Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sardinia - part 4 - Santu Lussargiu

It was Sunday and all the Sunday motards were out enjoying the roads on their mostly BMWs. We enjoyed the winding roads and the stupendous views too.

Many of the roads are a lovely orange colour. You can't see it so well on the photo above because the light was dingy, but in the sun they positively glow. We were on the west side of the island making our way down through the inland mountain roads. We passed through numerous villages - Aggius, Tempio, Ozieri, Mores, Thiesi, Ittiri, Putifigari, Villanova, and Alghero and a countryside sweet with the smell of gorse. The sun came out and melted both our grumpy moods from that morning.

After Alghero, we started looking out for somewhere to have some lunch along the coast. We came across a beach-side restaurant which did not serve lunch-time salads, and said so in a firm notice on the menu. You knew where you were at least...
View from beach restaurant that didn't serve salads
The view from the restaurant terrace was delightful in both directions. Looking south, you could see this glorious coastline and blue blue sea, looking north, you could see some old wartime bunkers tucked away among the bushes!
Bunkers
After lunch, the plan was to have a snooze on the beach, but my DB was suddenly taken violently ill in the restaurant loos, so after that we beat a hasty exit... I don't think it had anything to do with our lunch which was pretty innocuous - spaghetti and something. I had mine with bottarga, a Sard speciality of cured red mullet roe. I found it bizarre that restaurants wouldn't serve a nice big plate of salad. It's usually all I want at lunch time and I'm sure they could do a roaring trade in lunch time salads for tourists because they obviously get asked for them a lot seeing as they put that notice in the menu.

We continued down the coast and then went back inland to Cugliari and our destination, Santu Lussargiu. Our hotel for that night was one of the most delightful I have every stayed in, and if you have the opportunity to go there, do! The Antica Dimora des Gruccione is made up of a main building set in a one of the mansion houses of the town, with annexes not far away. It's owned by a woman called Gabriella whose ancestors lived in the main house, and she runs it professionally but gives a warm welcome to her customers. We were certainly impressed by our welcome. We even got the key to the garage where we could park the bike.

Our room was in an annex on the other side of the road at the back of the main house. There were two entrances. One gave onto an interior courtyard which you walked through to get to the rooms, and the other entrance gave onto the road with the garage next door. The stairs were very steep.
Annex on garage side, garage to the right

Our room on the top floor with balcony and washing.

Interior courtyard with washing trough

Very steep colourful stairs. Travel light...
On a walk around the town we learned that there are three types of old building depending on how rich the residents were. The smallest had one room in which you slept, cooked and lived. They often had ovens that poked out into the street for lack of space. Then came larger houses which perhaps had one extra level and more rooms. Then came the rich folks' mansion houses which were very grand.
Santu Lussargiu houses, love the anti-mosquito blue!

Santu Lussargiu one-roomers and larger houses

Hotel staircase. Mansions were very grand.

Hotel landing, lovely floor tiles

Authentic 'museum' reconstruction of a mansion kitchen in the hotel

Kitchen pots and pans in the hotel museum

Moi outside the main hotel entrance 
Our room had a fireplace with wood and matches available! The bathroom had a black granite stand-alone sink. Nice! The view over the rooftops was lovely. We sat and had a beer in the evening before dinner.
We guessed that the town must be quite prosperous because many houses had new roofs, and they were mostly freshly painted in bright colours. When we walked around the town, we peeked into the church and saw it was full.

Dinner was amazing. For €25 each we had a succession of anti-pasti - marinated red pepper pieces on bruschetta, cold beetroot soup with a dollop of cream cheese, quails legs, red pimento rolls, a selection of spring veg (broad beans, peas, asparagus) with pesto, smoked ricotta and ricotta; pasta curls with wild asparagus sauce and parmigiento, then the main course - local roast beef, and dessert was a light lemon mousse with cardamom. We drank half a bottle of a good local red wine and enjoyed it all immensely. The chef is a keen follower of the Slow Food movement, and there were Slow Food magazines in the museum kitchen. He had certainly put a lot of thought and effort into the food. My DB even had a vegetarian main course of roasted cheese on that thin bread they eat a lot of - very good too and rustled up on the spur of the moment.

We staggered back to our room and slept well on the excellent bed.

22 comments:

  1. Clicked through to the hotel website - it looks beautiful. What a find. Sardinia looks fabulous - the view from the 'hotel which doesn't serve salad' is perfect.

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    1. The hotel gets rave reviews on Trip Advisor too. There's one from me there now.

      Sardinia is a bijou, it really is, as indeed is Corsica.

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  2. No salads in restaurants, whatever next! Maybe they don't make enough money out of it
    , or don't have enough imagination to think up a real "kerpow" menu with gésiers confits or smoked salmon. Pfft. Thanks for the beautiful photo trip through Sardinia that made me feel privileged to be awake and alone at 5 am (thanks to a hubby who crashed around the bedroom as he got ready to leave at inhumane hours of the morning...).

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    1. Gosh, I'm glad I made your small hours more enjoyable. 5am is not a great time to be up and about!!

      Salads at lunch time, seems so obvious to me! Make a big one and you can charge the same as the other cooked dishes.

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    2. With pleasure... :)

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  3. You lucky lady!

    I'm a little disappointed with hotel not serving salad. I need my daily fiber intake.

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    1. You could have one as a side salad, but not as a main dish.

      It was the restaurant that didn't serve salad, not the hotel. The hotel had a set, fixed menu which you got whether you liked it or not (unless you were a veggie in which case you could have something else). Luckily it was all delicious, and lots of vegs!

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    2. Oops, my eyes are playing tricks on me!

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  4. Look at you in your leathers. Fabulous! Sounds just as well the "lunchtime salad" wasn't available as that is the worst thing to eat for Sardinia stomach. What a gorgeous place, I wish we had toured around more when we were there and saw the more authentic S - we just positioned ourselves in a hotel because of the baby

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    1. Well, you do when you have a baby, but now you have big kids, you can return and really visit it to your heart's content. :)

      We saw loads of hearty cyclists... :)

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    2. I know, I can't wait to get back to Europe and do it another more adventurous way

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  5. The hotel looks divine - you've done a really good job as a travel agent - I badly want to go there!

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    1. Yes, and it's not just us either, it gets rave reviews on Trip Advisor. :)

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  6. You look fab in your leathers. A for Sardinia, it simply looks great. I badly need a holiday right now.

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    1. Thanks MuMu, I like that photo too (which is why I put it up, natch...). It's not often I look cool and trendy. :)

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    2. I know exactly what you mean. Growing older sucks. I have to carefully select the photos where I look good now. Not nice. Well done you!

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  7. For a moment I thought I was looking at photos of the Northern California or Oregon coastline. I agree that you look totally spiffy in those motorcycle duds. I was appalled to hear about the death of that young man.
    Take care. Have fun.

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    1. Thanks Hattie. :)

      My DB is at this moment motorbiking along the Pacific coast Highway 1 so I suppose he's seeing what you're talking about.

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  8. What a super photograph...the one of you, I mean!
    And what does that restaurant have against salads...

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  9. Check you out in your gear! You look badass amazing!

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    1. Haha, thanks Sara. Badass is a good look. :)

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Comments are bienvenue.