Sunday, 28 May 2017

Living like Beyoncé at Hotel Cala di Volpe, Sardinia

I know. I KNOW! I've kept you hanging from the cryptic cliffhanger at the end of my last post. It must have been an unbearable week for you. And for that, I apologise.

BUT. Today is the day I shall put you out of your misery.

I thought I couldn't love the Costa Smeralda any more after my stay in Porto Cervo. Then I went to Cala di Volpe.

Guys, this hotel is legendary. Like, genuinely iconic. Beyoncé and Jay Z have stayed there, Grace Kelly and Princess Di used to stay there back in the day, and it was where The Spy Who Loved Me was filmed (with Roger Moore as James Bond, RIP).

You walk in, and it just feels magical. The style is completely unique - the hotel was designed to look like an ancient fishing village which makes you think it's a lot older than it is. Cala di Volpe was in fact built in 1962.

The walls are painted ombré shades of pale terracotta, pink and yellow, the hotel looks out on to the sea in a huge bay and there's even a little bridge over the water.
You feel like you're in another world, completely separate from everyone and everything outside your charming, luxury bubble.
Although the hotel is undoubtedly luxurious - Acqua di Parma toiletries, fluffy robes, Lindt chocolates at bed turndown - it's understatedly so and certainly isn't flashy.
It's safe to say the view from my balcony was nothing short of breathtaking.
As the swallows darted around, the work I had to do took ten times as long as it should have done because I couldn't take my eyes off the view. A spot of prosecco didn't hurt either.
We spent our time at Cala di Volpe swimming in the saltwater pool, lounging by the water and - thanks to the private shuttle boat - chilling out on the private beach round the corner.
Obviously I went in because, well, how could you not?

"You're so brave!" my friends said. I'm not brave. Even if it was cold. I just love the sea (and yes, may be slightly nuts).

A post shared by Rachel Hosie (@rachel_hosie) on
It was dreamy.

We also ate - and drank - incredibly well, making sure to sample all the local specialities.
Wasn't a bad breakfast setting.
I never learnt not to pig out on nibbles before what was always a huge dinner. Oh, and the bellinis at Cala di Volpe may just be the best in the world - they're made with fresh white-flesh peaches and are this beautiful sunset pink shade.
I ate burrata at breakfast, lunch and dinner one day and have no regrets.
Truffle risotto is life.

With possibly more waiters than there were guests in the restaurant, we were treated like royalty. Well, if it's good enough for Bey..!

You may not be surprised to learn that I was fortunate enough to be a guest at Cala di Volpe and yes I do indeed feel incredibly lucky.

Monday, 22 May 2017

The bluest of seas in Porto Cervo, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia

A couple of weeks ago, I didn't know much about Sardinia at all. I knew it was an Italian island but that was about it.

If you find yourself in a similar situation then I am here to tell you that YOU MUST GO THERE! GO THERE NOW! OR AT LEAST BOOK FLIGHTS NOW! Well, after you finish this post, preferably.

I recently had the pleasure of spending a few days on the Costa Smeralda, which - my Italian friend informs me - is basically the fanciest part of the island.

So yes, my opinion of Sardinia may be slightly skewed, but I want to show you how pretty it was anyway.

Guys, Olbia airport is literally a two hour flight from London and then Porto Cervo - the first of two destinations on my trip - is just a half hour's drive. Pretty dreamy.

I want to mainly let the photos do the talking because a) it was all so beautiful that words do not do justice, and b) I'm hungry and want to go eat curry.  I know you understand.

Chums, I'm going to start by just showing you how mind-blowingly beautiful the sea is. 
 I mean.
 I just can't even.
 It's so incredibly bright but also super clear.

'Twas a wee bit windy though.
We were staying at Hotel Cervo, which is without a doubt in the best location: it's simultaneously the heart of the town and on the coast.

This was the huge bed in my room.
 Here you have the ginormous pool (not heated but I obvs went for it anyway).
 This was the incredible sunset we watched whilst sipping bellinis and spritzes at the terrace bar.
 And this is the view from breakfast.
Yup, really.

The town itself isn't huge but is absolutely beautiful - it looks really old, even though it isn't. Some sneaky design work, here in Porto Cervo.
Pretty much all the shops are designer, from which you can probably guess what Porto Cervo's regular visitors are like.
The main reason I was actually there was for the annual Food and Wine Festival, which brought together producers, industry experts and foodies from across Italy and the world.
It was fab! I ate some of the best burrata I have literally ever had in my life and we just walked round trying different wines - I kid you not, were this in the UK, it would without a doubt have turned into a rowdy piss-up. Bit classier than we Brits, are the Italians.

And we sure ate and drank plenty of other delicious things in Porto Cervo.
Whilst the above may not look super appetising, it was probably the tastiest thing I ate on the whole trip: chjusoni. It's a local speciality, is sort of like gnocchi, and was insanely delicious. 10/10 would eat again.
And this is another local delicacy: seada al miele. It was like a melty cheese encased in pastry and doused in honey. Sounds weird, was good.

After my stay in Porto Cervo, I didn't think the trip could get any better. But guys, it did. CLIFFHANGER: all will be revealed in the next post.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

A day of makeup, food and theatre with Disney and Mac

Copyright Disney
Things I love: food, makeup, musicals.

That is not an exhaustive list, but those three are definitely up there, which is why I was absolutely buzzing when I was invited to spend a day with a group of lovely fellow bloggers enjoying all three.

The day kicked off on stage at the Prince Edward Theatre in central London. Many of the bloggers had travelled from other ends of the UK and set off at the crack of dawn to make it on time. I live six stops down the Victoria line and was still late (long story).

Anyway I was gutted to have missed the start of the day which saw all the bloggers attend a makeup masterclass on stage.
Using lots of lovely Mac products, we were shown both how to create the stage makeup for the stars of The Lion King and Aladdin, and also how to create wearable looks inspired by the shows.
After a spot of mingling over refreshments, we headed over to Polpo for a brunch of about a million courses. Not even exaggerating.

(OK, maybe slight exaggeration.)
The prosecco and bucks fizz was flowing and we got well and truly stuck in.
So much delicious Italian food! We were well and truly satisfied.

Next up, we shimmied on to the theatre - it was time for The Lion King
This was actually my third time seeing the show but as you may be able to tell from the photo above, I was no less excited.
Guys, believe the hype. It is literally incredible. The show is so cleverly done, the costumes and makeup are fantastic and the music - well, you all know the music.

I laughed, I cried, I sang along under my breath. And I felt very privileged to be there. 
We were sent home with a very very lovely goodie bag full of Mac products and what is now my new favourite mug. 

What a day of fun it had been! Thanks so much to Mac and Disney for inviting me along.
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