A Visit to Fattoria San Martino

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This weekend we had a pretty glorious visit to Umbria, my first. The very impossible thing about this country is just when you think you've discovered the most beautiful place, you suddenly find another. Such was the case with Orvieto, Todi and Montepulciano. We were invited to a memorable lunch at Fattoria San Martino where Karin and Antonio have created a paradise on earth. Karin lead a tour through her garden picking wild herbs (which we sadly missed) that she then used in an lunch that highlighted each delicate flavor. Karin is a designer and artist originally from Copenhagen and her impeccable eye for beauty shines through in everything she touches, from the food to the farmhouse decor. A lot of ink has been spilled on their collective gifts. If you have the chance to pay them a visit for an overnight stay or meal, you will never forget the experience. I promise.  What became clear from this weekend, after a revelatory meal at Antica Hosteria de la Valle in Todi, where the chef is from Scotland, is that the mix of a northern European precision and creativity infused with Italian spontaneity and informality is, for me, a perfect combination that I now actively seek out. So: if you know about any northern European doing awesome things in Italy, please email me. I definitely want to meet them.  Many thanks to Karin, Antonio, Helene and all at the Fattoria. We're already planning our return visit.