This philosophy follows into the Hotel’s main Restaurant, where authenticity, health and flavour combine. The Restaurant has high ceilings and a grand fireplace, low level jazz breaks the ice and it’s formal-ish, but a place where you can talk without feeling like everyone is listening to you. The waiting staff are happy to enthuse about the traditional local dishes (of which there is at least one for every course) or suggest a local wine that would compliment your meal. They treat you like royalty and nothing is too much trouble for them.
The menu changes nightly and for each course there is a choice of at least four dishes. With this being Italy there are four courses (starter, pasta course, meat course and dessert). Before you begin to wonder if this is sensible for a Hotel with a Spa attached, the plates are smaller and you shouldn’t waddle back to your room wishing you hadn’t eaten so much. I made a note of some of the dishes while I was there and looking at them again now is making me want to go back.
Highlights include ‘Crusca and crushello with prawns, artichokes and pine nuts’, ‘Spun Lobster and pumpkin flowers’, ‘Peasant style veal sausages’ or my favourite ‘Capunti pasta with asparagus, clams and red mullet’. Sauces are used sparingly and in keeping with the Southern Italian way, the dishes are simple, rustic and un-fussy. They are also absolutely delicious. After dinner the hotel bar next door complete with grand piano, is luxurious and cosy and the ideal place to finish the evening.
The hotel has THE largest outdoor seawater pool in Italy. It’s kept to a cool temperature and a good tip is to alternate between the slightly warmer outdoor jacuzzi next to it and then back again. This is also excellent for your circulation too. There are immaculately maintained tennis courts and little corners to explore and patios to sit at all over the grounds.
San Domenico Golf
Built in 2000, and designed by Andrew Haggar from European Gold Design, the 18 hole, par 72 course (and wind) presents a challenge to even the most competent of players. For those players wishing to keep close to the action there is also a guest house owned by the same family located in the 18th century tower and farmhouse adjacent to it.