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.

The Most Romantic Places to Propose in Europe
A proposal is an unforgettable moment in a couple’s life together, so make it extra special by whisking your loved one away for a destination engagement. Whether you prefer iconic landmarks, historic sights or breathtaking vistas, Europe is full of locations that offer an incredible backdrop for a proposal. Follow our guide to the most romantic places in Europe to to get down on one knee.
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RT @HotelDeRussie: A great opportunity to discover our one-of-a-kind gastronomic journeys guided by legendary chef Fulvio Pierangelini at @…
RT @Browns_Hotel: Happy #ValentinesDay! Nothing like window shopping from the comfort of your suite #BestofMayfair #EllieHartleyFlowers #Br…
RT @Browns_Hotel: The season of love || Stunning bouquets available at #EllieHartleyFlowers Dover Street #ValentinesDay #BrownsHotel #RFHot…
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What to See at St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum this Winter
While St Petersburg’s Winter Palace no longer houses royal Tsars, it does host some of the greatest works of art ever created, as well as an abundance of historical relics. Today, The State Hermitage Museum is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious galleries. From unmissable temporary exhibitions to iconic works that form part of the permanent collection, here’s what to see when visiting the Hermitage Museum this winter.
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Our Concierges’ Christmas Gift List for Children
Be inspired with our concierges’ fantastic pick of delightful gifts for children, found across our European cities. Each one is intrinsically linked to its location, and is certain to be cherished for years to come.
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2018 Travel Experiences for Under Tens
From outdoor adventures to fun cerebral activities, inspire their imaginations with these exciting European travel experiences for under tens. Our expert concierge can curate the perfect day out for your whole family.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Where to Find the Best Russian Vodka in St Petersburg
The Germans cherish beer, the French love wine and the Scottish savour whisky, but in Russia, the national drink of choice is, undoubtedly, vodka. St Petersburg has enjoyed a long love affair with spirit, whose name is thought to stem from the Russian word for water ‘voda’. Its origins are debated, with both Poland and Russia claiming to have invented it, however the first solid evidence of its production in Russia was by monks in Moscow in the early 1400s. Nowadays, there are hundreds of vodka producers across the country, creating everything from popular brands like Russian Standard, Beluga and Stoli to craft varieties. Discover where to sample Russia’s favourite spirit with this guide to the best Russian vodka in St Petersburg.
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An Insider’s Guide to St Petersburg with Lidia Leontyeva
A trip to St Petersburg is a magical experience, especially during the snowy winter season. With so much history and culture on your doorstep, there’s an amazing amount to see and do, from live Russian ballet to tours of grand imperial palaces. The best way to see the city like a local is to get an insider’s guide to St Petersburg from a lifelong resident. Lidia Leontyeva, Director of Guest Relations at Hotel Astoria, takes us on a journey through her hometown, from the city’s most fascinating secret spots to the best of Russian hospitality.
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Behind the Scenes at Rocco Forte Hotels with Olga Polizzi
Finding a harmonious balance between comfort, character and creativity is an interior designer’s greatest challenge. Aiming to inspire and appease its guests, Rocco Forte Hotels puts a lot of thought into design to ensure that every element of every room is considered. Olga Polizzi, Deputy Chairman and Director of Design, keeps her finger firmly on the pulse of design trends while carefully considering the history and culture of the city where each hotel is based. Enjoy a behind the scenes glimpse of the design process as we speak to Olga about her passion for interiors and the stunning new suites.
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Fulvio Pierangelini's Guide to Italian Cuisine
Simple. Fresh. Local. These are the foundations of traditional Italian cuisine. While emulated across the globe, there are few more qualified to talk about Italian food than Fulvio Pierangelini, Creative Director of Food for Rocco Forte Hotels. The Italian Chef, who’s famous for the success of his Tuscany-based two-Michelin star restaurant Gambero Rosso, was brought on board in 2009 to spearhead Rocco Forte Hotels restaurants and introduce a hearty dose of Italian flair, creativity and harmony to the menus. We sat down with Fulvio to talk about his career in food and the secrets to making excellent, authentic Italian cuisine.
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War and Peace Filming Locations in St Petersburg
Arguably the most iconic Russian novel of all time, War and Peace offers a fascinating insight into life in Russia during a dramatic period in the county’s past. Set in the early 19th century, the story follows the interwoven lives of five aristocratic Russian families during the Napoleonic Wars. The BBC’s recent adaptation takes viewers on a journey through love, loss, passion and power, where St Petersburg provides a magical backdrop. With its grand imperial palaces and striking colourful architecture, the city sets the scene for many of the television show’s most memorable moments. Following the finale, we travel to St Petersburg to explore the most iconic War and Peace filming locations to visit next time you’re in Russia.
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The Rocco Forte Suite Experience
The finest way to fully indulge in the Rocco Forte Hotels fantasy is by staying in one of our palatial suites. Dreamt up by Director of Design, Olga Polizzi to reflect the history and culture of the hotel and destination, each suite is classic, contemporary and, above all, exclusive. Fresh for the New Year, Rocco Forte Hotels has updated its Suite Experience with three tiers – Suites, Special Suites and Forte Suites. Devised to take the stress out of staying away from home, every element has been considered, from arrival in the country to check-out, and everything in between.
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Valentine’s Day at Rocco Forte Hotels
Valentine’s Day is touted as the most romantic day of the year, and it can be, if planned correctly. This year, instead of buying a thoughtful but predictable gift, go one step further and surprise your loved one with a romantic minibreak for two. As 14th February falls on a Sunday in 2016, it’s the perfect excuse to jet off and celebrate your relationship in style. With so many options available, we’ve put together a list of leading Valentine’s getaways to some of the world’s most romantic cities. Read on to see how Rocco Forte Hotels can make your trip extra special.
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What to see at St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum
With over three million artefacts on display, The State Hermitage Museum is not only the largest museum in St Petersburg, it’s also one of the biggest and most prestigious in the world. The Winter Palace is famous in Russia, and while it no longer houses royal Tsars, it does host some the greatest works of art ever created, as well as an extensive assortment of historical relics. Estimates suggest that if you were to admire one exhibit every minute, it would take 11 years to cover the entire museum’s collection. As most visitors only have a few days to spend in St Petersburg, we’ve done the legwork for you and selected the 10 best things to see at the State Hermitage Museum.
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Welcome to The Notebook
Whether you’re planning a trip or have already touched down, The Notebook is here to excite and inspire. Be it with behind the scenes features and insider guides or articles about the history, culture and ever-evolving food scene in our exceptional host cities, we’ll take you under the skin of each destination and introduce you to the unique story behind our hotels.
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In Conversation with Irene Forte
In keeping with the ‘new year, new you’ tradition, Rocco Forte Hotels is launching a brand new spa concept, bringing five innovative notions together under one umbrella: Rocco Forte Rituals, Forte Organics, Rocco Forte Nourish, Rocco Forte Fitness and Rocco Forte Health. Targeting every element of wellness, from nutrition and exercise to mind, body and soul, Rocco Forte Spas are far more than simply a place to get a quick massage. We sat down with Irene Forte to talk about the inspirations and philosophies behind the new concept, as well as her own thoughts on health and wellness.
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