A Luxurious Lunch at Pauline Borghese, Parco dei Principi

Updated on 11 October 2017
Hotel Parco dei Principi
 is one of the most well known hotels in Rome and its elegant restaurant, Pauline Borghese, is the perfect spot for a luxurious lunch. The privileged location in the upmarket Parioli district, next to the Villa Borghese park has made it popular with celebrity guests – the Beatles, Woody Allen, and many more…

Crossing the threshold, you really feel like you are in an oasis of calm. The Hotel Parco dei Principi Roma was designed by the famous architect Giò Ponti in 1964 and recently had a facelift inspired by the villas of Rome’s 17th-century nobility. It’s the perfect base from which to explore the Colosseum, the Vatican and Rome’s hidden gems. One of the main attractions is the impressive spa, of which more later. We had been invited to sample the delights of the renowned “Pauline Borghese” restaurant with its delightful terrace overlooking the Italian style garden.

Pauline Borghese restaurant
Due to the heat, we opted for the air-conditioned seating inside the restaurant, with its pretty stucco plasterwork and comfortable chairs. The menu here is based on traditional Italian cuisine with a modern twist, and a particularly fine selection of wines. There’s even a choice of regional Italian oils to accompany your meal. You may be wondering who Pauline Borghese was? Her full name was Pauline Borghese Bonaparte – Napoleon’s sister was beautiful and flirtatious, breaking hearts all over Europe. Her second husband was Prince Camillo Borghese who owned the largest collection of diamonds in the world. Their relationship was quite discordant –  he even placed her under house arrest at one point.

Great attention has been paid to detail, from the elegant crockery to the silver plate covers that the friendly waiters remove with a flourish. Parco dei Principi menu
This starter of parmesan cheese tempura with bacon panzanella salad was the perfect choice on a hot Summer’s day and the savoury flavour of the Parmesan matched the bacon perfectly.

Parco dei Principi starter
My starter of vegetables with baked ricotta cheese and taggiasca olive sauce was a wonderfully light combination. Taggiasca are sweet and mild olives from Liguria which produce a very fruity sauce.

Parco dei Principi restaurant
Continuing my health kick, I chose red Mediterranean Grouper in Acqua pazza style with agretti for my main course. Eating out in Italy is great for learning new cooking techniques and vocabulary! Acqua pazza literally means crazy water, as fishermen from Naples used to sautée the catch of the day in seawater with tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil. These days  it’s a recipe for white fish poached in a lightly herbed broth. Agretti looks like a cross between rosemary and grass. It’s a water-retaining plant that has a season of only a few weeks, so it’s the first time I’d tried it, and I really enjoyed its delicate flavour.

Pauline Borghese food
Mr Luxe was not to be outdone and his main of sea bass and king prawns au gratin served with Roman taccole beans gave me serious plate envy.

Pauline Borghese Rome
The double chocolate mousse with crispy meringue and Haitian vanilla sauce was a delight and the raspberries brought just the right note of acidity to the dish. Mr Luxe’s wild strawberry tartlet with lemon and champagne cream was equally flavourful.

Pauline Borghese Roma
The petits fours with our fresh mint tea were a real treat – candied orange peel and crispy chocolate nuggets.

Pauline Borghese petits fours
After lunch, the General Manager showed us around the rest of the Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa, which has elegant boiserie, gilded stuccowork and precious artworks.

The hotel even has some archeological remains on site, next to the 18 room Congress centre.

Parco dei Principi grounds
One of the hotel’s star attractions is the Prince Spa, opened in 2010, on three levels with a 450 square metre fitness area and 12 treatement rooms plus 2 multisensory couple spa suites. The highlight has to be the Swarovski crystal ceiling of the 25 metre ozone spa pool. You can just see it on this photo, I didn’t want to disturb the swimmers.

Parco dei Principi pool
The 179 rooms in Hotel Parco dei Principi have fantastic views over the Villa Borghese park or the exclusive Parioli district. Most of them have balconies or terraces and quite a few have connecting rooms.

Parco dei Principi bedroom
Just look at the view from the balcony of this room – beyond the pool is the Villa Borghese Park and aviary.

Parco dei Principi bedroom
There are 24 recently renovated suites have been recently renovated and we visited the 350 square metre Royal Suite with its panoramic terrace. Woody Allen had the treadmill installed here when he last stayed and it has been here ever since. All in all, it’s one of the best places to stay in Rome, and we’re looking forward to staying here on a future visit.

Pauline Borghese at Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & SpaVia G. Frescobaldi, 5 – 00198 Rome, Italy

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  • Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    Suze, if you keep posting food pictures like this, I may actually have to stop reading because of the SERIOUS food envy I get from your posts!! 😉

  • This looks like such a nice hotel. I am also loving the creative take on petit fours, those chocolate nuggets look delicious!

    Ash | Liakada

    • We were quite full by then but I managed to find some space for the chocolate nuggets!

  • the italian glam

    awesome shots, this place is one of the best in town….



  • Beauty Follower

    The food, the place even the view are so lux!

    Greets from Greece 🙂

    • You’re spot on there, it’s all very lux but in a relaxed fashion

  • Corinne C

    What? This place doesn’t even seem real. It’s stunning! I want to go swimming in that pool 🙂

    Corinne x

    • Sadly we didn’t get to use the pool but next time! Don’t think I would want to check out ever

  • Holy moley, this place looks gorgeous (and delicious)!

    District of Chic

  • Oh my god, I don’t even know what to say! That all looks incredible

    Naomi in Wonderland

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    What a beautifully elegant hotel and the lunch looks delicious xx
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London

    • It’s very elegant, got that old school glamour they do so well in Italy

  • What gorgeous interiors but that food! Drool!


    • I loved the fact that the food was so light but tasty at the same time

  • The place looks elegant and the food are extravagant 🙂

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin

  • The food looks awesome and so does the location! What a lovely treat!


    • It was a lovely treat, great to get out of the hot Roman sunshine to such a haven

  • Coco

    It’s a true luxury haven, and the food looks delish! Baci,
    Coco et La vie en rose fashion blog – Valeria Arizzi

    • Grazie Valeria! We certainly got a great dose of luxury there, now I want to go back and use the spa

  • Double chocolate mousse with crispy meringue and Haitian vanilla sauce? Sounds like my kinda dish!

    • I hadn’t tried Haitian vanilla before but it was very flavoursome!

  • That dining room is exquisite! And I’m in love with the pool – always a sucker for dimly lit pools. So much more relaxing!

    • I don’t know which I liked more, the indoor Swarovski pool or that outdoor pool with the sun loungers!

  • Mmmm it looks delicious! I want to eat everything sooo badly! Hahaha!

    xx Bash | Bash Says Hey | bloglovin’

    • I know, makes me feel hungry just looking at it. Thanks for stopping by Bash

  • What a stunning place!!
    And the food is so well presented. I’d love to visit soon 🙂

    Lu | http://www.balgarka.co.uk

  • This all looks gorgeous, that view, those desserts, that spa!! Need to get there soon 🙂

    • This is totally your sort of place Suzanne, highly recommend it

  • K.

    Okay I will admit it, when I first started reading this blog post, I couldn’t stop myself from drooling over the first dessert photo. OMG I am in love :). And the suite.. gorgeous. You’re so making me dream right now :).

    Kia / The House of KTS

    • I can just imagine Woody Allen running on that treadmill Kia 😉

  • Boutique Travel Blog

    What a stunning place! And right by the park. You’d need to get some exercise in after eating all that exquistie food.

    • Too right! Actually there were people doing Segway in the park and that looked quite tempting though probably did not involve enough of an effort to work off the lunch!

  • The restaurant’s outdoor eating area beneath the veranda looks so inviting, though bearing in mind the heat I can understand why you opted to dine indoors with the air conditioning 🙂 The hotel’s luxurious decor is divine and three thousand ‘wow’s to the bedroom!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice


    • I would have eaten outside, we get so few occasions to do so in the UK, but my husband is more sensible than I am and it was sweltering even in the shade!

  • shelby

    that place looks amazing! Gorgeous photos

    The Fernweh Wolf / Travel & Lifestyle Blog

  • Tal

    It’s the night before my
    holiday and I should really really be sleeping but I can’t stop reading your
    blog haha! Loved this post.

    My Little “ROAD TRIP” Box Review JULY 2015

    • Oh that’s too kind, have a brilliant holiday and looking forward to checking out your blog

  • The place looks great, the food even more! Great pictures.

  • That place looks really luxurious! Great food pics. Prince Spa is my dream place <3



    • You and me both, Cvetina! They’ve put so much care and attention into that spa

  • Albert Wijaya

    Wow such a luxurious and glamorous place! Amazing !!

    Best, Albert | Palming Pebbles

  • wow the desserts look very luxurious! I really love the decoration of each dish 🙂

    • The desserts were my favourite, mind you it was all lovely

  • I swear you’ve been to the most luxurious places ever. Look at those food, and that place! 🙂

  • Gorgeous place + gorgeous food! 🙂

    Le Stylo Rouge

  • Catherine Lux

    The hotel looks beautiful, especially that entrance!! Food looks fantastic too!

    C x | Lux Life

  • stylentonic Constantinos

    the most delicious post! kiss kiss

    kiss kiss

  • Andrea Petersen

    A luxurious lunch whilst on holiday is always in order! Your husbands sea bass and kings prawn au gratin sounds delicious! I could definitely while away a few hours in that spa and swimming pool too! Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea’s Passions

    • That pool looked so amazing and their gym is the largest in Rome!

  • life is a shoe

    wow this place looks amazing!


  • Lucy

    I love Italian cuisine and a modern twist all the better. The presentation of your food is beautiful, I love eating with my eyes. Lucy x

    • They did a fantastic job on presentation, you’re right that we eat first with our eyes Lucy

  • Sara Nielsen

    That hotel looks amazing and the food so delicious! Wish that was me haha


    • We had an amazing visit and lunch, highly recommend it if you visit Rome

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