Thursday, August 16, 2012

Stresa: Ferragosto Grand Buffets!

Yesterday was the Ferragosto holiday in Italy. The name for the holiday comes from a festival that used to celebrate the Emperor Augustus and the church also uses this date to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a time when Italians are on holiday and have deserted the cities and headed to the beach, the lakes or the mountains.

Stresa was buzzing with visitors yesterday and for those staying at the grand lakefront hotels, there was a special feast in store! On the lawns outside the hotels wonderful buffets are set up with such foodie delights as mini steak tartare with truffle, Catalan lobster salad, raviolini with Piemonte cheese and porcini mushrooms, salted seabass, fresh lasagne with saffron, Castelmagno cheese and sautéed vegetables... and the list goes on! The tables were adorned with ice and butter sculptures, carved fruits and vegetables and even a small rowing boat!!

Luca and I joined the many onlookers along the lakefront, just as the final preparations and finishing touches being made by attentive waiters and chefs. So this week is a photographic tour of the Ferragosto buffets!

First stop is the Regina Palace...

Final preparations at the Regina Palace
Such pretty starters at the Regina Palace

As the sun sets, diners take their seats at the Regina Palace
Meanwhile, next door at the Hotel Astoria...

Ice and butter sculptures at the Hotel Astoria
The full picture at the Hotel Astoria
Ice sculpture and refreshing melon at the Hotel Astoria
And the party's getting underway at the Hotel La Palma...

Popping the prosecco corks for the Hotel La Palma aperitivo
The Chef keeping an eye on proceedings at the Hotel La Palma
What foodie treats to choose next!
At the buffet!
And finally, further along the lakefront at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées...

Admiring the buffet display at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées
Ferragosto buffet in the exquisite gardens of the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées
I hope you've enjoyed the photos and have got a taste of Ferragosto celebrations at the grand hotels in Stresa. The atmosphere was wonderful, with diners and hotel staff alike enjoying the moment. Did you attend one of the dinners? Let us know what your favourite part of the evening was and what was your favourite dish!

If you're going to be visiting Stresa for Ferragosto and are not on half board at the large hotels you can still enjoy their gastronomic celebrations! Reservations are open to non hotel residents. Prices range from €70-€80 per head excluding drinks and details appear on their websites and Facebook pages a week or so in advance.

Links to the hotels pictured:

Hotel Astoria, Stresa

Links to hotels who also offer Ferragosto feasts:

Sarah, Viaggi Tomassucci

1 comment:

  1. This is such a lovely place... and I think those people are also friendly to talk with. Very impressive that boat like table, great!