Planning a holiday to Sardinia this summer?
With the waves of the Mediterranean lapping gently before me, and a glass of Vermentino vino in hand, it was just about the most perfect setting for a gourmet meal you could ask for.
And our opening night dinner at the Forte Village resort in Sardinia was the start of a captivating culinary adventure at this five-star resort on the sun-soaked island.
This is a resort that boasts not only three restaurants deploying the skills of Michelin-starred chefs – including a Gordon Ramsay outpost – but five other fine dining restaurants deserving of the honour too.
It’s truly a foodie’s dream.
Among the dining highlights – too many to bore you with here – was a lobster ravioli so exquisite in taste and delivery I almost wept while watching those waves crash onto the beach.
Then, and on the more family-friendly scale, there was one of the greatest pizzas I’ve ever eaten. Ever.
But for those of us watching our waistlines too, there’s certainly plenty of fun activities on this huge resort site to keep you at least attempting to be lithe of limb in between the pizza and pasta stop-offs.
There’s even a sports academy on site that families with football or rugby-minded young ‘uns can book onto in the peak seasons.
Our activity plan was rather more leisurely – with a daily dip in one of the host of swimming pools on site and a stroll along the winding lanes of the vast, wooded site.
As you would expect with a five-star resort like this, service was exceptional from the moment of our arrival by transfer from the island’s Cagliari Airport (around about a 45-minute taxi journey).
Sardinia, of course, is known as a holiday hotspot not only for us Brits abroad, but from mainland Italians on their annual break.
It boasts acres of white sandy beaches, spectacular natural features and caves along the coastlines and almost rainless summer months (although we managed to get rain on three out of seven of our days here in July – just our luck!).
The Forte Village, as with many luxury resorts, leaves no stone unturned to make sure every possible thing you would need for the perfect holiday can be found on site – without ever needing to venture out of its gated confines.
In this southernmost tip of Sardinia, that’s probably a good thing, as on our one attempt to venture out of the resort – with plans to visit a nearby historical site – we were thwarted by a local bus network involving way too many connections to attempt to navigate in the sweltering temperatures.
Ah well. We instead used the time to make a visit to the resort’s simply spectacular Thalassotherapy Spa where they boast world-exclusive therapies and treatments.
It’s a real couple’s adventure walking through the meandering paths of the spa to six different seawater pools at different temperatures and with varying salt concentrations which aim to make you relaxed, supple and toned.
Well, not sure about the last two, but we definitely felt relaxed and had a good old giggle along the way after wading around in thick dark salty sludge to start with, through to a spritzy pool where you feel light as a feather as you drift around in the sunlight.
There’s plenty in the way of nightlife at the resort too, much centred around the piazza maria luigia at the heart of the complex, where there is a nightly schedule of cabaret acts and entertainers.
Also dotted around this hub is a parade of fabulous designer shops where I was able to while away plenty of time, while the Other Half huffed and puffed hanging around outside.
There’s also lots of little touches to surprise you too – like a clutch of colourful resident parrots flying across the resort of a night-time, cheekily trying to peck some of your dinner.
For fans of the resort holiday, the Forte Village is one of those perfect luxury examples combining a fabulous beach, lots of family and fun activities, world class dining and top notch service across the stunning landscaped site.
But if you are planning on venturing further afield, hiring a car would be advisable.
Dianne was a guest of Forte Village Resort, Sardinia where seven nights cost from £1,225 per person based on two adults sharing a superior bungalow at Il Villaggio on a half-board basis, including flights from Heathrow with BA and transfers.