Sunny Sardinia

I’m not long back from a week in Sunny Sardinia, where in all honesty, eating, sunbathing and sleeping where my main activities. I’m not even joking. Although our hotel did have some wonderful free yoga classes, which I managed to find time in my packed schedule for a visit to.

20170828_122004

20170829_144422-EFFECTS

While hotels in the region (and often Italy generally) aren’t always mega luxurious, this doesn’t really matter when it’s this beautiful…

20170828_113222

20170828_121131

Stunning views were everywhere in Sardinia and even a terrible photographer like me took some lovely shots capturing the island’s beauty. The beaches in particular were perfect and with temperatures in the 30s, we were very glad of the sea breeze and the cooling waves.

20170828_121218-EFFECTS

Sleep came easily in a canopied bed that made me feel like a princess! Obviously, it’s a mosquito net to keep those nasty little bugs out (of which Sardinia has plenty!) – but it does look rather pretty doesn’t it?

20170827_182624

Seafood, pizza and pasta made up much of our diet on this trip, well it would be rude not to wouldn’t it? I had a few salads for good measure, but when in Italy, this is what it’s all about…

Tiramisu…had to be done!

A special thanks to Colin & Olatz for this treat of some local bubbles on our first night!

There’s nothing like a late August/early September holiday to make you really feel the difference in seasons on your return. Now we’re back in England, the tan’s fading and the weather’s turning. It’s easy to give into the blues but secretly I’m rather looking forward to winter (and Christmas!!!)…bring it on! 

Advertisements

Foodie Celebrations at WestQuay…

Planning on visiting WestQuay for a little Christmas shopping? Well here’s some exciting news (and another reason to go)…the new Dining at WestQuay officially opens this month on Thursday 22nd November. Dining at WestQuay will be home to several new restaurants, including Pizza Express, Wagamama, Southampton’s first Café Rouge Express, Mexican eatery Tortilla and American-inspired Ed’s Easy Diner.

image

New foodie offering at WestQuay

To celebrate the opening there’s lots of fun foodie goings on – including live cookery demos from celebrity chef Aldo Zilli, who’ll be dishing out culinary advice and dishing up pasta chitarra with four tomato sauce, baked cod with black olive crust and a panettone dessert. Plus chefs from some of Dining at WestQuay’s new and existing restaurants will also be demonstrating some of their most popular dishes, including the new Wagamama – yum!

image

Celebrity Chef Aldo Zilli will be showcasing his skills at WestQuay on Thursday

And as if that wasn’t enough to get you down to WestQuay this Thursday, there will also be all kinds of menu samples from new and existing WestsQuay foodie outlets – the list includes Hotel Chocolat, Starbucks, Café Giardino and many more. I’m told prizes, special offers and discounts will also be up for grabs on the day  too – sounds a like a fab foodie outing to me. And with WestQuays’s shops open until 8pm there’ll be time to cross a few things off my Christmas shopping list too.

All the action starts with Aldo Zilli’s first demonstration at 12pm this Thursday 22nd.

Hidden Gems Part One

There are lots of restaurants that you might call hidden gems nestled around Hampshire, some you drive past and always wonder about going in, some you’ve heard about and never been to, maybe you went once years ago and haven’t been back…whether they’re in a rural location or simply a tucked away part of town, it’s time to start thinking about our local hidden gems!

These restaurants usually have longevity, outlasting some of the more prominently positioned establishments – relying on reputations built over the years and loyal customers. I’m hoping to publish a series of posts celebrating some great local hidden gems (suggestions welcome!)…I’ll start with one of my favourites, Keats in Ampfield.

Keats is a wonderfully traditional Italian restaurant located between Wincheser and Romsey, so it probably falls into the ‘driven past it and always wondered…’ category of hidden gems – but it is most certainly worth a visit. Run by the same very friendly team for something like 20 plus years, I cannot praise this place enough, I’ve genuinely never had a bad meal there. The freshness of the food is always excellent, the fish and seafood in particular – the staff are only to happy to tell you what they’ve got in fresh that day and recommend a good wine to go with it too.

Bear in mind when I say Italian, I don’t mean Zizzi, Prezzo or Pizza Express. Keats is all about traditional Italian classic dishes done well. The specialities would certainly have to be the fish, but also the chateaubriand for two – a firm favourite of my boyfriend and his brother, who enjoy it every time. The desserts are excellent too, my favourite is the crepe suzettes, which are always prepared in front of you in the traditional way.

I’m hoping to update this post with some foodie photos when I next pay a visit to Keats, but for now I hope this short entry has served to whet your appetite for some good old fashioned Italian food…

Visit http://www.keatsrestaurant.co.uk for a flavour of the place and book a table if you haven’t been!