Three men in a tent – from left, Executive Chef Talha Barkin, Yogesh Juneja and Angelo Doganieri. They’re next to a Gosling wood-fired pizza oven, with a stylish marquee over – put up to attract the locals, who come rushing in. That’s what FOUR SEASONS HOTEL HAMPSHIRE has done. The Summer-long pop-up can only be described as a rip-roaring success. Lunch and dinner, Wednesday through Sunday, are full house, inside the glass-walled structure and, when the English weather allows, outside.
Although there is a full menu this is predominantly pizza palace. Sicilian chef Angelo Doganieri’s eponymous signature is deliberately-burned multi-grain dough topped with fior di latte, aubergine, confit tomatoes, ricotta salata and basil. Those who are not turned on by black dough might want to go for Capri, saffron-coloured turmeric dough, buffalo mozzarella, fresh cherry tomatoes and basil. For those not driving, glasses of Scalabrone Rosato Antinori Bolgheri DOC 2020 Rosé were tempting.
There were fresh herbs on the glass-topped marble-look tables (and olive trees placed strategically around the whole space). Olive oil was La Terre di Colombé, wood mills were Cole & Mason. Clientele at lunchtime, aged nine months to ninety years, and from a multitude of countries, was having a jolly good time. This whole venture has been the best possible community outreach, said Hotel Manager Yogesh Juneja – his boss, Andrew Harrison, is currently babysitting Cairo.
And the finishing touch is a pre-or-post facial – Girlahead was escorted by Spa & Recreation Manager Diniy Hamzah, whom she knew from two other continents, namely Four Seasons in Johannesburg and Singapore. At the Spa, .Yuni from Bali knows how to work Natura Bisé to perfection – just as Angelo from another island, off mainland Italy, knows how to pummel pizzas perfectly.