Look after yourself this winter by treating yourself to a rainbow of colourful ingredients, bursting with the health-boosting vitamin D.
“The use of seasonal and local produce is something the group never compromises on,” says Lydia Forte, Group Director of Food and Beverage at Rocco Forte Hotels. “Now more than ever, there is a strong push towards foods that are good for you, but still delicious.”
Vitamin D demystified
Why, you may ask, is Vitamin D so vital, especially in winter? The ‘sunshine vitamin’ comes chiefly from the skin being exposed to sunlight, so levels naturally dip when there’s less sun.
Effective at regulating calcium and phosphate levels, vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. Ensure you’re getting the recommended 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day and load your plate with these dishes, sourced from our restaurants across Europe. Each is made in line with Fulvio Pierangelini's considered approach to cooking, “choose exceptional raw materials and treat them with respect”.
“I’m focusing on food that is fresh and light,” Lydia explains. “We have partnered with local nutritionists and health gurus to develop healthy menus and offerings in all of the hotels.”
Afternoon Tea filled with vitamin D
Feed your skin, as well as your body, by ordering smoked salmon and egg and cress sandwiches for afternoon tea, best enjoyed when accompanied by the soothing strings of a harpist. In the Scottish capital of Edinburgh The Balmoral’s Palm Court serves a delightful mid-afternoon meal beneath the glass ceiling of a light-filled conservatory, maximising the winter sun – and boosting your vitamin D.
Vitamin D from the sea
Consider the sea as a rich source of vitamin D. Dine on fish stew, salmon steak or thinly sliced fish served simply, with just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, squeeze of lemon and a pinch of rock salt to let the flavours of the sea shine through. When Verdura Resort reopens on the Italian island of Sicily in March – just in time for the peak of the spring wildflower season – our beachside restaurant Amare is the perfect spot in which to sample fresh fish and oysters that taste of the ocean.
Carnivore dishes at Charlie’s
Feast on sirloin steak cooked over coals, or calves’ liver and bacon to boost your vitamin intake. For an expert’s guide to the perfect steak, we caught up with Jamie Guy, Executive Head Chef of Brown’s Hotel. "At Charlie’s,” he explains, “we cook our steaks over charcoal to keep all the goodness in. Quickly seared steak is the best way to make sure you let the quality of the ingredients do the talking and ensure it's still packed with nutrients.”
Vitamin D for Vegans
Vegetarian or vegan? Then get to know shiitake, button and portobello because mushrooms are the only plant-based food rich in vitamin D. For a double dose of the essential vitamin, start with mushroom soup at Sophia’s Restaurant & Bar in Munich. With floor-to-ceiling windows to maximise natural light, dining in our restaurant in The Charles Hotel gives you a much-needed boost of vitamin D while you eat.
For further insights into healthy eating look to Verdura Organic Farm in Sicily where hand-picked olives, almonds and citrus fruit are grown for our restaurants and bars in Italy.