Over the rivers and through the woods passing thru Le Marche and Umbria along the way, to gather by the roaring fire & meet new friends, to share a festive table & eat a gorgeous meal. We poured endless red, ate too much and returned home late into the night, thankful for the whimsical afternoon at the idyllic La Selva Giardino del Belvedere.
This proper Tuscan pranzo was attended by passionate inn keepers, foodies, photographers & instagrammers invited by the kind and sweet faced Emiko Davies and co-host Giulia Scarpaleggia. Both talented women are cookbook authors and bloggers. I began following Emiko on instagram after being swept away by her photos of life in Tuscany. And Giulia…I was a little star-struck to meet! I have been following her blog and recipes since we first moved to Italy over 8 years ago!
After the slightly awkward hellos while meeting new faces, the mimosa’s were poured (& pounded) and conversation flowed easy. All eyes (and stomachs) eagerly watched the busy kitchen until we heard the magic words ‘tutti a tavola!‘
With the candles lit, the garland hung and fire ablaze we feasted on six decadent courses ( I loved the chick pea & chestnut soup!) The red wine paired perfect, a velvety San Giovese from Agriturismo Fattoria Poggio Alloro. And since this is Italy – the wine was brought by the beautiful winemaker herself!
Taking a break between courses, some fell asleep near the fire others walked with the owner, a classic Italian character for a walk through the woods as he recanted stories from the past.
For dessert we had an array of treats and sweets but the standout was the fig & walnut panforte from Giulia. (On a side note: I have eaten a LOT of panforte during the holidays, so I’m kinda an expert on this.) This was the BEST!! Thankfully she had gift wrapped panforte for us all to take home with us! And just in case you want to try it at home – here’s the link to her recipe! Panforte with Fig & Walnut
Photo by Juls’ Kitchen
Thank you Emiko & Giulia!! It was a wonderful way to kick off the Holiday Season!
Follow all the photos from the guests on instagram #tuscangathering