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Francis Bown, Bown's Best

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See below for the latest October 2018 Reviews


Villa Marina Capri Hotel & Spa, Capri, Italy | Bown's Best

ITALY
CAPRI
VILLA MARINA CAPRI HOTEL & SPA

Capri means luxury, sophistication and charm. And these words are exactly right, too, for the lovely Villa Marina. Its abundant elegance comes from its location (slightly set apart from the bustle of the sightseers), its lovely gardens, its size (not too large), its gorgeous sea views, its décor (modern, but not too modern, and very comfortable) and, of course, its staff. The last is headed by the General Manager, Mr Maurizio Vaccarella – a most charming fellow, who can be seen on the group photograph, next to your correspondent.) Mr Vaccarella ensures that the service at the Villa Marina is delivered with efficiency and friendliness.

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Ristorante Aurora, Capri, Italy | Bown's Best

ITALY
CAPRI
RISTORANTE AURORA

Aurora is the oldest restaurant on Capri. It is also one of the best. It was opened more than a century ago by the d’Alessio family. Here it was that the pizza all’acqua – with mozzarella and red peppers – was invented. Now it is patronised by the world’s Chic and Beautiful, who flock to its small tables to enjoy the chic and beautiful cuisine of Chef Franco Aversa. (I am too discreet to reveal the identity of the lady who was dining at the next table on the occasion of my visit. Suffice it to say that, when I was introduced to her, she proved as charming as she is famous.) Chef Aversa is the husband of the splendid Mia d’Alessio – pictured, with your correspondent – who runs the front of house with a friendly efficiency which ensures the contentment of her distinguished clientele.

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JK Place Capri, Capri, Italy | Bown's Best

ITALY
CAPRI
J K PLACE

Those seeking elegance and comfort on the isle of Capri should seek out the J K Place. It is not only the hotel building which manifests these qualities. When I first met the delightful General Manager, I saw at once that he was without a tie. (As readers of Bown’s Bespoke will know, the wearing of a collar and tie is one of my sartorial Ten Commandments.) Immediately, I expressed my alarm – to general amusement. The following day, the bearded Mr Martino Acampora – for it was he – appeared dressed properly (and very smartly). My picture shows him thus attired, alongside myself and the chefs from the restaurant. This modest tale of the triumph of Virtue takes us to the heart of why the J K Place is such a good hotel: nothing is too much trouble if it will please the guests.

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Francis Bown 2003
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