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My Holiday Romance

After a very full-on summer of catering events, private dinner parties and weddings galore I was so looking forward to running away to Italy on holiday.

Baked Salt Catering - Janie Fraser

A very busy summer

I had a whole lot of plans to get stuck into: exploring, visiting local places, seeing all the sites, and of course, eating out… a lot!

But best made plans and all that…

Our villa in Locorotondo was just so gorgeous and I was just so shattered, we ended up pretty much downing tools for the first few days and staying put. We hardly ventured anywhere, bought local produce and cooked for ourselves… not a bad option I guess, seeing as we’re both chefs!

villa

The perfect place to down tools

After the initial guilt of not doing anything had worn off we soon realised that this in fact was the perfect holiday and just what we needed.

And once the pressure to ‘make the most of our holiday’ had finally worn off – all the lovely, small, unexpected pleasures came forth and multiplied.

Here’s my top 3:

No. 1: Simple is best

One rainy day we ventured into town – a bit fed up that our holiday wasn’t the wall-to-wall sunshine we’d planned – and stumbled across this proper classic Italian bar complete with old-school Italian boss decked out in suit, tie and even a bling gold chain.

bar

Old school Italian charm

He was serving up the most exquisitely simple and delicious parmigiana, along with a lovely large glass of local red, which brightened up our day no end.

pasta

Simple parmigiana at its mouth-watering best

Sometimes those rainy days really do bring out the best gems!

No. 2: Midnight at the gelato oasis

In Lecce, we discovered the ‘go to’ place for gelato. Rammed with locals at 11 o’clock at night, this place was amazing. It was like some sort of gelato nightclub… now that’s my kind of night out!

gelato

Almond & ricotta gelato heaven

No. 3: Finding love in a pound shop

When I was imagining our Italian holiday I pictured Mediterranean glamour and class… But instead we got Euro cheap and cheerful, and I’m so glad we did!

I have no idea what led us into that little cheapy euro shop but OMG, it was the find of the holiday (move over Lonely Planet!). This place had all sorts of gems – toiletries, bits and pieces, you name it. But best of all were – my latest love affair – a set of ultra cute classic Italian cake moulds.

There is something just so effortlessly classy and timeless about the shape of these little moulds. They’re literally begging to be filled up with all sorts of deliciousness.

Now I’m back home, I’m a woman obsessed with making cakes to go in these cuties and have been having great fun coming up with new creations – like carrot and pecan, and walnut and pear.

cutie-cake-tins

A love story in cake

So, they say life’s all about the small things… and I now realise that’s no different on holiday. I hope I remember this next time I go away – and forget all the pressure of ‘doing stuff’. Let go, relax and keep an eye out for the little pleasures – they really are the best.

italy-other

It’s all about the small things

Oh and if you’d like to try some of my new tasty Italian cake-tin obsessions for yourself – do pop in to the café between Thurs – Sun and say hi. I’d love to see you.

The Loughborough Cafe - Baked Salt

Baked Salt at The Loughborough Cafe

Until next time, keep your eyes peeled for the small things… they’re worth it!

Janie x