The Notebook

At Rocco Forte Hotels

Follow The Notebook to stay up to date with the latest news and happenings in our hotels and destinations across the globe.

Traditional Seasonal Treats to Try at Europe’s Christmas Markets
Steeped in folklore and myth, these timeless traditional treats have been present at Europe’s Christmas markets for years. When you’re exploring the snow-sprinkled streets this winter, look out for these delectable seasonal delicacies.
Brussels Berlin Frankfurt Munich
RT @TelegraphLuxury: The Rocco Forte family: portrait of a self-made hotels dynasty https://t.co/pi0sYKQuX6 @RF_Hotels #LuxuryTravel https…
A room with a view at Amigos. Get away in style this weekend and relax overlooking our grand city. https://t.co/kWc0KPy5D9
Celebrating the bride in our timeless Magritte Suite, just a few steps from the City Hall and the Grand Place https://t.co/B1aNt1KJ8X
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48 Hours in Rome: A Christmas Shopping Itinerary
With endless luxury stores and beautiful independent boutiques, there are few better locations for a Christmas shopping spree than stylish Rome. Why not combine your Christmas shopping with an alluring escape to the Eternal City, staying at the enchanting Hotel de Russie?
Rome
Lydia Forte's Ultimate Christmas Hamper
Elegantly filled with all manner of delights, nothing beats a gourmet hamper as the ultimate Christmas gift. It’s easy to buy great hampers, but it’s just not the same as putting one together yourself. Here are a few of my tips on how to create an exceptional hamper this Christmas.
Edinburgh London Brussels Munich Rome Sicily
Perfect Party Dressing with Victoria Beckham
In the heart of fashionable Mayfair, Brown’s Hotel is perfectly positioned to access London’s most glamorous boutiques. From Christian Dior to Cartier, you’ll discover the finest clothing, jewellery, art and antiques in this exquisite corner of the capital. White-hot fashion label, Victoria Beckham has a boutique neighbouring Brown’s. Follow the brand’s style and beauty highlights for the winter season below, so you can truly dress to impress this Christmas.
London
What to Buy the Discerning Gentleman this Christmas
Whatever the interests of the gentleman in your life, we’ve curated an exceptional Christmas gift guide from the best European boutiques. From stylish, covetable accessories to exhilarating experiences, we’ve got Christmas wrapped.
Edinburgh London Brussels Berlin Munich Florence Rome
Sophia's Spiced Glühwein and Christmas Cocktail
From Sophia’s Bar at the Charles Hotel in Munich, this recipe for glühwein (mulled wine) is a Christmas classic. Warm, aromatic and with a spicy kick, it’ll suitably warm your Yuletide guests this season. If you’re hosting a party, the delicious Christmas Cocktail with rum and mulled wine will be sure to add some sparkle to the proceedings.
Munich
Kodomo’s Cass Chapman on Travelling with a Baby
After having her daughter in 2011, luxury lifestyle journalist Cass Chapman launched Kodomo; a travel authority for parents travelling with babies and children. A seasoned globetrotter herself, Cass clocked up plenty of air miles with her two newborns in tow. Here, she reveals the joys of journeying with a baby.
London Rome
Little Yogis: How Yoga Can Help Your Child
Whether they’re permanently attached to their favourite device or studying hard for exams, there’s no denying that children today lead busy lives. As adults, embracing conscious living by practicing yoga is a lifestyle choice that many of us make to calm the frenetic pace of life – and it can benefit children, too. As the fastest growing fitness activity, it’s little wonder yoga has picked up a burgeoning group of young followers.
Exciting Tours for Teens
From bird’s-eye-view helicopter rides to thrilling Halloween activities, keep teenage boredom at bay on your next European getaway with one of these exciting city tours. Whichever destination you decide to visit, our knowledgeable concierges can give your family the keys to the city by effortlessly organising your chosen tour or activity.
10 Things You Never Knew About London Fashion Week
Featuring catwalk shows from the finest designers, glittering parties and exciting new trends, London Fashion Week is the ultimate fashion event in the capital. To give you the insider lowdown, here are 10 interesting facts you might not know about London Fashion Week.
London
Acai Bowl with Toasted Buckwheat Granola
Jump-start your day with their acai breakfast bowl with toasted buckwheat granola. Nourishing and wonderfully tasty, it’s the perfect way to start your stay in Frankfurt.
The Best Autumn Events in Germany
This autumn, Germany will be welcoming millions of international visitors for two of the country’s most anticipated annual events: Munich’s world-famous beer festival, Oktoberfest, and Berlin’s glittering Festival of Lights.
Berlin Munich
The Highest Towers in Florence for an Amazing View
While Florence is beautiful from the ground, it’s even more captivating with a bird’s eye view. From above, historical buildings tower above a sea of red roofs, stretching out towards the Tuscan countryside. Arguably the best views of the city can be found at the top of the many historic towers in Florence, so put on your walking shoes and climb up to the top for a fresh perspective of the city and surrounding region.
Florence
Happiness in St Petersburg by Irada Vovnenko
Deputy Director of the iconic St Isaac’s Cathedral and celebrated Russian writer, Irada Vovnenko, shares her happy St Petersburg.
St Petersburg
Tom Parker Bowles' Top Tables
A food critic and gastronome extraordinaire, what Tom Parker Bowels doesn’t know about London’s dining scene isn’t worth knowing. As Brown’s Hotel’s Expert-in-Residence, he’s on-hand to personally curate our guests’ gastronomic experiences. Here, he reveals his insider knowledge of the latest culinary trends and, of course, London’s finest eateries.
London
Discover an Authentic Taste of Sicily
Verdura Resort brings you an authentic taste of Sicily with delicious home-grown produce from its Società Agricola organic farm. Home to an abundance of olive, orange, lemon and almond trees, the lovingly tended gardens are an agricultural delight. Aromatic herbs like rosemary, sage, and mint grow alongside artichokes, aubergines and tomatoes. Each day, fresh ingredients are carefully hand-picked and served in Verdura Resort’s restaurants and bars. Learn to cook like a true Sicilian with our delicious fish guazzetto recipe below.
Sicily
Wonderful Wedding Gift Packages
Sometimes it’s so difficult to know what to get someone special for their wedding day. Wedding lists are so impersonal, so why not give them an experience they will always remember. From pampering spa treatments for two to delightful afternoon tea, these extremely spoiling gift package ideas will make every happy couple feel truly blessed.
Edinburgh London Brussels Berlin Rome Sicily
Number One Restaurant’s Smoked Salmon, Quail Egg & Caviar Recipe
The Balmoral’s Michelin starred Number One restaurant is one of Edinburgh’s most prestigious. Using the best quality local ingredients to create dishes with contemporary flair, Executive Chef, Jeff Bland and Head Chef, Brian Grigor dazzle diners with their beautifully presented plates.
Edinburgh
Five Unforgettable Experiences in London for Children
At Rocco Forte Hotels, our little guests as just are important as our big ones. We are delighted to present a selection of endlessly entertaining, bespoke experiences in London for children. Expertly curated by our Fun-Makers-in-Residence at Brown’s, these five adventures are magical moments your family will never forget.
London
Passion and luxury by Christina Zeller
Passionate fashionista, Christina Zeller, knows all about fine luxury in her position with iconic Brussels’ leather brand, Delvaux. Enjoy as she dives deep into her own fashionable bag of Belgium’s best.
Brussels
Discover Lydia Forte’s Brown’s Hotel Instagram Diary
Bar and Restaurant Development Manager for Rocco Forte Hotels and daughter of Sir Rocco Forte, Lydia Forte has her hands on Brown’s Hotel’s Instagram account for an exciting three-day takeover. Here, she grants an exclusive peek into her London diary, revealing what she got up to over the course of three captivating days.
London
A Tale of Two Cities: Berlin vs Munich
Two cities. Both equally alluring. Berlin, with its award-winning gastronomy and cutting-edge culture, and Munich, with its wild natural scenery, beer and bratwurst. Really, it seems a shame to choose between the two.
Berlin Munich
Fabulous Florence by Laudomia Pucci
Florentine fashion royalty, Laudomia Pucci, measures up a city of majestic museums, fabulous fashion and floral magic.
How to make: A Berlin Bug
Conceived by the La Banca Bar team at Hotel de Rome in Berlin, this cocktail is a lively, refreshing drink to brighten up spring evenings. All its ingredients are native to Berlin; however, you can substitute for what is available to you.
Berlin
Prestige Weddings
From the dress to the floral arrangements, there’s nothing like a royal wedding to inspire trends. This May, Pippa Middleton wed James Matthew and all eyes were on the happy couple’s stylish ceremony. Here, Scotland’s leading wedding planner, Katie Balmer imparts her expert advice on how to help you turn your wedding in to a rather regal affair.
Edinburgh
Inside the World of Tintin in Brussels
The Belgians take their tradition of comic strip writing seriously, even giving it its own name, the ‘ninth art’. Their greatest artist is Hergé, creator of ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ and country’s most famous fictional detective. The unforgettable character of Tintin has left an indelible mark on Brussels and everywhere you turn, glimpses of him and his comrades light up the capital, from murals on walls and train stations, to museums, shops and even in the suites of Hotel Amigo. Delve into the story of Tintin in Brussels with this comic lover’s guide to the city.
Brussels
An interview with Thomas Bjørn
European Tour golf returns to Verdura Resort, a Rocco Forte Hotel, tomorrow with the 2017 Rocco Forte Open. As announced in April, European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn has confirmed his place in the line-up for the Rocco Forte Open. The 46-year-old Dane, who will lead Europe’s bid to regain the Ryder Cup in Paris next September, spoke to us about Ryder Cup, challenges in playing the Verdura golf course this week, and something about Italy and staying at the resort.
Sicily
Let’s go cookie by Heinz Gindullis
In the past there used to be a lot of illegal parties, music, alcohol and drugs today it is about secret pop up restaurants, green smoothies and vegan burgers. From Cookies to Crackers, let legendary club owner turned iconic restaurateur Heinz Gindullis, aka Cookie, take you on a whirlwind culinary tour of Berlin.
Berlin
Insider: The right kind of look by David Gandy
Insiders by Rocco Forte Hotels gives guests the unique opportunity to discover some of our cities’ best-kept secrets, as told by locals. Our guest editors range from world-famous actors and respected authors to the masterminds of a city’s cultural scene.
London
How to Make: Spaghetti Pomodoro
Rustic, fragrant and bursting with flavour, no dish conjures up memories of Italy quite like Spaghetti Pomodoro. A classic example of Italian cuisine, the dish proves that quick and simple is often best, and what it lacks in complexity it more than makes up for in taste. Chef Extraordinaire Fulvio Pierangelini, Creative Director of Food for Rocco Forte Hotels, unveils his secret method for creating the perfect Spaghetti Pomodoro. A great recipe to try at home, use the finest ingredients you can find, follow his instructions carefully, and you’ll be cooking like an Italian in no time.
Rome

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