There are a multitude of delights to be discovered in Positano, from artisanal shoe shops to the champagne and oyster bar at the much-loved Le Sirenuse, from the terrace of which the world just simply looks better. But Bianca Sharma, who lives in town and owns the wonderful Monastero Santa Rosa hotel further along the Amalfi Coast, was insistent that I should try a new addition with a positively Positano vibe – Casa e Bottega, where she promised me a nutrient-rich, fabulously tasty smoothie for the afternoon heat.
Bianca’s suggestion did not disappoint. Not only was my smoothie – a blend of wild berries, apple, mint and orange – deliciously restorative, but the entire marine-inspiredshop-cum-café was a real find. It is run by the energetic and chic Tanina, who cut her teeth managing several restaurants. Here, though, is the first time that she has mixed design-led homeware and food in one gloriously colourful space. The shop’s white walls are decorated with bright bluefish, while simple wooden tables and chairs mix with white sofas topped by turquoise cushions. Glass jellyfish and lights housed in fish-shaped pottery dangle from above, and shelves are crowded with bunches of wild flowers and bold local pottery:quirky sculptures of bejewelled women in tall hats.
On the counters lie Casa e Bottega’s ediblepleasures, divided into healthy and, well, not so healthy. Jars of sugared almonds, chocolate eggs and cookies, and plates of chocolate, strawberry and lemon cakes are grouped on one side. The other is laden with bowls of cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, lemons and peppers, alongside jugs of basil and dill. From these you can select what you would like in your smoothie, should none of the five house options appeal. While I sipped on my bespoke concoction,Bianca opted for Liquid Sun – spinach, cucumber, kiwi, lemon and apple juice topped with goji berries – which she loved, although she often has Yellow Passion, an exotic combination of mango, apple, ginger and pineapple. There is also a selection of milkshakes, beers and local wines, as well as salads that use local ingredients and platters of Italian hams.
This is a place that feeds the soul as much as the body, and from which you leave lighter in step – despite the fact that you succumbed to that tart lemon cake.