Grand Hotel La Favorita

If someone were to ask me which of the cities I enjoyed most while in Italy, I would have to put Sorrento at the top of my list. Nestled on the southwestern coast of the country, we were right on the water. Naples and Mount Vesuvius was at our backyard.

Walking into Grand Hotel La Favorita, we were engulfed with the powerful but beautiful smell of jasmine plants. Surrounded by these flowers were trees upon trees of lemons we became part of a lush Mediterranean garden. The lemon is very pervasive in the southern part of Italy. Another thing one would see everywhere was the limoncello in every storefront of the town center.

As we arrived to our rooms, each floor had a different tile scheme. Ours was beautiful hues of blue and yellow with birds being the focal point.

My favorite part of the hotel, aside from the beautiful views, was the buffet breakfast. It was the only place to have a dedicated man doing eggs, anything from scrambled to omelets.

I also wouldn’t leave without a drink on the rooftop or light reading by the pool. It is absolutely breathtaking.

TAKE ME BACK.

Terrazza Bosquet

This past year, I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday in Sorrento. It was particularly special because unlike the past few years, I was able to celebrate with my parents this time around.

We dined at Michelin Star restaurant Terrazza Bosquet within the Hotel Excelsior Vittoria. It is an exquisite hotel in the center of town. Built in 1835, everything ornamental embodied the classical period. Down a staircase, one walked out to a balcony overlooking the Gulf of Naples. Cotton candy hues hugging Mount Vesuvius set the scene for the Michelin star restaurant.

Table was set classically, white against white with a rose equidistant from the plates. Beautiful presentation commenced from the moment they left the condiments for the bread. Butters which could have passed for bon bons where placed alongside a small porcelain jug of olive oil.

As an amuse-bouche, we were presented with a striking lobster carpaccio with chicken skin, edible greens and dusted with coffee.

Being on the coast, I took advantage of ordering some fresh fish. To begin, I had the tuna fish with San Marzano tomato mouse, capers mayonnaise and olives tapenade. The combination of the tuna with the mouse, mayonnaise and roasted tomato was exquisite.

My father had the smoked bream with a salty cinnamon brioche and yoghurt sauce and dill. This dish was so unique. I had had many other types of smoked meat but never fish.

More in the mood for a soup, my mother got a chicken consommé based dish. Upon arriving she was in shock as there was no liquid. I knew what was to occur but she had no idea. Before a freak out occurred, the server poured the consommé over the asparagus and ricotta dumplings.

Risotto, a favorite dish of my mothers, was a hard dish to pass on for her main course.

I could not decide between a monkfish or lamb dish. My dad had the same dilemma so we shared the two.

Monkfish roulade with mediterranean herbs with shelfish and tomato confit.

Tender lamb filet in breadcrumbs with fragrant fresh lavender served with baby vegetables and star anise.

Life would not be complete without dessert, particularly one one’s birthday. The dessert which intrigued me was the chocolate passion. I ordered it but little did I know what I had in store for me. I ordered the Chocolate Passion, a chocolate tartlet creamy with sechuan pepper, cinammon ganache and chocolate icecream alongside tonka bean sponge cake.

Once dessert was over, chef sent out a few pastries for us ranging from coffee truffles to mini fruit tartlets. 

The bill towards the end was taking a while and I soon found out that they had ALSO made me a tiramisu birthday cake. I was so full but there is always room for something sweet.

If this dinner was a testament of the year to come, I cannot wait.

Acqu’e Sale

The night was coming to a close and we were hungry. Obviously. The Berlin Teigel airport was sparse in its food selection and after a seven hour layover, everyone was more than ready to get to the final destination. Upon landing in Naples, we were teased by the fact that our final destination, Sorrento, was an hour drive away. En route to Grand Hotel La Favorita, we learned about the surrounding area. Upon entering into Sorrento, I’d asked the driver where we should dine for pizza. He recommended Red Lion. Red Lion, you say? I couldn’t believe it. Give me Tratorria Pizza or Casa Luigi or something more Italian sounding. Given that he was a local, I seriously considered going even though it was not nearby.

Asking the concierge about the location of the pizzeria, I asked if there was a traditional place to go nearby as the whole family was exhausted from hours upon hours of travel. We were advised of Acqu’e Sale which was situated in the new port area. In order to get there, we had to take an elevator down to the base of the cliff areas. It was the only way. 60 seconds in, we’d landed at sea level.

Once we exited to the port area, we had no idea where to go and began walking. We past a few restaurants but none of which we had been advised. Thinking we’d had the same fate as the empty cabanas seaside, we came across a white walled, open glass window restaurant. I crossed my fingers and low and behold we had found Acqu’e Sale.

Entering, we were seated and given a welcome cocktail. The drink comprised of sparkling wine, curaçao and some chopped up fruits.

Seated in front of the wood fire pizza oven, I  was mesmerized by the pizza chefs who were pipping fresh dough for use right in front of me. There were so many options for pizzas (and other items), I was unsure what to decide and more so because everything was in Italian. Luckily, the waitress was helpful in guiding us to choose the correct pizza.

Looking to try something new, we opted for a margarita pizza with prosciutto and arugula. There was love baked into this pizza. Every bite got better as the night progressed. You could tell that everything was fresh.

Had we not been exhausted and I had more room, I would have loved to try a different pizza as everything was reasonably priced. The prosciutto margarita was finger licking good. I cannot imagine any of the rest would disappoint.

Heading back to the hotel and traversing through the port area to get back to the elevator, we came across a cute little snail. Just like our dear friend, we slowly moved back as we digested a wonderful meal.

ACQU’E SALE
Piazza Marinai D’Italia, 2, 80067
Sorrento NA
Italy
+081-1900-5967

Facebook | @aqu_e_sale

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