This year [hopefully] sees a return to Florence. There’s so much to see and the atmosphere, well, just heaven at any time of year. This time it will probably be a small apartment with a roof terrace, so we can shop in the local Mercato Centrale as well as eating in many of the small, family-run restaurants. It was in Florence that we discovered the Bistecca alla Fiorentina [Florentine-Style Steak – we would call it Porterhouse probably]. We ate at a small restaurant, filled with families on a Saturday night. At one end was a small serving hatch, with a ledge just big enough to take a small chopping board. Out of this hatch came steak after steak – all huge, nearly dead, and being sliced up ready for serving to the eager families. Vegetables? Salad? Nah. The secret of this tender meat, which you can cut with a spoon, is the Chianina beef. Ingredients…thick steak, salt, hot coals – preferably hardwood. All very local and rustic.
What wasn’t rustic was J K Place. Given that this trip started with the Portrait Suites in Rome, then J K Place was the obvious stopping point in Florence. Just off Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, it’s central enough for any of the sights, whilst being light and with good views. Very discreet, friendly – a glass of chilled white wine whilst the bags and car are whisked away – and, well, very relaxing. It goes a long way back from the street, with beautiful rooms and big bathrooms. Breakfast downstairs, a big shared table. And they’ll even arrange private trips to the Vasari Corridor for only €900. No, we didn’t.
Hotel J K Place Firenze