It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Castellare di Tonda : Food

I was on a half board holiday package, so that includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner with wine - along with the riding.  Picnics were provided on full day horse rides, so I only had to pay for a few lunches out of my own pocket for the whole week.  The restaurant isn’t open during the days, but there is a little store next to the bar which sells basic groceries and the bar caters for lunches if you wish.  I had a lovely meat platter one day, and Lucia made me salad for two days.  A fairly large tasty salad, bag of fresh bread and a very generous glass of wine cost around €12, and there is WiFi in the bar.

The breakfasts were served upstairs in the restaurant and were European in style, which means buffet choice.  There was only one hot dish, a bain marie with scrambled eggs.  There were a few cereal choices, some cold meat, cheese and bread rolls, yoghurt, some pastries and cakes, and a toaster with bread which only warmed the bread no matter how high you turned it up.  Tea and coffee were in hot pots and you could also order good cappuccino from the staff (do this, the hot pot coffee was pretty ordinary).  Honestly, the breakfast was okay, but not anything above average.  It would benefit vastly from some fresh fruit, and maybe making the scrambled eggs when they’re needed as opposed to leaving them congealing in the warmer for the length of the breakfast service.

Dinners were served in the restaurant or in the lovely annexe attached (for the buffet dinners, of which there were two in the week I was there).  As I was on a half board deal, I could choose from a set menu, though there was a normal menu for people not on a deal plan.  Again, the food was okay, but not amazing, and I did expect better Italian food from Castellare – they’re in the middle of Tuscany, there’s not really any excuse for “ordinary”.  I did speak with people who were not on the meal plan and they said that their food (ordered from a different menu) was absolutely lovely, so they may well be catering to a price for the half board guests. All of the staff were unfailingly lovely throughout the week.

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