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Jun 10, 2013

An Appetizing Menu and Venue

As some of you, dear readers, might remember, I started last week’s article by quoting a few words by Benjamin Franklin. This week, allow me to cite the great Virginia Woolf: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

Yes, you’ve guessed right, this week’s topic will have something to do with one of my greatest and most ungovernable passions: food. Good food. It’s been a while, hasn’t it, if we put aside last week’s wine tasting?

As I once or twice mentioned in previous articles, the beautiful La Foce estate was my very first client in the Trust&Travel adventure. I remember the first time I drove out to La Foce to meet Benedetta Origo, one of the two Origo sisters; the two of us had lunch at the Dopolavoro La Foce, a good average restaurant which did not belong to the Origo family anymore (it had in the past). Its “decoration” was not my cup of tea, though: frilly curtains and doilies all over the place! But we ate well, I remember.

The Dopolavoro was originally built in 1939 as a meeting place for the workers on the La Foce estate. Country dances and candid plays featuring the farmers’ children were performed on a little stage in the dining hall. Movies and news of the war were also screened, and people came from miles around to share a glass of wine or play a game of bocce (bowls) in the shade of the lime trees.

Recently, the Dopolavoro has come back into the hands of the Origo family and reopened as a restaurant with a great new look – no more frilly curtains and dubious doylies! And the food is divine. Simple and divine. The chef, Paolo Anelli, reinterprets traditional Tuscan dishes with the very best local and seasonal produce, and flavours them with the exquisite extra virgin olive oil from La Foce. Fruit, vegetables and aromatic herbs come from the Dopolavoro’s own nearby gardens, which can be visited on request. Pasta and bread are handmade using high-quality flour and yeast, and the wine list presents a fine selection of labels featuring several great local wineries.

The Dopolavoro opens at 8am, so when I am at La Foce, I cannot help going there in the morning for my daily cappuccino. But whatever the time of day, it’s always nice to drop by the Dopolavoro to drink or eat a little something. I enthusiastically recommend this restaurant. Here is the link to its website:

Buon appetito!

Katharina's Italy