If I learned anything in Sicily, it’s that Brits eat cake at the wrong time of the day. In the land of The Godfather, I had cake for breakfast…every morning. The benefit? It gave my body the chance to burn off my sweet fix during the day. Well, it would have done if I hadn’t eaten gelato every evening.
We went to Sicily for the sun, scenery, beaches and food. Louisa – the lovely lady we rented Villa Britannia from – really helped us with this, particularly when it came to finding the best, most traditional restaurants in Taormina.
On night one, we were tired. I will kindly say we accidentally booked flights into the wrong side of the island – The Boyfriend knows the truth (don’t you). Nearly four hours on a plane, the same amount of time on a bus and a short taxi ride took us to Villa Britannia and Louisa, who quickly booked us dinner at L’Arco dei Cappuccini.
We were given a glass of Prosecco when we got to the restaurant, which was followed by wine, antipasti, primi and secondi. Nothing disappointed me, not the melt in the mouth fish carpaccio, the Tagliatelle con Vongole or the pan fried monkfish. Yes, the Sicilians eat a lot. But we soon grew accustomed to this.
We had pizza on the second night. The Boyfriend predicted it wouldn’t be great and, annoyingly for both of us, he was right. But luckily, the atmosphere at Granduca made up for it. As did the gelato afterwards.
By Wednesday, we craved something homemade. Louisa came to the rescue, letting us cook our take on Spaghetti (Tagliatelle) Carbonara at ‘home’.
We were out on the town again on Thursday. By that, I mean dinner at the beautiful Cucina Tipica Siciliana, followed by yet more gelato. Here, the best course was the Antipasti of deep fried courgette flowers stuffed with tuna. I’d only ever eaten the flowers stuffed with cheese, so fish came as a welcome change.
We were now over half way through our week in Sicily, so conversations were dominated by hypothetical questions like ‘if you were to live / buy a holiday home somewhere, where would it be?’ Ah, those wishful thoughts that make you feel a tiny bit better at the end of your holiday.
We visited Taverna Al Paladino on night five and the combination of friendly waiters and well priced food and wine gave us every reason to go back on the sixth night. It was here that we had Sicilian speciality Pasta alla Norma, which was simply delicious. Oh, and we also had mussels, tuna carpaccio, another serving of Spaghetti Con Vongole and bread, glorious bread.
We spent our final night at Hotel Principe di Villafranca in Palermo, a little gem we booked through Secret Escapes. The two words that sum up this hotel for me are ‘air conditioning’. For the first time in a week, we went from 40 degrees heat to a temperature that made me wish I’d brought a jumper. Food wise, we decided to eat in the hotel’s small restaurant. It wasn’t amazing, but I enjoyed the aubergine stack we had for starter and still managed to stuff enough food in my mouth to fall into a deep sleep before our early start the next day.
An entire week has past since Sicily and the thought of sitting in these restaurants feels like a dream. At least the UK heatwave, team GB’s medals and watching Bolt fly have softened the blow of work and a pretty hefty credit card bill.