FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Lydia Forte, Rocco Forte Hotels

by Kimberly Krol

Aug 1, 2017
August 2017

MAYBE IT’S IN HER BLOOD? Lydia Forte, daughter of Sir Rocco Forte and niece of Olga Polizzi, makes her mark in the family business as bar and restaurant development manager for Rocco Forte Hotels, responsible for the concepts, management and performance of the group’s restaurants.

According to Forte, there are some elements which make all the difference that the brand will never compromise on in the hotels. Forte’s dream is to have at least an herb garden in every hotel. Verdura, in Sicily, boasts an organic farm, and at hotels without space for gardens, like Balmoral in Edinburgh, they produce their own smoked salmon and honey. Personal touches like these and an eye for quality create a stand-out culinary experience across the brand.

Prior to joining Rocco Forte Hotels in February 2014, Forte managed the opening of The Markham Inn in Chelsea and led projects to improve HIX Mayfair in London and Bocconi in Brussels. She worked her way up in the industry, from front-of-house positions to accounting and reservations, and also completed a professional cookery class at Leith’s, a four-month internship at Hotel Astoria in St. Petersburg and maître d’ training at The Wolseley.

WHICH DESTINATIONS INSPIRED YOU, AND HOW HAS THAT INSPIRATION TRANSLATED INTO YOUR CULINARY CONCEPTS?
I live in London, which has become one of — if not the — centers for culinary excellence in the world. There has been a food revolution here in the last 10 to 15 years, with hundreds of new concepts constantly opening. What I find unique in London is the number of high-quality restaurants that last. There are several places I would be happy to visit every week for the rest of my life, which I don’t find as much in other cities. Restaurants with extremely high-quality food, service and ambience, such as The River Café, stand the test of time, are authentic and offer an all-around world-class and exceptional experience. Those are the restaurants that truly inspire me and that we aim to emulate.

WHOM DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR CULINARY HERO?
Fulvio Pierangelini, our creative director of food at Rocco Forte Hotels. He is an exceptional chef — few people can create food like his. When you go to his apartment, he might have a few vegetables and somehow, with what seems like nothing, he will conjure up a meal of dreams within a few seconds. The few fantastic female chefs who have broken into the world of cuisine also inspire me; there are not enough of them. Being a chef is an incredibly tough job with terrible hours, constant pressure, hot kitchens … and few make it to the top — but being a female chef is even harder. We want more female chefs in the world!

WHAT ONE PERSON MOST INFLUENCED YOUR COOKING STYLE, AND HOW?
Fulvio Pierangelini. I have traveled and worked with him in our hotels for more than four years, and he has taught me so much about food. Doing the classics in the best way possible is the hardest thing in the culinary world. Some say he’s like a food whisperer. He has taught me so much about practical things.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD CITY?
It is hard to pick one! London, Barcelona. I’m excited to visit Tokyo for the first time next year. I love all Italian cities for their regional cuisines; Italian food is the best in the world. I love our restaurant, Le Jardin de Russie at Hotel de Russie in Rome. We offer delicious Roman cuisine in our stunning Roman garden, right in the center of the city, and you can’t get a better sense of the city than that. It inspired me to keep to the Roman theme in our new hotel in Rome, Hotel de la Ville, opening next year. All the cities I visit inspire me in some way. Los Angeles inspired me because it was at the forefront of vegan and healthy food development.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT BIG TREND ON THE FOOD SCENE WILL BE?
Going back to basics — extremely high-quality, simple food; excellent service; good atmosphere. It’s always fun to experience new cuisines and restaurants that offer something different, but people will always come back to quality.

I also love that Asian and Middle Eastern styles of sharing food have become mainstream, as I love being able to try a little bit of lots of things.

Healthy, vegetarian and vegan offerings are a craze and will continue because we understand the importance of feeling good in today’s world. Luxury is treating your body and our world well. Following this trend, my sister, Irene, and I developed Rocco Forte Nourish, partnering with local nutritionists to develop healthy menus.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Daily
Feb 24, 2020

Wynn Las Vegas Unveils New Social Dining Concept, Elio

Travelers in Las Vegas can enjoy a new dining concept at Wynn Las Vegas starting March 19. A new restaurant, Elio, will debut, offering an energetic environment and thoughtful menu items reflecting Mexico’s rich culinary traditions. Small plates focus on seafood and produce, while entrees are shareable. A lounge offers agave-based spirits.

A Lighter Footprint

United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.

Feature
Feb 23, 2020

3 Stops to Wellness in Australia

Wellness travel can seem like an oxymoron after a 19-plus-hour flight to Australia — but there’s something so luxurious about traveling for a great spa.

News
Feb 23, 2020

JetBlue Relaunches JetBlue Vacations

JetBlue Vacations recently relaunched, offering travelers bundled experiences and allowing them to purchase flights, hotel stays, car rentals and more in one spot for one price. Bundles now include additional benefits, such as free in-flight beverages, earlier flight boarding and no change fees.

Adventure of a Lifetime with Volvo

Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.

Feature
Feb 23, 2020

JetBlue Plans New Routes and Schedules Ahead of 20th Anniversary

Ahead of its 20th anniversary, JetBlue will make several changes to its schedule and routes. This means new flights to Guatemala City, more flights in popular JetBlue markets and routes and adjustments to Caribbean and West Coast flights.

Feature
Feb 21, 2020

United Airlines Makes it Easier to Upgrade to Business Class with PlusPoints Program

Scoring a free upgrade on a flight is a dream come true for any traveler, but getting to an upgrade can be an arduous journey, often requiring dozens of flights racking up miles or partaking in bidding wars to nab open business-class seats.

Goway Offers Travelers Journey of a Lifetime

Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Feature
Feb 21, 2020

New Boeing CEO David Calhoun to Prioritize 737 MAX’s Return to the Skies

Boeing’s new CEO will prioritize bringing the company’s troubled 737 MAX to service for 2020.