Attitude. Flavour. Colour. Attitude. Style. Fashion. Attitude. Italy.
Within the first fifteen minutes of the four hour train journey to Turin, I had managed to cause and incident with two old Italian women (correct seats, wrong carriage), an Australian couple (correct seats, correct carriage. But they had been bumped from the earlier strike affected train). Knocked over my red wine so it splashed the designer jeans (light blue) of a French lady sitting across the isle. Stood on the toes of the women in the seat opposite me, as the space provided between seats assumed everyone was three feet tall.
Our room, in the old Italian factory, looks out over a forest of tree magnolias, with black birds calling. In keeping with the old factory, there are artfully incorporated design elements. Stylish, yet functional.
A new diplomatic incident. Daring to send back a glass of bubbles that had no frizzante. Not even the ‘knife in the glass’ produce the semblance of a bubble. And certainly, not a smile from the waitress, who did her best to argue, swear and ignore the issue. Attitude. The replacement glass? Much better. The early evening, stunning and the food? Savouringly delicious.
Walking in Turin is a treat. The air fragrant with the perfume of passing women. With attitude. Italy. That dash of colour. A scarf. Impossibly delicate fabric. Carelessly draped. In practiced perfection. Ordinary, transformed into style.
An hours drive outside the city, the land transforms itself into valleys and vine covered hillsides, spotted with perfect Italian villages. We visited the Malvira Estate in Canale, which specialises in local cultivars that have been grown in the Piemonte region for 700 years. The Arneis whites are complex wines, smooth, balanced delicacy. The colours, are crystal clear perfection. The Nebiollo and Barberro reds are held in oak for up to 36 months and bottle aged for a further two to four years, released only when ready for consumption. After the brilliance of the white wines, I was a tad disappointed in the reds.
We dined in the restaurant Villa Tiboldi, on a menu selected by Malcom that was crafted precision. The Villa, named after the 16th century chapel that sits in the vineyards is beautiful and I was only sad that our time was so short. Service was excellent, and the food smiled on by the gods.
Soft poached egg, zucchini and candied garlic
Ravioli filled with smoked trout, bursts cheese and chives
Entrecôte steak with hazelnut gratin and summer vegetables
Strawberry Mount Pink
Langhe Bianco Treuve, 2006
Roero Riserva Renesio, 2006
Sylvia recommended we stop at Gelateria Pianeta for Gelato, a short walk from the hotel. We had to fight our way through a hoard of old women intent on ensuring that we weren’t able to discover the solution to World Peace. The gelato was magnificent.
Early evening at our local neighborhood, Sal Salvario, where we are recognised (even without Kirsten) by our restaurant, Eno’ on Via Galliari 12. Kids screaming, mothers with prams and pushchairs sitting at tables outside the pub, while men move between their smoking and yelling area on the pavement and the World Cup soccer inside. Bicycles, dogs, a friendly drunk, and a continual stream of people pulling suitcases heading to the station.
With our bubbles and wine, we were given an odd dish of tomatoes, tuna and olive oil, with some kind of bread and onion mix. Terry managed to distract the soccer watching staff long enough to order the seasonal Fiori Di Zucca Fariti (ricotta stuffed flowering zucchini), which were very good.