For someone who likes to take trips abroad frequently, being stuck in London for 100+ days during lockdown was a shock to my system. As soon as the government announced it was safe to travel to certain countries for a summer holiday, my girlfriends and I began planning a trip to Italy.


Puglia is such an amazing city with so much history, culture and energy. I honestly had such an amazing time (so much so that I extended my trip twice oops). It's the perfect place to go with your girlfriends, families and partners. I can't wait to come back. Read ahead for my recommendations of places to visit, eat, drink and sunbathe!


Beach days

Bonavista – Porto Cesareo

This beach spot has a lovely vibe and atmosphere; a driftwood bar, great music, and a sandy beach. The bar offers a small selection of food however there is

Lido Solero – San Foca

A gorgeous white sand beach with crystal clear blue sea. This was my favourite beach for relaxing, sunbathing with a chilled bottle of rose on the side. The restaurant has a mixture of fresh seafood, pasta and pizza and they cater to vegans.

I ordered orecchiette pasta with grilled courgette, aubergines and cherry tomatoes.


Food:

Local cuisine:

La Tipografia – Lecce

My favourite restaurant throughout the whole trip! Not only was the food and wine absolutely delicious, the atmosphere was perfect too. Everyone is seated in the courtyard during warm summer nights and before you know it, it’s 2am and closing time! We ended up coming back three more times as the place was just so amazing.

I ordered alghe wakame (wakame seaweed) to start and for my main course; Spaghettone “Pastificio Benedetto Cavalieri”black garlic, olive oil and dry chilli. The chef prepared a vegan version for me which I absolutely loved, topped with fried artichokes.

+

La Locanda Dei Camini – Botrugno

A big group of us went for dinner here before heading out to the club and the food was honestly amazing. Everything was prepared with fresh and local vegetables meaning that I was able to enjoy a delicious vegan dinner with more than one dish! My starters were so tasty, a tomato and pepper stew, baked aubergine, roasted peppers, fried zucchini and so on. By far my favourite dinner throughout the entire trip!

+

Mamma Lupa – Lecce

A super friendly, family owned restaurant, everything is made with fresh ingredients. The location is great too, with tables outdoors and a view of Piazza Sant’Oronzo. There are lots of vegan options available and the most delicious bruschetta I have ever had!

+

Il Quinto Pizze E Delizie - Lecce

I couldn’t come to Italy without trying a pizza! I went for a tomato base with courgettes, artichokes and aubergines and a sprinkle of chilli flakes.


Sushi

Livingstone - Lecce

The interior in this place is stunning, it reminds me of Soho House. The food is beautifully presented and the garden area is perfect for aperitifs

What I ordered:

Wakame salad to start

For my main the chef prepared the most delicious vegan maki roll selection with avocado, cucumber and berries.

+

Kumi – Gallipoli

Another wonderful sushi restaurant with views of the Porto Gallipoli. It’s a great place to book with a large group of friends, they make delicious cocktails too!

I ordered vegetable gyoza and tempura, and some avocado and cucumber maki rolls.

Healthy:

Green – Lecce

This vegetarian/vegan restaurant is a build your own salad bar with a variety of ingredients and fresh juices. We really wanted to go as we heard amazing things by our friends but unfortunately it was closed that day. It is on my to-do-list for the next time I am in Puglia for sure!

Cocktail bars

Laurus – Lecce

La Tipografia – Lecce

Bar Moro – Lecce

Blanc – Gallipoli

Nightclubs

Blubay – Castro

Isola Beach – Porto Cesareo


By the sea

Punta della Suina

Castro Marina


Attractions

Duomo di Lecce

Sant'Oronzo Square

Catterdrale di Otranto

Cava di Bauxite

Otranto Piazza

I already have the worst holiday blues and can't wait for another trip away, but for now I will be busy working on our new collection and the launch of our cute tote bags!


Love, Albana x


ps. before travelling, be sure to keep an eye on travel advice and restrictions as each country has different rules during the coronavirus pandemic.