The Feast of St Martin at Sapori Di Casa

The Feast of St Martin – Festa Lombarda di San Martino 11 Novembre.

A five-course Feast of San Martino dining experience with wine pairing.

The Casa Hotel’s Sapori Di Casa is delighted to announce our Feast of St Martin – an evening of superb northern Italian cuisine and fine wines in celebration of Saint Martin’s Day,  or San Martino as he is known as in Italy.

St Martin was the Bishop of Tours and the patron saint of vintners (wine-makers), and is typically celebrated Italian-style with traditional food and wines. The feast is all about enjoyment of the fleeting moments of our life and sharing the experience with our friends and loved ones.

The Summer of San Martino (St Martin)

This term comes from the famous tale of St Martin, who reportedly cut his cloak in two to share with a lowly beggar. Immediately, the weather changed from cold and rainy to sunshine and heat, and so coined the phrase ‘San Martino summer’.

It is also known as an Indian summer in some parts of north Europe and both are a reference to the last embrace of warmth before the final onset of winter sets in.

St Martin’s Day Traditions

The 11th November was the period when the peasants would settle their dues following the harvest. They would re-establish (or not) the ‘sharecropping’ contract for another year, and often they would eat goose so they didn’t have to move with it! The traditional Cassoeula – a cabbage and pork stew – was also popularly prepared in the Po Valley with goose meat (also called bottaggio). Fare San Martino’ is a phrase still common today, and means ‘to change place of work’ or move house.

Mid November is the perfect time for chestnuts and novello wines, which play an integral part in the feast for the community. An old proverb says “At San Martino every must becomes wine”. This is because at this time of year, the wine harvested between September and October is finally ready to be uncorked and shared with a toast and good company.

The Feast

Five-course San Martino Experience, with culinary lecture by Paul Lucas

Set menu with wine pairing – £49

The San Martino Feast includes: 

Aperitivo – Glass of Franciacorta

This sparkling wine from the Province of Brescia, Lombardy has DOCG status. It is produced using the traditional method from grapes grown within the boundaries of the territory of Franciacorta, on the hills located between the southern shore of Lake Iseo and the city of Brescia. It was awarded DOC status in 1967.

Primo (starter)– Vellutata di castagne, porcini e guanciale  

A starter of roasted chestnuts soup with grilled porcini and crispy guanciale bacon. Guanciale is a bacon that comes from the cheek of the animal. It is sweeter and tastier than traditional belly bacon. Grilled porcini mushrooms from the Bergamasco region are renowned throughout Italy for their exceptional quality. They are considered by many to be the best in the world. 

To match the starter is a glass of Colli Morenici Mantovani del Garda bianco 

A DOC white wine to perfectly enhance the creaminess of the chestnuts and porcini. Its production is permitted only in the province of Mantua

Secondo (main) – Cassoeula con polenta Bergamasca 

This typical winter dish is popular in Northern Italy is sometimes Italianized as cazzuola or cazzola or bottaggio. Usually, cassoeula is served with polenta and/or a strong red wine. It is traditionally eaten starting 11th November, after the first frost of the season to let the cabbage be softer and tastier. This dish mainly uses less popular pork cuts like ribs, rind, trotters, ears, nose and tail. Verzino sausage and sometimes other meats like goose are also popular. They are cooked in a casserole with ingredients such as onion, carrot, celery and black pepper for about three hours. After, the cabbage is added and cooking continues for a further half-hour. No feast of St Martin is complete without it!

To match the main course is a glass of Barbera D’oltrePo Pavese

When young, these wines offer a very intense aroma of fresh red cherries and blackberries. In the lightest versions, hints of cherriesraspberries and blueberries are present. Notes of blackberry and black cherries are common in wines made with more ripe grapes. Many producers employ the use of toasted oak barrels to provide increased complexity, ageing potential, and hints of vanilla notes. 

Dolce – (desert)  – Coppe di amaretti, castagne e mascarpone

Cups of macaroons, chestnuts and mascarpone are deliciously flavoured with amaretto liqueur. This autumnal dessert is composed of a soft and delicious cream prepared with boiled chestnuts is the perfect finale to our Feast of San Martino. It is complimented with dark chocolate and mascarpone and finished with a handful of crumbled amaretti.

To match the desert is a glass of Sangue di Giuda dell’Oltrepò Pavese DOC – Blood of Judas

This dessert wine is deep purplish red and has intense violet reflections to the eye. This wine has a nose rich in blueberries, black cherries and wild strawberries, and can remind of overripe fruits and a jam-like sweetness.  Sweet and soft on the palate, vinous, medium-bodied and persistent, it really is the perfect end to a feast. This wine is worked only in steel and refermented in autoclave, and so takes us back to the most deeply rooted winemaking traditions of the Oltrepò Pavese lands. It is best appreciated with eyes closed.

Caffè espresso all’italiana to finish. (No Italian would ever drink cappuccino after 10 am…)

This intimate Feast of St Martin is for one night only and so availability is limited to 30 places.

Please visit https://events.thecasahoteluk.com/sanmartinofeast for bookings and more details.

COVID event rescheduling.

How to Reschedule your Wedding During the COVID-19 Pandemic


One of the most heartbreaking effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the postponement of weddings. Couples often spend several months planning their big day. And while a date change simply can’t be avoided sometimes, it’s still a source of stress when it is necessary.


While re-planning the celebrations you’ve already worked so hard on can seem overwhelming, you’ll get through it, and the day will be just as special.


Here are some guidelines to help you reschedule – not cancel – your wedding day.


  1. Let yourself grieve

The biggest event of your life, that took immense time and effort to plan, is now being… postponed. While it’s not the end of the world, it’s a pretty big deal, and It’s okay to feel disappointed. Talk it over with your partner or close friend to help you cope.


  1. Contact your vendors ASAP

If you’re postponing your wedding, the first people you need to tell are the pros that are making it happen. Photographers, florists, linen vendors, designers, bakeries – all these people need to be kept in the loop. If there’s any vendor you can’t imagine your wedding without, like a photographer, then let them know as soon as possible your decision to reschedule. Don’t forget to contact your wedding venue and let them know your new date, and to find out other later available dates.


  1. Tell your guests

Many of your guests may already have flights and hotel rooms booked for your big day, so they absolutely must know if you’ve changed the date. Once you’ve decided to postpone, be sure to send a quick email message to let your guests know. And then once you’ve settled on a new date, communicate that to your guests immediately. This gives them ample time to change travel plans and prepare.


  1. Keep track of your wedding dress

More than likely your dress will need some alterations before the big day. Be sure to get in touch with your seamstress and let them know that your date has shifted. This means your alterations will also need to be postponed. Be prepared to collect your dress if your seamstress is not able to store it until your new date. Whatever you do, don’t forget about your dress. 


  1. Make your payments anyway

It might be tempting to postpone your payments to vendors because you’re rescheduling your wedding day. But keep in mind that these vendors will need to keep their doors open to accommodate you. Just imagine if they had to shut down due to a lack of funds – with the money you’ve already given them. You want these people to stay in business so you can rely on them when all this passes.


While rescheduling your wedding day is not ideal, it does not have to be the end of the world. With a little bit of extra planning, you can definitely pull this off. And there’s no reason you can’t make the original date special too.

5 Things to Consider when Selecting Your Wedding Date.

 Things to Consider when Selecting Your Wedding Date


For some reason, the first question you hear after announcing your engagement is… 


So, when’s the big day?


Needless to say, your wedding date is an important part of your planning. And it’s not as simple as pulling a random date out of your hat. Some research is required.


Here are five things you should consider when picking the perfect date.


  1. Time to plan

Planning a wedding takes effort and can be quite stressful (and worth every minute of stress!). When choosing your date, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to plan. Typically, the longer the timeline, the less stressful the preparations will be.


  1. Holidays

Getting married on a national holiday is not completely out of the question. But it comes with its downsides. Keep in mind that many of your guests might not be able to make it due to other family obligations. Also, venue planners are usually very busy during the holidays.


  1. Your closest family members

There are some people you simply don’t want to miss your wedding. Like your closest family members and your besties for life. So when choosing your wedding date, be sure to consult with them to learn about any important dates they have coming up. Big work events, pregnancies, long awaited trips – you want to know about anything that could clash with your big day.


  1. Season and weather

Each season comes with its own pros and cons. You can get massive discounts in the winter, but you might have to forego that beautiful outdoor event you’ve always longed for. Or you can plan a beautiful halloween themed wedding for fall, just as long as you’re comfortable paying full price. 


  1. Your Venue’s Calendar

Your wedding venue plays a big role in choosing your wedding date. Sure you might have the perfect date in mind, but is your venue available on that day? Popular venues can be fully booked well in advance, especially for seasons like spring and fall.


There’s nothing quite as exciting as picking the perfect date for your wedding. There are so many things to consider, and this list will have you well on your way.


Contact us at xxxx to learn more about our luxurious wedding suites and packages, and to check out our calendar.

Wedding Venue Checklist

 Wedding Venue Checklist for Successful Show-Round

Finding the perfect wedding venue takes work. But it can be great fun if done right. A vital part of picking the right venue is doing show-rounds, and it’s important to have a wedding venue checklist in hand when doing these show-rounds.


This handy checklist will help you gather the information you’ll need to decide which is the best venue for you.

 Before you visit


Believe it or not, your “show-round” starts before you even set foot at any potential wedding venues. There are some questions you’ll need to answer before you start your actual visits.


  1. Get a quote

To narrow down your choices, get an accurate quote to find what fits your budget. Your final budget should take into account your target guest count, the time of year you plan to marry, among other things.


  1. Determine your venue’s capacity

You may already have a target guest count. Now you need to know for certain if the venue will be able to accommodate your guests.


  1. Explore your ceremony options

Find out if the ceremony and reception can take place at the same place. You’ll also need to find out any additional costs for reception, and the logistics.


  1. Find out about catering

Do they offer catering, or will you need to organize that yourself? What about bar services? Do they allow alcohol? Keep in mind that some venues don’t allow external catering, so it’s always good to ask.


 During the show-round


Now that you’ve narrowed down your list of potential venues, it’s time to have some fun! Here’s what you should be doing during your visits.


  1. Look behind the scenes

The location should be beautiful, but don’t stop there. Get a good look at the behind the scenes facilities like bathrooms, extra storage and parking.


  1. Discuss lighting 

Are open flame candles allowed? What about power outlets? How many are available and where are they located? Talk about your lighting plans with the wedding specialist.


  1. Talk about bad weather options

Especially if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony or reception, you’ll want to know if there’s a backup plan in case it rains.


  1. Ask about permits and licenses

Some areas require special permits for certain events, as well as for confettis and other props. And don’t forget to ask about liquor licenses.


  1. Discuss finances

Talk about deposits, payment options, refund policies and late fees. Do they offer bundle packages? What about opportunities for discounts?


Searching for a wedding venue can be super fun, if a bit time consuming. But your efforts will not be in vain. This list will get you through the most important parts of wedding venue show-rounds. 


Walk down the aisle at Casa Hotel, amidst 17th century architecture and summer gardens. Give us a call at 01252 749144 to learn more about our show-round options.

7 Steps to Picking the Perfect Wedding Venue.

Finding the perfect wedding venue takes time and planning. But it’s one of the most important steps in your whole wedding planning journey. Before you start seeking venues, it’s a good idea to have your general wedding theme in mind, to help narrow down potential venues.


Here’s a list of steps to take when starting your search:


  1. Find a planner

Wedding planners are invaluable resources. They shoulder a lot of the stress and responsibilities of getting all the little details ready for the big day. If you’re using a planner, they will need to be a part of your search for the perfect venue, and they will be able to give some helpful tips.


  1. Set a date

This is important, as not all venues are available year round. Also, the time of year will determine to a great extent the cost of the venue. And this could be a range of dates, in case you and your love have not yet settled on a definite date. 


  1. Draft your guest list

How many people do you have in mind for your wedding? Remember that different venues will have different capacities, so knowing your target guest count is a must when searching for the right wedding venue.


  1. Build your budget

The amount of money you have to spend will play a big part in your choice of wedding venue. Take the time to build out your entire wedding budget, and consider that about 60 percent of your overall budget will go towards food, drinks and entertainment.


  1. Research online

Once you have your budget, date and guest count in mind, it’s time to start researching venues that can accommodate those figures. The best way to start is by searching for venues in your area online.


  1. Show-round

Once you’ve selected about five of your favourite venues or so, it’s time to pay them a visit. Give them a call or shoot them an email with any pertinent questions, and then make the trip to check them out personally. Pay attention to space, backdrop, bathrooms, parking and other amenities.


  1. Read and sign your contract

Once you’ve found your perfect venue, it’s time to read through your contract – and thoroughly – and sign if you’re satisfied with the terms and conditions.


Congratulations! You’ve completed one of the biggest tasks in your wedding planning process. Now you can take it easy and finalise the other little details.