Masseria Moroseta, Ostuni, Italy
11 December, 2019
Surrounded by organic olive groves, the white-stone Masseria Moroseta draws a bohemian crowd with its pared-back style, timeless comforts and a sustainable sensibility.
A modern country house with a sustainable sensibility, Masseria Moroseta is something out of a Le Corbusier dream cycle - if Corbusier was Italian, that is. Surrounded by more than five hectares of organic olive groves, Masseria Moroseta is an affordable, B&B-style hideaway in the Puglian countryside. Built around an airy courtyard, this white-stone masseria is structured like a typical "Pugliese" farmhouse, but with modern enhancements of solar power, green building techniques and energy-saving insulation. Thanks to its convivial atmosphere that appeals to artists, bohemians and design aficionados, securing a reservation at this cultish property is no small feat.
Six elegant, simple rooms line the courtyard walls of the masseria. Classic rooms are fitted with king-size beds made up with crisp linen sheets and backed by chevron-patterned tiles masquerading as headboards. Serving as reading lamps, exposed light bulbs dangle from the ceiling over mismatched side tables, while a small writing desk occupies the far corner, adjacent to your private garden or terrace which overlooks the hinterland. Just as rustic, the Suites offer all the weathered woods and tarnished metals of the Classic rooms, with the added perk of additional space. Bathrooms, for both room types, boast vintage marble sinks, open showers with salvaged copper pipes and fittings - they also come stocked with bio cosmetics produced from the masseria's extra virgin olive oil.
What's for breakfast?
Breakfast is a communal affair, served from 8.30am. On entering the breakfast room, you'll find a table laid with Puglian crockery - a hotpotch collection compiled of Pollock-esque splashes and abstract faces in primary colours. You'll feast on a spread of cold-cut meats, eggs freshly laid by owner Carlo's flock of chickens, burrata doused in olive oil, apple spiced with sumac, rice pudding topped with stewed apricots and flecked with cacao nibs, husks of buttery sourdough and strong coffee to wash it all down. Included in your room rate, breakfast is served until 10.30am.
How about lunch and dinner?
Like breakfast, both lunch and dinner are served family style. Lunches are from 1 to 2pm and dinners are hosted at 8pm. Seated around a long wooden bench-style table, you can get to know the co-habitants of the hotel over a preset menu - trust Masseria Moroseta to steer your culinary journey, these guys know about a toothsome, locally sourced meal. Over the course of your dinner you'll sample the likes of handmade pastas and gnocchi (we tucked into culurgiones-inspired ravioli), rich pumpkin gazpacho (paired with organic wine bottled by a local former optician) and a luscious dessert - think chocolate cake laced with chocolate fondant and finished with a scoop of gelato.
Is there a bar?
You'll find a small bar tucked away in the same space as the casual dining room - help yourself to vegan treats or chocolate-chip cookies to accompany your espresso at 12pm. From noon onwards, revisit the bar for a sip of something stronger - an Aperol spritz by the pool or a glass of Puglian wine in the lounge on a cooler evening goes down a treat.
Take a dip in the outdoor pool or workout in the petite, but well-equipped gym which comprises of an elliptical, TRX straps, yoga mats and dumbbells. If you consider shopping your cardio or you've simply fallen in love with Masseria Moroseta's furnishings, you can bring home a piece of the place from its boutique which sells bedspreads, plates and Linum linen lace among other must-haves. The handmade ceramics from Grottaglie (a small town in Puglia, which is considered the heart of ceramics in Italy) are oh-so hard to resist.
Things I should know
The property is graced by the presence of three loveable bulldogs - Beppe, Pablo and little Teresa. If you're looking for somewhere dog-free, and with a little more space, the three Moroseta Villas - Villa Castelluccio, Villa Cardo and Tenuta Masseriola - can cater to your group's needs and are all within a 20-minute drive of Masseria Moroseta. On request, cooking lessons, yoga classes and personal training sessions can be arranged both at the villas and the masseria. Yoga retreats and food workshops are also held throughout the year.
Within a short walk I can find…
You'll need a car to really explore Ostuni and beyond - Polignano a Mare and Alberobello both make for memorable day trips. If you're in town on a Sunday, head to Ostuni's antiques market - park at the Pink Lady café and walk from there. For lazy days by the sea, the nearest beaches are around seven miles away.