Greetings from Sardinia! As you read this I will be halfway through my Sardinian adventure. I always get away at this time of year because I’ve finished teaching but the schools are yet to break up for the summer. It means for me that the price is slightly better value and destinations are a little quieter. Apologies for the lack of a mid week post but the holiday vibes really kicked in and to be honest I had no idea what day it was half the time! Next week should be back on track again with posts from Windout Barn and Sharpham Vineyard scheduled. Look out for those.
My week did start at home in Devon and I would like to share with you what I got up to pre holiday. Like I said earlier, I broke up from ballet last weekend so managed to squeeze in a little fun before my travels began.
Serena came over on Saturday evening for supper. I created some seasonal summer salads with organic veggies I purchased from the newly reopened and relocated Real Food Store. A courgette and ricotta salad and a roasted beetroot panzanella. My virtuous salads were trumped with Serena’s dessert offering. She arrived with a giant homemade strawberry pavlova. In fact it was so big it wouldn’t fit in her cake tin and had to be transported on a plate whilst dodging rain showers!! It made it to my house in one piece and was a thing of beauty to say the least! It was Serena’s first foray into meringue making and was delicious. I could see she was very proud of her creation as I would be if I was the creator.
Dinner consumed and a new style of wine tried. My friend Rose had given me a bottle of Georgian amber (or orange) wine to try. She is half Georgian and half Bulgarian so was eager for me to try it. I really enjoyed the new experience. It was reminiscent of a dry (ish) sherry and was a perfect accompaniment alongside my summery, fresh salads.
Sunday saw me try out some more wines but this time from a vineyard a little closer to home. Sharpham Vineyard is nestled on the gentle hills alongside the River Dart at Ashprington near Totnes. I was invited to take a vineyard tour and tasting with a couple of my friends. The sun was shining and the setting couldn’t have been more perfect. As one of our guides Josh said, “You never find an ugly vineyard” and that is so true in my limited experience in vineyard visits. See my visit to Putalj Vineyard in Croatia and my more recent visit to Dalwood Vineyard near Honiton here.
We were shown around the vineyards and talked through the different grape varieties whilst sipping the wines as we went. Our tour finished in the winery tasting one of Sharpham’s red wines alongside some yummy cheese from the neighbouring dairy. Of course a full post will follow but in the mean time take a look at a few photos to get you excited.
My Sardinian adventure started on Tuesday with an early morning flight to Olbia in the north east. From here we headed south in our hire car to Santa Maria Navarrese. A small town nestled next to the warm Mediterranean Sea that hasn’t been taken over by the Brits like many other larger resorts. In fact Steve and I have barely heard an English accent during out whole journey. Apart from our own obviously!
We stayed in a rather lovely hotel a stones throw from the beach and within walking distance of the main square. Hotel Nascar prides itself on being ecological and only using locally sourced products within the rooms and the restaurant serving local fish, meat and vegetables. Right up my street as you can imagine. The breakfasts were sublime and the staff so knowledgeable. I would totally recommend staying here if ever you venture that way.
Whilst staying in Santa Maria Navarrese we spent the day on a boat that travelled along the Eastern coast visiting gorgeous little beaches only accessable by sea. We were treated to delicious local specialities and local wine whilst cruising the coastline. Fregola pasta (which is a bit like giant cous cous) with the most delicious seafood sauce and ginormous prawns cooked with garlic and parsley. Heaven! Afternoon treats in the form of a spiced Sardinian iced bun with iced tea rounded off the trip nicely. With only 8 or 10 others on the boat it felt incredibly special.
On the boat trip we visited some amazing caves. Totally breathtaking and a welcome break from the heat.
From Santa Maria Navarrese we drove across the island in our little Fiat 500 to Bosa. Stopping midway on route in Nuoro on a bit of a food geek mission. It’s here that they make the rarest Italian pasta Filindeu, with only a handful of old ladies keeping the tradition alive. I made a purchase from the cutest Sardinian specialty shop and was thrilled to have in my possession this Filindeu pasta that I had read so much about.
Whilst in Nuoro I discovered the cutest gelateria/restaurant that was filled with vintage treasures. It was here I sampled homemade gelato served in a vintage teacup and totally fell in love with the cutest dog. You must stop by Montiblu if in Nuoro.
Bosa feels a little more cosmopolitan with many bars, restaurants and coffee shops. Plenty of choices when it comes to a foodie like me. More of that next week.. continue to check out my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages for daily goings on. Have a fabulous week everyone.