Saturday, December 27, 2014

Il Duca, Rome

Il Duca is an italian restaurant in Trastevere area of Rome. Opened in 1988, offering mostly pasta dishes, some of them with homemade pasta as well also risotto and meat. My memories of the menu are now restricted but I can remember well what we had. 

Trying to find a place to eat in Trastevere we came across the shooting of the new film starring Sarah Jessica Parker called All roads lead to Rome. A few buildings back it was Il Duca. 

Some of the dishes we had. 

Tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms 

Tagliatelle al ragu

Raviolo filled with ricotta cheese and spinach in white creme sauce 

See also:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Grande Bretagne Hotel, gift shop

The most emblematic hotel in the Constitution square of Athens, facing the Parliament, opened in 1878. Inside the recently renovated hotel that cost more than 82 million euros you can find except from the luxurious rooms and restaurants (Roof garden, GB corner, GB winter garden) and bars (Alexander's bar and cigar lounge, the Cellar and the Pool bar) a small gift shop in the left corner of the lobby.

Inside the gift shop you can find, ties, swimsuits from Zegna, perfumes from Aqua di Parma, local and international newspapers, silver and gold souvenirs and Hasselbland cameras. It is the only place in Athens, Greece too that you can find these expensive digital cameras. While I was there, there were two models, one costing 1700 euros and one costing 6.700 euros. I asked the SA if they have already sold any, and she told me that as soon as they got them a Chinese guy bought one (the expensive one ) so they brought a replacement.

We went for the Greek products. There are some marmelades, Greek honey, tea, aceto balcamico and olive oil. All from producers around Greece selling exclusively to the hotel. 

We took a gift set of three different types of honey. Orange blossom, forest and fir tree. 

Also a bergamot jam. 

Hotel Grandre Bretagne
Open daily from 08:00 to 23:00

See also:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Fortnum & Mason advent Calendar

Fortnum & Mason, the famous department store of central London in Picadilly street. 

Fortnum's began in 1707, when the royal footman William Fortnum set up a shop in St Jame's with his landlord, Hugh Mason. Starting as a grocery store store, now has been expanded, while more stores have opened, in St Pancras of London, also in Dubai and Hong Kong. The picadilly store went under a 30 million renovation, to celebrate the 300 years of operation in 2007.  

The main department store at 181 Picadilly, has many floors and about 5 bar-restaurants, from the more famous ''The Fountain'' to the ''1707 wine bar'' and the ''The Parlour'' for ice cream. 

There are many departments inside with various products, but I m more interested in the Food department. You can find anything from cheese or charcuterie, to deli products, confectioners, chocolate, fruits and vegetables. Coffee, tea and wine in a wide variety too but I think you can guess all that. Most likely their famous hampers filled with wines, champagne, other alcoholic beverages, Stilton cheese, preserves and cakes. 

For Christmas, you can find many products too. What really caught my eye was the Advent Calendars. The ''calendars'' to count down the days till Christmas. In Fortnum & Mason thought, they are made out of wood in various designs and are filled with many different sweets. About 1kg of them. Different versions of them are filled with small bottles of jin or whisky. 

The advent calendar came by a courier in a huge box. I worried if it will come damaged but Fortnum & Mason packaged it extremely well, huge attention to detail. 

Except from the Advent calendar I also ordered a woodland strawberry preserve. This marmalade comes from Scottish wild strawberries harvested once per year for F&M. It is quite good, maybe more acidic than normal strawberries jam, which take my vote. 

See my post about Harrods during Christmas here and for Lafayette here.

Fortnum & Mason
181 Picadilly street, W1A 1ER

See also:
Gordon Ramsay RHR (3 Michelin stars)
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (2 Michelin stars)
Laduree at the Harrods, London
Bernachon, Lyon
Paul Bocuse, (3 Michelin stars)