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Food Hotel: Il Bottaccio

A hotel for people who don't like hotels - at least claim the owners. But when Tuscan food and art come together under one renovated olive mill roof, what's not to love? Zoe Perrett investigates.

Il Bottaccio Relais & Chateaux
Established in 1983 and located in the hills of Montignoso, Tuscany, Il Bottaccio is based around a 17th-century olive mill.
Known as 'the hotel for people who don't like hotels', it's the perfect retreat for both food and art lovers. In the restaurant alone, an extensive collection of paintings, furniture, and sculpture by artists including Tarabella, Provino, Volz, Mjlaicovich, Masciarelli, Sheppard and Wielawski are on display. More works are on show throughout Il Bottaccio, lending the atmosphere of a gallery or museum.
Accommodation-wise, the eight exclusive suites each have a unique style, with the most clued-up guests requesting the luxurious 'Appartmenta delle Macine' (Millstone suite). Foodies can sign up to an intimate three or five day cookery course; Il Bottaccio's head chef, 53-year-old Nino Mosca, is passionate about fresh, local produce and pastas, breads and pastries are made on-site daily.
On the menu, dishes such as Baby calamari with herbs and porcini mushrooms and Oyster ravioli with sweet smoked peppers are illustrative of Il Bottaccio's ethos of celebrating the four elements.
To accompany such good eats, there's a large wine cellar- and to work it all off, try out the the extensive range of sports and outdoor pursuits on offer. If that's too strenuous, the spa and pool offer ultimate relaxation- the latter located right in the centre of the restaurant!
A London outpost of Il Bottaccio is available for events on Grosvenor Place.
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30 April 2009
By: Zoe Perrett
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