Honeymooning in Italy Pt 3: Tuscany and Borgo Santo Pietro| UK WEDDING BLOG

facebook-profile-picture By Rebecca
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Oh Borgo Santo Pietro, where do I even begin? For a start we quickly renamed this place as Borgo Santo Perfecto as you’ll quickly realise just how special this place is. In fact, I’d go ahead and declare it as the best place we have ever stayed {that wasn’t a private tropical island}. If you’re looking for somewhere honeymoon worthy in Europe then seriously look no further. Nothing can top this place, and that’s probably the only downside I can think of to it, the fact that it will ruin you for life and you’ll be forever dreaming of returning. 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After the first part of our trip in Rome {here} and then onto Florence {here}, we picked up a car that we’d hired, a quintessential Italian fiat 500 to be precise, and headed out from the city to the Tuscan hills. Borgo Santo Pietro is an hour and a half outside of Florence which is served by most train routes in Italy or you could fly straight in from the UK. Alternatively it’s only half an hour from Siena. Oh and the Italian roads were nothing like we expected and so much easier and calmer to drive on. It’s only the cities that have the crazy drivers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After a scenic drive we arrived at the gates and could see the cypress tree, lavender lined drive we’d been waiting for. Classic Tuscany right there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA unlimited_nature_002.jpg__630x420_q85_crop-True_upscale-True

The luxury started the minute we got out of our car, our keys were taken and instead we were handed cold, scented towels that smelt like heaven and offered a glass of champagne. A good start indeed. It kept getting better and better though as we uncovered more of the estate. I mean, I can’t even call it a hotel as it is so much more than that. Borgo Santo Pietro is set in a 13th century period property that has been restored to perfection and set amongst over 13 acres of grounds! We were given a tour on which I’ll virtually take you round myself later. But first, our room for the night..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are 18 different rooms to choose from across the property {you can find details and photos of them all here as they’re all completely unique}. Most are not even rooms, they’re full on suites. Ours was a Garden suite called Basilico complete with beams, chandeliers, our own private garden and a rolltop bath. I mean, what more could you want?? I loved the updated version of the Tuscan luxe style but done in a new bijou way.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA IMG_7422

No detail was spared, all the lights were on a mood lighting system so you could easily change the atmosphere, we were given an iPad to use during our stay and a phone to carry around in case we wanted anything at anytime. The toiletries are organic and made on the estate which was a nice touch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We were welcomed with champagne, chocolate made by the in-house chocolatier and cherries. So decadent.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Outside we had a private garden that I could have quite happily picked up and moved back to our new house with, it was so established and beautiful. The terrace had an outdoor fireplace that you could request to be lit whenever you felt like it, and an olive and lavender lined day bed for pure relaxation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Across the rest of the estate, it’s yours to explore. With only 18 rooms and 13 acres plus miles and miles of rolling estate land, you feel like you have the whole place to yourself. There is just so much to discover. There’s a cooking school which has just opened with a large kitchen that looked like something you’d find in a Jamie Oliver or Deliciously Ella cookbook {those tiles and shelves, LOVE!} .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It has the philosophy of wanting to share a love of good food in a Tuscan style. There are classes for all levels of foodies and you’ll learn alongside skilled chefs, having a feast afterwards in this charming little courtyard.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Surrounding the cooking school, and the whole estate, are hundreds of acres of organic farmland, orchards, olive groves and vineyards. There’s a working farm where you can wander and look at the chickens {who were by the way the poshest chickens living in the most stylish hen houses I’d ever seen}, visit the sheep or alpacas and see the gardeners planting herbs in the herb garden. Borgo try to source everything locally or grow it themselves for a real farm to plate vibe. There are Borgo bees, Borgo olives and they’ve just planted their own vineyard so expect to taste Borgo wine in just a few years.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We discovered the spa next, tucked amongst the herb gardens and wild flower meadows, a heavenly and complete well being centre with a few treatment beds outside in the quiet gardens. Inside was just as beautiful with a sense of calm and tranquillity, candles lit and deep sofas to relax into before you even go in for a treatment. Definitely the most beautiful spa I’ve seen for a long long time, it’s been restored and renovated from a building that was set on an ancient healing site here used by Monks centuries ago.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As we carried on our walk after passing the cooking school, vegetable plots and spa, we reached a lake. Seriously, this place has it all. There’s even an artist’s studio which looks out over the lake, for inspiration for painting, writing or drawing. Every month Borgo employs a different artist to offer something to guests if art is your thing. It really is unlike anywhere else.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We meandered our way back through the gardens, some of it like a maze along hidden paths and discovering sunken nooks to spend a sunny afternoon. We found the cottage gardens with pretty peonies, alliums and delphiniums to admire, a luxurious bench never far away if you want to stop and call for a drink on your way around the estate.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On our walk we said hello and peeked in at the in house florists at Casa Dei Fiori {House of flowers} who go around picking blooms out of the gardens and creating the prettiest displays for around the villa and rooms everyday. They were wedding worthy. I dreamt of spending my days living here and helping them out under that warm Tuscan sunshine..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The roses, as they had been in Florence & Rome, were at their peak at this time of year. Huge swathes of bright pinks covering whole walls that just smelt heavenly. I can’t think of a prettier, more romantic place to spend a honeymoon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It didn’t take us long to find the pool area, where we pretty much based ourselves for the rest of our stay. A jaw droppingly gorgeous turquoise infinity pool, surrounded by roses, overlooking the valley. During our stay nobody else even used the pool, we had it to ourselves and it was almost at full occupancy. There are tables with magazines for you to read or you can sun yourself on the comfy towel lined beds. We ordered juices from the Treetop Bar, fresh kiwi apple and mint to cool us down. Wicker and wood sunloungers, canvas parasols and a pool bar demand sun-soaked lazing.

IMG_7200 IMG_7608 IMG_7633 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

IMG_7718  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There are two restaurants so that you never have to leave the resort if you don’t feel like it {and why would you??}. We loved the Treehouse restaurant for drinks and lunches, there was an impressive wood fired oven for meat and pizzas. Again, so effortlessly styled, the owner was a former Vogue stylist. The only thing I would say is that if you were here for a couple of days the local village Palazetto is only a five minute walk down the road with a mini grocery store and pizzeria if you get cabin fever or want something that’s, ahem, a little lighter on the wallet..

IMG_7233   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The hotel can arrange countless activities around the local area, wine tasting, vespa riding or horse riding if you wanted to. Or you could go on a walk to San Galgano through the countryside. But we were quite happy staying put for the afternoon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We’d been excited for dinner all day, Meo Modo has a Michelin Star and is set on the most beautiful terrace outside the original 13th century Villa. After spending the afternoon by the pool, we got ready for the evening and found the whole place bathed in magical evening light as the sun began to set.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The whole place is just perfection. That dappled light!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This view fast became my favourite, it’s what I imagined when I’d pictured Tuscany. The waiters told me that they set up for weddings in this spot. Dreamy!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There had been a wedding that day, we didn’t spot any of the ceremony but walked past a beautiful private dinner for the small party and spotted this classic Vespa with trailing tin cans. How awesome to ride down the drive in your wedding dress on one of these!!

IMG_7503 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The setting for dinner made it ridiculously special before any food had even arrived. The whole evening topped my {very high} expectations and the food, oh the food, will be one to remember for a long long time. Such a romantic restaurant surrounded by candles and a couple of roaring fires for when it got a little chilly later in the evening. If you’re here on your honeymoon, ask for a special dinner away from the main restaurant if you’d prefer, amongst the roses or in a grotto perhaps??

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You know you’re in for a treat when even your handbag gets to sit on a pedestal… I die!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The food was out of this world. Plate after plate of pre dinner canapes, appetisers, fish, pasta and risotto courses, all Michelin starred, creative Italian and beautifully styled.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The lobster linguine was probably my favourite and I’d fly back there just to eat it all over again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We both ordered fish for our second courses and then out came the puddings! A caramel apple creation and this white chocolate custard with berries and meringue.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Our waiter insisted on us having a ‘sweet dream’ before we left to go back to our room, their patisserie chef worked his magic on some chocolate again. So scrummy. We practically rolled back to our room that night!
The next morning we only had two things on the agenda, breakfast and pool time! We wanted to soak up every second before it was time to head back to the city and drop our hire car back. We could have stayed for a week, a month in fact!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Breakfast was served in the open kitchen inside the main villa and had everything you could imagine. Poached and fresh fruit, pancakes or omelettes whipped up in front of you by the chef, yogurts, meats, cheeses, homemade bread, cakes, apple tarts, eggs, you name it. Everything is homemade, even the Nutella!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
It’s always hard to leave places that you fall in love with after such a short time. The only answer for it is that we’ll just have to go back at some point. I have no question that this is one of the most indulgent, luxurious and beautiful places we have ever stayed. I haven’t even talked about the service and how we were treated like Kings and Queens because it almost goes without saying here. When you’re staying somewhere this special, the service only enhances the whole experience. We spent our last day by the pool and ordered lunch before leaving with very sad faces to head back to Florence to drop our car back and pick up a train onto Venice for the last few days of our trip.
Our stay here was such a dream and everything we could have dreamed about and more. Somewhere to remember for a long long time.
I can’t recommend Borgo Santo Pietro for honeymooners enough. I think the only bad thing I can say about it is that it will spoil you for life! How can anywhere compare?? Luckily we went on to Venice after this which helped to soften the blow of leaving a little, haha. Oh Italy we love love love you. Such an amazing week. Have you considered it for your honeymoon at all?
You can find out more here, we booked our stay through Mr & Mrs Smith, who as I said before, have such an incredible curated list of only the best hand picked, boutique hotels.
{I was a guest of Mr & Mrs Smith/Borgo Santo Pietro but all opinions are 100% my own and I would never dream of sharing somewhere that I didn’t truly love}.