We arranged with Franco, the owner of the villa, to prepare us a traditional Tuscan feast (an option available to anyone staying at the villa) on Tuesday evening.
We all wanted to celebrate arriving in Tuscany and to mark the start of our holiday, but Tuesday was also Mum's birthday - and what better excuse to kick back, relax and enjoy some awesome Tuscan food and wine together.
In the early afternoon the chefs and other staff arrived to start preparing the evening meal. The long table on the lawn was set, along with a large accompanying table which would hold all the food for the evening meal.
As the afternoon turned into early evening, we found ourselves heading out onto the lawn to enjoy a few beers in the cooler evening air - waiting in anticipation for the meal to commence.
Before dinner we come together for the obligatory group photo, inclusive of our custom made holiday t-shirts - "Pruscino & Pals - Italian vacanza 2015".
The feast commenced with an opening toast of prosecco and a delightful selection of antipasti.
We all sat down and the feast commenced. Following the antipasti dishes were two types of pasta. The first pasta dish was a pappardelle bussola, amd was absolutely amazing, and easily the best pasta dish I have ever eaten. The flavours were amazing, with (what I believe to be) a local mushroom and wild boar ragu.
Following the pasta dishes we had cooked meats, including pork, chicken, sausage as well as roast potatoes, garlic and mixed salads. Needless to say the vino flowed throughout the entire meal.
Desert followed which included both amoretti cake and gelato.
Soon after dinner, given it was Mum's birthday, we bought out some locally made biscotti, panforte and coffee as well as icy cold Limoncello.
We invited Franco (the owner) and his cooking team down to join us for a few drinks and thanked them for the wonderful feast. Franco bought out some grappa (grappa di pinot), which was passed around for all to enjoy.
Needless to say the evening was extremely enjoyable and went on long into the night - at least until the grappa and vino ran out.
I would really recommend to anyone staying at the Podere Incrociati villa to take-up the option of having the Tuscan feast cooked for them - it has been a real highlight.
On Thursday night we have arranged to have a pizza night - so the chefs will be back to cook up a storm on the wood fired pizza oven.