In addition to all the amazing sights and architecture, Venice’s edible offerings proved to be one of best bits of the trip. Aside from avoiding the obvious tourist traps alongside the canal (think pictures on the menu and run a mile from anywhere that does the likes of bolongnaise), you can’t really go wrong. We had a couple of really exceptional meals and a couple of places we didn’t manage to get to but had been recommended by others, all of which I’ve listed at the very bottom of this diary.
A few of you have been asking where we stayed too. We rented an apartment not far from St.Mark’s square on Calla Larga to be precise. It was really handy in terms of location, especially if you’ve never been before and want to do all the main sites. It was also really easy to get the water bus to the airport when we left – a 3 minute walk from the canal. Venice is small too (there’s no metro or cars for one thing so you’ll walk everywhere) so it’s not the same as booking somewhere in Paris or London. If we go again though, I think we’d stay on the other side of the canal in the San Polo area as it felt a bit more ‘real’, less touristy and very, very pretty. AirBnB is always a good bet for city rentals.
Love locks on the Accadamia bridge.
The first course at one of our favourites A Beccafico (scroll down to the bottom for more). The melon and prosciutto was insanely good too. Trust me, the classic 70s starter takes on a whole new meaning in Venice…
Obsessed with all those naturally occurring pastels in the Ventian marble.
Lunch with a serious view on the roof at Hotel Danielli for Daniell’s own take on Fish and Chips with coconut mayo and side of much-needed vitamin D… Indulgent, deep-fried heaven.
Inside the stunning Basilica di San Marco.
This ain’t no ordinary lemon sorbet. Lemon sorbet at A Beccafico comes stuffed inside a lemon with a bottle of limoncello for the table on the side.
At the beautiful Guggenheim, one of my favourite galleries in Venice. Small and peaceful, there’s a terrace that backs onto the canal and you’ll often find you have the whole place to yourself to just take in the passing vaporettos, gondolas and speed boats.
(What I’m wearing is listed at the bottom of this post)
Another dose of crustacean-basd carbs at Al Covo. And this was just the starter….
Wearing Whistles bag (similar here), Pringle of Scotland jumper, Frame denim jeans, Ralph Lauren denim shirt (similar here), New Balance trainers, Rayban sunglasses and Bash Paris camel coat via Vestiaire Collective.
Venice| Eating and Drinking
A few words on eating in Venice; it’s expensive. Don’t get me wrong, there are ways of doing it cheaply, but don’t be surprised to pay around 25-30 euros a main course in a good (but not OTT) restaurant. But, go for the right ones and you won’t regret it because the food really is worth it. I had some of the nicest, most memorable meals I’ve ever had in Venice. Grab a croissant and some fruit from the supermarket to go for breakfast (just avoid St.Marks’s square unless you want to pay around 15 euros a croissant!), a sandwich or panini at one of the many cafes and delis for lunch, and save your pennies for delicious dinners in the evening. You won’t be shopping if that helps justify it (shopping really isn’t Venice’s forte) and there are far too many cultural hotspots to keep you busy at little cost during the day.
Oh and try not to judge a book by its cover; Venice’s restaurant scene is quite classic and old world-y so don’t be put off by the gaudy chandeliers and fusty curtains. Dated or even bad taste decor doesn’t mean bad food, far from it in fact….
Grom | Best gelato in Venice – and if you don’t trust me, trust all the Italians queuing up outside. Go for the salted caramel and Crema di Groma and you can thank me later.
A Beccafico | In the San Marco area towards the Accadamia bridge, this little restaurant in a sunny piazza doesn’t look like much when you walk past and the decor relates to what I was saying above. BUT the food is amazing… In fact, Jamie’s father declared it the best meal he’s had in Venice and he’s been going for 30 years. I would 100% go back. It has outdoor seating too so you can sit outside and people watch on warm evenings.
Al Covo | Charming, family-run restaurant with really, really delicious food and one of the few places not shut on a Sunday (a life-saver basically). I almost don’t want to share this place because it’s kind of become one of favourite restaurants after just one visit… Plus, it’s good enough for Colin Firth, Willem Defoe and Joaquin Phoenix who all have their pictures stuck on the wall after visiting during the film festival.
Harry’s Bar | Ridiculously overpriced bellinis but an institution worth stopping by for a pre-drink one evening you feel like splashing out. The bellinis are really good too. Don’t need to book for drinks, just get there fairly early.
La Zucca | Recommended to me by several people but sadly we tried to book too late (on the day) and couldn’t get in. But I would book well in advance next time as I’ve heard great things about this veggie-centric restaurant that champions Venice’s staple food; the pumpkin.
Bistrot de Venise | At the top end of the pricey spectrum but a real treat, we had our first lunch here but it’s more of special-occasion dinner place I reckon. You’ll never look at carbonara the same way again.
Ph. by James Wright and Yours Truly using a Leica M series, Fujifilm X100 and iPhone 5S.