I first met Sofia while I was at a cooking class in Copenhagen’s Eataly. She was working there, helping out at the class, serving wine and snacks while us guests were hard at work in the kitchen. After following her on Instagram (@sofia.mogensen) I found out what a true Italian foodie she is! Her feed is one big compilation of all the Italian classics combined with tasty treats you didn’t know you wanted until Sofia has you drooling over it. I would love to join her on one of her Italy trips – so this is the next best thing; this summer she’s sending me a postcard from Langhe in Italy.
Would love to have you with me in this so rustic but at the same time delicate land.
Le Langhe, the home of big wines and small hidden gems, of Michelin stars and aperitivo.
To come back here feels like home.
Even if I easily could spend my whole vacation in the garden, here comes a list of places you absolutely cannot miss when in the area.
My holy place for an intimate and simply perfect breakfast: Dolce Neive.
It is the local pasticceria in my little hometown. They make the most delicious petit four, dry biscuits and croissants and the cappuccino is exactly as it is supposed to be. If you pass by, say hi to Ursula from my side.
For the piemontese real business head to family-driven Trattoria del Peso. They are only open for lunch and serve old school regional cuisine. All the produce comes from their garden or nearby farmers. I suggest to skip breakfast before going; you will be treated to (probably) a nine-course lunch. The menu is fixed, changes daily and is based on the season. 3-4 antipasti, 2 primi, secondo, selection of desserts and cheeses. Everything is homemade. Sit down, lay back and enjoy.
Le Ciau del Tornavento is my favorite Michelin-star experience. It might be because they make me feel at home, but the location, the service and their genuine attitude to food blows my mind every time. I suggest to book a table for lunch. They are less busy and you get to enjoy the marvellous view over the Barbaresco hills.
For aperitivo-time, head to Alba. Take a stroll in the small streets and have a seat at VinCafé. This place is an institution. Here you will find everyone. The local youngsters, the nonne (grandmas), fashionistas, the wine producers and tourists. They are open every day all day long but I love hanging out here after 6 o’clock. Their Campari-Spritz is perfect, their wine selection by the glass too. My absolute favorite: Bellini – fresh peach purée and Prosecco. This is my quintessential summer drink. And a small platter of appetizers is included in the treat.
No real Italian vacation without a pizza. Pizzeria Asso di Quadri is exactly what an Italian pizzeria looks like. The owners are a young couple with two small girls. Order Pizza della Casa – the pizza of the house. A rustic Napoletana-style pizza with home made fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella fior di latte rigorously added after the baking and basil. Absolutely my favorite.
My insider must-experience is the weekly Saturday market in Alba. Here you can find everything from clothes to shoes, from cookware to groceries. I love to stroll through all the stalls, getting lost in all their colours and perfumes. My personal Saturday routine: Macchiato at Caffé Bentivoglio, vegetable shopping at the big mercato coperto, stop over at the organic farmers market to pick up some goats ricotta, aperitivo at VinCafé and then lunch at home in the garden enjoying all the findings from the morning. I LOVE IT.
When here you cannot miss a pit stop at a local winery. Pass by Montaribaldi in Tre Stelle. They produce an amazing range of Barbareschi, but I also love their refreshing Roero Arneis. And yes, they are one of the two producers we have in my boyfriend’s family. Franca and Roberto will welcome you as if they had known you for ages and you will get a scent of the fascinating world of winemaking.
A short(long) “hi-there” from my side.
Hope to see you soon!