I had my first vermouth Cal Pep, a perfect example of an old-fashioned bodega where a little oak barrel at the end of the bar has a spigot ready to dispense ‘vermut’. Although Pep doesn’t sleep upstairs anymore, it certainly feels like a place that hasn’t changed in years, just added more layers of dust and old posters to the dark wooden walls.
Once you visit an agriturismo and feel like an Italian family has taken you in and made you a part of their lives, even for just a few days, it’s pretty addictive. From north to south, these are some of the most stunning, enjoyable, and hospitable agriturismos that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting (or coveting a visit to) over the years.
The River Cottage brand has become known in organic circles as a pioneer of the ‘grow your own’ movement. The practises adopted at River Cottage have been so successful that the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) has awarded the business the highest award possible, making it the most sustainable restaurant in the UK.