As you enter the foyer of the restaurant of the Alexander Palace Museum Hotel you see in front of you a table with a small card sign ‘Conte e Contessa’. Over in the back, one or two couples and a single businessman sit enjoying their repasts, talking quietly.
The dining room is soft and the music non-intrusive this Christmas period, with John Lennon’s ‘The war is over’ tribute reminding us of what Christmas could be. Seated at that first table are an elegant elderly couple, quiet and self assured. She is a grey haired lady, long soft hair. She wears possibly a cashmere gown of muted colours, reminding one of Monet watercolours. And she portrays an enigmatic smile, understanding of the reality surrounding her, and reminding us of what Leonardo may have wished to portray.
You pass your glance to the man, dark haired with intense eyes, full of spirit and challenge. He wears a checked beige shirt, a light blue and Carmen red striped tie and an indigo velvet jacket. His trousers and shoes are hidden below the table, but you can suspect a further challenge of style. He is an image from a forgotten generation or is he portraying a future life? He wears a small gold ring on his lapel.
You watch as the lady slowly selects sectors of mandarins, picks single grapes from the bunch, and slices small pieces of pear for her taste. He pours tea from a small pot into a whisky glass and sips slowly as if savouring a single malt. A nearly empty red wine glass stands nearby.
They welcome you to the table and to the restaurant of the Hotel Alexander Museum Palace, one of the more amazing hotels in the world, not attempting to be renowned for luxury, though every aspect meets a high standard, but for artistic elegance and environmental sustainability. As well as being a museum of contemporary art where every room is its own work of art, the Alexander Palace provides a wonderful table, without pretense but with taste to sate a demanding palate.
And who have you met?
Il Conte Marcucci di Valfesina, Alessandro (or Nani) and his partner and wife, Paula, la contessa. If you are fortunate, you may be offered the time to listen to their tales of creating and sustaining elegance such as the Alexander Palace in Pesaro/Urbino and of their 12 strong family. Listen carefully, as you will find few people in life who have devoted themselves more fully to artistic creation and the environment.
In among the stories of toil and pain watch out for poems, and lyrical jokes that reflect the spirit and lineage of ‘il Conte’ and his family. Ask about “The Patch”, you will not forget this visitto the Alexander Palace Museum Hotel.
We talked about them also on a discovery. Click here to read it.