The Evening Reception
We go to the Most Amazing Meal there ever was!
Its last battle was during the Second World War when Allied Forces fought through the “Winter Line”, a string of German strong points stretching across Italy, and in the process the Castello was almost completely destroyed. After a long restoration the Castle is now used as a hotel and has been declared a National Monument by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage.
As old fortresses were all constructed, the Hotel is situated on a hill and it is surrounded by a park like setting in the village of Mozzagrogna overlooking the valley of the Sangro River. So what does it look like? Well, lets have a look at several pictures from the Hotel Website.
The Castello from the air with the fountain in front and the garden in the back.
The garden with the buffet area on the left, the dance area at the pool on the right.
The Garden behind the Costello with tables set on the lawn.
The swimming pool. The dance area on the right. Tables are set on the pool apron.
The fountain in the center of the garden. On the left is the covered area where the antipasti buffet was laid out.
The dining room where the diner was served.
It was here that the Bride’s reception was to be held. After the wedding the four of us set out to find Mozzagrogna Web Site. We had instructions but it did not help and we got really lost. After asking for directions several times we finally found the Hotel.
Susan and I on the fountain in front of the Castello di Septe.
I am about to show you the outdoor buffet. From this website you know I love food and I take pictures of the meals we have. So much work goes into making a fine meal and the food brings such pleasure that the meals should not be forgotten. But is not just about the food. The place and the experience are important and I try to photograph that as well, although, it can be a little more subjective and fleeting.
Now, I have eaten a lot of meals in many countries and some of them were very fine. But this meal is the most memorable I have experienced. I have never seen anything like it. It had to be Italy! I have taken a lot of pictures of this meal and I think you will see why.
The four of us chose a nice table in the middle of the garden near the fountain. Along one side of the garden there was an open structure with a roof but no walls, like a gazebo or pergola. This was a long structure with buffet tables. We were a little early and no one was eating. The food was being put out. I went to look at it and immediately began taking these pictures.
Later, when I went up with my plate to sample this food, I began to fill my plate. Someone, I can’t recall who, cautioned me. He said to slow down: this was not the dinner. I actually thought it was! It was so magnificent it was hard to believe it was all antipasto.
At the left end of this buffet was the cheese and it was excellent. Above you can see a whole cheese has been opened and cut out in manageable pieces. There was soft cheese, bufala mozzarella, camabert, gorgonzola and all in profusion! A waiter was carving a whole prosciutto and there were various sliced salame. But this was the only meat on the buffet. Otherwise it was all seafood.
From the left, Susan, Manuel, Barbara, Joe and Christina just before we went in for dinner.
Under the Hotel, in what must have been the basement and wine cellars, they have created a banquet hall. The room is actually several rooms divided by brick pillars and arches and throughout these were set the tables for dinner. The settings were luxurious with cutlery, wine glasses and menus.
You must forgive me, but, I was so impressed and there was so much socializing going on that I pretty well forgot about my camera. I have no pictures of the dinner itself. It was all fish, there were two kinds of pasta, and the wines were Italian and excellent. But I have very few pictures for you. Mi dispiace!
On the way in to diner, through the illuminated door behind the fountain, I went out of the main gate to take this picture. It was an amazing Italian summer evening with a deep blue sky and a full moon. It was magical.
I did not take many pictures of the meal that night but I did take a picture of the Menu.
This was an informal picture of the di Loreto clan in the lobby of the hotel.
Below the garden where we sat earlier in the evening is a beautiful swimming pool. After dinner we were invited outside to the apron of the pool for desert. It was, again, amazing. Down one side of the pool stretched tables with cakes and pies and cookies of every variety. There was a chocolate fountain for dipping fruit. There was a gelato cart for ice cream. There was a table for “confetti” (almonds coated in sugar much like a smarties) of every color and flavor.
At the end of the pool was a small pavilion where a disc jockey was playing and there was space for dancing. Everywhere else were table and chairs to sit out and enjoy a wonderful evening.
The Bride and Groom stand with their backs to us. In front of them is the wedding cake which they are cutting. You can see Joe just to the left of Manuel taking a picture. Christina is over to the far left.
At the other end of the pool was a pavilion and the area set aside for dancing. Along the edge of the pool, on the left, you can see some of the desert buffet
Barbara and Manuel posing with their wedding cake. The pool is behind them to the right and the desert buffet behind them to the left.