Antonio Delicatessen – London

You have been to Italy before and love getting lost in the lively food shops and farmer markets there? You love Italian food but you find the supermarkets’ mozzarella disappointing? Me too! Unfortunately, we cannot just jump on a plane to Rome when we are craving the flavours of Italy. Not very budget-friendly neither environment-friendly.
The great news is that if you are in London I know a place where, for a short period of time, you will feel like in a shop in Florence. Lewisham city centre is definitely not the most pleasant place in London. It can be grim and a little rough around the edges so you would not think that a little piece of Italy is hiding there. Yet it is home to one of the best Italian delis!
Antonio Delicatessen Lewisham London
Antonio Delicatessen is in a street just off Lewisham shopping-centre and a short walk away from the station. A real hidden gem where you will be greeted by ‘Buongiorno!‘. There all the staff is Italian!
The shop is small but packed to the ceiling with Italian products. You will find all the types of pasta, sauces, biscuits and even drinks commonly found in Italian supermarkets!
Antonio Delicatessen shop
Head to the counter and order some delicious Italian pecorino and charcuterie.
Antonio Delicatessen charcuterie
It is good to note that by default the staff will talk to you in Italian, and when visiting you will quickly understand why. Most of the customers in the shop are Italian too! Now if this is not a sign of quality and authenticity I don’t know what is!
Antonio Delicatessen cheese and deli
Antonio Delicatessen products are very reasonably priced. This shop is not trying to be a fancy European deli. Its objective is to cater for London’s Italian community and make sure that their weekly shop is as good as it is at home.
Antonio Delicatessen shop
Luckily for me, I live a short walk away from Antonio Delicatessen. And if you don’t, yet still want to treat yourself to a tasty homemade Italian dinner, consider hopping on the train there. It will be a mini weekend adventure into the depth of South-East London and you will head back home with excellent burrata!
Ci vediamo lì, arrivederci !
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Trattoria Cammillo – Florence, Italy

Looking for a place for a nice dinner in Florence? Look no further!

But first make sure to enjoy the views of the sunset over Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo. It is a must if you are ever visiting Florence! Enjoy the best view of Florence Cathedral, also known as Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, and look at the colours changing over the city while the mountains start to appear in the background.

Florence sunset viewFlorence sunset view
Had enough? Feeling hungry? Good!

Head down toward the city centre but stay on the south bank of the Arno river. Walk along the Arno on Borgo S. Jacopo street. After a 15-minutes walk you should reach Trattoria Cammillo!

Trattorio Cammillo outside Florence

The traditional trattoria is something out of a movie! The outside is vintage and very welcoming after a long day walking around the city.

The interior is very traditional and the waiters seem to have worked there their entire life. All of them are very elegant, extremely knowledgeable and their service is delivered with a bit of Italian wit, which oh so charming. You can tell they are very proud to work at Trattoria Cammillo!

Trattoria Cammillo Florence

Pick a glass of wine (or a bottle) from the extensive wine menu.

One tip, if like me you feel overwhelmed when choosing wine, when in Tuscany you can never really go wrong by ordering a Chianti or a Montepulciano!

Trattoria Cammillo

Now the food… Oh the food!!!

Once again, just like in an American romantic comedy where the hero goes to Italy to find themselves, the meaning of life and eat all the food. The plates are simple, the dishes are traditional, and everything is delicious.

We weren’t feeling very adventurous that night and went for classics, and Trattoria Cammillo didn’t disappoint. A caprese salad to start (tomato and mozzarella).

Trattoria Cammillo caprese salad

Followed by the most delicious mushroom pasta, COVERED with fresh truffle and parmesan!

Trattoria Cammillo mushroom truffle pasta

We ended the dinner happy and full, very, very full, as the before and after pictures below demonstrate!

Trattoria CammilloTrattoria Cammillo

We didn’t book a table and were very lucky as Trattoria Cammillo can get really busy! I would definitely recommend making a reservation if you can.

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The best gelato in Tuscany

In London, you find pubs at every street’s corner, in Italy, you find gelaterias in every streets; little bit like the London pubs not all gelaterias are the same. If like us, you are a little bit of a foodie (Food-snob? Yep, maybe!) you will be desperately looking for THE best gelato, and in the process pulling up a bit of weight.

So let’s save your waistline and some time! We found the best gelato in Tuscany and it happens to be in San Gimignano.

San Gimignano towers

It is one of the most beautiful villages in the region, famous for its medieval towers, so you can kill two birds with one stone by visiting the place while enjoy a fig and ricotta gelato (yes it’s a flavour, and yes it’s delicious).

San Gimignano is about an hour out of Florence and 45 minutes out of Siena, so once again you will need a car to get there. When the said car is parked, head to the main square. You will see a queue forming in front of a small shop entrance. You found it! Here is Gelateria Dondoli!

Gelateria Dondoli

Join the queue, but don’t worry, you won’t get bored! Sergio Dondoli, the owner and Maestro Gelatiere will be there to keep you company. He joins the crowd, introduces himself and shares his passion for gelato. If you have the chance to meet him, like we did, make sure to ask for his recommendations!

Gelateria Dondoli

After 10-15 minutes, here you are, in front for the dozens of flavours. It can be a little overwhelming to choose, hence why I took zero pictures at that point as I was too busy drooling.

Gelato from Gelateria Dondoli

If you feel adventurous, go for some of their specialities, one even has gorgonzola in it! If you feel more conventional, a classic like fragola or nocciola will never disappoint. No matter what your choice is, it will be delicious!

Now go and walk that gelato off in San Gimignano!

San Gimignano

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Antica Macelleria Falorni – Greve in Chianti, Tuscany

Italy is famous for its beautiful landscapes, its world-famous historical sights and… Its food! There is nothing more comforting than a delicious pasta dish, am I right?

As I mentioned in previous posts, when in Italy I love to stay in agriturismos, which means that often we have a little kitchen available and can cook our own meals when we fancy it. It is a great way to save a bit of money. But saving money doesn’t mean compromising on quality! If you like cheese and cured meat (or charcuterie as we say in France) and if you happen to be in Tuscany, there is a place you absolutely have to visit!

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Greve in Chianti

***Warning! Vegetarians, you may want to look away now as this shop is a meat lover paradise.***

Antica Macelleria Falorni is the Italian delicatessen shop of your dreams! It is old, it smells of cheese and ham, it is family owned and very famous in Tuscany. Even the locals go there!

You will find it in the centre of Greve in Chianti, a small village about 50-minutes drive from Florence and 60-minutes drive from Siena. It is good to note that roads in Tuscany aren’t the most direct so it always takes a little bit of time to get around.

Park the car and walk into the city centre. On the main square you will find the local market and hidden behind the stands an archway.

Greve in Chianti marketGreve in Chianti

This is where you will find Antica Macelleria Falorni!

SAntica Macelleria Falorni

Antica Macelleria Falorni opened in 1806 and has since been an institution. Their speciality is salami but they do also offer an extensive selections of hams, cheese and wine.

Antica Macelleria Falorni

Most of their charcuterie is made of pork / maiale, boar / cinghiale (my favourite!) and beef / chianina.

Antica Macelleria Falorni salamis

Cheese lovers will be in awe in front of the multiple ‘cheese towers’!

Antica Macelleria Falorni cheeses

Ok, so now it is time to shop for a homemade antipasto among their dozens of cured meats and cheeses.

Antica Macelleria Falorni cheeses

I highly recommend their wild boar salami,  their prosciutto and some of their stronger (I am French) pecorrino, a traditional hard Italian cheese.

Antica Macelleria Falorni hams

A lot of their products are packed in air-sealed bags so you could also take one for the road on your way back home! Bonus!

Now head back to your accomodation, pour yourself a glass of wine, put together an antipasto plate and relax. The Italian dream life…

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Cul de Sac – Rome, Italy

Looking for a nice little spot for a refreshing glass of wine in Rome, away from the touristy crowd? Follow me!

Rome street

There is that little spot I know, right off Piazza Navona.

Piazza Navona Rome

Head south of the Piazza. Walk past the touristy restaurants and head to the tiny Piazza di Pasquino. This is where you will find Cul de Sac (‘dead-end’ in French). The name may be French but the products are very Italian!

Piazza Navona terraces Rome

The wine bar is not huge but it has a lovely terrace. We decided to grab a bite inside as it was pretty hot on that day and we could do with an hour in the shade.

Grab a sit a choose from the thousands of bottles of wine surrounding you! We went for rose (of course!).

Cul de Sac restaurant Rome

Once the beverage of your choice on the table, order as many sharing platters as your belly can handle! Everything is delicious!

Cul de Sac restaurant Rome

Nothing fancy there, just very high quality products.