Direct flights from London to Brindisi on British Airways.

For as long as we can remember, the magnificent Baroque city of Lecce had no really good places to stay, then like a train, two come along at once. Masseria Trapana is a mere 10 minutes drive from the historical centre yet sits in its own peaceful quiet oasis surrounded by olive trees, ancient stone walls and cacti. The Masseria is a labour of love from Australian owner Rob Potter Sanders who spent a lifetime in the hotel industry before finally fulfilling a long held dream to run his own hotel in Puglia. Rob has cleverly taken inspiration from some of the finest hotels across the globe ;shower heads from the Mandarin Oriental, black out curtains, rooms scent by the White Company and so much more. In homage to his homeland, it is the first hotel in Italy to stock Australian super brand Aesop in the bathrooms and where you’ll find a jar of Vegemite on the breakfast table.

Of all the nine bedrooms, the ones we love most are on the ground floor with their private gardens, al fresco baths (big enough for two) and light filled bedrooms. The grounds are extensive and filled with mature pomegranate and lemon trees, hammocks, a generous swimming pool tucked away behind an ancient stone wall and plenty of other places to escape including a garden for games and a garden just for yoga.

The interiors are cosy enough to hunker down in should the weather be unkind. We love the kitchen with its endlessly long stainless steel eating bar; perfect for a wine tasting (yes the wines of the Salento are finally on the up) or gentle thumbing out orecchiette pasta during a cooking class before nipping out the kitchen door to pick fresh herbs from the kitchen garden. Children are gently dissuaded from staying at the Masseria and we applaud this decision, somewhere as romantic as this should be kept for those who’ll really appreciate just how special it is.