Tuscany, Italy

I could not wait to thaw out my Scottish winter bones in Tuscany in April (yes, it’s still ridiculously cold in Scotland in April)! I couldn’t have imagined a more stunning place if I tried. Picture an amazing country house high up on a hill with 360 degree views of rolling green hills, far away from everything else, and the most beautiful gourmet Italian chef who prepares three course meals (for your every meal, if you so choose!) with all ingredients sourced daily from the nearby village and their incredible on site vegetable/fruit/herb garden. He will talk you through each course, where it was sourced, what region of Italy the recipe is from, what wine compliments it, all with such passion. Ah La Bandita country house! It’s literally heaven on earth.

Tuscany cafe

Upon arrival, we were upgraded to the Pig Sty (which was, in fact, once a real pig sty that has been cleverly and tastefully converted by the owner, who shares his interesting and inspiring story of quitting a high flying music executive job in New York to start La Bandita: see website). This was the perfect set up for us with a small baby. The staff were over and above warm, welcoming, helpful and lovely with Poppy. We were literally all as happy as ‘pigs in mud’ (excuse the pun)!

Tuscany View

After a relaxing few days at the Country House (it was a bit like leaving family by the time we set sail!), we moved to the La Bandita Town house, which is set in the tiny and ever so cute village of Pienza. It was wonderful to experience the contrast of life in a village and life in the countryside.  The Townhouse is beautifully set up as a 12 room boutique hotel and the staff here were equally as warm and friendly, serving stunning, fresh, local food. Most helpfully, La Bandita provide you with a guide to Tuscany and the surrounding sights, including the best place to eat, drink, shop, visit, walk, you name it! Everything has been so well thought out here and your every need is catered for…all told, it was a real find and a memorably wonderful holiday!

Ali G