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.

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
RT @RF_HotelDeRome: Catching sunrays @RF_Hotels great picture by Yve https://t.co/Au6wEoEfyU https://t.co/Y1XgfeL4MJ
RT @RF_HotelDeRome: "forever in love with @RF_Hotels" - Thank you for your kind words @PatrickTCooper Glad to hear you enjoyed ur stay htt…
Day 2 of the Rocco Forte Open is in full swing at @VerduraResort
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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 Christine Zeller
Passionate fashionista, Christine 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
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
A Trip to Jeddah: Inside the Middle East’s Most Surprising Tourist Destination
Jeddah, the Gateway to Makkah (Mecca), is an ancient city that has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. With a long corniche cooled by the breeze of the Red Sea and myriad sites and attractions to explore, the city has long been popular with regional and religious tourists, but the opening of the Assila Hotel is creating a new destination for Western visitors in Saudi Arabia. Combining Middle Eastern hospitality, opulent facilities and spectacular views, this landmark hotel in the heart of Jeddah is a new world of luxury and comfort. Ahead of your trip to Jeddah, we lift the lid on life in the Arabian city and unveil the top things for visitors to see and do.
Jeddah
An Essential Guide to Caviar in St Petersburg
An acquired taste that’s synonymous with luxury, caviar is one of Russia’s signature delicacies. Just as you wouldn’t leave Italy without sipping a glass of top-class Italian wine, caviar is an essential try when in St Petersburg. From where to buy premium Beluga, to how to eat it and which vodkas make a perfect pairing, this guide to caviar has all the essentials covered.
St Petersburg
Choosing the Right Savile Row Tailors
A bespoke suit is a wardrobe essential and in London there’s no better place to commission one than Savile Row. The heart of men’s tailoring in the capital, the street has long been an enviable postcode, with many of the best Savile Row tailors sitting side by side, offering bespoke, made-to-measure and ready-to-wear suits and clothing. Faced with so many excellent options, it’s best to approach a shopping trip with a style in mind. Whether you prefer traditional, country, contemporary or classic designs, follow this guide to find the tailor that best suits you.
London
Roman Kern's Essential Guide to Extraordinary Mixology in Munich
With local bartenders pushing the boundaries of creative mixology, Munich is fast becoming the most exciting ‘bar capital’ in Germany. Roman Kern, manager of Sophia's Restaurant and Bar, is one of the top mixologists in the city. Passionate about reinventing the ‘cocktail’ as we know it, he dries his own fruits and vegetables, creates powders from liqueurs, pickles spices, infuses herbs into spirits – and that’s just the ingredients prep. We sat down with Roman to talk trends, cocktails and bartenders to watch in 2017.
Munich
The Most Romantic Places to Propose in Europe
A proposal is an unforgettable moment in a couple’s life together, so make it count by heading to your favourite city for an experience to remember. Whether you prefer historic sights, charming settings or dramatic views, Europe is full of locations providing an incredible backdrop for an engagement. Follow this guide to the most romantic places to propose in Europe and celebrate with Rocco Forte Hotels.
Edinburgh London Brussels Berlin Frankfurt Munich Florence Rome Sicily St Petersburg
Five Ways to Get Active this New Year in Sicily
“New year, new me” – it’s a sentiment followed by millions of people each January. However, in most cases, resolutions to start afresh are easier said than done. This new year, kick-start your fitness regime in Sicily, where beautiful natural landscapes, fresh Mediterranean air and exciting outdoor sports, such as rock climbing, hiking, golf and skiing, make it easy to keep promises. If you’re planning a trip, get active while sightseeing with this fitness guide to Sicily, with no gym in sight.
Sicily
Where to Buy Artisan Leather in Florence
True Italian leather is to fashion what a Michelin star is to a restaurant, a sign of unbeatable quality and excellence. While produced around the world, nowhere makes leather quite like Italy. The historic city of Florence has long been associated with this highly prized export, but there’s more to the city than shops and markets peddling handmade goods. From the tanneries of Tuscany to the fascinating workshops in city’s back streets, discover the age-old art of Italian craftsmanship with this guide to the best places to buy leather in Florence.
Florence
The Most Stylish Places to go Shopping in Frankfurt
High-end brands, independent designers, trendy concept stores – Frankfurt has all this and more. While the city may not necessarily be known as the sleekest of style capitals, in recent years its fashion offering has grown more dramatically than Alexander McQueen’s heels. From the city’s premium Fifth Avenue-style retail street to its vogueish boutique district, Brückenstraße, discover trend-setting shopping in Frankfurt with this guide to the malls, shops and labels upping Germany’s style stakes.
Frankfurt
A Festive Gift Guide to Artisan Shopping in Rome
At Christmas time, Rome’s shopping streets are filled with Italian fashion brands tempting passers-by with beautiful displays and opulently dressed windows. However, while fresh-off-the-runway items from designer labels make excellent gifts, they’re rarely unique. This festive season, why not treat your loved ones to a more personal, bespoke creation with a one-off piece of jewellery, clothing or an accessory that’s been handmade by Rome’s best artisans. Discover a world of Italian craftsmanship with this guide to shopping in Rome.
Rome
5 Reasons why St Petersburg is the Ballet Capital of the World
Ever since St Petersburg set the stage for the original Nutcracker, ballet has found a warm welcome in Russia.Considered by many to be the ballet capital of the world, the city is home to many of the greatest ballet companies, academies, dancers and theatres on Earth. Here, we explore the city’s relationship with ballet, from its first dance company in the 1740s to contemporary stars of Russian ballet and where to see them perform.
St Petersburg
An Alternative Guide to Christmas in London
The festive period is one of the best times of the year to visit London. Colourful decorations light up the streets, the city explodes with exciting events and an infectious festive buzz fills the air right up until the New Year. With so many people heading to the capital to enjoy a holiday break or do some Christmas shopping, London can get extremely busy. Avoid the crowds and discover a different side to the capital with this alternative guide to Christmas in London.
London
Discover Rome with Pablo Picasso and Hotel de Russie
Brilliant, original, and revolutionary, Pablo Picasso is widely considered one of the most influential artists of all time. Revered for his boundary-pushing and often surrealist artworks, the Spanish artist left an impression everywhere he visited. During a sabbatical in Rome in 1917, however, the tables turned as career and love became intertwined and his life was changed forever. As Hotel de Russie commemorates 100 years since Picasso’s visit with special anniversary celebrations, we look back at his time in the Eternal City and discover how art enthusiasts can experience Rome through his eyes.
Rome
A Book Lover’s Guide to Edinburgh
Edinburgh has been a muse to many of Britain’s greatest writers. With beautiful vistas, historic buildings and a rich, engrained culture, it’s easy to see why. From celebrated poet Robert Burns to ‘Harry Potter’ author JK Rowling (whose screenwriting debut ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ enters cinemas this month), the city has provided writers with the inspiration needed to produce great works of literature for many decades. If you’re a book lover, follow this literary guide to Edinburgh and explore the places that have influenced, or appeared in, many famous novels and poems.
Edinburgh
Six of the Best Food Markets in Brussels
Healthy eating and fresh, local cuisine have become increasingly important to discerning travellers. With this in mind, Maestro Fulvio Pierangelini, Creative Director of Food for Rocco Forte Hotels, has partnered with best-selling Belgian author and ceramist Pascale Naessens to launch a delicious new healthy menu at Bar Amigo as part of the Rocco Forte Nourish programme.
Brussels
Six Festive Christmas Markets in Berlin
Germany’s annual Christmas markets are unrivalled. Nostalgic, entertaining and colourful in every sense of the word, they are excellent places to indulge in some last minute Christmas shopping, or to fill up on traditional German treats. Open from late November through to late December, Berlin has an excellent array of festive markets to explore. If you’re planning a trip this winter, follow this guide to the best Christmas markets in Berlin.
Berlin
An Essential Guide to the Munich Art Scene
For many travellers, Munich is synonymous with beer, Bavarian food and castles, but among its historic buildings and lively beer halls there’s a burgeoning art world to discover. Put down the beer stein and head into the city’s best art institutes to uncover a creative industry that’s sure to intrigue and inspire. From historical collections at leading museums to modern works at the city's best contemporary art galleries, follow this essential guide to the Munich art scene. Located right in the museum quarter, The Charles Hotel is the perfect location to start your tour.
Munich
The Best Places to Shop for Antiques in Brussels
When thinking of Brussels, chocolate often springs to mind, but another local industry garnering worldwide attention is that of antiques dealing. Whether looking to spruce up your home with unique furnishings or surprise a loved one with a thoughtful gift, antiques make wonderful purchases. There’s no shortage of places to shop for ancient treasures and antiques in Brussels. As Christmas approaches, Olga Polizzi, Deputy Chairman and Director of Design at Rocco Forte Hotels, and Hotel Amigo take us on a tour of the best antiques stores, dealers and markets to visit in Brussels.
Brussels
Five of the Most Delicious Trattorias in Florence
Italy is a food connoisseur’s nirvana, and Florence, home of the Tuscan trattoria, is one of its key culinary hubs. From intimate family-run restaurants to cosy local favourites and bustling eateries on historic piazzas, follow this guide to the best trattorias in Florence.
Florence

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