Osteria Il Papavero for dinner

Last week in Chianti we were lucky enough to dine in style at Osteria Il Papavero in the hills above Gaiole in Chianti.

We visited Il Papavero with our friends Dani and Olga two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the food, wine and company and when we discussed a dinner venue this time there was no doubt – it was Il Papavero again.

This is not a restaurant that gets “passing trade” as it is located in the hamlet of Barbischio – high in the hills above Gaiole in Chianti. The views are expansive and on a warm summers night there is seating inside and out.

It helps that Dani and Olga are regular customers so we were greeted like locals. We discovered that following our last visit we had become part of Tuscan legend as one of our party (you know who you are Jean) was the only person who has ever ordered one of Papavero’s steaks “ben cotta” – well done. Two years after that, it was still remembered.

Despite this we were allowed in and enjoyed a great night.

The wonderful thing about Papavero is that their menu is supplemented by as many special dishes again, all produced using local produce that is seasonally available. So last night we had everything from anchovies and pesto through to Calamari shaped pasta with pork and olives. All washed down with fine wine and finished with a local digestivo.

I see on TripAdvisor that Il Papavero has comments like “What a gem!“, “Amazing food and views ” and “Excellent Tuscan Dinner in Charming Setting“. 

We can only agree and are already looking forward to our next visit.

A week in Chianti

As part of our break in August we are staying a week in Chianti in Tuscany. Our dear friend Olga with her local contacts managed to find a beautiful villa for us called Il Diaccino. It is a villa located on a vineyard and olive farm and is just down the road from the village on Gaiole in Chianti.

With a pool just a short walk from the terrace and a very local vintage to sample, what more could anyone want?

 

2014 – the year that was

It was a fun old year at our place. As always there seemed to be a lot happening but when I look back at the photos we’ve taken, our trip in August and those puppies – well Bella mainly – seem to dominate.

A big holiday thank you

Tree DecorationAs the holiday season comes to its inevitable end, the team at our place want to thank all our friends and family for a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Whether it was spending time together in Wellington on Christmas Day or catching up in Auckland for a few days, it was a great holiday break. Thank you all.

As they say in Italy – Buon Natale e felice anno nuovo.

Dinner in an English country garden

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This gallery contains 3 photos.

The weather in England while we were there was most un-English. The temperature hovered around 22 degrees and the sun was out almost constantly. Ideal for enjoying dinner sitting outdoors with friends. Neil and Jayne and their 4 boys live in … Continue reading

A cure for jetlag

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This gallery contains 11 photos.

After 32 hours of travel, and a 12 hour time difference the perfect cure for jet lag was a dinner with friends, a decent sleep and, the following day, a walk through the English countryside. So that’s what we did … Continue reading

Let’s talk Sicily

Mt Etna erupting with Catania behind in 2001 - courtesy of photographer Carsten Peter

Mt Etna erupting with Catania behind in 2001 – courtesy of photographer Carsten Peter

What do you know about Sicily? Probably more than we do.

The furthest south we have ever been in Italy is the Amalfi Coast just south of Naples. But not this trip because this trip we are spending a week in Sicily – the island known for Mt Etna and the Cosa Nostra.

We fly into Catania which lies in the shadow of Mt Etna (which is still classified as an active volcano). From there we drive south for 2 hours to Noto where a villa and our friends Gill, Andre, Josh and Jordan are waiting.

We have a week to discover our corner of Sicily. What should we do? Where should we go? Make us an offer we can’t refuse.