Considered India’s gourmet guru, celebrated food writer and cook Karen Anand, wanders the world pen and plate in hand – from Italian truffles to Indian dosa, she can tell you how to prepare it, where to find it and give you the life story of the people behind it!

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Your Tuscan Dream Wedding

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“Virushka” tied the knot there. You can too. These are my three picks of fab places for a wedding in Tuscany…all handpicked, which I know personally. They will take care of the big day, the guests, gourmet cuisine and all the activities and really give you a wedding to remember. Tuscany is rampant with medieval hamlets, picture postcard villages and wineries set amidst rolling hills which all look like National Geographic photos. It is still understated and relatively ‘discovered’…. and nothing will prepare you for the beauty.

Il Borro

This has the stamp of the famous first family of Italian fashion, the Ferragamos. Ferruccio Ferragamo bought this Medieval estate in 1993 and opened it to the public in 2001. In those 8 short years he managed to put the estate on the International jet set map. So what is it about Il Borro that makes even his son Salvatore get married there? “It’s definitely romantic” he says. “It’s like owning your own medieval village to share with your friends and family”. Anyone with a significantly large wedding party can be looked after, something which many of the smaller properties in Tuscany simply can’t do. They have 35 rooms and suites in the village itself plus a 19th century villa with 10 bedrooms and a private indoor pool which used to be the family’s own villa and several fabulous villas and farmhouses dotted around the countryside just outside the Relais & Chateau property. And unlike other Tuscan villas and estates which are often inaccessible or simply a bit too rural, Il Borro more or less, has it all on the 1700 acres property; three restaurants, spa, winery with an impressive cellar, two swimming pools, artisans at work in the medieval village, horse riding and golf. It is just under an hour’s drive from Florence. 21st century Ferragamo style in a 1000 year old village.


Il Falconiere

Il Falconiere is a Relais & Chateau property of 27 rooms and suites set among cypress trees, vineyards and olive groves. Even in the thick of winter, it is picture perfect and views from almost anywhere on the family estate, are breathtaking. They have award winning wines, impeccably designed rooms, a Michelin star restaurant presided over by the co-owner of the property Silvia Baracchi and a wine spa. Silvia conducts cookery classes called ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ in the charming working kitchen which overlooks the wine towns of Montalcino and Montepulciano. The nearest town to the property is Cortona which was made famous by Frances Mayes in her book and subsequent film ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’. Frances is a great friend of the Baracchis and often pops into the property when she returns to her home in Cortona in spring. Aditya Chopra and Rani Mukherjee chose this for their nuptials and it isn’t unusual to find a Porsche or two in their Wysteria covered car park. The Baracchi family are wonderful hosts and personally see to all your needs. “To me the Falconiere represents a life of love and passion: first for Riccardo, my husband who grew up there and then for my cooking which takes its clues from traditional Tuscan recipes that I then develop into innovative cuisine. Its classical Italian garden is gracious in its symmetry and layout with elegant paths and scenic vistas… It is truly a magical place”, says Silvia… a real ‘under the Tuscan sun’ experience.


Il Verreno

This was my first glimpse of Tuscany as I drove down from the Veneto recently. Il Verreno is situated above the town of Ambra in southern Chianti. It is a renovated and completely restored Tuscan retreat with the relaxed atmosphere of a country house but with the service and food of a luxury hotel. Cucina Donna Luisa is their restaurant run by Maria Luisa Lovari, who led the team that won the prestigious Campionati Della Cucina Italiana 2017. The estate is simply stunning with olive groves and vineyards and as you walk around the intimate group of fully restored buildings, the scent of lavender follows you. They have 20 double rooms, suites and apartments which overlook scenic countryside and an ancient oak forest that borders the property… The main house has an elegant loggia or covered terrace where you can sit and stare at the Tuscan countryside or enjoy aperitifs with friends. And just a short walk down the hill, you’ll find the sleepy old town of Ambra if you would like to take in some local life. Siena, Florence and Arezzo are all a short drive.



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