Archive for March, 2014

Auds Birthday Party

Friday, March 21st, 2014

And so it came to pass that lo, it was Audrey’s 40th
Naturally this meant a party. Rather sensibly, the theme was “What I want to be when I grow up”
That obviously left me in a quandary as I never intend to. However, Audrey let slip that she would be going as a nurse but “she had no idea what Miles would be going as”. It was a race between H and I to see how fast we could say “Chicken”…
Predictably enough…
It was all good clean hilarious fun. Big Bird stole the show a bit, as did the shocking pink nurses outfit. Brave lad.

Firenze for the weekend

Friday, March 21st, 2014

My lovely wife bought me the gift of travel for Christmas and so, on a grey Thursday we headed for Heathrow where a flight to Florence was waiting for us.
No gastronomic weekend would be complete without starting at the airport, so we settled down at the Caviar house for pile of smoked salmon and a cheeky Chablis.


The flight (with Vueling) was quite good. We seemed to have loads of room.

Arriving at Florence, we headed out into the arrivals hall where J was accosted by an Italian lady, who asked in easily understandable Italian “were you on the flight from London?” To which I naturally replied “Oui”…
Shaking my head with embarrassment I slunk out in search of the Taxi rank. There was a bit of a queue, which gave us time to appreciate just how much our Italian cousins smoke. Pretty soon our taxi arrived. A Subaru Imprezza WRX… Cool!
It was rather grey and raining and the driver was telling us how high the Arno was and how worried everyone was getting about flooding. As he power-slid around a roundabout. -_-
He was quite amusing, getting the interior lights to flash in time with the music.
A couple of unnecessarily powerful accelerations later we were pulling up at the hotel. I had already booked dinner for Friday night so we went up to the room and relaxed for a while, by listening to the toddler next door screaming.

Fri night: Ristorante Benedicta
Heading out of the hotel, and turning left, it took about a minute to get to the restaurant! I knew it was close, but what I didn’t know was that it was actually the hotel restaurant, and there was a back way in that was even closer! Still, we were very comfortable and Francesco the owner and his son were positively charming.

Amuse bouche:
H cod w olive oil
J rebilito (bread soup)
H fried Artichoke w tripe
J house antipasti. Pecorino with onion marmalade, salami w fennel (delish), focaccia w ricotta sauce

First course:
Shared pasta w spicy wild boar sausage & tomato sauce

Second course:
H Octopus
J Bistecca

20140324-135256.jpg Bistecca

H Solid chocolate (cake)
J Poached pear with vanilla sauce

Up early, but missed breakfast due to wanting “10 more minutes”

Headed straight for the Accedamia. Got there just after opening which is unheard if in the Hollingsworth household… But it was worth it. Stunning pieces right from the off. All a bit of a theme but it was much fun comparing the quality of celestial “doves”. Some looked like doves…


What a magnificent chap he is. Apologies for the low qual pic… There were “no photography” signs all over the place!

Climbed 463 steps of Duomo

Lunch @ gobbi
H wild boar sausage & pecorino salad
J pear & pecorino
H Baccala (cod) in pomodorro sauce & chick peas
J rabbit w pancetta, potato & carrot etc
Chianti Ruffino

H risotto chiantigiane (delish); smoked swordfish carpaccio w celery cheese (gruyere / emmental?); creme caramel
J rebilito; lamb chops (4 large) w spinach & asparagus; tiramisu
Chianti Classico Marchese Antinori Reserva 2010

Made breakfast! H got a wheat free breakfast box.

To Uffizi

Sun eve
Restaurant Alle Murate
Slightly more upmarket that the guide book suggested! But we’re worth it 😉



You can check out any time you like…


I always prefer Ars, if I have the choice…