Posts Tagged ‘France’

Silversea – Day 3, July 10 – - Calvi, Corsica

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Today we arrive in the quaint port of Calvi Corsica, reputedly the birthplace of Christopher Columbus.  After enjoying a wonderful breakfast aboard, we decided to walk the streets and enjoy the local calmness that was upon us and to burn a few calories.

Arriving in Calvi, Corsica

 

Calvi, Corsica – The Wind

 

Boardwalk in Calvi

 

Boardwalk in Calvi

 

End of the Boardwalk – - the Citadel in the background

 

End of the Boardwalk

 

Calvi, Corsica

 

Outside the Citadel

 

The shore of the Citadel

 

The shore of the Citadel

 

Climbing the steps of the citadel made me extremely thirsty which led to several rounds of Peach Bellinis – - hard liquor may I add.  The chosen spot for this carefree afternoon was done knowing we were only steps away from the ship.

Bellini Time!!!!

 

STRONG Bellinis

 

Round One…..and two to follow

 

After getting to know the staff really well…..it was time to head back to the ship for a mid-day snack and to rest up for dinner as relaxation mode never ended.

 Up Next: Portofino, Italy

 

 

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Silversea – - Rome to Nice!!!! How I Spent My Summer

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

After spending three days in heavenly comfort at Cavalieri,  it was time to set sail on Silversea.  The scenic forty-five minute drive to Civitavecchia was as peaceful and uneventful as one could hope to experience.  Securely strapped in and gazing upon the horizon as our driver tested the speed of the elegant Mercedes E350,  I couldn’t help but laugh as I wished my high school, “How I  spent my summer” reports were made of experiences like Silversea — ahhhh, but better late than never!!!

As we neared the port of Civitavecchia my excitement grew stronger as this would be the sixth voyage with Silversea.  Knowing what awaited me and the ease of travel that is always superb with Silversea, I lost all cares and simply slipped into nirvana.  Being greeted with properly chilled Champagne set the stage for the kind of luxury and relaxation one expects when doing opulance without being kitsch.  Settling in was a breeze as familiar ground made for a very pleasant and uncomplicated return.  The pleasure of unpacking once, relaxing and enjoying a different port every morning without travel drama is by far the way to travel.  Being back home on “The Wind” was the ideal vessel to experience such pleasure and relaxation.  Experiencing a crew of 222 and 296 guests, exclusivity, privacy and a touch of intimacy is by far the way to do this; there’s a reason why the returns to Silversea keeps happening and this trip was to be no exception.

The map and itinerary below shows what turned out to be a very relaxing and peaceful ten-day getaway.  I’m certain you’ll enjoy the stops in the upcoming posts as the highlighted encounters are sure to whet your palate for plans on an upcoming voyage.  The idea of touching the shores of Italy, Spain and France brought on a sense of personal adventure, fulfillment and oneness  as some of my dearest and closest friends reside within their borders.  Heading to the high seas never felt better!!!

Whether it was returning to Florence for lunch at Dino’s, an exclusive truffle hunting excursion at Savini Tartufi where seven of us struck “Black Gold” with a little help from our four legged friend “Giotto,”  breathtaking views from Hotel Splendido in Portofino, an exceptional lunch and delicious wine at Hotel Miramare in Santa Margherita, drinking “red” Meursault at the Carlton’s beach restaurant in the bay of Cannes where yachts seemed to outnumber the people this return was just perfect with incredible delights that satisfied all appetites.  There was no shortage of a good time as this has always been “My Silversea Experience.”

I look forward to seeing you on the “High Seas.”  Hmmmm……why don’t we plan a group getaway so I can introduce you to some amazing spots and friends????

 

 

 

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy to Nice, France

Date: Jul 08 2014
Ship: Silver Wind
Duration: 10 days

Itinerary

Date

Day

Port

Arrive

Depart

Jul 08 2014 Tue Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy 6:00 PM
Jul 09 2014 Wed Olbia, Italy 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
Jul 10 2014 Thu Calvi, Corsica, France 8:00 AM 11:00 PM
Jul 11 2014 Fri Portofino, Italy 8:00 AM 11:00 PM
Jul 12 2014 Sat Livorno (Florence), Italy 8:00 AM
Jul 13 2014 Sun Livorno (Florence), Italy 7:00 PM
Jul 14 2014 Mon Cannes, France 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
Jul 15 2014 Tue Barcelona, Spain 1:00 PM
Jul 16 2014 Wed Barcelona, Spain 6:00 PM
Jul 17 2014 Thu Sete, France 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
Jul 18 2014 Fri Nice, France 7:00 AM

 

As we waited to set sail to Porto Cervo - - the magic began: Wine, Food and making Friends!!!!  This greeting says it all, coming or going.  No one really ever leaves The Eternal City.

 

 

 

Up Next: Olbia, Italy - - Porto Cervo

 

 

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Chef Laurent Paccini – Le Saint-Paul de Vence

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

April 16th – Dinner

In 2005 I met Chef Laurent Paccini in Lago di Garda.   Although it would be almost seven years later before we saw each other again,  I knew the time spent with then sous Chef Laurent Paccini and Chef Ricardo Camanini at Villa Fiordaliso was something incredibly special and meaningful.  It was this encounter that landed me in the kitchen for four hours and that put all chefs in a different light.

Now, Le Saint-Paul Vence  and the feast that was about to unfold.  I needed more than yoga and an ab workout after this decadent display of Italian and French cuisine.  Laurent you truly set the bar high.  Looking forward to the next masterpiece.

 

The Arrival

 

Tony near the courtyard

 

2008 Domaine Olivier Leflaive “Les Deux Rives” Chablis

 

Amuse Bouche

 

Foie Gras Poêlé, Asperges et sorbet au vin chaud Pan fried Foie Gras with Asparagus and mulled wine sorbet

 

Les Escargots – - Tarte fine d’escargot persillés, crème d’ail et parmesan Thin pastry snail tart with parsley, cream of garlic and parmesan

 

Nicholas Potel – 2003 Clos Saint-Denis

 

Le Risotto – - Risotto aux noisettes du Piedmont, citrons confits et Bagoss Hazelnut risotto, lemon confit, and Bagoss cheese

 

L’Agneau – - Selle rôtie et confit d’agneau, céréales épicées Roast saddle of lamb & lamb confit, with spices

 

Photo unavailable:

Le Ris de veau

Ris de veau laqué au café, purée légère de legumes

Coffee glazed sweet breads, served with vegetable purée

Le Porcelet Porcelet rôti, manioc et mini carottes Roasted suckling pig with Manioc and mini carrots

 

Lions de Suduiraut – Sauternes 2009

 

Le Chocolate Dessert

 

Le Sablé – Sablé aux céréales et fruits exotiques Shortcrust pastry with grains and exotic fruit.

 

Dessert

 

Tony & Chef Laurent Paccini

 

Chef Laurent Paccini, Walid (chef de rang) & Frédéric BERNARD (maitre d’hotel)

 

With Chef Laurent Paccini

 

This evening with Chef Laurent was truly one of the best meals I’ve had to this day.  Not only did I reconnect with a friend but, I also had the opportunity to experience a meal prepared by a friend whose culinary talents are absolutely extraordinary.

There are several key elements I strive to connect with when dinning and enjoying wine – - reverence, wisdom and vision.  Thanks to Chef Laurent, who embodies those elements and execute them without missing a step, this experience was above and beyond anything I could have planned.  You must make the trip to Le Saint-Paul to experience Chef Laurent’s expertise.  Whenever I’m in the Côte d’Azur, you can be sure to find me back at Le Saint-Paul.

Laurent – - Bravo!!!!!!

Le Tilleul – Lunch in Saint Paul de Vence

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

April 15th

Heeding the advice of our driver to visit Saint Paul de Vence, a medieval town on the French Riviera we landed in this lovely little restaurant  Le Tilleul, which turned out to be exceptionally delicious.  This weighty Meursault paired extremely well with the canard.  I love it when the unexpected turns into something wonderful.  The dessert was as delightful as it appears to be and yes this comes with a price – - a longer yoga session and more ab work.

Saint Paul de Vence – Le Tilleul

 

Saint Paul de Vence – Le Tilleul

 

Saint Paul de Vence – Le Tilleul

 

After enjoying a really great lunch at Le Tilleul a stroll through the streets of Saint Paul de Vence was quite the treat.  As artists displayed their work and drew the casual passerby into spaces unattended do to the mundane events of daily life, you could truly get a since of how special this medieval town is and has always been.

Saint Paul de Vence

 

Saint Paul de Vence

 

Saint Paul de Vence

 

Saint Paul de Vence

 

As this little excursion came to a close right before leaving the walled town, a map of Saint Paul de Vence dispalyed a Relais & Chateaux property – - how could I have missed a Relais & Chateaux property.  Off we went to find Le Saint-Paul.  As we made our way back through the town, we remembered a sous chef we’d met in Lago di Garda who moved to the Côte d’Azur and was working at a Relais & Chateaux property but, I could not remember the village where he landed.

Arriving just a few doors where we ended our strolling about the town, was the entrance to Le Saint-Paul.  The courtyard and outdoor dining was unbelievable – - very quaint and picturesque.  Full of excitement and hoping this would be where the sous chef from Lago di Garda had settled in, I immediately asked for the chef.  As the attendant enter one door, out walks Chef Laurent Paccini from another – - we all were speechless and shocked.  We all looked like three dear caught in headlights.  And then the laughter and welcomed embraces followed.  For a moment it felt as if we were all were back in Italy preparing to be wowed with amazing food and drink.  Laurent immediately offered lunch but, having  just stuffed ourselves we could only do dessert, again.  Mmmmmmm….yummy  cannoli.  This is how all cannoli should taste.  After catching up, Laurent insisted we dine at Le Saint-Paul as he wanted to prepare a special menu to welcome us, how could we say no.  So right then and there he laid out the menu.  How exciting, not only were we reconnecting but, a special menu was being prepared to celebrate this encounter.

 

Le Saint-Paul

 

Le Saint-Paul, 2 of the 3 dear

 

Le Saint-Paul, Cannoli

 

Chef Laurent Paccini – making our reservation

 

Chef Laurent Paccini – Creating a masterpiece, our menu

 

Stay tuned for – - Another “Once in a lifetime” experience, Le Menu.  But up next, Le Sloop of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat.

 

My Little Silver Box – Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Now that I’ve dated myself with the “Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams” title, I must thank Mr. Leach for introducing me to Monte Carlo and the finer things in life.   My quest to maintain and nurture that introduction has come full circle with my travels and career in the wine industry.

As the Director of Marketing and Special Events at MacArthur Beverages, my relationship and approach to wine is that of a living work of art.  This qualitative and character base assessment of wine dances quite well with my philosophy of life and tastes – - give your best and accept only the best.  This is where my encounter with Silversea, my little silver box began four years ago.

Silversea & Gonet-Medeville

Friday, May 13th finally arrived and I was all set to embark on another Silversea cruise in the Mediterranean with food, wine and opulence as the priority.  Before the appointed day of embarkation, I relied on my past travel experiences to lead the way by arriving several days ahead of the actual departure date, something you must consider to avoid any mishaps with luggage, flights and missing the ship.  I did and the choice of lodging was the incredible La Réserve de Beaulieu.

The following series of postings will began with day 1 in Beaulieu-sur-Mer and end with day 11 at the port of Civitavecchia.

Please sit back, relax and allow this unhurried voyage to unfold through my unhurried posts.

Ciao