2 years ago, I read an article in the Metro about an event called "La Notte Rosa" (the pink night) that took place the first Friday in July every year in Italy in a town called Rimini. Key words from the article included "paint the town pink" and "the party goes on until 6am". Enough said, I will see you there!...except this was actually the first year I was free to make it. So with my suitcase rammed with every pink item I owned (even I surprised myself with how much I had) I was only my way.
Colleague - "so what are you up to again?"
Me - "I'm going to Italy...there's this town...people dress up in pink...some other stuff happens"
Colleague - "Right"
Rimini, as it so happens, is an absolute beaut of a town. It only takes an hour to get there on the train from Bologna and the beaches by the Adriatic sea is so stunning I can't believe I've never read about it in a travel magazine.
The Adriatic sea, mild flashing, looking pleased as punch and wishing I could be this pink all the time
As I mentioned, very little research was done so the Friday morning of La Notte Rosa, I very helpfully shrugged when my friend had the audacity of asking me what we should do (I'm actually impressed I managed to convince my 2 non-pink loving friends - who had to specifically buy pink items for this holiday - to come with me based on such meagre information). Therefore, spurred on by my laziness, she took it upon herself to find out where the action was and we headed to the main part of Rimini further along from the giant ferris wheel.
The beaches were rather empty and not a lot of pink going on. I guess like most European countries, the fun starts when the sun goes down. Therefore we decided to stop off for an ice cream and maybe head back to our apartment before heading out later tonight. That's when we saw the Grand Hotel Rimini.
This place is fancy pants. They were setting some sort of event with Ferrari racing cars on the lawn. The waiters were really smartly dressed and you just knew this place had class.
The fanciest mirror for a selfie to date
My passionfruit and apple ice cream (the apple ice cream is hidden somewhere)
A combination of the fact that it was lovely sitting on the terrace by the pool, the fact that our waiter was rather good looking (the smart uniform shows class but the tongue piercing showed a bad-ass) and the fact we were on holiday, we decided to peruse their cocktail offerings.
I suppose enjoying my passionfruit ice cream probably inspired me to have a passionfruit martini. This was a lovely sweet drink, beautifully served, even if it's with a piece of fruit I'm quite indifferent about.
This moscow mule was one of the best I've had. I had been reading recently about a recipe for home made ginger beer (I read all these delicious blog posts yet never follow through on any of them) and it had also included fresh ginger and it makes such a difference. I love the zing from the ginger beer anyway but the ginger pieces adds another dimension and whilst it was a breezy afternoon it was still hot in the air making this a perfect drink to have.
So while me and my friends were wistfully chatting about how nice it would be a lady of leisure, our good looking waiter comes over with some nuts and crisps. Fine, this is standard behaviour. Then not long after, he comes out with sandwiches....and cheese...and olives.
Confusion. "We didn't order these". Cute waiter "It's OK, these are yours" and strolled off. Cue further confused looks and furtive discussions; the not knowing why caused more stress than necessary. Perhaps he thought we were guests of the hotel? Perhaps he thought we were famous patrons. Perhaps he thought we were cute (wishful thinking).
However hunger prevailed and we decided to just eat it and deal with it later when we probably get whacked with a huge bill. Whilst cramming a sandwich in my mouth (I'm so classy, I can certainly see why people would confuse us for guests of such a prestigious hotel), I joked that we'll probably get dessert as well.
Yeah. He went there.
And guess what. They were complimentary. What the hell?! After seeing it missing from the bill, we decided that we are absolutely living in the wrong country and never would we ever get a brucie bonus like this on the back of ordering ice cream in the UK.
Needless to say, this is a very glowing review of the Grand Hotel Rimini. You know it's a place of class when no one looks at your distainfully turning up with a frigging pink garland in your hair and squealing at every delight. The food and cocktails were delicious. The hotel grounds were beautiful and it is an absolute must to visit if you ever decide to celebrate La Notte Rosa.
The beautiful grounds of the Grand Hotel Rimini
As for the evening, thankfully people (and pets) came out in hordes wearing pink. Buildings were lit pink. There was a nail bar offering pink nail manicures. We danced along to a DJ set. There was a band playing. We saw the pink fireworks at midnight then decided it would be a nice time to head home. Then we passed a bar with music we liked playing. Decided to stop for one drink. Staggered home at 4am. Stole an inflatable pink dolphin from an Italian guy with a cockney accent. Had one of the most fun nights ever.
La Notte Rosa