A rural retreat majoring in rustic refinement
Hidden within acres of olive groves, upscale hotel Masseria Le Carrube makes a brilliant addition to any Italy yacht charter, whether it’s feasting on fare served in its terrific vegetarian restaurant or swapping the sea and sand for a night or two of bucolic delights.
A 30-minute drive from the glittering east coast of Italy is all it takes to reach this countryside retreat nestled at the base of the Puglia Mountains and shrouded in blissful peacefulness.
Once a frantoio – an olive oil production mill – Masseria La Carrube still retains its old farmhouse character, with whitewashed walls ablaze with colourful bougainvillea and lemon trees framing traditional courtyards. It’s the perfect escape for yacht-goers cruising around the heel of Italy’s boot with an inclination to uncover Puglia’s rural charms.
A countryside cavort
Inside, original fireplaces big enough to climb into are joined by even bigger vaulted ceilings, and the original giant oil mill dominates the dining room. But adding an injection of refinement are the upscale furnishings and adornments from celebrated designer Pino Bresica.
The 14 rooms are all different in design while in-keeping with the hotel’s natural and netural décor. Many have large balconies and terraces overlooking the olive groves and, for some, the glittering Adriatic is in sight. Although the ocean may be too far away to take a dip in, the hotel does have two inviting pools (which were once sheep pens) surrounded by colourful blooms.
Le Carrube restaurant
The vegetarian restaurant at Masseria Le Carrube arose out of a desire to present an ethical cuisine created using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. It’s proved to be a hit among both veggies and carnivores, who report to be fully satisfied with the meat-free gourmet offerings.
Chef Massimo Santoro puts together a different tasting menu every evening, featuring both local dishes and vegetarian interpretations of Puglian dishes. Expect delectable homemade pasta, courgette flowers, fava bean puree, baked onions and creamy burrata. The accompanying wine list is extensive, offering a superb selection of wines from the region.