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Alfresco LifestyLe

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An Italian heart beats in the heart of London.

The collection: collection: italy italy -- france france -- uk uk The Baglionihotels.com/london Baglionihotels.com/london

Share with with us. us. Share #BaglioniLondon #BaglioniLondon

The Blog: Blog: italiantalks.com italiantalks.com The


Glamorous and decorated in a contemporary chic style, the Baglioni Hotel overlooking Hyde Park brings the ultimate Italian experience in the heart of London. Impeccable service and warm Italian hospitality will make every moment of your stay unforgettable.

BAGLIONI HOTEL HOTEL LONDON LONDON BAGLIONI London -- 60 60 Hyde Hyde Park Park Gate Gate SW7 SW7 5BB 5BB -- UK UK London Ph: +44 +44 207 207 3685700 3685700 Ph: reservations.london@baglionihotels.com ons.london@baglionihotels.com reservati


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DESIGN AND COFFEE, PLEASURES TOGETHER

The first home machine to make perfect coffee and infusions, with the innovative capsule system, patented and produced by the oldest and most qualified Italian coffee manufacturer: Hausbrandt

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fashion on the catwalk

London MiLan Fashion Week hisTRoY

from beginning to 2013

Part of the "Big four" fashion weeks along with new York and Paris, the london and Milan fashion weeks Both have long, illustrious and verY interesting histories. theY are held twice a Year in each citY and allow designers to disPlaY their latest collections on the runwaY to interested journalists and fashion BuYers. these give the definitive word on what's on trend each season

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taly's love for fashion can be traced back to the Renaissance. Florence was the epicentre of high fashion, with beautiful Italian silks and quality designs. Milan started to take the spotlight in the 19th century when the city started the industrial production of silk, which became known as 'Milaner' and eventually, the English word 'Milliner' evolved from this and is still used today. Before 1945, however, Paris was always the global powerhouse of fashion. Italian women ordered copies of Parisian and London designs from their dressmakers, and it was only in the aftermath of World War II that Italy established a real export fashion market to help their recovering economy. The main

export of fashion was to America and it was soon noticed that Italian prices were much lower than Paris haute couture, but were much in the same style. The first Italian fashion show was held in Florence in 1951 in Giovan Battista Giorgini's living room, with designers such as Pucci and Bertoli showing their original designs. Journalists were delighted by the "seductive", "glamorous" and "aristocratic" Italian fashion and the show was declared a hit. Italian style became known as "Alta Moda" through the 1950s and 60s, which was the equivalent of French "Haute Couture". By the time the 1970s arrived, Milan had found its place in fashion, with a simple but high quality elegance, which took

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over from the more expensive Florence and Parisian designs. In 1979, the first Fashion Week was established in Milan by The National Chamber of Italian Fashion, a non-profit organisation which was created to regulate and nurture the Italian fashion industry. The shows are traditionally held in classical Milanese landmarks, such as Milan's central square or outside on the cobbled streets of the city. According to one journalist: "It was insane. Everybody was creative, enthusiastic and up for anything. You felt as if you were at the start of something." The 1980s fashion weeks in Milan were the birth of the superstar designer; Giorgio became just "Armani" and Gianni just "Versace". This created a media frenzy and Milan cemented its place as one of the " Big Four".


Fashion on the catwalk

entire collection. Vivienne Westwood made her return to the catwalk in 1998 with her Red collection, which focused on a more polished, red-carpet style, as opposed to her earlier incarnation as the godmother of punk with her tartan Anglomania collection. These innovative designers ensured that London was now known internationally for its daring designers and bold style. London is a city renowned for its style, but unlike cities like Milan, where the understated is championed, as London fashion week emerged, the city was influenced by the wave of punk, which swiftly moved into a classic, sleek style,

highly influenced by the likes of Kate Middleton. Britain's fashion history has always been very strongly tied to the music scene and celebrities, with different popular types of music and media stars highly influencing the current trend. As Britain moved into the 2000s, the London style moved more into a preppy, understated look, which led the way for a reinvention of Burberry headed by Christopher Bailey into the chic, classic label we know today. The venue was moved again to the resplendent Somerset House, with added areas for more press and buyers, who are now spending up to £100 million in orders from the event

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for boutiques and stores. London fashion week has also now embraced social media, with the entire weeks and every catwalk show being streamed online to a worldwide audience over the web. This, in turn, allows bloggers from around the world who cannot make it to the event write reviews on the shows and designers, proving that the British fashion industry has become highly influential, and it only continues to grow with each passing year on sites like Twitter and Instagram. The world and its media watch excitedly each year as debut collections are unveiled from up-and-coming stars of the fashion world. ■

PHoTogRAPHS © SHUTTERSToCK

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Design FootWear

ItalIan ShoeS anD theIR

impact on fashion With names including Prada, gucci and Ferragamo, it's easy to see Why italian shoes are so Well-craFted, stylish and unique

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ilan is world-renowned as a finance and fashion capital, so it is no surprise that Italian designers have a huge impact on global fashion trends. With a broad number of premium international labels conceived and sustained in the city, the country’s cultural aesthetic exerts a natural influence on fashion. Yet to understand exactly why Italian shoes in particular hold such a sway over seasonal trends, one need only study the work of a oncebankrupt shoe designer from Bonito.

InnovatIon In desIgn With a quality that is immediately identifiable, Italian designs tend to be sophisticated, elegant and invariably exhibit the material quality and craftsmanship that aficionados have come to expect. Steeped in centuries of creative tradition, the contemporary nature of such sartorial history is epitomised by labels such as Valentino, Dior, Versace, Pucci and Armani, as well as Dolce & Gabbana, all of whom have built worldwide reputations of quality and excellence. Yet the international acknowledgment of the Italian sartorial aesthetic arguably all began with Salvatore Ferragamo, a shoe designer

born in 1898 whose company produced innovative, handmade footwear that sparked Hollywood’s interest and instigated Italy’s continuing global influence on fashion. With designs ranging from the elegantly sophisticated to the bizarrely striking, Ferragamo was considered a true visionary as his scientific approach towards his craft changed expectation. Moving to the US from southern Italy, he opened the Hollywood Boot Shop in 1923 when he was barely 25-years-old, catering to the stars such as Marylin Monroe, Gloria Swanson and Joan Crawford, as well as the studio wardrobe departments themselves. Returning to his homeland four years later he opened a shop in Florence – a commercial enterprise that celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2008. Creator of the cage heel and the ubiquitous wedge heel, Ferragamo’s imagination led the way for other design houses and fashion labels to broaden their scope of influence. The Prada label, in comparison, began a decade before Ferragamo in 1913 and Gucci’s industrial methods of manufacture were introduced in the same era, yet it was Ferragamo who truly cemented an Italian aesthetic in the worldwide arena. As ease of travel, technology and communications advanced, so did the integration of

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romanticism, innovation and luxury to fashion houses and designers across the globe. Through the instinctive amalgamation of traditional craftsmanship, rich cultural history and inspirational creativity, the Italian aesthetic was perfectly encapsulated by the footwear alone. Indeed, Salvatore Ferragamo’s cutting edge designs, backed by his artisanal skills and instantly recognisable quality and sophistication, served as a forceful introduction of Italian creativity to a worldwide platform – an introduction that ensured an Italian influence on the fashion industry that would only grow more entrenched.

tradItIons of creatIvIty But it isn’t simply contemporary design expertise that encourages a visible Italian influence across the world; the country itself has historically offered a unique and highly aspirational interpretation of sensuality, creativity and innovation which, over the centuries, has found a physical and spiritual home in the second largest city in the country. From the late 18th century through to the late 19th century, Milan was considered a nucleus for literary and intellectual creativity. The 18th century’s Age of Enlightenment (a


DesigN footwear

societal reformation of scientific investigation and intellectual interchange) found a strong foothold, followed by the Romantic Movement of the 19th century, with thinkers such as Caesar, Marquis of Beccaria, Count Pietro Verri, literary giants Ugo Foscolo, Giuseppe Parini, Alessandro Manzoni, Carlo Porta and Giovanni Berchet – amongst others – congregating and disseminating their ideas and political interpretations. This focus on literature and philosophy shifted in the early 1950s when the city began to redefine itself as a hub of physical design. Architecture and industry became the new consideration and artists such as Castellani, Bruno Munari, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni descended. Soaring skyscrapers like the Torre Velasca and the Pirelli Tower soon began to dominate the skyline and with the city now a universally recognised design leader, the Italian aesthetic was in the international spotlight. Rapidly gaining a reputation for high quality furniture and interior design, Milan later became the permanent home to Fiera Milano and Salone Internazionale del Mobile, respectively Europe’s largest trade exhibition and most prestigious design fair. Hand-in-hand with this move from intellectual to structural expertise was the

inevitable sartorial interest, culminating with the debut of Milan Fashion Week in 1958. Synonymous with the prêt-à-porter industry, Milan is a vital part of the Big 4 in fashion terms, alongside NYC, Paris and London. Headquartering many of the top Italian brands and home to the world’s oldest mall, Milan’s fashion credentials are historically indisputable.

WorldWide influences on fashion It is clear that there is an allure to all things Italian which transcends considerations of obligation or occupation. Indeed, it is a nation of sophisticated revelry and artless elegance that revolves around the senses. Even the simplest of tasks is approached with style and verve, and the proponents of la dolce vita appear to have perfected the art of acknowledging the echoes of cultural tradition whilst seamlessly integrating a more contemporary interpretation of expectation. Every aspect of any activity is undertaken with instinctive flair and studied splendour, and by tracking the movement of each new leisure trend it is possible to identify the marked Italian

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influence in all areas of modern life. Yet the most influential aspect of Italian fashion remains their shoes. With Ferragamo’s innovative wedge heel, sockshoe, metal-reinforced heel, invisible sandal and flamboyant, exquisite sculptured heel serving as the origin, this axiom of luxury can be seen in each seasonal release and in every iconic design. Gucci, for example, introduced the horse-bit loafer in the early 1950s and it has been reimagined by designers the world over ever since; Ferragamo’s Vara ballet shoe and Gancini decorative detailing are fashion mainstays, whilst the more contemporary ingenuity of Sergio Rossi, Scarosso and Hogan – part of the Tod’s s.p.a group – absorb universal influences whilst retaining a uniquely Italian air of excellence and focus on fabric and finish. Whilst the women who have traditionally embodied this glamorous aesthetic are easily recognisable (Monica Bellucci, Claudia Cardinale, Sophia Loren and Isabella Rossellini, to name but a few) the masculine art of sprezzatura (defined as a nonchalance and artless effortlessness of dress and style) as yet has no real figurehead, but is the perfect example of the huge, yet tacit, impact Italian shoes and associated creative movements have upon the fashion world at large. ■

PHoToGRAPHS © SHUTTERSToCK

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Let Life Drink responsibly

be grand W W W. P I P E R - H E I D S I E C K . C O M


22

Made in Italy

eleganT interiors

With many people considering the country as a trendsetter in the design World, alfresco takes a look at What has made italian style such an international success. Words by Lauren King

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taly has been considered a trendsetter and a leader in the design world for many years now. Watched with eager and, perhaps, envious eyes by the rest of the globe, the country has become confident in its style and how it influences others. In a brutally honest attempt to sum up the country’s success in this department, Italian architect Luigi Caccia famously claimed: “Quite simply, we are the best.” And for many people, he isn’t wrong. Italians have always been known for their skill and their confident craftsmanship. From creating the top-of-the-range sports cars for the race track, to designing garments for the catwalk and building stunning buildings in the city, hard work is rooted in Italy’s DNA. Through hard work and determination, Italian designers have found a method and a style that works and they have kept to it. “The simple way of life is an influence for Italy, furniture is practical and uncomplicated,” says Massimo Cian, head of design at Calligari, a furniture company specialising in Italian design. It is through this simplicity that Italians have found success.

The hIsTory

Interior design in Italy has an illustrious past that spans back more than two millennia. Dating back to the Roman Empire, frescoes and mosaics would adorn the walls, bringing colour and light to people’s homes. When you look at the ruins in Rome, Pompeii and Sicily today, some of the patterns and designs that were used are still visible for visitors to see. This is an amazing insight in to what styles were used in the years gone by, when resources, knowledge and equipment were limited. The country’s grand history still influences today’s designers. Celeste Dell'Anna, an Italian interior designer, says: “[Inspiration] comes from living your life surrounded by 2,000 years of art and culture.” He adds: “When you live in a place that’s as aesthetically rich as Italy, these things naturally influence you. They help you to learn the unwritten rules of natural beauty. The proportions of classical architecture are signs of the creativity that has driven architects and artists through the centuries.” Cian has also echoed Dell’Anna’s thoughts. He says: “The root of Italian design is an ability to combine a desire for innovation with a deep sense of heritage.”

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Some of the historic renowned Italian designers that still have an influence on the modern day include Gaetano Pesce. An architect and avant garde designer, he most famously created the Up5, a chair-like design that replicates an abstract female body. Through his career, Pesce has created many outstanding pieces and his work now features in more than 30 permanent collections in some of the world’s most respected museums, such as Museum of Modern Art in New York, Vitra Museum in Germany and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Another renowned designer is Giò Ponti, often referred to as the godfather of Italy’s post war style. Combining classicism and modernity, Ponti made a name for himself creating chairs, lamps and side tables. Ponti’s most famous creation is the Bilia Lamp, created as a cone and sphere. Although its design would look modern against any of the lamps available on the high street today, it was in fact created for the lighting company Fontana Arte in 1931. The lamp is a great example of just how skilled Ponti was. The multi-disciplinary Achille Castiglioni has also gone on to have fantastic international success. Throughout his career, he produced more than 150 products and forged longlasting relationships with Italian manufacturers, such as Flos in lighting, Zanotta in furniture and Alessi in home products. Many of his designs are still in mass production today.

THE CUSTOMER’S NEEDS While the history is still deeply entwined in today’s designs, the changing modern world means that traditions are constantly evolving and, to be successful, designers are required to adapt their style to the modern world. Cian says: “When [Calligaris] launched in 1923, we specialised solely in the design and manufacture of the Marocca chair. Over the past 90 years, the range

RENOWNED ITALIAN DESIGNERS The European country has produced some of the greatest designers in the world, who have gone on to make a significant impact on the international scene. When looking at some of the historic greats, it is hard not to notice that a lot of them come from an architectural background. Speaking at an event at the Design Museum in London, Antonio Cutterio, an Italian furniture and industrial designer, says: “Many Italian designers are architects; in fact they all are, as [Italy] didn’t have any design schools at the time.” Coming from an architectural background, means that many of the designers will come with a different perspective to their competitors across the rest of the world. They bring a whole new angle to design and this is, perhaps, the reason for their drive and, in turn, for their success.

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elegant interiors

now includes more than 800 items, many of which are available in a variety of finishes, materials, style and colours. The extensive range reflects the shift in demand for tailormade products that people can really make their own.” However it is not just the customers’ tastes that are evolving. Their way of life has also shifted. “Living spaces are getting smaller, meaning that customers are increasingly looking for cleverly designed furniture to utilise the space they have in a way which is both practical and stylish,” Cian explains. “Open plan living is also a popular nowadays, but when walls are taken down, traditional pieces of furniture can sometimes look lost. This is where designs such as Division come into their own. As a freestanding unit, it offers a structural divide in an open space while avoiding the solidity of a wall.” Cian also notes that customers are starting to consider the environmental impact of the products that they buy. He says: “With this in mind, we developed the Skin chair, which is recyclable and produced with resources which are easily available and renewable.”

WorldWide influence In terms of design and craftsmanship, Italy has long been a country to keep an eye on. No event better shows the influence that Italy has on the design world than Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. The world’s flagship design fair, Salone started out with the aim of giving Italian designers a platform to exhibit their work to the world. However, the event, having just finished its 52nd edition, has grown and now attracts more than 2,500 Italian and foreign exhibitors who show off their work to more than 324,000 visitors from all over the world. Dell'Anna says: “By using beautiful materials and sophisticated details, in combination with elegant proportions, classic Italian style has an ability to create spaces with a very special, refined

atmosphere. This is the reason it has been imitated all over the world, everyone wants to feel the same specialness that comes from being in a space like that.” Cian says: “I think Italian style and design has always set a benchmark for the rest of the world. Functionality and beauty are intrinsic to Italian culture and I believe that we are the perfect role models for this way of life. Salone remains the world’s leading design fair and I think that really makes Italy

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stand alone, as once a year all eyes are purely on Italy.” Speaking at an event at the Design Museum in London, Fabio Novembre, an architect and furniture designer, explains, “When talking about Italian design, I always use the comparison with French fries, as people no longer associate French fries with France. The same goes with Italian design, as it’s no longer just Italians doing it. Italian design now belongs to the world.” ■


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DininG HOME

Porzellanmanufaktur FÜRSTENBERG Dine in style with these stylish sets

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he new Auréole design of the Porzellanmanufaktur Fürstenberg is a sublime design apparently effortlessly merging ancient Asian porcelain traditions and the modern work of the European craftsman. Plates set the scene while cups are reminiscent of magnolias, opening up towards the sun. Auréole represents the epitome of universal perfection and provides a quite unique experience of the pleasure of noble porcelain. The universal saucers for all shapes of cup and smaller bowls combine simplicity with functional purist design, while the iconic teapot with its open-handled design and porcelain tea strainer perpetuates the familiar, harmonious design style. Auréole gives an impression of something lighter, more radiant and everlasting than exists in the real world. The gilded decoration Dorée gives the

basic design an ornamental brilliance and represents a journey through the culture and history of magnificent decoration as interpreted through contemporary eyes. Also the Touché cup series are characterised by a particular lightness. Touché combines functionality with modern design: the unique, double-walled cups have a special thermal effect – while keeping coffee or tea hot and champagne or cocktails cold, the outside of the cup remains at a pleasant room temperature. With their minimalist shapes, matte polished exterior and glossy interior glaze, they are not only visually attractive but also a real pleasure to hold. Inspired by the Chinese horoscope, the large cup is also available with a pattern of traditional signs of the zodiac. The authenticable patterns are only apparent on the surface and do not show through to the inside. ■ For more information, visit fuerstenberg-porzellan.com

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lifesTyle Cars

GorGeously

affordable Maserati’s new saLOOn is set take On the Mid-Market MOtOrs and win

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he Ghibli has arrived; Maserati’s midsize sports saloon is a more affordable luxury car that has the luxury and performance to satisfy its owners. The vehicle marks a turning point in Maserati’s history. Unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show and arriving just months after the new Quattroporte, the Ghibli will give Maserati two concurrent four-door saloon models for the first time in its history. The Ghibli is smaller, shorter, lighter, more dynamic, less expensive and more economical than the flagship Quattroporte and provides a cornerstone in Maserati’s plans to build 50,000 cars a year by 2015. Its petrol range provides high performance from both of the power outputs from the twin turbo-charged, 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. The Ghibli is also the first Maserati in history to be powered by a diesel engine, with a turbo-diesel V6 producing all the sound, refinement and driving pleasure typical of Maserati while delivering fuel consumption over 47mpg (below 6 l/100km)on the NEDC combined cycle . The Ghibli diesel will also become the first Maserati with Start-Stop technology. The outline of the body reflects a coupe-like philosophy for the four-door saloon, while there are strong feline hints around the Ghibli’s grille and headlights. The grille takes its inspiration from the current GranTurismo and it can draw a line back to the classic 1950s A6 GCS. It also maintains Maserati’s distinctive C-pillar treatment, which delivers much of the coupe-like stance and carries the classical Saetta Maserati logo, carrying on a tradition dating back to 1963. Inside, the Ghibli sets itself apart from the Quattroporte with a unique dashboard design that perfectly matches its sportier and more youthful character without losing any of the luxury expected from Maserati. The Ghibli also delivers a sporty design combined with all the spaciousness expected in an executive saloon from Maserati. The Ghibli, Ghibli S and Ghibli Diesel all utilise an eight-speed automatic transmission to deliver their performance, providing seamless comfort with fast gear shifting for hard acceleration.

All Ghibli models deliver exquisite handling thanks to their perfectly balanced weight distribution, a double-wishbone front suspension and a state-of-the-art five-link rear suspension. It can now deliver the added security and all-weather assurance of all-wheel drive as well. The Ghibli has entered the E-segment sports premium market with a marked advantage in cabin craftsmanship and detailing, offering luxury features like the Maserati Touch Control screen, reversing camera, Poltrona Frau leather interior and the 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, as well as WLAN-based WiFi and compatibility with most modern mobile phone systems. This new generation of Maserati engines is more powerful, more

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exciting to drive and more eco-friendly than ever. The Ghibli will be available with two versions of its twinturbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine and a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine. The most powerful of the V6 petrol engines will be fitted to the rear-wheel drive Ghibli S. This engine produces 301 kW (410hp) of power at 5500 rpm and 550 Nm of torque from just 1750 rpm.

The Ghibli S will reach 100 km/h in 5.0 seconds. It has a quoted top speed of 285 km/h (177mph). The more affordable V6 gasoline engine variant not only has an impressive 243 kW (330 hp) of power and 500 Nm of torque, but also delivers a combined fuel economy figure of just 9.6 litres/100km (29.4mpg). It is much more than a fuel saving car, though, and is capable of accelerating to 100km/h in just 5.6 seconds.

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lifestyle CARS

The Ghibli Diesel becomes the first car in Maserati’s near-100 year history to use a diesel powerplant. In keeping with Maserati traditions, it is the most powerful single-turbo 3 liter engine on the market with its 275 Hp and 600 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. It is capable of sprinting to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds and hitting a top speed of 250 km/h

(155mph), even though it emits just 158 grams of CO2/km and uses just 5.9 litres/100 km (47.8mpg) on the NEDC combined cycle. In another first for the Maserati brand, all Ghibli models will have an Active Speed Limiter function as standard equipment. Activated (and deactivated) via a button on the steering wheel, the Active Speed Limiter

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function lets the driver set a maximum speed for the car, which can be over-ridden by pushing the accelerator pedal through the “kick down”.

Beautiful Body

The Ghibli’s design ethos emphasises its more dynamic driving characteristics


GHIBLI S V6 ENGINE

while maintaining visible links with the larger Quattroporte and delivering a more aggressive visual personality. The outline of the body reflects a coupelike philosophy for the four-door saloon, while there are strong feline hints around the Ghibli’s grille and headlights. The dominating grille takes its inspiration from the current

GranTurismo and it can draw a line back to the classic A6 GCS of the 1950s. It also maintains Maserati’s distinctive C-pillar treatment, which delivers much of the stunning coupe-like stance and carries the classical Saetta Maserati logo, carrying on a tradition dating back to 1963. It is gloss black in colour and its variable cross section contrasts with both the satin chrome surrounding it and the Trident symbol at its centre. The grille design is accentuated by the flow of the front quarter panels, which emphasise the shape of the engine compartment lid, then run into the headlights at the front. The shape of the headlights converges onto the Trident symbol, with every angle designed to attract the eye to Maserati’s legendary badge. The side profile is dominated by a swage line that runs from the traditional Maserati grille vents behind the front wheels and finishes in the rear lights themselves. With its long wheelbase, total length and wide tracks, the Ghibli comes together as one of the sportiest and most elegant looking cars in the E-segment. The Ghibli’s body and underbody design fulfils the sporty promise of its looks, with a low drag coefficient of 0.31 to keep fuel consumption low and increase stability at the high speeds that, of the E-segment category, only the Ghibli is capable of. ■

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The most powerful version of the Ghibli’s 2987 cc V6 shares much of its technology with the Quattroporte’s flagship 3.8-litre V8 engine.With 301 kW (410hp) of power at 5500 rpm, the downsized V6 TwinTurbo delivers big V8 performance with 550 Nm of torque between 4500 rpm and 5000 rpm. The V6’s maximum engine speed of 6500 rpm, yet it delivers 90 percent of its 550 Nm of torque from 1600 rpm and its specific torque is actually higher than the V8’s, at 183 Nm per litre. It also has an overboost function that is capable of providing the engine’s maximum boost between 1750 rpm and 5000 rpm. It uses the V8’s gasoline direct injection technology, cylinder architecture and combustion technology along with two low-inertia parallel turbochargers and four continuous camshaft phasers. It uses highpressure fuel injection to deliver its fuel at around 200 bars of pressure. The Ghibli S accelerates to 100 km/h in 5.0 seconds, a tenth of a second faster to 100 km/h than the corresponding Quattroporte S. It has a top speed of 285 km/h (177mph) top speed almost matching the Quattroporte S. The engine is also efficient, given its powerful performance numbers. The Ghibli S posts 10.4 (27.2mpg) on the NEDCcombined cycle. The Ghibli S emits 242 grams of CO2/km.

GHIBLI V6 ENGINE

The second turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 gasoline engine available on the Ghibli has 243kW (330hp) of power at 5.000rpm, This engine has been designed to offer an outstanding driving experience and versatile utilisation with low fuel consumption. Not only has it got an impressive power of 243kW and a torque of 500Nm, but it delivers a combined fuel economy of just 9.6 litres/100km (29.4mpg) with 223 grams of CO2 emissions/ km, and is capable of accelerating to 100km/h in just 5.6 seconds.

GHIBLI V6 DIESEL ENGINE

The Ghibli’s highly advanced V6 diesel engine will be the first of its kind in Maserati’s history The 2987 cc V6 turbo-diesel develops 202 kW (275 hp) of power and a crushing 600 Nm of torque, both of which help it from rest to 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds. Critically, its NEDC combined fuel economy figure is 5.9 litres per 100 km (47.8mpg) (and it emits just 158 grams of CO2 per kilometre. It uses highly advanced CommonRail direct fuel injection with 2000 bar of injection pressure and it also features reduced-dwell-time injectors. This helps it to deliver sequential multiple injections for highly responsive performance and cleaner emissions. It is also the first Maserati to use StartStop technology, which can lower the fuel consumption and the CO2 emissions by up to six percent, depending on the route and the traffic density. The system turns the engine off when the car comes to a stop and turns it on again almost instantly whenever the accelerator pedal is depressed.


38

street eats

London’s Best food Markets If you’re lookIng for lean parma ham, fresh homemade pasta and the best mozzarella from Italy, Instead of the supermarkets, head to one of london’s food markets, where you’ll fInd a huge array of ItalIan produce on sale

Borough Market

By far the best food market in London, Borough Market is foodie heaven. Set beneath the Victorian railway arches in London Bridge, next to Southwark Cathedral, it’s the perfect setting to browse, shop and, of course, eat. With an abundance of organic, artisanal food stalls and plenty of Italian speciality food on offer, the market is often packed, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays, so get there early if you can and make sure you take cash – the stallholders don’t take cards and we guarantee you won’t want to come away empty-handed.

sausages. For fresh pasta, Francesco Boggian makes some of the best pasta you’ll find in London at La Tua Pasta. There’s masses of fresh pasta available from ravioli to filled tortellini to gnocchi. For a wide range of Italian fare, trading at Borough Market for the past 13 years, Marco Vineis

Here are tHe ItalIan stalls to make a beelIne for: Bianca e Mora specialise in charcuterie and parmigiano reggiano and all their organic produce is sourced from farms in northern Italy. De Calabria offer lots of cured meats, including soppressata (salami) and nduja (spicy Calabrian spreadable salami) as well as cheeses, olive oil, bottarga (cured fish roe), honey and herbs. If you’re after some unusual cured meats or fancy trying something different, Exquisite Deli stocks specialty meats from South Tyrol in the Italian Alps, including mountain salami, alpine biltong, air-dried beef and smoked

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sells delicious Italian produce at his stall, Gastronomica. There’s cheese from Piedmont, Puglia , Lombardy and Sicily, cured meats, pulses, jams, sauces and balsamic vinegar from only the best Italian producers. The Olive Oil Company imports oil from Italian producers, many from Puglia, the centre of olive oil production, and sells some lovely vinegar, too. If you’re looking for good-quality, lean parma ham, The Parma Ham and Mozzarella Stall claims to sell the best with Sant Ilario parma ham produced at a farm in the Langhirano countryside. They also sell salamis and unpasteurised buffalo mozzarella from Campagnia. Husbandand-wife team Sebastiano Accaputo and Maria Attardi from Siracusa in Sicily bring back food from their island to their stall Sicily in London. Their produce includes orange,

rosemary and lemon-flavoured olive oil, Sicilian cheeses such as Pecorino Siciliano and Caciocavallo Ragusano, pates, honey and hand-made amaretti biscuits. For something extra special to add to pasta and sauces visit the king of truffles, Mario Prati at Tartufaia Truffles. He imports the gourmet fungus from Acqualagna in Italy and sells fresh truffles alongside white truffle oil and truffle oil. London Bridge, SE1. Nearest tube: London Bridge. Monday-Wednesday 10am-3pm. Thursday 11am-5pm. Friday noon-6pm. Saturday 8am-5pm.

Real Food MaRket

Like a smaller Borough Market, the Real Food Market in the courtyard behind Royal Festival Hall has over 40 stalls selling gourmet, sustainably-sourced produce.

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street eats

Pick up fresh pasta, cakes, organic meat, cheese, oil and more. Italian stalls at the market include Arancini Brothers, Bread Tree and Seriously Italian. The Arancini brothers make their own version of arancini (risotto balls) at their aptly-named stall, Arancini Brothers. Smaller than traditional arancini, they serve them with salad, sauces or in wraps with salad and homemade garlic mayonnaise. They’re all vegetarian and gluten-free, too. Bread Tree specialise in nduja, Peperoncino chilli and toppings for bruschetta. Seriously Italian make fantastic pasta, with three varieties available – Italian, English blend using organic English wheat or English spelt. Selling every type of pasta imaginable including tagliatelle,

pappardelle, spaghetti alla chitarra, bigoli, gnocchetti sardi, lasagne, cavatelli and fresh ravioli, there’s also lots of lovely pesto and sauces available. After you’ve shopped and sampled the food on offer, make sure you take a stroll along the Southbank and see the sights on offer. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Nearest tube: Waterloo. Friday noon-8pm. Saturday 11am-8pm. Sunday noon-8pm.

Brixton Village Market

As well as food stalls, Brixton Village Market, an indoor market built in the 1930s (formerly known as the Granville Arcade) is home to over 20 cafes and is one of the most popular foodie destinations in London. There are plenty

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of Italian eateries to choose from as well as Pakistani, Caribbean, British, Thai, Brazilian, Spanish and Jamaican cafes. Bellantoni’s specialises in great value home-made pasta, and also serves fish and meat dishes complimented by an all-Italian wine list. If you’re craving a real Italian staple, Franco Manca serves pizza to die for. Topped with Italian-style cheeses, cured meats and vegetables, the sourdough pizzas are cooked for under a minute in a brick oven. Best of all, the pizzas are all £5£7.50 so are perfect for an affordable lunch or dinner or on the go. If you’re a fan of Caribbean food, head to the nearby Brixton Market after and haggle for yams, fish and other exotic produce, or tuck into some spicy jerk chicken, rice and peas. Pope’s Road, SW9. Nearest tube: Brixton. Open: Monday, Tues, Thursday, Saturday 8am-6pm. Wednesday 8am-3pm. Visit brixtonmarket.net for more information.

aklaM Village

Opposite Portobello Green Market in Notting Hill, Aklam Village is home to several Italian food stalls. Naples Pizza, founded by chef Rod Eldridge, offers the only authentic Nepalese pizza with a deep fried crispy base in London. Made in front of you with a variety of tempting toppings, you’ll struggle to find fresher, better pizza. Gastronomica (also at Borough Market) have a stall here,


with an array of Italian cheeses on offer. At the Italian Deli stall, chefs Livio and Angela offer authentic Italian pasta, pasta sauces, bruschetta and arancini. There’s also live music, street entertainers and art on display, so it’s a great place to go for a day out. 4-8 Acklam Road, W1. Nearest tube: Ladbroke Grove. Open: Saturday 10am-5pm. Sunday 10am-4.30pm.

Greenwich Market

Don’t let the fact it’s not in central London put you off - hop on a Thames Clipper and take a cruise to Greenwich for the day. The market there has been going since 1837 and is one of the most popular in the capital. With antiques, fashion, handmade jewellery and unique arts and crafts on sale, as well as delectable food stalls including Mamma Mia, which sells a wide variety of produce including cheeses, salami, paninis, soft nougat cake, porchetta and pasta, all imported from Italy, it’s the ideal place to pick up some treats. If the sun’s out, we recommend you pick up something delicious to eat and head to Greenwich Park – just a few minutes’ walk from the market – to enjoy it. College Approach, Greenwich, SE10.

Nearest tube: Cutty Sark or Greenwich DLR. Open: 10am-5.30pm Tuesday-Sunday. Visit www.shopgreenwich.co.uk for more information.

Queens Park FarMers’ Market

Voted the UK’s best farmers market last year, Queens Park Farmers’ Market is a favourite among locals and tourists alike. Set in the grounds of a primary school, there’s around 70 stalls there every Sunday. There’s several Italian stalls including Pesto, Pasta & Phil and Seriously Italian (also at the Southbank’s Real Food Market).

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Phil Stanley of Pesto, Pasta & Phil makes lovely pesto sauces and fresh hand-made pasta, which varies with the seasons. Make sure you check out his suberb spelt flour pasta and gnocchi. You can also pick up lots of organic meat, vegetables, bakery items and flowers. After you’ve been to the market, stop at Ida restaurant on Fifth Avenue for some authentic Italian cuisine or for something more relaxed, Giorgio’s café on Salusbury Road does fantastic pizzas, arancini and cannelloni. ■ Salusbury Primary School, Salusbury Road, NW6. Nearest tube: Queen’s Park. Open: 10am-2pm Sunday.


Inspiring Cooking. Discover the world of Fissler.

Fissler. Perfect every time.


46

Food chefs

Adam Gray

A Modern British Chef AdAm GrAy is one of BritAin’s GreAtest chefs, with A drive to succeed Both in And out of the kitchen, puttinG his pAssion And heArt into Good use where needed. his culinAry experience impresses And his vision for the future is equAlly Awe-inspirinG; we spoke with him to leArn more ABout his fAscinAtinG life story

A

dam Gray, Executive Head Chef at the Skylon restaurant on the Southbank, describes his style of cooking as "modern British". "I'm a chef that makes people happy through food," says Gray and, having previously held a Michelin star for over a decade, there's little doubt that he has the wherewithal to deliver on that promise. His ambition to enter the world of haute cuisine began when he was just 14 years old. Working part-time washing pots in East Haddon's The Red Lion, Gray would help out with food preparation when there were staff shortages. That was enough to foster his culinary ambitions, and he completed a three-year, day-release catering course at Northampton College. Shortly after, in 1989, he was off to London, where he worked at the Four Seasons, Park Lane, under Bruno Loubet. Following a brief spell in Australia, he moved to the world famous Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons in Oxfordshire, where he worked under Raymond Blanc for two years. Gray then became Head Chef at City Rhodes from 2001 to 2003 and went on to open new restaurant, Rhodes Twenty Four, at Tower 42 in London. Under his governance, Rhodes Twenty Four received a number of awards and was honoured with a Michelin star in 2005. In 2003, Gray also joined forces with his old college to set up the "Adam Gray Chef's Academy". This continued for the next seven years, during which more than 30 Northampton College students completed work placements at Rhodes Twenty Four, with some

going on to enter full-time employment in either the restaurant or the kitchen. Gray got even closer to his Northampton roots in 2010 when he became the co-owner of The Red Lion, in East Haddon, where he had originally developed his love of cooking. In the summer of 2011, a barn in the Red Lion's grounds was converted to become the "Shires Cookery School" and offered a wide range of courses from bread making to fish filleting and general knife skills. In September 2011, Gray left Rhodes Twenty Four in order to fully focus on The Red Lion. This produced rapid results, and the Red Lion was included in the 2012 edition of The Good Food Guide as one of the Editor's Choice top-ten country pubs. It also became the first Northamptonshire restaurant to be awarded a Bib Gourmand, in the 2012 edition of the UK Michelin Red Guide. In March of 2013, Gray took up the position of Executive Head Chef in the Skylon Restaurant in London's Southbank. He has introduced new menus with the aim of providing a focus on high quality British produce, simply cooked. Defining his vision for the Skylon, Gray said, "My aim at Skylon is to produce great, simple food that you really want to eat, using the best quality ingredients. I want people to come here for the whole experience; the food, the service and the fabulous location". Skylon patrons, whether in the main restaurant or the informal grill, can look forward to classic dishes using quality seasonal ingredients and augmented with unusual elements to provide a dining experience which is memorable and somewhat quirky at times. For example, the current starter menu includes seared hand-dived

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Food Chefs

scallops, grilled English heritage potatoes, cauliflower cream and maple syrup dressing. Mains include slow-roasted Great Garnett Farm pork belly, with lobster and tarragon risotto. If you're feeling a little creative yourself, you can visit Adam Gray's blog – at www.adamgraychef.co.uk - and you'll find many of his recipes. These can be downloaded as a PDF file. Interestingly, but perhaps in keeping with his habit of putting a slightly different twist on things, the recipes are arranged into Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer categories rather than the traditional meat, fish, vegetarian etc. You'll find Gray's recipe for scallops with maple syrup dressing in the Autumn/Winter section. The Spring/Summer section includes dishes such as organic salmon with English peas, and chorizo and crispy mackerel "BLT". The instructions are well laid out and fairly easy to follow – good luck! When he's not slaving over a hot stove, Adam Gray is a family man who likes to keep fit and who is active in the community. A keen cyclist, he often manages 40 km per day and also enjoys swimming and Krav Maga – a form of unarmed combat specially developed for the Israeli armed forces. He has taken part in the "Vertical Rush", a stair race to the top of Tower 42, on several occasions, with his best placed finish being thirteenth, from a field of 900 runners. Later this year, he will take part in Tough Mudder, an extreme assault course event which takes place over 10-12 miles and which supports the charity Help for Heroes. Maybe it's not so surprising to learn that

Adam Gray has been a contributing features writer for Men's Fitness magazine since 2012. Adam Gray also helps a number of other charities, including the MacMillan Cancer Trust and the Alzheimer's Society. He is actively involved in raising awareness of coeliac disease, an auto-immune disease caused by intolerance to gluten, and in highlighting the need for gluten-free menu choices for the 1 per cent of the UK population who suffer from this. He is a judge on the Coeliac UK Gluten Free Chef of the Year competition, now in its fourth year. The competition requires the design and preparation of a three-course, gluten-free, bistro-style meal during its live final. Adam Gray is a member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and this allowed him to get involved in teaching cookery to children in an "Adopt a School" programme, something which he hopes to repeat in future. In 2012, he was awarded an Honorary Master of Science by Northamptonshire College in recognition of his commitment to training and development in the catering industry. Adam stresses that it's never too early to get young children cooking, and he has extended this theory to his own son Luke. "My son has his own little apron, a small chopping board and a little plastic knife so that he can get involved. Even at three, my son loves to put his hands on mine and help to roll out pastry." Recently, when asked what ambition he would most like to fulfil, Gray responded "To be the first person to achieve a Michelin star in a restaurant in Northamptonshire". Looking at his list of achievements to date, who would rule that out? ■

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Food ADAM GRAY

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Marinated SalMon, CuCuMber and WaterCreSS Salad ServeS 6 – 8 IngredIentS 2kg organic fresh salmon – skin on 1 cucumber – peeled Micro watercress leaves 100ml Farrington’s “Mellow Yellow” British rapeseed oil 1 tsp Dijon mustard 2 tsp sour cream Lemon juice Ground white pepper Maldon sea salt

IngredIentS to marInade the 2kg pIece of freSh Salmon 25g salt 25g sugar 5g ground white pepper Zest of ½ a lemon ½ bunch of dill (roughly chopped)

method: Mix all the marinating ingredients together in a bowl. Spread all the marinade on the flesh side of the salmon. Cling film the salmon tightly. Leave to marinade for 24 hours. Wash the marinade from the salmon and pat dry with a piece of kitchen paper. Remove the skin from the marinated salmon and discard. Cut the salmon into rough 1cm dice and place in a mixing bowl. Mix the diced salmon with the sour cream and the Dijon mustard. Season the salmon mixture with the ground white pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Cover the finished salmon mixture with cling film and place in the fridge until needed. Slice the peeled cucumber into fine strips with a peeler and place on a cling film-lined tray. Sprinkle the cucumber strips with a little sea salt and leave for 30 minutes. Wash the salted cucumber in a little cold water to remove any excess salt and leave to dry on some kitchen paper until required.

to Serve: Mould the marinated salmon mixture into evenlysized cylinder shapes and place in the centre of a serving plate. Arrange the salted cucumber around the marinated salmon and then arrange a little micro watercress around the outside of the cucumber. Drizzle a little rapeseed oil over the cucumber and micro watercress leaves. Top the marinated salmon with a little caviar and serve.

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Food ADAM GRAY

Roast Fillet oF BeeF, smoked Bacon caBBage and gaRlic cReamed tuRnips InGReDIents 6 x 150g fillet steaks 200g seasonal wild mushrooms – washed and drained 100ml Farrington’s “Mellow Yellow” British rapeseed oil Salt Ground white pepper

Garlic creaM TurnipS and poTaToeS

seRves 6 people InGReDIents: 1kg potatoes (rooster or Maris piper) – peeled 1kg turnips - peeled 500ml semi-skimmed milk 200ml double cream 4 garlic cloves - peeled & cut into quarters 1 sprig of fresh thyme nutmeg - freshly grated Salt Ground white pepper

MethoD: Put the milk, double cream, garlic and thyme in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until the garlic cloves are soft. Pass the mix through a fine sieve, pushing the cooked garlic through with a small ladle. Put aside, season to taste and cool to room temperature. Slice the peeled

potatoes and turnips into 1mm thick discs (do not wash). Place in a large bowl. Pour 2/3rds of the garlic cream mix over the sliced potatoes and turnips. Mix in thoroughly, coating all the potatoes and turnips in the garlic cream. Line an oven proof baking tray with grease proof paper. Layer the sliced creamed potatoes and turnips lengthways then width ways, seasoning each layer. Layer approx 8 layers of potatoes and turnips into the tray. Ladle the remaining cream mix into the tray, cover with foil and place in pre-heated oven at 165ºC for 1 hour 15 minutes until the potatoes and turnips are tender, but not over cooked. Remove garlic creamed potatoes and turnips and leave to cool until needed.

SMoked Bacon caBBaGe

seRves 6 people InGReDIents: 1 small savoy cabbage – finely shredded 8 x smoked bacon rashers – cut into 1cm strips 75g unsalted butter Salt pepper

MethoD: Heat a thick bottomed saucepan to a medium heat and add the bacon rashers. Cook the bacon rashers until they have

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slightly coloured then add the butter. When the butter starts to foam, add the shredded Savoy cabbage and a table spoon of water. Mix the cabbage with the bacon and continue cooking for a further 10-12 minutes on a medium heat until the cabbage is tender. Remove the bacon cabbage from the heat and check the seasoning with salt and pepper and drain in a colander until needed.

to seRve: Cut out the garlic cream turnips and potatoes to the desired shape and return to a moderate pre heated oven on a baking tray 5-6m minutes.Roast the fillet steaks to the desired cooking degree (Rare, medium etc), remove from the oven and leave to rest for 2-3 minutes before serving. Reheat the smoked bacon cabbage in a saucepan and spoon a little pile on to the front of the serving plate. Place the cooked fillet steak on top of the smoked bacon cabbage and place the garlic cream turnips and potatoes to the rear of the serving plate, topped with some pan fried seasonal wild mushrooms. Serve with a separate jug of red wine gravy.


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Food ADAM GRAY

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Gluten-Free lemon Cake with SoFt StrawberrieS Makes 1 cake LeMon cake IngredIents: 250g butter – softened 250g caster sugar 3 eggs 100g polenta 250g ground almonds 1tps baking powder 3 lemons – 3 zested and 1 juiced

Method: Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy on a mixing machine. Add the eggs one by one continually mixing. Mix in the polenta, ground almonds and baking powder. Add the lemon zest and juice. Pour the mix into pre greased 22/23 cm springform cake tin. Bake at 160c for 50 minutes until the cake has risen and is golden on the top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before serving.

soft strawberry IngredIents: 170g strawberry jam 1 punnet strawberries – hulled and quartered

Method: Place the jam in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3 minutes and add the quartered strawberries. Simmer for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a tray to cool down. “With the lemon cake and soft strawberries, I would serve a dollop of natural yoghurt as well.”

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chefs Food

Alessandro Borghese: “A Chef on TV”

AlessAndro Borghese is one of itAly’s most innovAtive young chefs, with A pAssion for reAlity shows And An internAtionAl Business to run. Alfresco spoke to him ABout entering the uk mArket And moving to london

A

lessandro Borghese has had numerous corporate executives among his clients, which is not unusual for an internationally-renowned chef like the Italian 36-year-old. Besides cooking for them and having them sit around the table of a fancy restaurant in Rome or Paris, though, the Milan-based chef and TV author has also managed to make these men in suits enter his kitchen as apprentices, as if dealing with 20-year-old trainee cooks. “Business in the kitchen”, a team-building service offered to companies by Borghese’s catering and food consultancy firm Il Lusso della Semplicità, The Luxury of Simplicity in Italian, is one of the successful ideas which have distinguished the young chef from his older and more traditional counterparts. “We came up with this format and I am really attracting people I never thought I would see in my kitchen,” says Borghese, who has also authored several food programmes on Italian TV, including a reality show for aspiring chefs. A keen user of social networks and a creative entrepreneur whose abilities are not limited to cooking and inventing new flavours and dishes, Borghese has used TV to promote what he sees as a crucial part of the Italian culture and history. The son of Czech-American actress Barbara Bouchet, who was extremely popular in Italy in the 1980s, he became familiar with TV as a child, when he also started sharing the passion his father - an

engineer from the South of Italy - always had for cooking. “I started becoming really passionate about it around the age of 12 or 13,” he recalls. “There is no tradition for cooking in my family, but my father loves it. He is from Naples, you know.” The same passion, Borghese says, is being transmitted and awakened in many Italian watchers by TV food shows. “In Italy, people rediscovered the passion for cooking through TV,” he says. “In countries such as the UK, there has always been a lot more cuisine on TV, but in Italy that is new.” Although some of his colleagues do not like TV as a way to promote the culinary art at his highest level, Borghese is convinced that promoting this practice among the largest number of people can only be a positive contribution to society. “There are different levels of everything for everyone,” he says. “Discussing cuisine is just as good as discussing arts. And considering the low quality of the TV debates we see these days, I would say that food shows are better than political ones.” Borghese says that people taking part in his TV shows cook for many different reasons. “It is mainly a game,” he says. “Although for some of them cooking is a career. Not for everyone, though. Real cooking is a different thing from what you do on TV, and cooking in a restaurant for over 20 people at a time is different and more difficult than doing it for a TV show.” Borghese started cooking in restaurants after three years spent in the kitchens of several cruise ships. He boarded the first one at the age of 18, shortly after graduating from

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ALL FOODS DESERVE IT:

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CHEFS Food

high school in Rome. “I wanted to work out whether this was really what I wanted to do with my life, so I decided to go,” he says. Borghese’s experience on ships left many good memories, but also a traumatic one, as he was on the MS Achille Lauro ship, sailing near the coasts of Somalia, when a fire erupted on board. He was promptly saved, but watched the humongous transatlantic sink just months after he had started working on ships. In his autobiography “L’abito Non Fa Il Cuoco. La Cucina Italiana Di Uno Chef Gentiluomo” - The clothes do not make the cook. A chef and a gentleman’s Italian cuisine in Italian - the chef described the ships he worked in as his “home and moving school. A world made up of many stories. Of one night loves; wrong recipes; delicious successes; unexpected encounters; incredible places; sincere smiles; discussions amongst friends, and, above all, of nights in bed picturing one day reading a menu signed Alessandro Borghese.” It wouldn’t be long before the young cook’s dream came true. In 1997, at the age of 20, he moved back to the mainland and worked in a vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco’s Italian district. One year later, he left for London. His training as a chef and a sommelier also took him to Paris and Rome, where he started working as a cook in 2000. Four years later, he began co-producing and conducting food shows on Italian television. Borghese says that in 2004, he found himself at a crossroads: he was asked to present a cooking show show aired by Italian channel Real Time, but, in the same month, the

chef was also offered the chance to direct a renowned restaurant in China, where he would have had to move had he accepted the job. He picked TV and Italy. Writing in his biography about one of the first two TV shows he conducted, L’Ost, Borghese said that it made him put on weight, but, in his words, “it has also been a very precious help for my professional growth, making me discover aspects of the Italian traditional cuisine that I didn’t know about, and that I treasure.” In the show, the chef played the part of a virtual grandchild learning the secrets of traditional Italian cuisine from his grandmother. For his second TV show, Il Cuoco Gentiluomo, after which he entitled his book, Borghese was asked to transform himself into a charming and charismatic anchorman and had to lose those extra pounds he had gained. Borghese’s next TV show was a reality one called “Chef a Domicilio”, Personal Chef in Italian. In it, he would help ordinary people cook for someone they wanted to surprise or apologise to. His apprentices, he recalls in his book, included a boy who wanted to make his parents “digest” the new tattoo he had got and a goofy husband who wanted to do something nice for his wife. Other TV programmes run by Borghese in the past include a reality show where amateur chefs would compete in the managing a restaurant and another one, broadcast right from his own kitchen, where he cooked vegan, kosher, children’s food, celiac-suitable dishes and more, all to the sound of music. In Borghese latest TV show, Ale Contro Tutti, Ale Against Everyone Else in Italian, families

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sometime soon. During one of his latest trips to the city, in April this year, Borghese attended the inauguration of Italian sandwich restaurant chain Panino Giusto’s first UK venue, near Saint Paul’s cathedral. The chef worked for the chain as a consultant and even created a chicken sandwich for them, called Il Borghese di Pollo - the chicken Borghese - which is already available in Italy. The new chicken sandwich, named after the chef, has taken Borghese on tour to a number of Italian cities where it was launched in Panino Giusto’s restaurants. Wild chicken ham and senape sauce are the main ingredients of this panini, which will be followed by others based on Borghese’s advice. “We are now working on the creation of a new sandwich for the summer,” says the chef, who has become the restaurant chain’s ambassador. In May this year, an online contest launched by Panino Giusto and addressing both amateur and professional chefs, brought the creators of the best three new sandwiches to its London restaurant. The three winners competed to win a trip to London with the popular chef, who was also a member of the contests judging panel. Everything was done online and the competition included a special section for gourmet bloggers. The internet is also a big part of Borghese’s plans for the coming months, which include the launch of an online portal for food. “We want to make all local products available online,” he says. “We will be ready by August.” ■

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Food AlessAndro Borghese

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ROMAN-STYLE ARTICHOKES wITH TRIpE, SAuCE ANd fIELd bALM serves 4 For the artichokes: 4 artichokes 2 garlic bulbs 1 bunch of mint 1 lemon 1 litre of whole milk Salt and extra-virgin olive oil

For the tripe: 500g of pink tripe Half glass of white wine vinegar 100g of Roman pecorino

For the tripe: 600g of mixed tripe already blanched 2 carrots 1 rib of celery 1 onion 1 bunch of Roman field balm 800g of peeled tomatoes 6 leaves of basil 1 hot pepper 250g of Roman pecorino Extra-virgin olive oil and salt

Method: Put oil, celery, onion, field balm and the blanched tripe (if chopped up) into a casserole with water and vinegar. Start cooking it. When the tripe will become hot add the chopped hot pepper and let the excess water from the tripe evaporate. Then simmer with white wine, let it evaporate and add the half of the pecorino. Mix everything together so that the pecorino doesn't form lumps due to the excessive heat. Add the peeled tomatoes and let them cook for approximately 40 minutes (this will depend on how thick the tripe was cut, I suggest to try it at least every 10 minutes to prevent it from overcooking.) Once the tripe is cooked, let it stand for at least 1 hour (it will help the sauce to get more tasty, it needs to be thick.) Clean the artichokes, remove the hard leaves and the fibrous outer layer, put them in water and lemon. Into a cold deep saucepan put garlic, 2 sprigs of mint and a lot of oil, to cover almost the half of the artichoke. Take the artichokes, place them into the saucepan upside down and start cooking them. As soon as the oil starts sizzling, turn down the fire and keep it low. Simmer them with wine, then add salt and cover them with a sheet of greaseproof paper. While the artichokes are cooking, clean the garlic bulbs, remove the core of the garlic cloves and let them boil for approximately 10 minutes in half a litre of milk.

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Food AlessAndro Borghese

Candy-shaped pasta filled with sCampi and Coriander served on a Cream made of peas, dried salt Cod bottarga, drops of beet Cream, dill and shellfish sauCe serves 4 to 6 people

to mAke pAstA

IngredIents

300g "00" flour 4 egg-yolks A pinch of salt

8 scampi of average size 1 clove of garlic 1 carrot 1 rib of celery 800g of peeled tomatoe 200g of fresh pea 1 beet 1 fresh sweet cicely 2 sprigs of fresh coriander Slivers of dried salt cod bottarga Half glass of dry Vermouth Salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil

method: Knead the flour in a steel bowl with the yolk, and a pinch of salt, until you obtain a smooth mixture. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge to rest. Wash the scampi aside, cut and season them with salt, pepper, and fresh coriander. Take the scampi heads and put them into a pan with celery, carrot and garlic; then fry them lightly, simmer with Vermouth and add the peeled tomatoes. Cook them slowly. When the tomatoes have be reduced take them off the heat and whip the whole sauce, scampi heads included. Strain the mixture with a fine

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strainer and set the sauce aside. Now take the peas and cook them in boiling water with salt, once that they are cooked cool them in water and ice, then whip them with a trickle of oil and water with salt and pepper. Sieve the sauce and keep it apart. Take the cooked beet and whip it with together with oil and salt. Then roll out the dough in a thin layer, cut square pieces of it and place the finely diced scampi on the centre, brush the borders with egg and close them by making a candy shape. Cook the pasta in boiling water with salt. Place the pea cream on the bottom of each dish, then place the candyshaped pasta on it and garnish with drops of beet cream, tips of sweet cicely, a generous sprinkle of grated cod bottarga and, finally, the shellfish sauce on the top with a trickle of oil.


LA PASTA DI GRAGNANO presso NAPOLI STORICO PASTIFICIO LUCIO GAROFALO WWW.PASTAGAROFALO.IT


66

Food AlessAndro Borghese

TORTELLI FILLED WITH LOBSTER, BURRATA, AND CHIVE WITH SAUCE serves 4-6 PeoPle For the egg PAstA: 500g 00 flour 12 egg-yolks Water

For the Filling And the sAuce: 1 medium-large size lobster 150g ‘Pachino’ Sicilian cherry tomatoes 1 carrot 1 rib celery 1 clove garlic 2 Italian burrata 15 blades of chive Salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil

Method Firstly of all make the egg pasta. Place the flour to make a fountain shape, add the egg-yolks and, if necessary, some water, (it is important to see how the flour absorbs the egg, if the dough is too dry add water, otherwise it is fine.) Once you made the egg pasta, let it stand in the fridge. Chop the Pachino cherry tomatoes into 4 pieces and the vegetables coarsely. Put some water into a pot and place it on the heat, when the water is hot, add the body and the chelae of the lobster (the lobster should not be cooked in boiling water, but in hot, water for few minutes, maximum 3-4 otherwise it will harden.) Keep the head of the lobster apart, cut it in halves and preserve it. As soon as the water is hot put the body and the chelae in it, while let one garlic clove and oil fry lightly into a pan. As soon as the oil will sizzles add the head of the lobster cut in halves by placing it from its coral side, let it cook for one minute per side, simmer it with white wine and let it evaporate. Add the Pachino tomatoes and the chopped vegetables into the pan. Pan-fry them for few minutes and then cover them with cold water. Let it boil until the sauce gets thicker. When it is thick enough strain it in order to make a cream. Once that you have strained it, sieve it again (it must be a fine sieve) to remove all the hard parts such as the carapace, (if necessary you can sieve it several times) the sauce should be smooth and have a very strong taste of lobster. When the sauce is ready, put the inner part of the burrata to drain on a strainer, remove the carapace from the body and the chelae of the lobster that you have previously cooked and cut them together with the burrata. Add chive and pepper to the mixture. Now roll out the dough and start forming the tortelli, (I suggest a maximum of 4 tortelli per portion.) Once you have made the tortelli, blanch them in salt water for few minutes, then put them into the pan with the lobster sauce that you previously prepared. Serve them with a trickle of raw oil and a blade of chive. ■

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food eat in

Top ITalIan

restaurants

London’s diverse and evoLving itaLian scene presents some of the finest dining options in the worLd. so, if you’re pining for some traditionaL itaLian recipes, the city’s impressive restaurant scene exceLs at the cuisine that you know and Love

Locanda LocateLLi

Perhaps one of the best known names on London’s Italian food scene, Giorgio Locatelli has little to prove. He already has a string of top restaurants attached to his impressive culinary CV, including Cecconi’s and the Michelinstarred Zafferano, frequently visited by the likes of Madonna and President Clinton. The Italian chef has always been in the kitchen — his uncle, Alfio, owned the Michelin-starred La Cinzianella. However, Locatelli has moved on a lot from when he used to run around in his uncle’s restaurant as a child. In 2002, the Italian chef finally plucked up the courage to put his name to his own restaurant. In February that year, Locanda Locatelli was born. The Italian chef has worked relentlessly to make the central London based restaurant a success. And his work has paid off. Just a year after it first opened, in 2003, his fabulous menu, a combination of simple ingredients tied with great flavour and a creative touch, won him a Michelin star. This was an accolade that was extremely well deserved. Whether you order fish, meat or pasta, the dishes are all perfectly executed. Particular highlights on the menu include the pan fried mullet served with parma ham and fennel, while the honey roast breast of duck is also mind-blowing. Pasta fans are also well catered for. The homemade gnocchi dumplings drizzled with mushrooms, butter and chives is delicious. www.locandalocatelli.com, 020 7935 9088, 8 Seymour Street, London, W1H 7JZ

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Zafferano

Having first opened its doors in the heart of London’s exclusive Belgravia in 1995, the awards and accolades for this wonderful Italian eatery have been pouring steadily through the door. Even with a change of chef, the restaurant has still managed to provide diners with a continuation of excellent standards. With diners including A-Listers such as actress Elizabeth Hurley and French financier Arpad Busson, you wouldn’t expect anything less. In Italian, Zafferano translates as saffron, one of the world’s most expensive spices. And the menu is no less special. It has been acclaimed time and time again for its honest wholesome take on Italian cuisine. It features dishes such as Malfatti pasta parcels with potato and morel mushrooms, saffron pappardelle mixed with cured pig cheeks and also roast ‘Fiorentina’ T-bone steak served with a flavoursome herb salad. For something sweet at the end of your meal, pick the rich but delightful tiramisu. It’s a classic Italian dessert for a reason, and this restaurant has got its recipe spot on. To make the most of this restaurant and to properly soak up the atmosphere, arrive slightly early and take a seat in the bar, while choosing from their excellent selection of cocktails and regional Italian wines. www.atozrestaurants.com, 020 7235 580015, 15 Lowndes Street, London, SW1X 9EY

L’anima

Located in the increasingly trendy surroundings of London’s Liverpool Street, L’Anima translates as ‘the soul’ in Italian. The brainchild of renowned chef Francesco Mazzei, the restaurant serves a delicious menu of contemporary Italian cuisine. From making olive oil and classic Calabrian dishes with his mother, to ice creams and pastries with his uncle, Mazzei began his culinary career at an early age. His inspiration comes from growing up in Calabria where family life centres around the dining table. Here, food is considered more of an expression of love and tradition than a necessity. Growing up in such an environment, and later working in famed establishments such as The Dorchester, Mazzei is clearly a chef that is set up for great things. As you walk in to L’Anima, take a moment to look around. Designed

by famed architect Claudio Silvestrin, the restaurant is an open and inviting space, with a scattering of clothed tables and white leather chairs. The kitchen and its mechanics are visible to diners behind glass sections in the stone and bronze wall, while a mezzanine level rises in one corner. Behind this glass, the chefs are busy producing a menu that features dishes with a clean yet distinct flavour. Of particular note is the fish stew. A dish inspired after a trip to Northern Sardinia, it consists of baby octopus, clams, mussels, razor clams, squid, chilli, garlic and grated bottarga in a tomato sauce. You’d be challenged to find a better Italian fish stew in London. www.lanima.co.uk, 020 7422 70001 Snowden Street, London, EC2A 2DQ

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food eat in

Zucca

A modern Italian restaurant in south east London that opened to critical acclaim in 2010, Zucca is still pulling in the crowds on a nightly basis. Located in an area that is quickly being populated with hip restaurants, Zucca manages to keep its game up amongst the competition. The simple, daily-changing menu at Zucca is concise and good value, with no more than eight antipasti, two pasta dishes and six mains (fish and meat) to choose from at any one time. The restaurant has obviously chosen quality over quantity, and rightly so. Dishes from the menu can include anything from a veal chop with spinach and lemon or, if you’re feeling slightly more adventurous, orecchiette with octopus, tomato & chilli. The menu has been developed by chef patron Sam Harris, a former River Café chef. Both the menu, and also the design of the restaurant, are fantastic examples of just how much Harris learnt during his time at the River Café. The wraparound windows not only fill the restaurant with light, but it also offers great people-watching opportunities. The open kitchen also provides great amusement while you wait for your meal. Watching the chefs busy, running around and tasting the food before it comes out, only adds to the whole Zucca experience. The fact that they have a changing menu that is so well executed, means that, as soon as you finish your meal, you’ll already be longing for your next visit so that you can try all of what they have to offer. www.zuccalondon.com, 020 7378 6809, 184 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3TG

BaBBo

Translating as ‘daddy’ in Italian, Babbo aims to provide a family-friendly atmosphere for diners. Talented young head chef Carlo Scotto has called upon his experiences of travelling the country to provide an authentic taste of regional Italy, with starters such as Beef carpaccio sprinkled with parmesan cheese, Pantelleria Island capers and mustard sauce, and burrata cheese with tomato and basil. Main courses include a variety of homemade pasta dishes, including the hugely popular lasagne, which has been created from a recipe that is more than 100 years old. Other highlights include traditionally cooked veal milanese with a rocket and cherry tomato salad and wild sea bass with a salt crust. To compliment your meal, make sure you take a look at their impressive wine list, which features exclusively Italian varieties. Despite its prestigious location, Babbo works hard to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere. To aid this, clusters of framed family photos adorn the walls alongside a selection of vintage wines showcased. If you’re after something a little bit more special, book your table in the secluded private dining room, which can seat up to 14 guests. Here, diners can choose from the restaurant menu or a bespoke menu, which is prepared in consultation with the guests and offers a truly traditional Italian experience. www.babborestaurant.co.uk, 0203 205 1099, 39 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4JQ

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Theo Randall aT The InTeRConTInenTal

When Theo Randall opened Theo Randall at the InterContinental, he brought his magical culinary touch to the heart of Mayfair. The restaurant has since gone on to win numerous prestigious foodie awards. Most recently, it was the highest ranked Italian restaurant on the Sunday Times Food List 2013. The daily changing menu, which is inspired by a mix of local ingredients and hand-picked Italian imports, has proved popular with their regular stream of diners. Delicious and surprisingly unfussy, it features dishes including a beautifully woodroasted sea bass fillet with olives and tomatoes, and ravioli which comes stuffed with a rich mix of roasted squash, ricotta, butter, majoram and sage. If you have space, the dessert menu is also definitely worth looking at. It will take a lot of strength to turn down the warm prune and almond tart. From start to finish, it is clear to see that a lot of time and consideration has been put in each dish. No matter what you choose, each dish is guaranteed to impress. However, it is not just the food menu that the British born chef has tried his hand at. Theo has also personally overseen the extensive wine list, ensuring that it features 90 per cent Italian varieties. Despite his increasingly regular TV appearances, Theo has strived to remain true to his culinary roots and can be found in his chef whites at the restaurant during most services. www.theorandall.com, 020 7318 8747, 1 Hamilton Place, London, W1J 7QY

BoCCa dI lupo

If you’ve ever wanted to go on a gastronomic tour of Italy, but never quite found the time, Bocca di Lupo allows you to do just that in one single sitting. Owned and run by Jacob Kenedy and his partner, general manager Victor Hugo, the restaurant’s menu doesn’t stick to the traditional Italian structure of primo and secondo courses. Instead, the dishes are also available in a small plate formula, enabling diners to feast while exploring the regions into which each dish on the menu is categorised. Another benefit of the small plates, is that you’ll be able to taste as much of this impressive menu as possible, which you will definitely want to do. Most of the produce is handmade, including the breads, sausages, salami, pickles, and pasta, while the rest is carefully sourced from Italy. Highlights on the menu include the homemade spicy sausage from Lazio and the broad bean puree with bitter chicory from Puglia. It is also worth saving space for dessert, as the restaurant boasts a traditional gelateria. Their mouth-wateringly impressive gelati menu includes combinations such as blood orange with almonds and mint and also kiwi sorbet with elderflower and gin. Located in the heart of London’s Soho, the restaurant has quickly become popular with the stars of the stage, with diners including Sir Ian McKellen, James McAvoy and Josh Harnett. ■ www.boccadilupo.com, 0207 734 2223, 12 Archer Street, London, W1D 7BB

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74

Tipples indulge

Drinking italian in London

Coffee is not the only drink italians are very piCky about. Just as for Coffee, though, italian aperitifs, wines, spirits and even beers are available in london’s restaurants and bars.

A

new entry in not too many London bars and restaurants, as well as in some venues in other UK cities, Spritz has been one among the most popular Italian drinks in the past few years. Contrary to what one may think while checking the cocktail menu in a bar around Old Street, Marylebone or Chelsea, though, this bitter-sweet beverage made with Italian traditional low-alcohol spirit Aperol along with prosecco wine and soda water is not supposed to be consumed after dinner. Italy’s most popular aperitif drink, whose trademark lays in its very peculiar taste of

orange and rhubarb roots, is served in the late afternoon and early evening along with crisps or peanuts in Italy’s bars. In London, it is served in restaurants such as those of the Italian chain Ponti’s in Oxford Street and in Bond Street, bars like the Giant Robot in Clerkenwell and Il Baretto in Marylebone, pubs such as the Hampshire Hog in Hammersmith, hotel bars and restaurants such as that of the Boundary in Shoreditch, theatres such as the Barbican Centre. It can also be purchased in bottles in several Sainsbury’s supermarkets in central locations such as Holborn, Tottenham

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Court Road, Mayfair and Notting Hill, among others. For those who want to try and make the aperitivo drink at home, Spritz is easy to prepare. All it takes is 3 units of prosecco, 2 of Aperol and one of soda water. It is best served in summer, with ice and a slice of orange. Other Italian-produced spirits which are very popular and easy to find in UK restaurants, bars and supermarkets, are sometimes barely known by Italians, as it is the case with hazelnut liqueur Frangelico. The spirit is produced in the northern city of Canale, in the region of Piedmont, and


which was served as the house red at the Shakespeare pub in Barbican last year. Although even Italians would agree that beer is one drink Brits do better, finding Italian brands in London pubs is easy. From Peroni and Nastro Azzurro, now owned by London-based brewer SABMiller but still produced in Italy, to smaller and more local brands such as Sardinia’s Ichnusa. Drinking Italian is not always easy even if one goes for a coffee. Illy is the most renowned Italian coffee brand for bar machines, followed by Lavazza. Both are largely exported to the UK, but very few Italian restaurants serve proper Italian espresso in London, where the small coffee cup in which the beverage is served tends to be too full and the aroma and density not strong enough. Cappuccino also tends to be excessive in size and too milky, whilst the popular latte simply does not exist in Italy, where “caffellatte” is only consumed at home, mainly for breakfast, in bowls rather than in glasses or mugs and with hot rather than steamed milk. Frappuccino is also a foreign invention, brought about by US café chain Starbucks which has never entered Italy, where coffee simply means espresso, and a short one. ■

named after a legendary Dominican friar Fra Angelico, who also inspired the shape of the bottle. Used in a number of cocktails and desserts, the liqueur is produced mainly for a foreign market and is regularly exported to the rest of Europe, South Africa, the United States, Canada and Latin America. It is not surprising, therefore, that very few Italians would order a Frangelico cocktail in a London bar. When it comes to wine, Italians are not easily pleased and, when abroad, they prefer to drink beer unless they can be 100% sure of what they are being served. The house wine is usually not an option for them. Almost all Italian regions have their own

wines which are exported across the country and abroad. Red wines such as Chianti from Tuscany or Nero D’Avola from Sicily are usually available in supermarket chains such as Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco as well as in wine suppliers. Sparkling red wine Lambrusco, from the region of Emilia Romagna, is also available in big stores such as Marks & Spencer. Wines which are less known outside Italy and traditionally produced for a mainly local market in their region of origin are also starting to make their appearance in the UK capital, where a number of Italian distributors from different areas have been selling them to restaurants and even pubs to be sold as house wines. It is the case with Sardinian red Cannonau,

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76

TRAVEL tuscany

A glAmorous plAce in the sun Renowned since the Roman eRa as a peRfect holiday location due to its beautiful natuRe and good food, tuscany’s countRyside and coast—outside the Region’s aRt and histoRy-Rich as well as touRist-flooded cities—have now been discoveRed by woRldwide vips

O

ver 10 years ago, newlydivorced writer Frances Mayes bought a villa in Tuscany, where she moved from San Francisco to start a new life away from her unfaithful ex-husband. “Under the Tuscan sun”, Frances fell in love again, but only for a short while. At the end of her long Italian stay, though, her faith in life was finally restored. Although most movie-goers know this story as just the plot of a romantic comedy directed by Audrey Wells in

2003, where the American author is played by Hollywood actress Diane Lane, Frances Mayes is a real US writer and poet who moved to Tuscany from the States and whose memoirs inspired the film. Shot in the Tuscan towns of Cortona and Sansepolcro, the movie brought to film theatres across the world the scenarios and locations of Tuscany’s countryside, which has been chosen as the perfect location for romantic and relaxing holidays by hundreds of UK tourists in the past few years.

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Film makers have often used Tuscany’s rural areas and valleys as charming and breath-taking locations for their shootings, from Italian director Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful, to Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Bernardo Bertolucci’s Stealing Beauty and Anthony Minghella’s Academy Award multiwinner The English Patient. Actors such as Russell Crow and Liv Tyler have enjoyed working in movie sets in the wine-rich valley of Chianti and in the surroundings of Arezzo, Montepulciano, Siena and Sant’Anna di Stazzema, where Spike Lee shot his Miracle


at St. Anna, a US-Italian 2008 war fiction production based on a novel by James McBride. Even Hollywood’s fantasy saga Twilight had one of its films, New Moon, shot in Tuscany. The Tuscan countryside has also attracted a number of foreign VIPs as holiday visitors, including several politicians. Among them, two UK prime ministers. David Cameron, who named his baby daughter Florence, spent his first holiday abroad after being elected in 2011 in an 18th-century villa in the Chianti area.

Before him, former UK prime minister Tony Blair and his family were some among the most frequent visitors of the region, spending several holidays in a recently sold villa worth around £5m, near the town of San Gimignano. If Blair and many more wealthy visitors from the UK travel every year to Tuscany in spring and summer, attracted to the Chiantishire’s world-renowned wines as well as to the region’s beautiful countryside and good food, Russian entrepreneurs and celebrities have recently discovered these

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areas after they had been focusing on the Tuscan coast and its seaside resorts and villas in the past years. The sea town of Forte dei Marmi, fort of marbles, in the north of the region, has been a popular holiday destination for wealthy Italians as well as foreigners since the 18th-century. In the past decade, a heavy influx of Russian capital has turned the town named after a fortress in the middle of its central square, built by the Grand Duke Peter Leopold in the 18th-century - into


78

TRAVEL TUSCANY

a luxury location where, locals complain, prices have skyrocketed and genuine Italian style and taste is becoming just a fading memory. In a book published last year under the title “Morte dei Marmi”, death of the marbles, Tuscan author Fabio Genovesi defined wealthy Russian tourism as a cash tsunami which slowly erased Forte dei Marmi’s discreet charm. According to Genovesi, the coastal town has undergone a radical and silent change from being a quiet and relaxing vacation site attracting Italian nobles and entrepreneurs such as the late car maker FIAT’s founder Gianni Agnelli, authors such as German novelist Thomas Mann and Italian poet Eugenio Montale, scientists such as the inventor of radio and Nobel physics

prize laureate Guglielmo Marconi, to a rather glamorous and boutique-infested village for rich holiday-goers. Another Tuscan seaside holiday location, Isola del Giglio, the lily island, has traditionally attracted visitors in search of a quiet and authentic holiday destination. The island, which made headlines in January last year for the sinking, off its coast, of Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, faces the Argentario peninsula, where Russian gas magnate German Khan bought an 18 million euro villa in 2012. Further away from the coast, Montecatini Terme, near the city of Pistoia, is known for its thermal spa waters, which have been used since long before the construction of the town’s first baths in the 16th-century.

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Like many other Tuscan tourist destinations, Montecatini has also attracted wealthy politics-linked VIPs from countries such as the Russian Federation. Last year, the country’s prime minister Dmitry Medvedev’s wife Svetlana Medvedeva booked an entire luxury spa hotel in the town. The La Pace (peace) hotel in Montecatini, was suddenly invaded, during its winter closure, by an unexpected delegation of around 30 staff accompanying the Russian first lady and her son, escorted by a number of Italian security police. The nearly 150-year old hotel previously hosted guests such as Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, French painter Paul Cézanne and Hollywood star and US politician Arnold Schwarzenegger. Away from the glamour, British musician Sting and his wife Trudie Styler have started a farm producing wine, honey, olive oil, vegetables and sausages. Sting’s farming business, which includes a biological food store inaugurated three years ago and is located near the town of Figline Valdarno, in the Chianti area near to Florence, employs around 15 local workers. Sting is often spotted cycling around the area while eating peppers from the farm. “If I don’t eat, I can’t play music,” he was reported to have said on one occasion as he explained the vegetables he held in his hands while talking to some Tuscan journalists. ■


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food Tuscany

Tuscan cuisine:

the richness of humble dishes Tuscan ciTies have a long food TradiTion based on simple ingredienTs and rich flavours. Join alfresco in a Journey Through The region’s cuisine.

W

hen in 2001, the discovery of BSE (mad cow disease) led to the ban of the popular Fiorentina steak from Tuscany‘s restaurants, the simple but filling and tasty meat dish, nothing more than a massive porterhouse steak weighing up to 2 kilos and up to 8cm thick, disappeared from the menus but kept being served in many restaurants in Florence and across Tuscany. Meat-lovers from the region, and from elsewhere in Italy and abroad, were even prepared to pay higher prices to eat the then “illegal” grilled steak. When, around three years later, the ban on Fiorentina (meaning Florentine) was lifted, Tuscan farmers and restaurant owners celebrated the event as a long overdue liberation from an unfair and unbearable deprivation. The tenderness of the meat, coming from local cattle, as well as the simple dressing used for cooking it - mainly olive oil and

sea salt - is what makes this steak so special. Like most part of Tuscany’s cuisine, the simplicity of recipes and ingredients is the key to this dish’s uniqueness and popularity even outside Tuscany’s and Italy’s borders. Even bread, which is never absent from Italian tables, has a different, simpler and milder flavour in Tuscany, where its traditional recipe involves no salt. Although the historical motivation behind this tradition seems to be based on a necessity rather than a culinary choice - in the 12th-century, when the rivalry between Pisa and Florence reached its peak, Pisa stopped exporting salt - Tuscans quickly got used to their saltless bread. Even Florentine poet Dante Alighieri, in its Divine Comedy, wrote that foreign bread “tastes like salt.” Bread is a fundamental element of Tuscany’s humble but tasty cuisine. By tradition and contrary to Italians’ typical aversion to non-fresh bread, Tuscans use stale bread for a number of dishes.

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Panzanella or panmolle, soft bread - a tomato and bread salad - is just one example, along with ribollita - a bread and vegetable soup. Pappa al pomodoro, a humble dish made with bread, tomato, garlic, basil and olive oil, is the most popular and renowned bread dish in the region. Among Tuscany’s most humble dishes, a flat bread made with chick peas, water, salt and olive oil, called cecina in Pisa and torta (tarte) in Livorno, is sold in restaurants and fast-food restaurants. When it comes to meat, game and white meat account for a great part of Tuscan cuisine along with T-bone steaks. Guinea fowl, pheasant, pigeon, but also chicken, turkey and duck are very appreciated by Tuscan diners, along with boar, rabbit and hare. Pork cured meats such as the Tuscan salami, sausages, ham and Buristo - made with pork meat and blood - are typical of this Italian region. Chianina and Maremmana are the most appreciated cattle breed when it comes to bovine steaks. As every Italian region, Tuscany also has its cheese production, dominated by Pecorino Toscano, mainly

made in the Maremma area as well as around the town of Pienza. Ricotta cheese is also part of the region’s dairy production. When it comes to sweets, the city of Siena has one of the best renowned culinary traditions. The local panforte (strong bread) fruitcake is named after its spicy flavour. Originally called panpepato (peppered bread), its documented production dates back to the 13th-century. Sugar, honey and nuts are its main ingredients. Ricciarelli biscuits, also typical of Siena, were named after the noble Ricciardetto della Gherardesca who first had them served in his castle in the 14thcentury. They are made with almonds, sugar, honey and egg white. Sweet and always accompanied by Vin Santo dessert wine, cantucci dry almond biscuits come from the city of Prato’s culinary tradition and they are probably the most popular and exported Tuscan sweets. Due to their simplicity, some typical Tuscan dishes are very easy to prepare. Alfresco thought its readers may enjoy trying some recipes at home. ■

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TUSCANY FOOD

PANFORTE SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 450g almonds 350g candied orange 120g honey 350g sugar 150g flour 1 tsp grated nutmeg 10g pepper 1 tsp cinnamon 3 cloves 5g coriander seeds 40g wafers 2 tablespoons of icing sugar

METHOD: Toast the almonds in the oven at 200°C for 10 minutes. Chop the candied fruit into small pieces. Melt the honey and sugar in a pan, stirring until they go brown, then add the almonds, flour, candied fruit, nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and crushed coriander seeds. Stir. Grease a round pan, place the wafers around the edges – this makes it easier to get out - and pour the mix inside. Bake at 150°C for 30 minutes. Leave to cool before serving, then dust with icing sugar. ■

PAPPA AL POMODORO SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 300g stale bread 2 garlic cloves 800g tomatoes 1 litre of vegetable stock 1 tsp sugar A handful of basil, torn Extra virgin olive oil

METHOD: Cut the bread into thin slices and toast them in the oven for a few minutes at 200°C. Let the bread cool down and rub the garlic on it. Heat up the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute, then skin them and mash them. Place the bread in a non-stick pan, cover it with the mashed tomatoes and the stock, add some salt, pepper and the sugar and cook for around 40 minutes, stirring until the water evaporates and the bread is soft and broken into pieces. Scatter over the basil and drizzle over the oil before serving.

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84

travel S端dtirol

South tyrol

a place to

indulge body,

mind and Spirit South tyrol haS Sleekly-deSigned hotelS, reStaurantS with Michelin StarS, chic SpaS, top Skiing and old caStleS to viSit, yet it reMainS a leSSer-known Spot for BritiSh viSitorS.

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S

outh Tyrol, or Südtirol to use the local name, can be found in the most northerly point of Italy, just south of the Austrian border. The region, which is roughly the size of Kent, sits wholly in the Italian Alps and has the spectacular Dolomite Mountains as its backdrop to the east. There are two main cities - Bolzano and Merano where the language spoken is primarily German, with Italian being used by a quarter of the population. This mix of cultural influences doesn’t end with the language – a period under Austrian rule left a highly visible stamp on the area, along with a Mediterranean flavour which has crept up from the south. This all adds up to a unique way of life, which is both appealing and rejuvenating for visitors. Getting there is pretty straightforward with British Airways and Alitalia flying directly to Verona from the UK. The drive from the airport to the larger resorts is roughly an hour and a half to two hours. Innsbruck airport, in Austria, is about the same distance away and offers an alternative route. When it comes to accommodation, this part of Europe offers traditional chalets with long sloping roofs and pretty balconies. More recently, South Tyrol has excelled in adding a choice of luxurious hotels designed with a nod to the natural surroundings which are as beautiful to look at as they are to stay the night in. Think untreatedoak beams, vast glass walls, a limited palette of creams and uncluttered spaces. Add to this the mod-cons you can’t do without nowadays, like high-speed Wi-Fi, whirlpool baths and powerful showers and you have a place to stay you’ll never want to leave. With a mountain location such as this, skiing, snowboarding and sledging are a big part of winter life. There are roughly 40 ski resorts in South Tyrol, and the slopes are open from December to February. There are ski runs here to suit everyone’s ability, from beginnerfriendly ones which attract families of all ages, to some challenging long runs which take in different valleys and keep the experienced skier on their toes. Some ski resorts, such as Ortisei, give direct access to the 26km Sella Ronda circuit with its top-of-the-range lift system and highly-maintained piste. There’s also access to the Dolomiti Superski area which is one of the best in Europe. But that’s not all there is to this area for lovers of the great outdoors. In warmer months, when the snow has melted and the skis have been packed away, a green, alpine landscape is revealed that’s perfect for hiking, taking in far-reaching views and breathing the clear, fresh air. It’s also possible to hire a bike and peddle along the South Tyrolean Wine Road enjoying gentle routes which go past vineyards, through apple orchards and along river banks. Or there are calf-pumping, uphill sprints for those who like to push themselves harder. Whitewater rafting and kayaking is on offer too, with organised tour groups taking the lead to ensure all participants get safely down the rapids. When there’s a spa at the end to wind down in that promises muscle-melting massages and hot mud wraps, then healthy pursuits are much more appealing. The spas in this region come with great outdoor features such as lake-like pools, tranquil decks and hot Jacuzzis. Indoors, there are modern saunas and steam rooms that will detoxify and rejuvenate the whole body. Away from all of those physical activities there’s some fascinating local history to catch up on. With around 400 castles and manor houses in the region there’s plenty of handsome architecture to

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travel SĂźdtirol

admire. One of the most visited ancient buildings is Tyrol Castle which has been inhabited by several Counts and Countesses in its past. Found in Tirolo, not far from Merano, this 11th century castle houses a chapel and a museum and is full to the brim with interesting facts about the local region. Many of the vineyards in this regions also offer wine-tasting, and there is even a wine museum. This sun-drenched region has produced wine since at least 500BC and 27 local wines have been given Tre Bicchieri

awards for 2014, demonstrating just how well-received it is. A must-try is the fruity red and nicely drinkable Vernatsch. Apples are grown in abundance here too, in fact they farm nearly 10 per cent of Europe’s total output, and the fruit features in many of the local dishes. The rich and lush vegetation grown in SouthTyrol finds itself in the kitchens of some very fine eateries found dotted around the area. Michelin stars have been awarded to 20 restaurants here, so there are plenty of opportunities to sample

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some of the finest cooking there is. Local markets which are held regularly sell a selection of local food too. Hams that have been delicately smoked and preserves lovingly bottled sit alongside creamy cheeses and artisan bread. Leading up to the 25th of December, Christmas markets are set up to get visitors in the festive mood. Local handicrafts are on sale alongside gastronomic treats that are just the thing to take home as seasonal gifts or as a memento of a magical time spent in South Tyrol. â– 


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eat out sÜdtIrol

Fine eating and

dining in SÜdtiroL As ItAly’s northern most provInce, sÜdtIrol’s AlpIne posItIon hAs led to A unIque gAstronomy thAt combInes the best of both cuIsInes

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argely self-governing, Südtirol is one of the wealthiest and most developed regions of the EU. Around 7,400 kilometres square and with a population of just over 500,000, the area has three commonly spoken languages: a small minority of the populace speak Ladin (a close relation to both the Romansh and Friulian RhaetoRomance languages), approximately

one quarter of the population uses Italian as a primary language and the remaining majority speak German. This coexistent state has led to a unique fusion in culture and tradition, with a mild climate that allows for a number of regional specialities. For example, the fertile soil and predominately sunny weather provides the perfect conditions for apples. Responsible for over a tenth

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of Europe’s total apple production, this abundance also means that apple strudel is a culinary mainstay, with every family having their own closely-guarded recipe. A good example of the Alpine influence on Italian cuisine is Speck - a lightly smoked raw ham that was originally a pauper’s meal. Sweeter than the Mediterranean versions and more aromatic that is produced in the northern Alps, this southern specialty


evolved from the need to preserve pork for longevity. Now considered a delicacy and made from choice cuts, Speck has an unmistakable aroma and is widely sought after by gastronomes. Other fusion treats include Schlutzkrapfen (cheese and spinachstuffed ravioli), 33 varieties of dumpling, the ubiquitous Sauerkraut, red cabbage goulash and all manner of venison-based recipes. Clearly, in common with the rest of Italy, Sudtirol takes meal times extremely seriously. Given the variety and scope of the region’s produce, and the cultural fusion that results, Sudtirol – despite its relatively small size and population - is home to some of the finest restaurants in Europe. In recognition of this gastronomic superiority, 20 eateries have been awarded at least one Michelin star and, in addition, world-class chefs from across the globe display their skills with Slope Food

every winter, producing sustenance at one of the 14 huts spread throughout the slopes of the Alta Badia ski resort of the Dolomites. The concept is simple: ski from hut to hut and enjoy the professional reinterpretations of simple street food prepared by globally-renowned experts. If, however, you prefer to savour every mouthful in a more traditional setting, the three best restaurants – each with two Michelin stars – come highly recommended. The Restaurant St Hubertus, located in the Hotel Rosa Alpina in Alta Badia, is the brainchild of chef Norbert Niederkofler. Formerly a pizzeria, this tiny establishment has only nine tables in the dining room, one chef’s table with a kitchen view and one table in front of an open fireplace. It won its first Michelin star in 2000 when only a small corner of the area was a restaurant, building

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on this success by refurbishing to create the floor plan that remains today. Dedicated to promoting the Alto Adige gastronomic identity, St Hubertus offers a menu that is focused upon sustainable agriculture and locally sourced produce. Castel Hotel’s Trenkerstube restaurant, nestled in the village of Tirol, is run by chef Gerhard Wieser who specialises in exquisite vegetarian and Mediterranean fare, but the most unique, must-not-miss experience is to be had at Hotel Bischofhof’s Jasmin in Klausen. Here, you will not find an a la carte menu, but will instead be asked about your personal tastes. Under the watchful eye of chef Martin Obermarzoner, every meal is based on the personal likes and dislikes of the diner, and is created daily from whatever is seasonally freshest. In accordance with their home-grown


LIFESTYLE PRODUCTS

LUXURY GIFTS STYLISH KITCHENWARE AND APPLIANCES

THE GOLDEN TOUCH

The Smeg fridge, a design icon, is now available in a gold version, made even more precious thanks to its splendid golden handle and Smeg logo made with Swarovski Elements. The new FAB28RDG is as practical as it is stylish and will complement any home. The Swarovski Elements are hand-applied, one-by-one, with an accurate craftsmanship that enhances its beauty and the crystals ensure that each and every piece is unique.

STYLE-BY-WEIL: ZWECK TRIFFT DESIGN

Style-by-Weil is well known for its wooden menus. Last year the wood designer Sven Weil widened his range of products to include knife blocks. His latest ingenious item is a chopping board with a unique look. The designer chopping board is made of oak from South Germany and has a special feature. The juice from the carved meat flows into a drainage groove that runs around the board and ends in a juice drawer made of anodised aircraft-grade aluminium. The drawer is incorporated in the board and can be removed at the push of a button. The meat juice can then be used for making a sauce.

DRINK UP A collection of drinking glasses, Goblet, Flute and Soft glasses are the standouts of this new stylish offering. The Belle Epoque collection has a very refined design, its rounded and sharp features give it a contemporary look, and its longlasting and durable, thanks to the thickness of the glass. Just like the rest of the collection, it is perfectly dishwasher safe and made in Italy.

FISSLER ORIGINAL-PROFI CPLLECTION速 COOKING WITH THE PROS

Originally developed by professionals for professionals the Fissler original-profi collection速 is the perfect cooking equipment for everyone who values uncompromising quality, attractive design and superior functions. Meanwhile, the extra heavy and tightly closing lid is ideal for energy-saving cooking. The large, comfortable stay-cool metal handles are easy to grasp and do not get hot during normal use on a stove. The special condensate-plus curvature in the lid lets the water drip from the centre of the lid onto the food, making it tastier and juicier. The energy-saving cookstar all-stove base can be used on all kinds of stoves, even induction.

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FOOD PRODUCT

MILLE E UNA NOTTE 2008. VINTAGE TO REMEMBER! The new vintage best reflects the idea of complexity and elegance that Donnafugata has been dreaming of for its great red wine Mille e una Notte is one of Donnafugata's greatest wines. A structured red with a remarkable personality: made mainly from Nero d’Avola, a native Sicilian grape, it offers a round bouquet with spicy and fruity aromas. Ample, complex, with caressing tannins, it can evolve for at least 15 more years.

RAUSCH

Rausch Plantagen-Schokoladen (plantage is the German word for ‘plantation’) are pure premium chocolates made from best plantations of fine flavour cocoas around the world. Enlightening people with the finest chocolates has been the Rausch family’s mission since 1918. Rausch’s unique recipes, bring you the full range of characteristic flavors you crave for. The exclusive Rausch Plantagenwelt wooden case is perfect as a gift or to share; filled with 24 sticks, each 40g, of fine flavour milk and dark chocolate. Available on www.rausch.de/shop

Alfresco

RECOMMENDS DELICIOUS FOOD AND TEMPTING DRINKS'

RUSTICHELLA D'ABRUZZO

Located in the Abruzzo region, the green heart of Europe, the pasta factory uses the best ingredients to create traditional and special durumwheat pasta according to the old tradition. In a land of unforgettable flavours and aromas, Rustichella d’Abruzzo was established in 1989 and,since then, the Peduzzi brothers have concentrated their energies on creating a product that’s synonymous of quality, authenticity and excellence. Primograno is one of the many projects of the firm, a line of pasta made 100% with Abruzzo’s grains.

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DeStinationS St. Moritz

St. Moritz

a Winter tale

St. Moritz iS deeMed to be the world’S MoSt glaMorouS winter Sport location. and that iS for good reaSon: the alpine winter touriSM waS invented here 150 yearS ago. where elSe can you celebrate the winter SeaSon More StyliShly than in St. Moritz? the original Since 1864.

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t. Moritz is one of the world’s best-known holiday resorts. Characterised by a cultivated, elegant and cosmopolitan ambiance and situated at a height of 1856 metres above sea level, St. Moritz majestically overlooks the surrounding Upper Engadine Lake District. The dry champagne climate is legendary, the famous St. Moritz sun warms the guests of the resort with an above-average frequency and the snow is fluffier than elsewhere. And the success confirms: St. Moritz lives up to its promise. But how did the story begin? It is said that 150 years ago, the hotelier Johannes Badrutt made a risky bet with his summer guests: He promised them the seventh heaven. The summer tourism was already in full swing when Johannes Badrutt made a bet with four English guests in the

autumn of the year 1864 that they would be able to enjoy the mild Engadine sun in their shirt-sleeves on his terrace even in winter and that if he lost the bet, he would pay for their travel expenses – and that for both ways. If they liked St. Moritz in wintertime, he would ask his guests to stay for as long as they liked. The English therefore came to Upper Engadine for Christmas – and did not depart until after Easter: Suntanned, recuperated and happy. They were the first winter tourists of the Alps and they discovered a new world: white winter holidays. Winter tourism in the Alps was born.

A BlAst of top EvEnts The events on and next to the frozen Lake St. Moritz are an integral part of the agenda of the international society. But they are also spectacular for everyone else. The events start with the ‘St. Moritz City Race’:

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‘Grand National’. And the perfectly prepared slopes of Corviglia not only ensure that nobody gets bored but also already arouse excitement at the prospect of the coming mega-event in 2017: The FIS Alpine Ski World Championships will then take place in St. Moritz for the fifth time.

A ski run that goes right through the village, celebrities and guests who compete in ski cross, and models who present the latest ski fashion trends to the swarms of guests whilst music is played and cold drinks are served. Showtime in St. Moritz is from midJanuary to mid-February. Everybody is out and about. Also the classy thoroughbred horses from all over Europe. When they dash across the white racecourse on the frozen Lake St. Moritz with the jockeys on their back, the winter season in St. Moritz is on the brink of its climax with its legendary ‘White Turf’ horse race. Celebrities and the world press will turn up no later than the start of the ‘St. Moritz Polo on Snow’ tournament, which is held for the 30th time this year. The ‘Gourmet Festival’ has become the popular venue before the cricket players hit the ball in the snow. The British provide for another spectacular event with the Cresta Run at the

ExclusivE shopping and sEnsory culinary dElights Off the event stage, St. Moritz invites you to a glamorous shopping experience at Via Serlas – the highest shopping mall in Europe with the greatest density of prestigious brands. Via Serlas sparkles and glitters: Modern materials and avant-garde interior furnishing flatter the latest fashion collections and jewellery creations. The names on the doors reflect the ‘Who-is-Who’ of the international Lifestyle Society. And make the great advantage in small St. Moritz clear: The next lane that also attracts with local specialities is never far away. For example, Hatecke’s Haute-Couture Salsiz: The meat curing business celebrates the chic ‘Alpine Style’ and almost looks like a gallery. There is no other place where you can buy sausages with a lower fat content and tenderer dried meat than here. At a corner further down the road, it is almost a duty to pop into the

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Hanselmann café for a piece of the legendary Engadine nut gateau. A visit to the Glattfelder delicatessen shop is the next stop. This is where you will find exclusive tea, exquisite coffee and high-quality caviar. Another worthwhile stop is Gautschi tobacconist: The owner himself is a real ‘Aficionado’ and manages Grisons’ best-assorted humidor. The old St. Moritz posters are available from the Spa Association, and the St. Moritz Info Point offers its new interpretations of the famous illustrator Christoph Niemann. It is best to take things as they come and be surprised.

sEcond sEason with thE ‘hotEl ski pass includEd’ offEr The Engadine hoteliers delight their guests with the ‘Hotel Ski Pass Included’ offer for the second time this winter. If you spend a minimum of two nights at a participating hotel, you can buy the ski pass for CHF 25.00 per person and day and use it for the rest of your stay. More than 100 hotels participate in the ‘Hotel Ski Pass Included’ offer which is valid for the entire winter season – from 19th October to 25th May 2014. It cannot be more convenient: This offer allows you to conveniently get the ski pass during check-in at the hotel. ■


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Sport goLf

Stand out from the crowd Luxurious goLfing car manufacturer garia scores a hoLe in one with their Latest modeL, the garia mansory currus

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etting between the different golf holes can be tough work, especially if you have to drag multiple golf clubs and other gaming equipment with you. However, with the launch of the limited edition of Garia’s latest Garia Roadster model, the Garia Mansory Currus, this struggle can be stylishly pushed to the past. First launched at the International Geneva Motor Show in March earlier this year, the golf car has already received great feedback from the golfing industry. Garia, who are known for creating luxurious vehicles for golfers, already has a CV that includes creating custom golf cars for professionals such as Paula Creamer and Hank Haney. Hence, it is no surprise that the Danish company’s latest vehicle was met with such acclaim. Founded in 2005, Garia became the world’s first and, as of yet, the only manufacturer to make their vehicles street

legal, giving them the right to be called golf cars, instead of the conventional golf carts that many of us are more familiar with. Standing out from their competition, Garia strives to make all of their vehicles as luxurious as possible. Built from the highest quality components, the cars have superb road handling, stability and performance. The models also feature unique custom extras, such as increased storage space, cup holders, an air scoop, a refrigerator built into the dashboard and a 45 degree golf bag holder. Just by looking at Garia’s portfolio of vehicles, it is visible that the design team has gone the extra mile in their vision to create the most luxurious golf cars possible. The latest Garia Mansory Currus model is no different. Capable of speeds up to 37mph, the car includes features that are normally associated with a top-of-the-range sports car, such as double wishbone front suspension in cast aluminum. This set up provides unparalleled handling and stability

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and road grip. Another highlight of the Garia Mansory Currus model is the possibility for customisation. Anders Lynge, designer and creative director at Garia, says: “Many of our customers want to stand out from the rest and truly appreciate products that allow them to express their personality and individuality. With our new luxury accessories, we can meet that need by offering a golf and leisure car that is fully customisable according to the client’s taste.” With a range of 60 different accessories available, including genuine carbon fiber accents and waterproof custom-coloured leather interior, it is possible to give the Garia Mansory Currus a unique appearance, while further enhancing the lavishness and quality of the vehicle. With the Garia Mansory Currus, you really are given the power and opportunity to design your perfect golf car. ■ For more information, visit www.garia.com.


fabrics and antique ceramics. As well as the golf course, the hotel also features two swimming pools, a gym and a spa which offers a tempting menu of beauty treatments. More experienced golfers will enjoy checking in at the Cosmopolitan Golf and Beach Resort (www.cosmopolitanresort.it), where the 18-hole course offers a more stimulating game. As the hotel is located in a national park, the design of the golf course has to respect the original shape of the land, which means the course can be slightly more challenging. As well as playing on the golf course, it is also worth taking a moment to admire the detail of the hotel’s building. Designed by Aldo Rossi, it is an extraordinary sample of Italian contemporary architecture. As soon as guests arrive at the hotel, they will find it hard to miss the magnificent swimming pool that surrounds the building. After building up a sweat on the golf course, it is definitely worth refreshing yourself in the pool’s cool water. While at this hotel, it is also advisable to make use of the bicycles. Take a gentle ride and explore the stunning local Tuscan countryside. However, if you prefer something more relaxing, guests can also take advantage of the free shuttle bus that runs every hour and takes guests down to a reserved section of the beach. At the beach,

guests can enjoy the use of deck chairs, a restaurant, ping pong table, beach volley ball and a children’s area. Another popular golfing resort in Tuscany is the luxurious Argentario Resort Golf & Spa (www.argentariogolfresortspa.it). Located in the heart of the Maremma, the championship course features 18 holes. Guests can also practice their skills on the driving range, which features 24 practice tees. The golf course at this resort is particularly special as it has been awarded the bioagricert environmental certification for its sustainable practices, and participates in the OnCourse programme to become Geo Certified. As well as a fabulous golf course, this five star resort also features a relaxing spa and wellness centre, where guests can enjoy a variety of services, such as a hi-tech gym, bio-sauna, Kneipp pool, massage rooms, and indoor and outdoor pools. However, if relaxing isn’t on the agenda, other onsite sporting facilities include three tennis courts, two jogging paths and a football pitch. Reminiscent of an elegant mountain retreat, the resort’s onsite Dama Dama Restaurant offers a delicious Tuscan menu, with some of the food coming directly from the resort's own organic vegetable garden. Foodies can also take advantage of wine tasting and cooking lessons that can be

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Alfresco Lifestyle Uk/International