Travel guru Lisa Cannon explores the beautiful island of Capri and tells us why this glorious destination is a must visit!
I’m a huge fan of Italy and all things Italian. I can’t speak the language but the country speaks to me so when I can I steal away a mini break or a week off, I fly over to Italy and indulge! And what better way to spend it than in Capri, the tiny island on the Bay of Naples surrounded by lavish shops, tiny cafes, incredible restaurants and the most stunning electric blue views your eyes have ever seen.
We stayed at the fabulous JKCapri Hotel. This is one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever seen and when I saw the terrace, I could have cried the views were so incredible. It honestly took my breath away – bellisima! The elegance of the art and architecture of the hotel is just magnificent. Everything from the mini library to the cinema room and terrace, it just oozes luxury and style, you’ll never want to leave! The JK Capri is an aspirational hotel, it’s for someone who wants to be spoilt and do it in complete luxury. It attracts movie stars like Jennifer Aniston and Bradley Cooper who were pictured there last year sipping their cocktails on the veranda.
I chose the hotel as we got married in Florence and they have a sister hotel there (JK Florence) where we had a soiree the night before our wedding. I know how well the JK Group look after their guests so it was amazing to see some of the staff that worked at our wedding three years ago there! We got some added birthday attention too with champagne on arrival and strawberries dipped in chocolate. The 19th century villa hotel has a discreet elegance and its 22 rooms could become home very quickly if you let it!
Next, we visited Anacapri and the Hotel Caesar Augustus which overlooks the whole of Capri at the highest point right on the cliff edge. The staff were so lovely especially the owner Francesco who gave me a beautiful white rose when we arrived. The exquisite art, the classic Steinway piano, the friendly staff and the classic rooms made this Relais and Chateaux hotel stand out from the crowd. The hotel is owned by Francesco’s father and we heard so many wonderful stories of the famous and fabulous people who have previously stayed there. The views at Hotel Caesar Augustus are probably one of the best in the world – it’s almost as though heaven meets the sea. Cute little walkways and an enchanting organic garden really added to the charm of the property. As you look past the infinity pool, you can see colourful bursts of local art that adorn the terrace. I took loads of photos of all the artwork which looked so cool and casual beside the large statues of Caesar. It’s a joy to dine al fresco, as you well know, but it’s a bigger joy to eat fresh food. I really like blush rosé so we ordered a bottle along with a selection of local and fresh salads. As I mentioned, the food is all organic and grown in their own garden which is just epic! We stayed in a beautiful suite, complete with a spacious jacuzzi, so we could enjoy after-dinner drinks surrounded by candlelight and shooting stars!
On our last night at the hotel, and much to our surprise, they laid on a very special birthday celebration at La Terrazza di Lucullo which overlooks the whole of Capri. It was just out of this world. The restaurant is suspended between the sea and the sky so you can see Mount Vesuvius, Sorrentine Peninsula and the Bay of Naples. The food was exquisite and we could see why so many people travel from all over to experience the chef’s spectacular delights.
Our final few days were spent in what only can be described as food heaven. Don Alfonso 1890, a 2-star Michelin restaurant and hotel in Sorrento, is considered to be one of the best in Italy. People come from all over the world to dine here so don’t be surprised if you’re sitting next to a celebrity, a food critic or a president! The property is owned by the Laccarino family – Alfonso, Ernesto, Livia and Mario who run a number of top class restaurants around the world. Our suite was pink and the restaurant was pink and white so Richard blended in brilliantly with his pink jacket! In all my years I’ve never been to a cooler and more ingenious restaurant and boutique hotel. I made it my business to visit Livia and Alfonso’s farm to learn how to cook some authentic Italian dishes. I met the bull, the chickens and the local produce that was bursting full of colour, life and vigour. It’s very enlightening to see where your food comes from and how it is produced. Their world famous wine cellar was another amazing experience so of course, we had to sample the delights of what was in front of us! This is one restaurant that should be on your bucket list for sure. We had 10 courses and each and every one of them was a feast for the senses. The food is served on beautiful white raised dishes and each course comes complete with an Oxford dictionary explanation. It was pure magic. Livia, who in my mind is the queen of the restaurant, asks about each plate to ensure everything is exactly what it should be. Her son Mario is the super cool maitre d who speaks four languages and makes the dining experience so unique with his great sense of humour and fascinating storytelling. It really was a Bellisima experience!