Thursday, July 24, 2014

Italian Honeymoon : Part 2 : Ravello, Mamma Agata Cooking School

When we asked a few friends that had been to the Amalfi Coast what they wish they would have done while on their honeymoon in Italy, attending Mamma Agata's Cooking School came up a few times. Mr. Beau and I both love to cook and what a better thing to do then cook Italian food in Italy, by the ocean, with wine, in the sunshine, all day, OK! So we booked our spot and only a one and half drive from our hotel we woke up early and drove to Ravello. Mamma Agata's Cooking Class was truly one of the most memorable days ever!  
 The drive to Ravello is certainly a curvy one, but once you arrive it is absolutely STUNNING. The small Italian town is perched on the cliffs looking over the ocean and finding Mamma Agata's was pretty easy. Pretty much everyone in town knows Mamma Agata's and was so friendly to point us in the right direction. Down a small old street, a lady popped her head out of the doorway and knew we were part of class, she so kindly welcomed us into the magical spot that was behind the street, the 250 year old home, farm and cooking school of Mamma Agata. 
 We were greeted with homemade lemon cake and cappuccinos, not a bad way to start the day, could this be every morning? Class runs from 10:00am - 4:00pm, and it was full of relaxing, eating and learning about basic Italian cooking. After watching what I ate so close to the wedding, it was amazing to indulge in a full day of fresh and delicious Italian food! Do not eat a big breakfast, come prepared, ready to eat!
 The view from Mamma Agata's kitchen is AMAZING, right? I do not think I would ever leave the kitchen with a view like this! 
 Mamma Agata herself cooks in the morning session of the class. Mamma has cooked for Jackie Kennedy, Fred Astaire, Richard Burton and Liz Taylor, among many other Hollywood stars. It was lovely to learn some little tricks about Italian cooking that I never knew. Eggplant Parmesan, use skinny Japanese eggplant and squeeezzzzze the water out, a lot! We didn't physically cook as much as watch, listen, taste and enjoy, and you know what, that was just perfect!
 Chiara, Mamma Agata's daughter runs the day and she is just such a delight. Such a lady full of energy and passion about what they do. Chiara runs the course while her mom cooks in the morning and her husband cooks in the afternoon. It was so nice to hear speak of Italian food and the simple ways to make things with so much passion. 
 The eggplant Parmesan was seriously ridiculous amazing. The tomato sauce, so simple, full of tomatoes from their garden and the freshest tasting sauce I've ever had. 
 Between courses we wandered through their gardens, yes, with a glass of wine in hand. The family makes all their own wine, olive oil, grows their own vegetables, fruit, being positioned on a cliff side 100 feet above sea level, it was amazing to see everything that was there. 
 The ingredients for zucchini flower and proscuitto beignets. These little balls of love were so delicious! The perfect addition to a cocktail party, who wants to come over for Italian food soon?
 I knew I would love Chiara when I found out she met Martha Stewart and Martha was in love with her  lemon cake! 
 Homemade Limoncello topped off our day of indulging and learning, it was so perfect! 
 I would highly recommend attending Mamma Agata's class, it was a splurge for sure, but when I say I will never forget the day, it is so true! The view, the food, the people, all of it was lovely. If I could have dinner every evening at Mamma Agata's terrace, I think I would! 

xoxo - Becca

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Italian Honeymoon : Part 1 : Amalfi Coast

What a better way to start out my day then by looking through beautiful, sunny photos from our Italian honeymoon! I have received a lot of questions about where we went, where we stayed, where we ate and what we did during our Italian honeymoon, so I thought I would share all of it in a few parts over the next week. We spent ten days on the Amalfi Coast and it truly was a holiday we will never forget!
Where We Went: The Amalfi Coast {the southern coast of Italy}

Travel Time From London: 2 1/2 hours. Direct flights from Gatwick to Naples. 

Where We Stayed: Capo La Gala. located between Sorrento and Pompei. We booked our hotel through Mr. & Mrs. Smith Honeymoon Specialists and couldn't have been happier about our choice! We were recommended the hotel through friends who spent time on their honeymoon there and being such a relaxing location, we are so glad we spent the first few days of our honeymoon at Capo La Gala

How To Get There: My adventurous husband rented a small little Fiat and drove around the curvy roads of Italy throughout the week. The drive from Naples was surprisingly quiet easy and only about 30 minutes from the airport. 

 We spent three days at the hotel, and stayed in a lovely room with a balcony overlooking the ocean. The entire hotel is built into the cliffside and the sea is seriously, all around you. We spent most of our time sleeping, drinking prosecco and aperol spritzers, going to the spa, eating lots of fresh Italian food and indulging in gossip magazines and books that have been our bed side tables for months. It was such a lovely spot to relax after an amazing week of wedding activities! 
The breakfast at the hotel restaurant is seriously amazing! Every day there are tables overflowing with homemade Italian desserts, fresh fruits, quiches, cheeses and well, just about anything else you can dream of for breakfast. I consumed a ridiculous amount of fresh mozzarella on our honeymoon, and I think, most was consumed at breakfast! If you head to Capo La Gala, make sure breakfast is included in your room, as it is quite amazing and the hotel is very much by itself, you would want to enjoy breakfast with the view!  

 Homemade ravioli for lunch with the freshest tomato sauce made me very happy!
 The entire time we were on our honeymoon, I couldn't get over the gorgeous flowers that grew over the entire island! The lavender, lemon trees, bougainvillea, it was just amazing and made the entire island smell like a beautiful light perfume. I will forever think of our honeymoon when I smell these flowers. 
The entire hotel is decorated in a Italian chic nautical decor that I was LOVING! 
I had this Alphabet Bag clutch throughout our wedding and thought what other time would I possibly use it then on our honeymoon!  
When we booked with Mr. & Mr. Smith we became gold members and the little bonuses we got throughout our stay made it feel a little bit more special. The memberships that Mr. & Mrs. Smith offer are truly worth it. We received prosecco in our room and complimentary massages, it was JUST what we needed. The spa is small, but oh so lovely, highly recommend a massage and time well spent in the spa showers. 
Where We Ate: We ate breakfast and lunch at the hotel in the Michelin starred restaurant. We did venture into the nearby town Vico Equense one evening and had pizza and stopped at Gelateria Gabriele for gelato, well worth the trip! Sorrento is about a thirty minute drive and is also full of amazing spots. We took a cooking class one day {more to come on that!} so limited our nights of indulgent meals, as we indulged for a full day at the amazing class! 
Time spent as newlyweds in the beautiful coast of Italy was very much like a dream. The sunshine, the delicious food, it was lovely! It was a perfect relaxing way to start out our ten day adventure.

xoxo - Becca

Monday, July 21, 2014

Nominated for International Wedding Blogger!

Thank you so much for all of your nominations for this years Wedding Blog Awards! It was so exciting to attend the event last year and be nominated for best International wedding blogger, and again this year, I am so thankful for all of your nominations, thank you! 
I have been writing my blog for the past five years, full of event inspiration, wedding planning ideas, traditions and so much more. I love seeing that you are enjoying reading my site, thank you! Please feel free to pass along the link HERE to VOTE! WISH ME LUCK! 

xoxo - Becca

*If you like this post you would like this post about last years awards here

What's in the Name? - Urban Flip Flops

I get this question quiet often, "Urban Flip Flops, oh what is that about?". So if you are a new reader, you have been reading my blog since my move across the pond or you have been reading my blog since the beginning, I thought I would give a quick catch up on what is Urban Flip Flops and what it is all about ?
I've been wanting to do a little FAQ's post for awhile but I thought, hey, no time then the better! After FIVE years writing this blog, I thought it would be fun to catch up So here goes…..

Why Urban Flip Flops? 
I started this blog back in 2009 {OH MY! Check out my first post, eeeeek} After thinking of many names for a travel blog, food blog, fashion blog, wedding blog, my sister had a great idea with Urban Flip Flops. I was in the middle of moving from Washington D.C., a city I had loved for years, and moving to Florida near the beach with my Beau. The name of the blog stuck with me and after living in Florida for two years and moving back to the city, to London, I felt it was only right to keep it. The flip flops from the city to the beach and back to the city. Urban Flip Flops. 

What do I write about? 
In the last two years I have written mainly about weddings and events. The blog is truly a little place for me to share things I love; things I love to do, recipes, style, travel ideas, items I have found around the web, wedding tips & traditions, DIY projects and everything in between. I am an event planner professionally and when living in Florida I started a Florida wedding blog {check it out, their amazing}.  When I moved to London it was a bit natural that my blog turned more into my event ideas and wedding inspiration corner of the world with a little splash of my life sprinkled in. A little bit weddings, a little bit lifestyle.

Is your husband's name Beau? 
No. My husbands name is not Beau, but that is what I have referred to him for years on my blog. Not wanting to use his name on the site, I started referring to him as "Beau", and well, it has stuck!

Why do we live in London? 
My husband was offered a job in London two years ago. I studied abroad here during university and completely loved this city. Excited about the opportunity to live abroad, we packed up our house and moved across the pond.

Did you get Sir Oliver in London or bring him from the States? 
Sir Oliver {our three year old Australian Shepard puppy #siroliveruk} came over with us from the States, I wrote a post about the moving experience here. It was not an easy thing to bring a dog from the US to the UK, but being that he is like our child, we couldn't leave him behind. I get a lot of emails about bringing our dog over and well, it is hard to find a flat that allows them and it is like having a child with finding dog walkers and daycare, however, we love him and couldn't imagine it here without him.

Are you available for wedding planning assistance?
Yes! I love assisting couples with their wedding planning! If you are looking for help the week of your big day, with design ideas, venue ideas or do not even know where to start with the whole idea, send me a note and lets connect!

Did you get married in London? 
Yes. We got married in Fulham and had our beautiful reception at Fulham Palace in June. I will post photos as soon as the professional photographs are ready, for now I am saving them.

Can I post a guest post on your blog? 
I do enjoy sharing other bloggers and creative companies with my readers. Please do reach out to me if you think you could be a good fit. I post only brands, companies and ideas that I truly think are a good fit for Urban Flip Flop readers.

Thank you so much for reading Urban Flip Flops over the past few years! I have met an amazing group of people through my site and look forward to growing more and more. Please do feel free to reach out to me with any questions and if you want to do any projects together, I am always up for a little flip flop of inspirations and ideas!

xoxo - Becca

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