Red valentine’s day, when the color was of heart and not of area
“What should we do for Valentine’s Day: go to Orroli?”
This question is loaded with excitement as much as it is with anxiety. Because if it is true that the holidays are an excuse (at least for me) to indulge in small luxuries, it is also true that the anxiety of research and organization has a role in the dynamics of the couple. Who organizes it all? Where are we going? Dinner or weekend? And a whole series of other question marks interspersed with “we’ve already been there”, “yes, but not too far away”, “we won’t spend too much”, “but it must be a nice place so we can take Instagrammable photos”, and so on.
Luckily, we live in the age of the Internet, where a “tap” is enough to have everything, but really everything we need is at our fingertips. And it was with a “tap” that by pure chance 5 years ago, I found on Instagram the page of “Sa Pardina”.
Let’s start from the beginning…
It was 2016 and my first child was just over 1 year old. With my husband, except for a few frugal aperitifs, we did not allow ourselves time for us exactly from the number of months of our son; we agreed that he could stay with his grandparents for 24 h and I set out to find the infamous Valentine’s Day offers. Here comes Paolo’s proposal: Aperitif with a tasting of typical local products, night and, of course, breakfast, for a more than reasonable price. I decide to take a peek at the rooms and, as it is fashionable now, my first reaction: SHOCK!
I found myself in front of a place suspended in time, which immediately made me think of Sardinia in the early 1900s, the simple life, the wise hands that knead the bread or prepare a cake, the scents of the earth and fireplaces lit, and the ringing of bells. My attention was captured by the largest room, with a beautiful four-poster bed and a “lady of the feud” dressing table; I didn’t even ask my husband’s opinion, I immediately asked if that room was available. It was and I booked it. I could already imagine myself looking in the mirror and playing at being a princess for a day (yes, I have a weakness for canopies).
Finally, in Orroli…
We arrive in Orroli in the afternoon and after the usual arrival bureaucracy, Paolo shows us the room. Even better than in the picture, from the window, the view of the village at sunset is spectacular; I colonize the dressing table, invade the bathroom, conquer the bed “believing” myself a rich lady from the beginning of the XX century. After all these warlike practices, however, the appetite begins to increase, so we get dressed and go down to the room where the aperitif would take place. Maybe it was the fireplace, maybe it was the wine, maybe it was Maria on TV with “C’è posta per te”, Sarah Ferguson… But we were really enraptured, happy, in love and we enjoyed every wonderful mouthful of everything Paolo brought us, from cold cuts to cheeses to pickled and pickled products and everything good that the earth can offer.
We say goodbye to Maria (and Paolo) and go to sleep, actually I continued to watch Maria in my room and in the meantime, I was already thinking about breakfast. Yes, I have a fixation, actually two: food and antique furniture. Luckily, neither of them was disappointed.
Did I mention I was there in 2016? Here, if I still remember the breakfast there will be a reason, the reason is Daniela and Paolo. They take care of breakfast and in addition to being of a boundless kindness, equally boundless is the goodness of their jams. Yes gentlemen, not only sweets, honey, fresh ricotta cheese (what can I tell you, ‘na bomb), the protagonists for me were the jams, from classic to more special, worthy of being in the Michelin guide. I think I put them on everything, bread, cookies, bagels, ricotta cheese, also because Daniela was so enthusiastic about our appreciation that she kept bringing new flavors. We stayed at the table drinking coffee and tasting these fruit, vegetable, and sugar wonders until mid-morning. Ah but you want to know the flavors? I’ll tell you: at the top, there is definitely celery, yes you heard me right, celery, and when you try it you’ll tell me, followed by tangerine and onion that you do not know whether to put it on the cake, cheese, or meat because it is like the little black dress: it goes with everything! Last but not least, tomato and saffron, what can I say, a triumph of taste.
At this point, however, we have eaten enough and we need to stretch our legs, but not without freshening up sitting in the bathroom, as befits a great lady. We are helped by Paolo who has a talent for “guiding” guests to discover his land. Orroli offers a bit of everything, the mountain with annexed nuraghe and domus de janas, the lake to fish or take a boat trip on, art (there is a house with sculptures that decorate it in a way that is really characteristic), the churches both rural and in the countryside. In short, there is no boredom for sure and being here to write about it I really wanted to go back, and I hope to have made you want to visit this place that is a little suspended in time.
P.s. of course we went back with the baby and it proved to be perfect as a family destination!