Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill

My charm for the Hyatt group grows stronger every time I stay in a new hotel. And so it happened in the renewed Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, during another pleasant stay in London.

As the name indicates, this hotel was designed to transmit an authentic homage to the honorable Winston Churchill and all his legacy.

Located in one of the noblest areas in the city, Portman Square, close to some of the most famous places in London, like Hyde Park, the British Museum or the main department stores in the city.

First Impression
An imposing building in a refined square, full of attentive staff at our arrival. As soon as the car stopped they opened our door and immediately welcomed us with a “Good Morning Madame!

We entered without delays and met a huge lobby, extremely elegant, of classic and colonial decoration with modern details and filled with art. The typical bustle of this kind of urban and financial hotel gives it a certain charisma, despite all the confusion.

We were quickly forwarded to the reception and the check in was done without delays while we drank flavored water.

The hotel suffered a renovation that started in 2014 ’till 2016, making it much more sophisticated and updated, without losing its identity and tradition, mainly because helping were Winston Churchill’s family members!
Bedrooms
There are 440, of four types, the Standard, the View, the Regency Club and the Suites – Saatchi, Churchill, Presidential and Royal.

As we walked to our bedroom I could see the elegance of the hallways, the floor with silky carpets of different patterns, always with a sober look and wallpapers with different textures combining perfectly with the floor.

  The welcoming at Hyatt Regency

Along the halls it’s also possible to see the technological component of the renovation, in the walls, we can find screens with information about the hotel, general information and information about different events and conferences happening that day or the next.

We stayed in a View room, in other words, with direct view to the Portman Square garden. As soon as I entered I noticed a sober decoration, elegant and at the same time contemporary, being comfort the watchword.


Waiting for us was a true feast! Different snacks, wine, and a gift: a book with famous phrases of Winston Churchill. At our disposal were also tea, coffee, and water, throughout the stay.


The bathroom was the main character of the bedroom, with a TOTO toilet! I never know the use of all those buttons but I press them all (!) and the warm seat “kills me”! One can only be truly happy until using this toilet! Besides, the robe was of the silkiest and comfortable I ever experienced, and the hygiene products from Pharmacopia made the delights of my bath! The bathtub had the same decoration of the bedroom, adorned with a gorgeous dark marble.

 The famous TOTO toilet

Restaurant Montagu

Restaurants/Bars
This is one of the ex-libris of Hyatt Regency London. Both for guests or the public in general, delighted while passing by the hotel and observing one of the most beautiful winter gardens in London. I’m talking about the Churchill Bar & Terrace.

The Churchill Bar & Terrace

Inspired by the dignified Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine, this bar offers us signature cocktails awarded many times, a huge variety of Gin, homemade tonic water, and it is as bohemian, as it is classic. The space presents as well a cigar menu, delighting the connoisseurs.


The space presents an extremely luxurious decoration, we can find many books with contents that used to fulfill Churchill’s free time, and also small details that took us back to the love between Churchill and Clementine.

The ex-libris of this space is the terrace or winter garden. One of the most beautiful places I saw during this trip to London. In white and gray tones, with the elegant and rustic look mixing perfectly. This space is always full, of guests and locals, and you can easily understand why!

Another of the gastronomic places of the hotel is the Locanda Locatelli, an Italian restaurant with a Michelin star, that we, unfortunately, didn’t have the chance to experience, but those who did have quite positive critics.

 The Cheese and Wine Experience 

Last but not least, we have the Montagu. One of the main spaces of the hotel, in an environment I love, with open-kitchen. This space has a very classic decoration, with modern details and an ambiance of a royal dining room, inspired by the cuisine and dining room of Chartwell, Churchill’s country house!

 Breakfast at Montagu

In this space are served all the meals of the day, from breakfast – and what a breakfast! – to lunch and dinner. Besides these meals, we can also experience the Sunday Champagne Brunch – as the name indicates, it has unlimited champagne right in the morning! – the New York Italian-Style Brunch on Saturdays, and also the Afternoon Tea with the traditional 5 o’clock tea, very British.

The Cheese and Wine Experience 

We had one perfect experience, something the hotel has been doing for a few months, the Montagu´s Cheese and Wine Corner, presenting us a memorable experience that pretends to bring back Winston Churchill’s habits, with his taste for great wines and great cheeses (the way he usually finished his meals).

We had the chance to taste five types of cheese, 20g of each, accompanied with excellent quality, fruit, jams produced in the hotel, dry fruits, toasts, and sausages. All this harmonized with wine, the Nyetimber Classic Cuvee that expresses a perfect combination of intensity and delicacy, harmonizing beautifully with all the cheeses; and the Chablis Domaine Long-Depaquit which elegance transformed it also in a perfect pair for the cheeses.

High score also to the Solera 1847 Oloroso, a beautiful Jerez.

Highlight to the superior quality of the cheeses from small producers, well tuned by La Fromagerie, showing not only of Stilton live the great British cheeses. Excellent textures, excellent aromas and great flavors showing a care above average in terms of cheese tables in hotels.

Services
Hyatt Regency London is a hotel for every taste and all needs, versatile for business but also, at the same time, a place where you want to stay your entire trip to London.

At first sight, it for sure looks like a Business Hotel, due to its facilities according to that designation, like the case of its Business Centre, with 12 specific rooms for that, in its generous 627m2!


But these spaces can be used for other purposes, like entertainment, special celebrations, yes, because this hotel can also be the place to say the so desired “I do!”, in a wedding party able to enhance any love relationship.

Whatever you need the hotel assures, and that makes of Hyatt Regency one of the most important hotels in London.

Due to its great location, one of the perfect options is visiting several important places in the city, like the Hyde Park, a tour at the National Gallery, or the mandatory British Museum, or even follow the Churchill line and visit the Churchill War Rooms, that I must say it’s one of my favorite places in London (see).

If you prefer to go shopping, you have the Bond Street, the Oxford Street or the Regent Street very close to the hotel.

The hotel has also a Fitness Center, small but very dynamic, open 24h a day. For me, it was not the ideal, once it had too many cardio machines, and none for bodybuilding, so my workout during the stay was a bit limited (yes, I’m now addicted to these things!).

The hotel doesn’t have a spa, but you can book a massage in the bedroom by request.
The hotel also has limousine service by request, and transfer to and from the airport.

If you like traveling with animals know the hotel is not pet-friendly, unless for service animals.

The Hyatt Regency London presents also free WIFI to its guests, laundry service, and room service 24h/day.

Service
The Hyatt group always excels in service, the staff has a training that assures education and care, pleasing every guest.

From the moment we arrive at the hotel we are always accompanied with care, smiles, and professionalism. Our experience in the restaurant was memorable, the staff of the Cheese and Wine Experience at the Corner of Montagu was so nice you can’t put into words, one of the employees, Zé, was from Trás-os-Montes like João, super genuine, as any good “transmontano”, lovely, as the rest of the team.

And because staying in a hotel is not only about activities, services, gastronomy or palpable experiences, it is made also of people, people that in years from now will still be a part of our memories and make us smile.

Thank you, Hyatt, for another memorable stay, and thank you Sir Winston Churchill for inspiring such a meticulously pleasant space.


See you soon London, and see you soon Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill!

Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill
Bedrooms from 400€
30 Portman Square – London
+44 (0)20 7486 5800

Versão Portuguesa

Text: Cíntia OLiveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses

Disclaimer
We were at Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill by invitation of the Hyatt group, whereas this does not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.

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London – Eneko at One Aldwych

London is increasingly a gastronomic mecca, being not only a desirable destination for all the foodies but also for chefs who establish there or open spaces in the city – like Heston Blumenthal, Daniel Boulud, the Arzak family, David Muñoz, Anne-Sophie Pic, Virgilio Martínez, Alain Ducasse or Pierre Gagnaire, just to name a few.

The truth is that it’s becoming difficult to put up with all this gastronomic bustle in London, but one of the most recent openings was our excuse to a quick visit and the return to a hotel that had already made us very happy, the One Aldwych, right in the heart of Covent Garden (see).

After around two years of negotiations and renovations, the contemporary Boutique Hotel welcomes the Eneko at One Aldwych, which as the name indicates, brings to London the cuisine of the Basque chef Eneko Atxa (*** Michelin in his Azurmendi and a constant presence in the guide The World’s 50 Best). A luxury “hiring” that completely put the spotlight in the opening of this space.

The dining room of Eneko at One Aldwych*

Nothing was left to chance in this opening, from the bold decoration, left in the hands of the famous Casson Mann, an homage to the industrial origin of the building of One Aldwych (former headquarters of the Morning Post), with a touch of the Basque country with the sofas in the tone of Espelette pepper, furniture designed especially for this space and a bold combination of textures making this wide modern space also cozy.

All this work has its highlight as soon as we enter and start going down the stairs (worthy of Kings and celebrities who like to mark their entrance) and we pass firstly in the bar, where you can taste some Pintxos with Txakoli or signature cocktails, created by Pedro Paulo for the restaurant.

Already installed in a wide and comfortable table, we started our experience.

And we started really well, with a great selection of bread – with highlight to the sourdough – and a delicious butter with basil and chives, mixed at the table in a beautiful ceramic mortar – a simple and very effective start, combining perfectly with the cocktail French 75, a combo of  Gin Mare, fresh herbs, lemon, and Cava.

Bay of Biscaia Memories 
The cuisine at Eneko is not a Londoner adaptation of Azurmendi, it’s a space with its own identity, more simple and informal, where the Basque chef wanted to pay an homage to his roots. A good example of that is this starter “Bay of Biscaia Memories”, with the intensity and flavors of the sea, so popular around there. For that, he uses seaweed and dry ice (yes, it’s still a thing in 2017) as the base to a great crab, with armoricaine sauce, with all the meat inside the shell, full of sea flavor and an elegant sweetness. The superb oyster with a good plankton emulsion and an excellent shrimp tartar with herring roe served inside a porcelain urchin. A beautiful start!

Foie Parfait, apple jam with Txakoli 
Another interesting presentation with the parfait served inside a beautiful porcelain apple. High score to the freshness and combination of green apple flavors with Txakoli wine and the texture and greasiness of the parfait. High score also to the crunchy dough, bringing more texture to the mix. I would easily trade the salty sablée toasts for the sourdough!

Hake, red peppers and parsley emulsion
The loving hake of the Basque here met an English adaptation, fish & chips style. But the dish is much more than that, a flawless tempura – dry and crunchy, and a perfect hake – moist and full of flavor. Nice detail with the peppers confit bringing some power and earth notes, but the highlight goes completely to the hake, probably the best piece of fried fish I ever had!

 Oxtail, mushroom emulsion 
Despite being one of my favorite cuts, it was the least surprising. Although visually flawless and the amazing mushroom emulsion, the meat was a bit overcooked and the combo turned a bit too sweet. Lacking an acid element or a side to balance the dish.

Mushroom rice
A bomb and brothy rice, perfectly cooked and rich in mushroom flavor, elevated by the mushroom emulsion served as the topping. A great, great rice!

Rose Marshmallow, Strawberry sorbet 
A perfect dessert for me, light, fresh, not too many elements and a few textures. Amazing strawberry ice cream, velvety, quite the style of the pacojet, nicely paired with fresh strawberries (strangely good given the time of the year) and the strawberry foam as well as the lightness of the marshmallow and the rose blades. Very good combination of floral and fruity flavors!

Salty Caramel Mousse, cookie crumble and goat milk ice cream 
A much more sinful dessert, yet with very well balanced sweetness. Excellent mousse, amazing ice cream, good combination of elements and textures. Good ending!

The wine list, while not being huge, presents a great selection of Spanish wines with lots of options by the glass. In our case, we opted for a Rioja wine, 100% Tempranillo (meaning it’s like our Tinta RorizR & G from 2011, with wood, vanilla, red fruits and spices notes. In the mouth, this Rolland Galarreta wine revealed some toast notes, medium body, more fruit and well-marked tannins, a modern wine following the current tendencies, but personally for me it was not satisfying. The harmonization was particularly happy with the oxtail, the mushroom rice, and the peppers confit.

The Service was matching with the meal, demonstrating celerity, sympathy, good suggestions and an excellent knowledge of the menu presented.

Final Remarks
Before thinking of booking a table at Eneko at One Aldwych it’s important to avoid a common mistake that happens when a name like Eneko Atxa opens a new restaurant, the excessive expectation. I say this because the idea here wasn’t to create a “new” Azurmendi but to open a new concept, much more informal, without the complexity and of course, without the structure and prices of a three-starred restaurant. The seal of the chef is very marked, not only in terms of presentation and technique but also in the combination of flavors and the Basque inspiration that serves as the main base here.

This said, Eneko is one of the newest great options in Covent Garden, the menu is deceptively simple, with risk and innovative details, and some things that live in perfection, like the Hake that I won’t easily forget, for sure!

Mandatory visit!

Eneko at One Aldwych
Average price: £40 per person, without wine or fees 
1 Aldwych  – London
+44 20 7300 0300
eneko@onealdwych.com

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses / * promotion photo 

Disclaimer
We were at Eneko by invitation of the One Aldwych Hotel, whereas this does not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.

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One Aldwych Hotel

As you know, I love coming back to where I once was happy, so I combined that idea with a good excuse, the opening of the restaurant Eneko at One Aldwych last year, from the acclaimed Basque chef Eneko Atxa (*** Michelin), to return to the Hotel One Aldwych in London (see the 2015 article), in the heart of Covent Garden.

Returning to London is always a pleasure, with or without Brexit, this city is still one of my favorites, and Covent Garden one of my favorite areas, with an unpretentious elegance atmosphere, full of culture.

The reason for this return was the Restaurant Eneko at One Aldwych, however, our stay in the hotel is once again deserving of a special highlight. Still imposing, looking at it from the outside is like feeling the haughtiness of other times.

As entering I felt that same vibrant bustle, typically bohemian, you only get in London pubs, which I love!

I was once again standing in the ambiance of The Lobby Bar, headed by the brilliant (and Portuguese!) Pedro Paulo – who by these days is presenting his new cocktail menu, of which we’ll talk about later.


We headed to the reception and were welcomed with a wonderful “Bom Dia” (Good morning in Portuguese)! Yes, the hotel is full of “good Portuguese people”!

Our room was being prepared and we were left (and well) in the hands of Pedro, at The Lobby Bar, turning our arrival at London in a dive into the great “bubbles” Perrier-Jouet, while catching up with each other.

The Lobby Bar

In that precise moment, looking around me, I realized why I fell in love with One Aldwych that first time…art is everywhere, in a cosmopolitan atmosphere, but with its identity complete, in a bustle of bohemian behavior, without losing comfort.

Meanwhile, after this pleasant moment in the company of Pedro, we headed to our bedroom.

 

The bedrooms at One Aldwych never disappoint, comfort and contemporaneity are in order, the art of welcoming is always present in small details, like the fresh fruit every day, the biscuits in the first day, the fresh flowers harmonizing the environment of the bedroom.

The bed… oh, the bed! The beds of this hotel are still the most comfortable and functional I ever experienced!

The Lobby Bar

Concerning gastronomic spaces, the One Aldwych couldn’t be better represented. Starting with the restaurant  Indigo, an elegant space, but informal, with a gluten-free cuisine, wherein 2015 we had a pleasant meal and where we could once again have a great breakfast, à La Carte – with everything being prepared by precept and arriving at the table at the right moment.

Restaurant Indigo 

 Classic Eggs Royale

On its turn, The Lobby Bar is on the top of my preferences of all the spaces in the hotel, a cosmopolitan ambiance, dynamic and full of glamor!

Pedro Paulo

Here I tasted some of the best cocktails ever, by the hands of Pedro Paulo. In this place are served some light meals during the day, and also one of the most luxuriant 5 O’clock Teas in London!
Imagine yourselves as characters in the classic story of Roald Dahl, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and feel awarded by the sweets of Willie Wonka, that’s what you’ll get here.

This tea can also be served privately in one of the rooms designed to that effect, in a total of 12 to 30 people.

During our visit, Pedro Paulo and his team were finishing the preparations of the new cocktail menu, promising to be the boldest ever, making many pages turn in the Londoner magazines of the subject. We were able to taste the classic Old Fashioned prepared at the table with the aid of an elegant Trolley designed by Pedro, promising to delight the clients and their cameras – Soon we’ll show you the preparation of the classic drink.

(P.S. The menu saw the light of day recently, and the English critic surrendered to the new preparations and concepts of a menu inspired in the London Theaters, divided into Comedy, Satire, and Drama, where the cocktails are based on several of the famous plays in the city. Highlight also to a cocktail that promises the return to the origins of the cocktail with a trip to the virtual reality world).

Last but not least, we have the gastronomic space that made us return, the restaurant Eneko at One Aldwych of the famous Eneko Atxa´s, chef of the Azurmendi Restaurant (***Michelin). So, at this Eneko in London, we can find in his creations the inspiration of the Basque tradition, but João will talk about that in another post.

A perfect hake, in a Fish & Chips style at Eneko at One Aldwych

But a good hotel is not only made of gastronomy, so let’s move on to leisure and relaxation spaces. As I mentioned in the previous article the hotel has services to satisfy all guests, starting with the simple fact of its location.

Covent Garden is one of the prettiest regions in the city, where some of the most important galleries and theaters are located, namely the Lyceum Theater, right next to the One Aldwych, with the exhibition of the Lion King (that we still haven’t seen, unfortunately, but that’s always a good excuse to return!).

Besides the area, the hotel is also different for its spa complex, with that fabulous pool I will never forget, with underwater music, besides treatment rooms, bath circuits and an excellent gym (yes, I’m now a usual guest of this type of places!).

The Lounge 

Another space that fascinated me at One Aldwych, and which I didn’t know existed, was the Lounge, located right next to the entrance of the hotel with a secret passage, very similar to a personal refuge, where silence and calm are kings, opposed to The Lobby Bar. It’s quite interesting to verify this duality of concepts, two very different spaces so close to one another.


This room, similarly to the rest of the hotel, has a contemporary luxury atmosphere, with an attention to detail given by art pieces and the constant presence of flowers. Here we find artworks with inspiration in the history of the hotel when it was the headquarters of several newspapers.


One of the most beautiful and relaxing places in the hotel.

Our moments at One Aldwych, in this long weekend in London, were perfectly spent, returning to where we were happy, discovering new places, like our experience at the restaurant Eneko, or rediscovering places that make us love this hotel even more like The Lobby Bar or the Lounge, or also for the team even more perfect this time.


For sure one of my favorite places in town, even if you don’t stay at the hotel don’t miss an opportunity to visit it, enter for a cocktail at The Lobby Bar, and meet one of the most important barmen in London, experience the sensation of being part of a sweet fantasy with the memorable 5 O’clock tea or even book a table at the cosmopolitan  Eneko at One Aldwych, but please don’t miss the chance to get to know one of the best hotels in London, you won’t regret it!

Once again I say: “See you soon One Aldwych!”

One Aldwych
Bedrooms from 390€
1 Aldwych – London
+44 (0)20 7300 1000

Versão Portuguesa

Text: Cíntia Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses

Disclaimer
We were at One Aldwych by invitation of the Hotel, whereas this does not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.

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The Ivy Market Grill

After buying the Caprice Holdings, more than 10 years ago, Richard Caring’s investment in restaurants and clubs never stopped! However, just in 2014 he dared to use the name of what would be, most likely, the most famous restaurant in London, The Ivy, and create new spaces around such a powerful brand.

The special thing about the classic The Ivy (which celebrates 100 years in 2017) is not only the comfort food, service or decoration but the fact that during years making possible for the common mortal to share a dining room with the most important figures and celebrities of London and the World.

For the opening of its first spin-off (nowadays they are several already), Richard Caring installed right in the heart of the famous square of Covent Garden with the “new classic” The Ivy Market Grill.

The space was perfectly chosen, a building of historic facade, an inviting terrace with view to the bustle of Covent Garden, and the interior divided into 2 floors.

The metal, wood, and leather are kings in the decoration, in a very masculine and bourgeois environment that quickly transports us to the historic cafés in Paris, London or NYC. The bar honors the Ivy Original, the reduced space between tables reminds us we’re in a kind of brasserie and the pieces of silver bring us the comfort and identity of other times. That’s one of the talents of Martin Brudnizki’s studio, in charge of the decoration making a new restaurant seem part of that square since forever.

But let’s leave business, decoration, and glamor aside and talk about the reason we’re here, the food and warranty seal of The Ivy. At this Market Grill the idea was to create an all-day dining, with options for breakfast, the 5 o’clock tea, the pre and after theater menus (being on the West End). Creating for that a menu based on comfort food, mainly British, with options for every taste.

I usually say something good is to come when a Lagouile knife appears

And we start very well with a toast of champagne, made especially for the group, The Ivy Collection Champagne.

Smoked Salmon, Crab and Fennel cream 
Nicely smoked salmon with elegant notes of wood, bringing complexity to the aroma and flavor of the fish. Nice texture and very well paired with the crab and fennel cream that freshens the combination. Simple and effective, a beautiful start!

Tartar Steak
A French classic, well worked, meat perfectly cut by hand, nicely seasoned with the pickles, the shallot, the parsley and a sauce of tabasco and mustard, enrichened by the greasiness of the yolk. A great tartar!

Tornedó Rossini 
A version of the classic, with the meat perfectly cooked and sealed, great foie, truffle and a sauce that could be just a bit more intense.

A version that wouldn’t for sure embarrass Mr.Rossini!

Sheperd’s Pie 
The most emblematic dish of the brand The Ivy – the English version of meat pie – here prepared with lamb blade cooked at low temperature along with veal and a potato puree with a good dose of butter and Cheddar. True comfort food, rich and greasy flavors, perfect for the cold felt in London by the time of our visit. Accompanying, sautéed bimis with lemon zest.

Frozen Berries, White Chocolate, and yogurt ice cream 
The fresher option of the dessert menu, revealing a good game of textures and temperatures, between the frozen of the red fruits, the creaminess and acidity of the ice cream and the hot white chocolate sauce. Simple and effective.

Chocolate Bomb, milk foam, honeycomb, vanilla ice cream and salty caramel sauce 
It’s the most famous dessert of the restaurant and the opposite of the previous one – a bomb of sin and sweetness – in which all the elements blend together with the salty caramel sauce, creating a desirable combination (while closing your eyes and forgetting the calories).

Accompanying was a white from the Veneto region in Italy, a Soave Clássico da Suavia, 2015, 100% throat, a light white, fruity and easy to drink, with citric notes and minerality showing well. In terms of reds, we chose a 2013 Lalande de Pomerol, a Plaisir de Siaurac that although not creating history, did not compromise the harmonization with the meats, thanks to its spices and red fruits notes and its elegant tannins. A remark also to the glasses, that with a short foot makes them less interesting to the tasting.

About the service, the mentions couldn’t oddly be better, it is impressive the attention given in a room with so many seats, serving non-stop from breakfast till dinner. Rythm, sympathy, knowledge, recommendations, joy – the service at the Market Grill is really well trained and it is one of its biggest strengths.

Final Remarks 

The Market Grill is much more than a spin-off of a famous product, it’s an homage to The Ivy but it has its own identity. Its atmosphere invites us to stay and enjoy the charm and Bohemia from other times, while the cuisine transmits sensations of comfort, with simple dishes, well elaborated and with good produce.

For sure it’s not the most surprising restaurant for a gastronomy experience, but it is one of the right places to live London, with its energy and bustle through the table.

The Ivy Market Grill
Average price: £30 per person, without wine or fees
1 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden – London
+44 20 3301 0200
reservations@theivymarketgrill.com

Versão Portuguesa

Text: João Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses

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Magna Pars Suites Milano

Imagine staying in a former perfume factory, in which the essences of the most varied aromas fill our scent and transport us to places so different, yet so common…

Staying at the elegant and contemporary Magna Pars Suite in the city of fashion, Milan.

Open since 2013, this Small Luxury Hotel of the World is the first hotel of the world dedicated to perfume, much because of its location I dare say. To its structure was added the glamor of the city of fashion, in an area close to the financial and cultural district but with an environment of a true refuge, in Via Forcella, just a few minutes from the train station Porta Genova.

First Impression
In fact, first impressions are everything, and Magna Pars Suites is up to them! The building causes an unpaired impact in our minds with a completely different design from what you’re expecting from a luxury hotel. Its industrial heritage is quite noticeable.


Before getting to the reception we go through several get together spots; nature is a constant presence, with its exuberant central garden.

We realize we’re in a hotel that tells us a story, a story of fragrances that spread and mix in all the environment.

But if your smell is not quite that sharp, as soon as you enter the lobby you have access to different sections with several aromas to test.

The reception itself is small, but serves the purpose, because the important thing here is the surrounding space of the hotel. In it, we have biscuits, juices, and water to relax while doing our check in.

The employee who welcomed us is nice and unpretentious, describing us a bit of the history of the factory/hotel, explaining to us it is divided into three different areas: flowers, fruits, wood, personalized by the different fragrances felt.

The check in is done and after this pleasant talk we are forwarded to our bedroom, or should I call it a loft?!

Bedrooms
There are 39 suites, and they are true lofts, with a contemporary decoration and art pieces capable of pleasing the most demanding of the guests.

The furniture was designed by manufacturers of the Lombardy region and each suite is mostly white, accompanied by sober colors, refined fabrics, leather couches and chairs, glass tables and paintings inspired in olfactory elements.

We stayed in a Prestige Suite with its generous 65m2, and what caught my attention the most besides all the luxury, was the light in the room. With windows replacing the usual walls and totally controlled by home automation, all the room invaded by an intense light and with view to the interior garden, gorgeous, and all the structure of the hotel, as well as the other rooms (we still had a view to a quite peculiar photographic session on the room across ours!!!)


Each bedroom is awarded an olfactory note – floral, fruity or wood, ours was cedar, felt in a subtle and harmonious way around the area.

The location of the suites is also based on the height of the tree they represent.

Effectively, all is thought to the tiniest detail!
High score also to the prosecco and fruit that welcomed us.

Restaurants/Bars
The hotel has two spaces, the DA NOI IN and the Liquidambar.
The first is a restaurant and the second the bar of the hotel.


The DA NOI IN, characterized by a modern cuisine, creative, with the resource to quality products and ingredients, is inspired by genuine Italian recipes, and it’s in the hands of the chef Fulvio Siccardi.

Here the guests can expect an inviting ambiance, with the glamour and elegance of the entire hotel. It’s open not just for guests but also the rest of the public.

Serves lunch and dinner, but also awards us with a wonderful breakfast.

As to the Liquidambar,  it is the most cosmopolitan area of the hotel. It opens to the interior garden in a perfect combination between art and nature, creating a unique environment.

With cocktails, snacks, and wine, it delights all the guests. Here is also possible to book private parties.

Services
The hotel as all the typical services of a luxury hotel, from room service, laundry, wifi, parking, among others.

One of the services that turns Magna Pars Suites unique is being perfect for events, with a total of four rooms to that effect, and a catering organized by the restaurant of the hotel, DA NOI IN.

So, the Magna Pars Event Space, inaugurated in 1991, is located in the ground floor of the building of the former perfume factory, from the beginning of the XX century.

The Magna Pars Suites Milano was renewed and elegantly structured, reinterpreting the original features of the post-industrial building, making it contemporary.


The hotel also has a well-being area, with a properly equiped gym, treatment and relaxation rooms in a symbiosis with the exterior garden.


One of the ex libris of the hotel is its Roof Deck, a terrace with 300m2 prepared for a social event, but also for a conference.

One of my favorite places was the Lybrary Hall & Balcony Hall and the garden. The first one with comfy sofas, where wood is queen allows us to have perfect idleness moments with a good book as companion, the second one assures a unique comunion with nature.


The hotel has a unique area that it’s the motto of the entire history of the hotel, the LabSolue, the lab where all the fragrances we feel in the hotel are created.

The architecture of the space reflects a creative side combined with its heritage. Showing the past of Magna Pars Suites filled with emotions and prestige.

An elegant wood wardrobe stills our attention and in it, we can see the former Marvin Pharmaceutical Lab, the historical cosmetic brand established by  Vicenzo Martone.

Here the guests, and also curious tourists (the laboratory is all in glass next to the street) can appreciate the 39 essences selected for the hotel.


There’s also a small private library in this space, with perfume related artworks, and literature about perfume.

It’s also possible to buy the hotel’s fragrances.

It is for sure a different place with a perfect combination of elegance and history.

Service
At the Magna Pars Suites, we have the feeling of being home, because we walk around the entire hotel freely, almost without noticing the employees. There’s always a nice employee at the reception, but in the rest of the hotel, we don’t see anyone else, apart from the meal time.

This might be a negative point to some guests, but having in account the cosmopolitan and relaxed environment of the hotel, I thought it was interesting.

Magna Pars Suites was a pleasant surprise in Milan, a unique hotel, with an atmosphere that has as much of heritage, as of contemporaneity. A place that charms through smell and astonishes by the decoration.

I must confess I would live in that loft they insist on calling a bedroom!

Arriverdeci Milano!

Magna Pars Suites
Bedrooms from 234€
Via Forcella ,6 – Milan 
+39 02 833 837 99
Info@magnapars.it

Versão Portuguesa

Text: Cíntia Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses

Disclaimer
We were at Magna Pars Suites by invitation, whereas this does not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.

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Cibrèo

Cities like Paris, London or Florence are never tiring, and Florence in particular, it could easily become my refuge, if by any reason I’d have to leave my Porto!

It’s always nice to come back to where you were happy! A city you always want to revisit, a restaurant we always want to visit again in a city.

In Florence, the capital of Tuscany and cradle of Renaissance, there are lots of good interpretations of the regional cuisine, with great and emblematic restaurants, which despite the tourism flow were always able to respect their origins, traditions and consequently their future.

And here my refuge is this Cibrèo (about which I talked about here), for its vintage atmosphere, cozy environment, peculiar figure and the sympathy of  Fabio Picchi, the chef, and for the boldness of not serving pasta in his ristorante.

Fabio is a celebrity among locals and foreigners these days, but keeps his business with the same inspiration of when he opened it, more than 30 years ago, and gave it a modest name that personifies its cuisine – Cibrèo is a famous ragu that Fabio’s mother prepared with mastery during his childhood – a cuisine built from family recipes, simple, of simple cooking, where the product is king and flavor gets the spotlight.

Speaking of returning to a place that made us happy is talking about expectations, desires, passion and flavor memories – like the oxtail and the chocolate cake I tasted there before.

And walking along the streets of Florence, without a map, destiny guided us in our memory. The entrance is the same, the books are different, with several new editions, but the faces, the warmth, and genuineness remain.

At the table, we realize everything is still the same, from the decoration to the music, the environment and the service, even the confusing scheme of presenting the menu. There’s one employee that sits with us explaining the available dishes of the day, we easily forget some of them, but the question about our preferences and suggestions make the process very charismatic and exciting.

After making our request, quickly the table is full of the usual amuse bouche of the chef, or in this case a pre-meal, concerning the abundance! Highlight to the sausage tartar, unusual and full of flavor, the guts cold salad and the always amazing spicy tomato Aspic.

A fantastic way not only of sharpening our appetites but also of bringing up all my memories of the flavors and textures of Fabio Picchi’s cuisine.

Followed an artisanal prosciutto, cured in Tuscany and cut by hand, that the chef handed us himself. Meat with the right texture and flavor, good cut, and amount of fat. A much more interesting proposal than the majority of prosciuttos we find in the market and other restaurants.

Minestrone with White Tuna 
A classic soup worked with mastery and enrichened with pieces of white tuna, typical of the Italian coast. Rich flavor with highlight to still crunchy texture and cut of the vegetables. The celery brought the necessary freshness to the soup not to become overly heavy and linear.


Ricotta Sformattino, meat Ragù, Parmigiano 
One of the emblematic dishes of the restaurant, and some of the textures Fabio Picchi masters like few others. Rich and intense flavor with a great contrast between the cheese and the meat. Delicious!


Porcini mushrooms, beans
Beans and mushrooms are a well-marked tradition in the region, being in season when we visited, the Porcini were an obvious choice. A mushroom of great quality, cooked perfectly, meaty and flavorful, nicely paired with the beans and the aromatic olive oil. Simple becomes perfect!

Rabbit stuffed with sausage and prosciutto 
A classic dish, perfectly cooked, good sauce and interesting sides, with highlight to the nicely glazed onions and the mashed potato gratin, a must! Another dish of refined taste and full of flavor!

Oxtail stew, potato, green beans
Once again the dish of the evening, a stew that has as much of mastery as it is simple. A dish where time is one of the key ingredients and the combination is surprising. High score also to the artichokes cooked in olive oil and the famous bread – mammoth bone.

This oxtail was worth the wait.

Dried fruits pie, vanilla, and honey 
We started by the least interesting of the desserts, where the excess of sweetness takes some interest off the game of textures and flavors of the several dry fruits.

Raspberry Pie, Vanilla
If the previous pie had some flaws, this one quickly fixed them, fresh, light, good balance of sweet and a great combination of fresh raspberries and the vanilla cream. Very good!


Meringue Tart and cocoa powder
The name says little about the dessert in question, but its texture and the flavor of the cream leaves completely surrendered!

(If Fabio Picchi is reading me he can always leave the recipe in the comment section below!!!)

The wine list is also a species of a museum, with options to every taste, where clearly the wine production from the several sub-regions of Tuscany wins.

Accompanying the meal was a Chianti Classic Montefioralle Reserve of 2013, 100% Sangiovese, the fruit of a selection of the best vineyards of a small producer, which then stall 24 months in wood, resulting in a complex, rich and structured wine, with well-integrated wood and silky tannins. combining really well with the creamiest textures of the dishes.

The Service is of great quality, from the first to the last minute. With the particularity, opposite to fine dining, of wanting us to feel at home.

Final Remarks
Fabio is not only a Marketing genius, or a spontaneous success, his small empire (5 spaces already in a 50 meters ray) comes from the authenticity and charisma of the its cuisine. Cibrèo is one of those restaurants in which we may fall in love (like me), we can even not like it for several reasons, but it is one of those space you just can’t eat badly. It’s for sure a restaurant and a cuisine full of quality and personality.

Not cheap, for sure, but as I said, visiting Florene without trying Fabio Picchi’s cuisine is not the same, and we can always opt for the Caffè or the Trattoria, which propose the same quality of cooking, with a more informal and relaxed service.

Ristorante Cibrèo
Average price, for person, with wine:100€ 
Via del Verrocchio, 8r, Florença
+39 055 234 11 00
info@cibreo.com

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

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Gallery Hotel Art by Lungarno

Experiencing a hotel that transmits us its heritage, its tradition, and its design is one of the sensations I cherish the most.

Knowing I’m in a hotel in Florence right beside the Arno river and the Vecchio bridge makes me very happy! Also knowing that hotel belongs to a group of luxury hotels created by the emblematic Salvatore Ferragamo is even more exciting!

So it was our stay at the Gallery Hotel Art of Lungarno Collection.

Salvatore Ferragamo left Italy at sixteen to start his adventure in the United States, a few years later, in 1927 he returned, to Florence, to take his success of “shoemaker” of the Hollywood stars, and take it to a more refined level, with the Florentine tradition quite present.

Eleven years later he opened his first store next to the Arno, and from there all his inspiration revealed to create, with the renowned architect Michele Bonan, the luxurious hotels of the Lungarno Collection. Hotels with a refined sense of hospitality and personality, transmitting the fundamental values of the Ferragamo family, “compromise. consistency and continuity”.

The group owns several hotels, five of them in Florence (Hotel Lungarno, Portrait Firenze, Continental, Lungarno Apartments and this one I’m talking about today), one in Rome (Portrait Roma) and two in Tuscany (Villa Le Rose and Resort Baia Scarlino), and also many restaurants, and yacht experiences (Nautor´s Swan Yachts).

So we stayed in the Gallery Hotel Art, as the name indicates it is quite dedicated to art! Also keeping fashion and lifestyle present in each moment, as they define themselves: “a place to see and be seen!”.

First Impression
What first impression can you get from a hotel located in front of the Vecchio bridge? The best, obviously! The Gallery Hotel Art is a design hotel of four stars in which art is present in every detail.

As soon as we arrive, before entering, we can appreciate the cosmopolitan environment of the Fusion Bar & Restaurant.

We enter and the lobby and reception demonstrate very well the contemporaneity of the hotel, given essentially by the art pieces present in a retrospective of the artist Simone D´auria, since 2013, that only remained until 2016. But other works and artists will follow.

We are immediately drawn to those pieces, one of them a tribute to the wonderful Philippe Stark and his iconic Juicy Salif.

The team welcomed us in a relaxed way, but elegant at the same time and quickly took care of our check-in.

Before going to the bedroom I still had a peek to the library room (and breakfast, I would find out the next morning!), contemporary decoration and some more brilliant art details.

Bedrooms
There are 74, and we stayed in a Studio of the size of an house! A room with 40m2, constituted by the bedroom, the bathroom, a living room, and also a very cozy terrace.


Similar to the rest of the hotel, the bedroom breathed art in each corner, with a contemporary decoration and very welcoming.


In the bathroom I was able to access some of the best products you can get in a hotel – the exclusive line Tuscan Soul from Salvatore Ferragamo (with a lip balm I’m still dreaming about!).

As a welcoming treat, we had Italian chocolate, very tasty!

Restaurants
The Hotel has two gastronomic options, the Fusion Bar & Restaurant, with a cosmopolitan environment, and a contagious joy making us want to go in. Serves Nikkei food and Sushi and also Cocktails, and it’s a space to relax while we taste flavors of the world, more precisely from Japan combined with Peru and with a Mediterranean touch!

The other space is the library I was talking about. An unpretentious place, elegant, with a calmer environment than the other one, to enjoy breakfast, a tea or a snack during the day.


Besides these spaces inside the hotel, the guests have the opportunity to experience other restaurants of the group, as it was our case, we had an experience at Caffè dell´Oro, with one of the best views over the city, the Vecchio bridge!

The restaurant is part of The Portrait Firenze, inserted in the same complex of our hotel, so the trip from one to the other is just a few steps.

Here we tasted a very Italian influenced cuisine, marked by the cosmopolitan environment and decoration. And to start, a great and fresh cocktail of Vodka, Gin, Lime, cucumber and ginger. 

Followed Porcini mushroom bruschettas, with burrata, peppers and truffle, served generously and filled with that classic taste of the Italian cuisine.

And because they were in season, the wonderful white truffles arrived at the table with a great pasta. Sinful!

For sure one of the best gastronomical options next to the Vecchio bridge!

Services
Despite Gallery Art Hotel being a four stars, luxury is not left aside in any moment.

And if something is not available at the hotel, it’ll for sure be in one of the hotels of the group, all nearby.

Lungarno Collection offers true experiences to live the city in a more overwhelming way, like for example the tours organized about all the steps from Dan Brown’s Inferno, or simply tours in some of the most important museums of the city, like the Uffizi.

Although not looking like it, it could also transform into a true business or event hotel, and to that, nothing better than the library space. To those wishing for something even more memorable, the Palazzo Capponi has the right room, the refined space that translates perfectly the beauty of the renaissance, and just a few minutes away from the hotel.

Service
The team is young and joyful, not unpretentious and relaxed, but in any moment some of that relaxation overlaps the care towards the client.

The hotel transmits a gaiety atmosphere, and the art revealing in every detail makes it even more exciting.

The services correspond to a five-star hotel because when the Gallery Hotel Art can’t respond to a request, one of its “brothers” will satisfy the client’s wish.

The location is perfect, the ambiance is cosmopolitan and art is Queen!

Another important detail about service is the celerity with which they solve problems, and here enters my story and my usual forgetfulness – I left a coat in the hotel, that a few hours later contacted me to expedite shipping, and I received it a few days later at home in perfect condition.

Effectively the Group Grupo Lungarno Collection leaves nothing to chance, the beauty, the attention to detail the tradition, the art, the history, all thought to detail and assures a wide selection of options from the most classic to the most contemporary, because travelers are not all the same, and it’s necessary to privilege the identity of every person.

Gallery Hotel Art – Lungarno Collection
Bedrooms from 200€
Vicolo dell’Oro, 5 – Florence
+39 055 272 63
gallery@lungarnocollection.com

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

Disclaimer
We were at the Gallery Hotel Art by invitation of the Lungarno Collection, whereas this does not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.

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Palazzo Vecchietti

Florence is probably my favorite city in the world (at least from the ones I know), the art, the history, present in every corner are responsible for that premise, so when we chose the Palazzo Vecchietti as our hotel, for yet another trip to the city, I knew our experience would be memorable.


And why? Because this Palazzo has 5 centuries of history! The family of name Vecchietti, was one of the most wealthy and important in Florence, and in 1578 they ordered the project of their home to Giambologna.

So, right in the middle of town, along different areas and buildings the family already had (from Piazza della Repuplica to the Palazzo Strozzi), the Palazzo Vecchietti was born. It was built over a building of the past century and in an even more antique Byzantine tower.

A few centuries later, the Palazzo Vecchietti transformed into a luxury hotel, without the usual ostentation and greatness of the five stars, but with a luxury concept with a more discrete and intimate side.

This luxury combined with history and art made me fall in love immediately!

First Impression
The entrance is in a kind of tunnel that takes us into an authentic return to the past, guiding us are the stones of the former Byzantine tower, the adrenaline rises when I know I’m touching history!


We arrived at the lobby, a huge room with the elegance and richness from other times, and I can close my eyes and imagine myself in another century. The fireplace is one of the main elements of this room is the fireplace, as well as the statues and paintings of the Vecchietti family. The antique furniture transmits refinement to this space, without overlooking comfort.

The team welcomes us kindly and offers water, or prosecco, and snacks, that are at the guests disposal during the day.

Our check in is promptly made and we are forwarded to our bedroom. And what a bedroom!!!

Bedrooms
There are 12, and two apartments. These have names of some of the most important figures in Florence. We stayed in a Deluxe bedroom with the emblematic name of Botticelli, which was honestly like a house, where I could easily live!

As soon as I entered, I realized the bedroom was a perfect symbiosis between intimate luxury and historical greatness.

The past mixes in each moment with the contemporary in a connection without precedent.

The neutral colors match perfectly with the purple vitality of the curtains, the tapestry and the sofas, velvety, transmitting comfort and well-being.

The fireplace and the books that decorate the bedroom are the main cast of true idleness moments.

The bathroom transmits unpaired fragrances and the kitchen is perfect for any house.

As I referred, this is not a bedrooms, it’s a house in one of the most historical cities in the world.

Restaurants
Having in account the concept of family home, the Palazzo Vecchietti doesn’t have a restaurant, it has a main room on the last floor where breakfast is served, or you can have it in your bedroom, as you wish, or if you leave the hotel very early, they will prepare you a breakfast box with all that is necessary to start the day in the best way possible.

There’s also a vegetarian breakfast menu, and also a gluten-free one.

However, and because the service of a true luxury hotel is present in every detail if you need a reservation in the several restaurants in town, the team takes care of it.

During the day, you can find sweet and sour snacks, besides water and prosecco in the reception.

Services
They are in all similar to any five-star hotel. Reception 24/7, wi-fi, transport or car rental, planned visits to the city or specific locations, babysitting, spa and restaurant booking, among many other options.

The hotel is also pet friendly.

Service
Palazzo Vecchietti is a different kind of luxury, without formalisms or pretentiousness, the team treats us like we’re the owners of the house, not just guests.

They are caring and don’t leave anything to chance, making us feel at home, without invading. And always welcome us with geniune smiles in the face, no need for keeping appearances.

I think luxury in the future will pass through this kind of experiences, a modest luxury, in which the quality of the products is not left to chance, but where privacy becomes the biggest priority, creating a cozier environment, more subtle and without servility.

And the Palazzo Vecchietti perfectly translates all this, a unique and familiar luxury!

Palazzo Vecchietti
Bedrooms from 220€
Via degli Strozzi, 4 – Florença
+39 055 230 280 2
info@palazzovecchietti.com

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

Disclaimer
We were at Palazzo Vecchietti by invitation, whereas this does not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.

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Metamorfosi

metamorfosi-20Rome is a classic city, monumental and historic, where despite the bustle of being kind of a touristic themed park, its people keep the past well present, as well as the respect for tradition and still look at change and modernity with severity, namely in terms of gastronomy.

It’s a city where it’s easy to find some great restaurants with emblematic dishes, well rooted in the Roman culture, simple, and based on product quality. However, when looking at haute cuisine, the choice is a bit more complicated, there are several starred restaurants of course, but the majority of them very classical without great irreverence or cultural shock as it already happens in other known restaurants in Italy.

But there is an exception, the Metamorfosi, born in one of the classiest neighborhoods in the city, by the hands of Roy Caceres, a Colombian that came to Italy to cook, passing by restaurants like Il Pelicano, Locanda Solarola and  Pipero before going, in 2010, on his own adventure.

The restaurant, recently renewed, is a breath of fresh air in the city, recreated with a certain Japanese influence, where less is more, with a minimalist decoration and the use of wood screens to create cozier and more intimate areas in the room.

Olive oil and salt crackers 

We are welcomed with snacks arriving quickly at the table, starting with some interesting olive oil and salt crackers and a cocktail of Vodka, Tequilla, basil, ginger, cardamom, kaffir lime and Indian figs.

cocktail

Crunchy seed bread, marinated fish and curry cream  

Followed a crunchy seed bread, marinated fish and curry cream, a snack with an interesting contrast of flavors and textures, where the curry cream raises the bar. Then we had some Chicory tips, with anchovy mayo and sesame dust,  delicate, crunchy and full of flavor.

Chicory tips, with anchovy mayo and sesame dust 

So just you don’t doubt the chef’s origins, next up were some delicious and sinful Arepas filled with meat. Perfect I dare say!

Arepas filled with meat 

Crunchy celery, mussels, potato foam, black salt and marjoram, where and unfortunately, despite the interesting textures, the delicate flavor of the mussels was completely lost in the combination.

After this interesting start, and with huge expectations, we made a pause, but not a common pause, a break so the bread arrives at the table, which here gets a specific moment. The bread created by the Swedish sus-chef John Regefalk, who fell in love with the art of bakery during his passing through Noma.

The aromatic side, the good level of hydration and an excellent crust make this bread the best we tasted in Italy. Accompanying was an interesting olive oil sorbet, allowing a good temperature contrast with the bread.

Tuna taco and herbs  
A return to Latin America with an inspired Taco, in which the tortilla is replaced with leafs of several plants and herbs. A light dish, elegant, that takes street food to fine dining, raising the bar and the flavors. On the other hand, the dish shows very well the identity of Roy Caceres that was seen all over the menu, with the resource to fresh herbs and the contrast between the vegetable freshness and the remaining flavors and textures.

After the cocktail, followed a Riesling Fritz HaagTrocken from 2015, an easy wine, without much complexity that conquers for its good acidity and the tropical and citrus notes. A good harmonization!

 Carbonara
A dish that reminds us very well where we are, with a very well accomplished version. Without using pasta of any type, the dish lives of the good egg cooked at low temperature, of the guanciale, the combination of Parmigiano and pecorino, the cracklings, transporting us immediately to the comfy flavor of the Roman classic. Very well accomplished!

On the glass, we also traveled through Italy, more precisely to the region of Umbria, with a Chardonnay Bramìto from 2015, Castello della Sala, an interesting white of great potential, with an elegant tone and appetizing nose, complex, with tropical, citric and some vanilla notes. In the mouth, its structure and acidity reveal great freshness, cutting well the greasiness of the dish.

Anti Pasta
The name says it all, a pasta dish, that in reality is not! To create a kind of linguini, the chef uses a fish broth, dehydrated, cut and then hydrated again, giving it a huge intensity of flavor and a texture similar to a thin rice pasta. The dish grows even more with the sauce, made of shrimp heads, squid, prawns and a lemon gel with herb dust that gives it that freshness the chef seeks in every dish. Very good!

To harmonize, the choice went to a Rosé from Tuscany, Bibbona SOF 2015 from Tenuta Campo di Sasso, inspired by the Provence wines, with strawberry, pomegranate, gooseberry and balsamic notes. In the mouth revealed less exuberant but its acidity and elegance allowed the sea flavors of the dish to stand out.

 

Mushroom risotto, caramelized hazelnut, and robiola cheese    
Another Italian classic hidden in a “Japanese drum”, with a cape of onion and dried mushrooms, that melts while pouring the Robiola cheese cream. As to the risotto itself, it was the most comfortable and classical dish of the menu, made with great rigor and rich in flavor and texture. With some truffle chips, it would’ve been unforgettable for sure!

Accompanying was a Verduzzo 2012 from Bressan, with a wide and fresh nose, despite the honey apricot, peach and pear notes. In the mouth, its structure and persistency turned it into a great company to the textures and flavors of the risotto.

Wagyu, onion and mint sauce with eggplant, satay sauce and herbs
Dish and sides served and plated separately, once again showing the accuracy and gastronomic personality of the chef and his search for freshness and the constasts of flavor and texture executed with great elegance. Great quality meat, the sauce remiding a barbecue, but lighter and fresh, the sides bringing Earth notes and some dimmension with the satay sauce. A great, great dish!

With the meat with passed to the Reds, with a Sicilian wine, Palari Faro from Azienda Agricola Palari 2010. A beautiful wine, light color, complex aroma, surprisingly elegant, with great tanins and presence in the mouth.

Blue cheese and white chocolate lollypop, Port wine gel 
A classic at Metamorfosi, serving as pre-dessert, bringing to the table a Portuguese element we love so much, Port wine, in this case , gel made with the LBV from Quinta do Noval. As to the dish, great balance of sweetness and the combination of cheese with chocolate. Delicious!

Black Forest
A version of the classic cake, with mascarpone, dark chocolate fermented with passion fruit, chocolate crumble, herbs and red fruits gel. Interesting flavors and combinations, with highlight to the fermented chocolate, resulting in a fresh and light ending to an already long menu.

On the glass, we finished with a Favinia Passulé 2012, a Late Harvest produced in Sicily, of golden color and honey notes, with the nose transmiting classic fig notes, orange peel, dates, and dried fruits, surprising with the presence of aromatic herbs’ aromas that give it freshness. In the mouth, it’s sweet in the right measure, with power and finesse, where fruit is the hightligh. In terms of pairing, I would of course prefer a Port, but this one was not disapointing.

petit fours

To finish, the petit four, presented at a good level, with highlight to the lemon cake with vanilla and gooseberry.

The Service is worthy of highlight by itself, for being above the average of the Michelin restaurants in Italy. Calm, serene, present in the right moment, with understandable English (also a rare thing!) and with a good knowledge of the menu.

Final Remarks
It’s good when we enter spaces that break the classic rules and quickly overcome the expectations we take when entering the room, that’s the case of this Metamorfosi. A restaurant that could have everything not to be well accepted in a city like Rome, but that also has everything needed to become one of the great highlights of the city and the country.

The cuisine of Roy Caceres reveals details of enhanced subtelty and elegance, with a constant search for lightness and freshness, ending up being the common element to the entire menu, from the dishes inspired in his Latin America to the Italian classics that serve as base to some of his boldest creations.

A mandatory restaurant when visiting Rome!

Metamorfosi
Menus from 100€
Via Giovanni Antonelli, 30 –  Roma
+39 068 07 68 39
info@metamorfosiroma.it

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

Disclaimer
We were at Metamorfosi by invitation, whereas this does not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author. 

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Crossing Condotti

crossingcondotti-15Very near to one of the most famous areas in Rome, the Piazza di Spagna, the Crossing Condotti personifies a new luxury concept.

A house that makes us feel at peace in our apartment, but with all the commodities of a luxury hotel, excelling in privacy and comfort!

At a mere 50 meters from Piazza di Spagna, minutes from one of the biggest attractions in Rome and surrounded by luxury stores, the Crossing Condotti was the perfect location to another visit to the Eternal City!

The last time we went to Rome was in 2011 and I must admit I was already missing it, those who accompany our blog know my love for history and there’s no better place than Rome to live history all around us!

crossingcondotti-14So, this time we chose the hotel Crossing Condotti, an antique house at Via dei Condotti, recently restored and transformed into a hotel that transports us to a concept of family home, with many of the features of a true five-star hotel.

crossingcondotti-13

crossingcondotti-18First Impression
Let’s say its location charmed me right away! The Crossing Condotti is located in a cross-cut to Via dei Condotti, right in front of the Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti, better known as Spanish steps.

We arrived, rang the bell and immediately were welcomed at the door of this historic two-floor building, charming and restored.

crossingcondotti-17A nice member of the staff helped us with the bags and accompanied us to the reception, or better put, living room! An elegant environment, very cozy with antique furniture and sober colors.

We were offered water, tea or coffee and our check-in was taken care off, without rush, formalisms, and then we were forwarded to our bedroom, on that same floor, being given not only the key to our bedroom but also to the house, making us feel owners of this little piece of Rome!

crossingcondotti-19A few hours later and after some deserved resting we met the owner (the reception works only from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm) David, who shared the sympathy of the previous employer (there are only two) but who had another wonderful quality, he spoke Portuguese.

crossingcondotti-23Bedrooms
The hotel has nine bedrooms, of which five are Superior, one Deluxe, a Junior Suite, a Master Room and a Penthouse Suite. We stayed in a Superior, named Carroze.

A sober decoration with the original wood ceilings, antique furniture, and paintings from the previous owners of the house. An elegant combination of elements from the past with a contemporary environment.

crossingcondotti-24The bed was huge, super comfortable and the neutral tones of the curtains and the walls gave the space an unpaired elegance. In the bathroom, the L´occitane products filled the air with a soft and pleasant aroma.

crossingcondotti-25In the bedroom, we had tea, coffee, water, and biscuits. The other types of bedroom even have a kitchenette with more beverage and food options, besides a fridge, coffee machine and all the commodities of an authentic house. On its turn, and because no detail is left to chance, the Junior Suite, the Master Room, and the Penthouse have Turkish bath, with music and chromotherapy, capable of assuring the most perfect relaxation moment.

crossingcondotti-2

Restaurants
As you may have realized, not being a normal concept hotel, it has no restaurant service, however, it assures a very diverse and complete selection of foods and drinks to its guests. In the kitchen, at disposal (24h a day) are biscuits, sweets, cheeses (very good!), water, juices, milk, beer, coffee, and tea.

crossingcondotti-16And also, David took care of booking our restaurants so we didn’t have to worry about a thing.

As I’ve been telling, Crossing Condotti is like our home but with a Concierge included!

crossingcondotti-21Services
The services are in all similar to a five-star hotel, just ask at the reception.
Booking a restaurant, transfers to and from the airport, guided visits to the city or specific museums, babysitter, laundry, hairs stylist, spa booking, among many other options that vary from guest to guest.

All that is necessary to make our stay memorable, the Crossing Condotti assures!

One of the things that interested me the most was the organization of small gatherings the hotel provides at the Penthouse in which all the guests are invited to taste the divine Italian cheeses and taste wines of organic production from the Montefalco region, of the house Antonelli.

crossingcondotti-8This initiative, although having been done, is still in a test phase, but it will be for sure another way to make the guests feel at home or at their friends’.

We had the chance to taste one of the wines, the MonteFalco Rosso from 2013, a wine of intense aroma and filled with wild fruits, marked in the mouth for being dry, with good structure and balanced. Super approved.

crossingcondotti-10Service
The Crossing Condotti is not a luxury hotel, but luxury incarnated in a privacy and family house environment, where we feel at home from the start, with our family and friends.

We are free to go to the kitchen grab something to drink, to sit on the living room couch and talk to the staff about Rome, or simply about life. Have some wine, talk and enjoy all the moments spent in the comfort of our space. Because Crossing Condotti is just that, our home in the city of Rome!

crossingcondotti-11I could speak about David’s sympathy, of the genuine smiles and the constant care about our well being, but if during the entire text I talked about feeling at home, you know I was extremely well taken care of!

Sometimes we get tired of the constant formalities of the luxury hotel chains, the associated pretentiousness and the only thing we want is the warmth of our own space, and that is precisely what we find here, with with a plus, the luxury and comfort are a constant.

crossingcondotti-20If I had to define Crossing Condotti I would say it is an Intimate luxury!

Crossing Condotti
Bedrooms from 245€
Via Mario de’ Fiori, 28 – Roma
+39 06 69 29 54 69
info@crossingcondotti.com

Versão Portuguesa

Text: Cíntia Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses

Disclaimer
We were at Crossing Condotti by invitation, whereas that does not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.

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