Entertainment Lifestyle

What to Watch This Week – Hotel Portofino

Read our review of Hotel Portofino, a new British period drama set against the backdrop of the beautiful Italian Riviera.

Is it just us or is a holiday on the Italian Riviera on your dream travel list? One of our favourite parts of Europe, the Italian Riviera, and in particular the village of Portofino, is what la dolce vita dreams are made of.

If you are no closer to getting on a plane, the next best thing you can do is to immerse yourself in new British period drama, Hotel Portofino.

Set in 1920’s Italy, the lavish series is based on the book by J.P O’Connell and focuses on the arrival of hotelier Bella Ainsworth (Natasha McElhone), the daughter of a wealthy British family, who opens a British style hotel on the Italian Riviera.

Along with her husband Cecil (Mark Umbers), son Lucien (Oliver Denny) and daughter Alice (Olivia Morris) who have all been scarred by the war, Bella hopes this change of scenery will be a fresh start for the family.

Set against a backdrop of the rise of Benito Mussolini’s fascist Italy, the move isn’t all smooth sailing with hard to please guests, a hotel murdered and rising political tension. The series veers into whodunnit territory which will please mystery fans.

The drama is mild, the story is considered and the characters are very much of the era. Don’t expect scandalous drama but be prepared for a visually beautiful experience with a backdrop of some of the most stunning scenery in the world. It is pure escapist TV which, and with the state of the real world right now, this is ok with us.

The supporting cast includes Anna Chancellor, Elizabeth Carlino and Daniele Pecci, and McElhone (who we have loved since The Truman Show) really shines.

Hotel Portofino Image: Foxtel

Who will enjoy it?

Fans of The Durrells, Downtown Abbey and period dramas or anyone who loves the Italian Rivera and wants to be swept up in the spectacular scenery of this very special part of Italy.

Fun Fact

Hotel Portofino was actually filmed in the village of Opatija in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea, with just a few scenes in filmed in Italy. Maybe we need to add Croatia on to our travel list now too!

Where to watch it

Steam it on BritBox (UK), Foxtel (Australia), PBS Masterpiece (US).

Watch the Hotel Portofino trailer here.

Want more? Click here for our review on the The Dropout and here for The Parisian Agency Season 2.