Even a Life of Five Star Hotels Can Be Exhausting

Hands on Cooking with David Tanis

It’s not a complaint, however after a grueling pace combined with blistering temperatures across Sicily, Puglia and Milano, it’s good to be home! A friend and I visited the Anna Tasca Lanza cooking school in Sicily to learn the refined art of Sicilian cooking with David Tanis http://davidtanis.com/.

Always eager to explore new areas, I added Puglia site inspections to my schedule – the southern most location in Italy which is advertised as the hottest destination in Italy…it literally was the hottest; as per my custom, I move hotels every two days. The blistering temperatures and an effort to view as many charming hill towns and villages clinging to cliffs over the sparkling seas, blended with wine and copious amounts of food served at lunch and dinner make for an exhausting Journey! Abbondanza is an understatement!

But again, I survived and will be sharing my tales of delicious olive oil tasting, meeting a shepherd practicing the dying art of cheese making, boutique vineyards, towns and villages with winding cobblestone streets, in the coming weeks.

Traditional ricotta production by Filippo Privitera

I again flew Emirates Air, which really takes the sting out of long distance flying! They fly JFK to Milano, thus my impetus to add Milano to my itinerary. Many people don’t think of this as a destination city, however I would disagree. Arriving on Emirates is the only way to arrive!

A stay in Milano is enhanced by a few days at Villa d’Este on Lake Como!

Best table for Lunch at Villa d’ Este

Olive oil Tasting at Masseria Brancati

Va bene!

Va bene – a good day when you are served by three charming Italian men!

Bordeaux Wine Festival

Bordeaux is the largest wine growing area in France and the wine is a cherished commodity, needing little introduction to anyone with an interest in wine. Organized every two years, you may have just missed the Bordeaux Festival, however we can offer exclusives to this prestigious French wine region.

A few of the special five star properties we suggest:

– Hotel Les Sources de Caudalie (15 minutes south of Bordeaux city)

– Hostellerie de Plaisance (in St Emilion Unesco Village, 45 minutes east of Bordeaux city)

– La Grande Maison (Great new Boutique Hotel inside Bordeaux)

– Le Grand Hotel bordeaux (a more classic Grand hotel in Bordeaux center)

Exclusive Touring Opportunities Wine & Food:

– Visit and tasting at first growth wineries in all regions of Bordeaux area (St Emilion, Graves, Medoc…).

– Private dinner by local chef (or famous star chef) at wineries or other extraordinary venues (domains, castles, boat…) with wine pairing.

– Food and wine scavenger hunt with vintage sports car (self driving option).

– Food tour (either in Bordeaux City or going to local producers outside the city).

– Wine tasting workshop (learning to develop one’s sensory capacity, focusing mainly on the sense of smell and taste, with a renowned professional).

Cultural/Historical Tours

– Bordeaux city tour

– St Emilion village tour

– Underground St Emilion experience

– Day trip to Biarritz with stops at authentic historical villages and town on the way (option of surfing lessons)

– Day trip to Dordogne for some castle tours, garden’s visit, cave’s exploration, kayak ride with beautiful natural scenery.

Additional Palate Proposals

– Private boat tour including gourmet picnic on the beautiful Arcachon Bassin (visit the iconic cabane tchanquée and the bird’s island as well as local oyster producer for a tasting with some local white wine).

– Tour of Arcachon town and the highest natural sand dune in Europe: Pilat

– Biking, horseback riding, air balloon…