Born in Hong Kong, growing up in Sydney and living in London for five years as a fashion buyer for a distinguished department store, Lou Hay lists travel and food as her genuine passions. The ever-so-chic blogger seeks fulfilling experiences through habitual travels, ones that often include delicious Italian cuisine, great wine and an amazing sunset. With two trips to Positano this year alone, we asked Lou for her take on dreamy Positano.
Your choice of leading hotels and/or resorts and why? (i.e. location, service, quality, décor).
My favourite hotel is Il San Pietro. My family have been staying here almost every summer for 15 years so it holds a very special place in my heart. It’s probably one of the most iconic hotels on the Amalfi coast as it’s literally built into the cliff face. The views of Positano and the Mediterranean are stunning. It’s a small, family run hotel and the service is impeccable. The two in-house restaurants one of which, Zass has a Michelin star are fantastic and its private beach club mean you never have to leave the hotel!
This spring I stayed at Villa Treville which is also fantastic. Every corner of this hotel is an Instagramable moment! The décor is so chic, every detail is beautiful and luxurious. They also have their own beach club which is a short boat trip away next to the famous Da Adolfo restaurant. It’s a small hotel so it feels very private, like you have the villa all to yourself.
Where’s the ultimate spot for:
- A sunset Aperol-Spritz? Bianco Bar at Villa Treville or Franco’s at Le Sirenuse.
- Large group lunches. Da Adolfo
- An intimate or romantic dinner. Zass at Il San Pietro, make sure to enjoy a sunset aperitivo on the terrace before dinner.
- People-watching. Champagne bar at Le Sirenuse
List up to 10 dining locations. (Describe cuisine, tips i.e. dinner, reservation needed and must-try dishes).
Da Adolfo – This rustic, beach-side restaurant is an institution in Positano for lunch and definitely not one to miss. Don’t be surprised if Spielberg or a Silicon Valley tycoon is sitting barefoot at the next table. Getting a reservation is almost impossible as they hardly answer the phone. My top tip is to have lunch at Villa Treville’s beach club next door and just walk over after and corner the owner Sergio in person. Order the mussels and the green pepper pesto pasta.
Ristorante Max – One of my favourite dinner spots as it’s part art gallery, part restaurant and the food is delicious! Start with the zucchini flowers followed by the branzino cooked in garlic and cherry tomatoes.
La Terra – Delicious regional cooking high up in the hills. Go before sunset for the most breathtaking view! Beware the treacherous winding roads up to the restaurant.
La Sponda – the Michelin starred restaurant of Le Sirenuse. At night it’s lit up with candles so it’s a great spot for a romantic dinner. Enjoy drinks at the champagne bar before your meal.
Carlino, Il San Pietro – This is one of my favourite lunch spots but you can only dine here as a guest of the hotel. The mozzarella baked in lemon leaves is a stand out!
Maestro’s – The restaurant of Villa Treville and the views are just magical. Come early to enjoy sunset drinks at the Bianco Bar before dinner.
Da Vincenzo – A Hay family favourite! The food is divine and the owner runs around ringing a bell singing “happy wife, happy life!” What’s not to love. Order the octopus – you’ll be booking a second dinner there before you leave!
Chez Black – This place is buzzing at dinner. Ask for a table at the front for the people watching. The pizza is delicious as is the seafood.
What are your insider necessities (Your take on activities, close getaways, seeing the coast by boat)?
Lo Scoglio da Tommaso – A boat day cruising the coast is a must! The towns dotting the Amalfi coast are so picturesque from the water. Stop off for lunch at Lo Scoglio in Nerano which is definitely one of the best restaurants in the area. Don’t even look at the menu just tell them to bring their specialties until you’re full.
La Conca del Sogno – This is my favourite beach club and is just a short water taxi ride away from Positano. Come in the morning and relax at the beach club before lunch at the restaurant. You’ll be blown away by the salt-baked branzino and the pasta alla Nerano will change your life.
Visit Ravello – Ravello is a small town high above the coast line. The views here are a must-see. If you’re just visiting for the day make sure to check out the gardens at Villa Cimbrone and then have lunch by the infinity pool at Hotel Caruso for some of the best pizza in the region.
A list of your favourite boutiques and stores?
Emporio Le Sirenuse stocks its own resortwear and home décor collection. The pieces are quintessentially Positano.
What’s a trip to the Amalfi Coast without taking home some of the region’s iconic ceramic pieces! Head over to Ceramica Assunta for beautiful hand-crafted tableware. I always leave wishing I bought more!
How long do you stay in Positano, before visiting neighbouring locations such as Praiano, Ravello and Amalfi?
When we are in Positano we never want to leave so I would stay for at least 5 days before heading out. I would recommend visiting Ravello, Amalfi and Capri! If you’re strapped for time do 3 days in Positano and 3 days in Capri. The Amalfi coast is small so the neighboring towns are short drive away from Positano so you can squeeze in day trips from there.
Is there one luxury experience that stands-out?
One of my favourite things to do is rent a private boat for a day trip to Capri. Skip the queues, tourists and ferry and make your own way there in the luxury of your own boat. Get picked up in the morning from Positano and head to the island in time for lunch at La Fontelina. After a spaghetti vongole and a few jugs of white wine sangria, enjoy an afternoon cruise around the island before heading back for a sunset dip in the Nerano bay.
Your preferred brands and style essentials?
It’s always hot and humid in Positano so light fabrics are a must! I love Lisa Marie Fernandez because her swimsuits and sets make it so easy to go from the beach to lunch. This summer I discovered London-based brand Three Graces, they have beautiful dresses that can be worn during the day or to sunset cocktails. Chic hats and beach bags are essential and what’s a trip to Italy without sporting some Dolce & Gabbana!
Spy Lou Hay incredible style and images via @louhayhay
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