So this week I indulged in a little down-time. I’m not really one for taking out and out holidays but over the last couple of years a pattern does appear to have been forming where I seem to find myself in Italy in October. Yes I absolutely agree, there are a lot worse things that could happen. Now though any break I do manage to take still becomes in essence a review these days. After all it’s in all of us sharing our experiences that we can make informed decisions about things. Put things on the shortlist through a recommendation or strike it off via a trusted tip.
So here I am on Italy’s East coast in the incredible resort of Rimini. A place that for sure is heavily sprinkled in style, finesse, wealth and glamour. (Maybe a future headquarters location?). We arrive just before lunchtime on Wednesday, the sun has already been beaming through the panoramic sunroof of the hire car and on arriving at the hotel (The Grand Hotel Rimini) the valet takes our bags and removes the car from our sight before I have even realigned these ageing vertebrae. Before anything else I need coffee and I need Italian coffee. This is a a four night break and there is a predefined tick list to work through. Coffee, fine dining, mojito, pizza, ice cream, fish, sun bathing and some photography for good measure.
The coffee is as always and as expected flawless and always served at immediate drinking temperature. This will no doubt be the first of many more. Served in a cup and saucer with a half dozen delicate biscuits on the side its mere presence on the table provokes conversation. The only thing is to be mindful of the strength as it is so easy to just keep ordering and spend the nights a satisfied shaky mess.
A fish lunch is in order and as Rimini is still just beginning to open its eyes from the night before we casually slide into Lo Squero, a charming beach fronted restaurant with a full menu compiled from what the ocean before it dictates. It was to be squid for me and it doesn’t disappoint. Backed with a rich yet delicate source over the pasta it leaves you full but still wanting more.
Dinner is decided to take place within the hotel at their incredible in house restaurant. Formal dress code and impeccable manners are expected and you are rewarded with some staggering prepared dishes. Food in-fact so good this restaurant will be revisited 24 hours later. Here I experience simply the best dessert I have ever eaten. A tiramasu that actually cannot be described. It was sublime. Mains were equal in triumph, Lamb chops and duck breast made to the chefs private recipe and on the second time of asking A risotto and an ocean pasta, yes I was drawn in by the squid again. Staff that were just so willing to please and serve to make our dining experience something memorable.
This basis of this trip was for out and out down time, to relax and recharge. No early hours of the morning parties but more racking up hours by the pool letting the late summer sun warm us through. Days of coffee and sunshine, evenings rich food. For an autherntic Italian pizza we found ourselves at Chi Sburoun Osteria e Cucina, an amazing indoor/outdoor venue making pizza all night long. Here you are seated in chairs wrapped in blankets so you can fend of the chill of the night as the hours tick by, the down heaters hold a lovely ambient temperature and the experience is capped off by the surreal event of being passed an umbrella as Christmas songs are played through the restaurants sound system and a snow machine mounted to the telegraph pole outside pumps flurries of fake snow around us. The pizza though is just as you would want and expect, freshly made with fresh ingredients leaving you stuffed but wanting more. Pair it with the chilli infused oil on the table and it is just about perfect.
On to a local gelato to cap the whole experience off and put to bed flavours of Amaretto, Rum, Mascarpone and Biscotti and the Italian mission is complete.
Rimini is known for its high end lifestyle but here and now, just a few days out of season and the extra cost doesn’t really feel like a factor, you are ever-spoilt by the service and the food and drink. As a resort, a destination it is in my opinion that it should be experienced. So much happens here, music, Porsche races around the Misano track. Quite literally an amazing place with I’m sure so much more to offer than we manage to see in our low-key trip.
Put it on the list, put a pin in the map because I promise you that you will love what this magical town can offer you.