive oil cake - can`t believe how much I ate of this stuff


My husband and I got a nice pic with the crazy celebrity butcher but I figured Mr. TC isn`t ready to have his face on a twilight blog yet.

Okay next post will be

Tuscany Part 2 - Montepulciano - finally I make it to the New Moon set!

2 comments:

HG from Trueblood Twilight said...

I am living vicariously through you. LOVE your pics!! I really, really want to plan a trip to Europe. Maybe some day...

Great post!

Dangrdafne said...

I wondered if we would ever see Tuscany through your eyes ;)

It is lovely and wow the food!! Looks like a great time and thank you for sharing it with us.