Dreaming of Italy

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

I recently worked on a party with one of my colleagues that left me dreaming of Italy.

Billy Dove at Company Catered Events asked me to collaborate on a Tuscan themed event he was preparing for a client. He knows I love decorating tablescapes in various themes and looks and I tend to go for "lush". I've been using a lot of herbs, fruits and vegetables lately. I was so excited to get to use these concepts and help design this gorgeous presentation for a cocktail party to display the DELICIOUS Company Catered menu.

I felt like I was at a Tuscan feast when the table was finished and needless to say this made me start wishing, hoping and dreaming of another trip to Italy.

The food was mostly presented buffet style. A few hors d'ouevrres were passed, but we felt very strongly on presenting the antipasto offerings in a bold and striking way and highlighting all the flavors of the Italian inspired party. I love the huge display of mint and rosemary in place of the traditional floral centerpiece. David Hechler of Hechler Photography had been working with the family for years. He was on hand to capture the night for the family and their guests. Luckily we were able to have him capture the beauty of the table too!

This pork belly was so savory and delicious. One of the Company Catered chefs had made the dry rub that morning, It was so fresh and tasty!

I love these fresh leaves we had made by Gunsteens Lettering for our buffet items. We tied them to a fresh lemon with twine and I truly felt I was transported to the Amalfi Coast when the table was filled.

Each dish was simply prepared with the freshest ingredients and absolutely delicious!

Fresh herbs and vegetables were as much a part of the decor and equally as important as fresh flowers to create the lush effect we had on the tabletop.

Billy created a cocktail to highlight the limoncello drinks you often see and hear about on the many Italian apertivo menus.

The guests were greeted at arrival with these and loved it as they spent the evening eating, drinking and enjoying!

So after the party it got me thinking of Italy and wishing I could go back soon...well that is to be determined when... as I am currently traveling through Copenhagen and Oslo as I write, but one thing is for sure- I would love to visit some of these places and or RE visit a few that have left long lasting memories with me over the years!!

I have been lucky enough to travel to various parts of the country a few times and here are some highlighted hotels I would like to go to or revisit.

I love hotels and travel, and I SO appreciate any place with amazing hospitality.

Here are some of my favorite picks.

Le Sirenuse Positano

Maybe I have seen too many photos or old movies but I had heard about Le Sirenuse for the longest time and it was totally a bucket list place for me. Let me tell you it was everything it appears to be.... glamorous, gorgeous, refined and sophisticated, but it also felt very intimate and comfortable. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to make that CHECK on my bucket list. I do hope I can go back one day!!

Walking into my room and opening the french doors to the patio and seeing that view of the Amalfi Coast I seriously felt I had been transported to a movie. I had to pinch myself and remind myself this check on my bucket list was something to be VERY lucky, grateful and thankful to experience.

The hotel is very small- something like 65 rooms- I felt like I was in a rather large home not a hotel. The common spaces look intimate as well.

You would have thought there had been glue on the chairs at the pool...as it was awfully tough to pry myself off that lounge chair for a few days! Talk about the ultimate place to relax. It was divine. The food is delicious too, just throw on a cover up grab a bite and real with the pretty view.

One early evening I couldn't decide what to do for dinner so I just landed at this beautiful patio spot and ordered a glass of rose thinking I'd just have a cocktail and think about it. The waiter suggested bubbly and asked if I might like some oysters too. Why not!?

As I wrote in my last post on photography sometimes you see a photo and it takes you back in time - you can feel and remember the moment almost instantly...Every time I see a photo of that gorgeous patio, wooden table and spot overlooking the Amalfi Coast I can taste that rosé and I have never had an oyster as good as those that night! I suppose it's the sea breeze and beautiful view that makes them taste so much better??!!:) Needless to say I never went anywhere for dinner...it was just too comfortable to leave.

Another favorite thing about this hotel for me is the delicious smell. They have this amazing line of bath and hair products called Eau D'Italie. I had to bring it home. I refused to use the last of this bath gel until I could get my hands on more of it. The smell transports me back to Positano. I love it!!! I have found that it is available on Amazon or Neiman Marcus

Rosewood Castiglion Del Bosco

There are a number of places I have read about and have not visited but would like to see and experience. To begin with- Rosewood Castiglion Del Bosco sounds amazing!

One of the oldest and best-preserved estates in Tuscany is The Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco. It is located in Montalcino, Tuscany, in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Val d’Orcia. The property offers a variety of accomodations. 23 suites and 11 luxury villas, as well as a spa, winery and vineyards. I have been interested in this resort for quite a while and would love to go there!!

Housed in the buildings of the Borgo itself, the 23 suites have antique furniture, genuine textiles and exude harmony with all the craftmanship and details.. Old world exposed wooden beams and cozy corners features combine with modern comforts and the latest technology. The terraces, pergolas are picture perfect and one can relax looking at the lush greenery and views.

Can you imagine ending the day here and seeing this sunset?!!