Trattoria Sull’Albero Restaurant
In addition to the exquisite accommodation and gardens, the main attraction at Borgo Santo Pietro is the award-winning farm-to-table culinary experience. Choose from two restaurants: the relaxed Trattoria Sull’Albero is adjacent to the pool area and constructed around a colossal ancient oak (Sull’Albero means ‘in the tree’). This extraordinary being is, without doubt, the guardian of the entire estate and takes centre stage in the restaurant. There’s an outside terrace here with magnificent views across the rolling landscapes of the Valle Serena, including the estate’s own vineyards.
I dine beside a welcoming open fire at the Farmers Market – held every Monday evening. A mouth-watering buffet of fresh local fare, mostly from Borgo’s own organic orchards and vegetable gardens. Live piano classics segue into bass and guitar jazz riffs adding a heady cocktail to the succulent flavours and eclectic wine list. Chianti and Brunello especially recommended. I linger long this evening… and devour the superb Tuscan fish stew here the following day. Pizza, game, fresh fish and even wild boar are also on the menu. Bravo Head Chef Stefano Pezzini and team!
Meo Modo 1 Michelin-starred restaurant
Meo Modo – Borgo Santo Pietro’s Michelin-starred restaurant – is located on the ground floor of the main house in a beautiful dining room. Here, Head Chef Giovanni Di Giorgio and his brigade weave their magic over six-, eight- or twelve-course tasting menus with accompanying wine flight. The atmosphere is refined, seductive and romantic. My dinner begins with intriguing amuse-bouches accompanied by a superb Spumante Dosaggio Zero Cantina della Volta. Starters include a succulent prawn with veal and marsala, and Jerusalem artichokes with cauliflower and walnuts, while first courses are a refined medley of home-made pasta filled with rabbit, or risotto with roasted onion and lamb. I enjoy a beautifully presented and prepared sea bass with asparagus and bottarga. Dessert is a fabulous sottobosco and there’s also a fine cheeseboard on offer, accompanied by Borgo’s organic honey and fruit chutneys, or a choice of mascarpone cheese with wild berries.
Breakfast – my favourite meal of the day – is also served in the main house – buffet style in the former kitchen. I sip my coffee at a table on the heated terrace outside and enjoy early morning vistas of the Valle Serena. Tuscan-soft landscapes of forest, meadow and farmland punctuated by cypress and oak. Wild boar frequent these forests, which is why Borgo’s sheep herd is carefully guarded by a live-in shepherd dog.
It’s the most beautiful location in which to indulge in a medley of divine Italian cheeses, meats, honey from the estate, jams, home-made bread, yoghurts, and Italian cakes (with gluten-free options too). My scrambled eggs – from the estate’s own hens – are superb. Ditto the cheese omelette. Flavour-bursting cherry tomatoes are as sweet as the silky smooth honey from the Borgo bees. Borgo Santo Pietro is now 50% self-sufficient, while both restaurants are 90% organic.
Borgo Santo Pietro Organic Farm Estate
Before taking the Vespa out for a spin, I walk around the grounds: a total of 250,000 trees and bushes have been transplanted here in the formal gardens and orchards. The Borgo Santo Pietro estate is certified organic and now covers some 270 acres, thanks to the recent acquisition of the adjacent farm. I wander down to the free-range chicken coops (think colourful Brighton beach huts and almost as large), opening one of the hatches to discover warm freshly laid eggs.
Nearby are a series of beehives, while milk is collected daily from Borgo’s sheep which is made into artisan yoghurt and cheese at the estate’s dairy. There’s a focus on maintaining the delicate balance of the land and the integrity of the soil here. The result is an organic landscape that respects livestock and the earth, with farmers, gardeners and chefs working together at Borgo Santo Pietro to create a true farm-to-table experience, with flavours and textures to match. The experience heals mind, body and spirit – you’ll receive generous inner and outer nourishment here.