The Best Gourmet Getaways
If you consider yourself a foodie, then these are the breaks for you.
Looking for the best gourmet getaways? Boutique hotel specialists Mr & Mrs Smith have scoured the globe for the tastiest of travel options – from kitchens run by celebrity chefs in the English countryside to cookery schools that teach you to create authentic Thai flavours, and restaurants that serve up food from the Australian hinterland. There’s sure to be something to whet your appetite…
THE SIAM – Bangkok, Thailand
Begin your culinary immersion into Bangkok with a cookery class at the Siam. The journey starts with a tuk-tuk ride to a local market, where you’ll pick up fresh ingredients with the hotel’s chef, before returning to whip up three delicious courses, spiced with south-east Asian flavours. The location promises to be as exotic as the food: hosted in a traditional Thai teakwood house, overlooking the Chao Phraya River. Prefer to focus on the eating? The hotel offers a ‘Chef’s Table’ experience, where you can simply sit back and sip champagne while a seasoned pro rustles up dinner from a live cooking station on the hotel’s riverside lawn. Either way, you’re unlikely to go hungry at this opulent art deco address.
HOTEL EMMA – Texas, US
This Texan brewery-turned-boutique hotel in downtown San Antonio greets guests with a margarita on arrival. Following this fitting start to your gourmet getaway, you can then move on to Supper, where self-taught chef and so-called ‘vegetable whisperer’ John Brandhas serves up a playful menu of blustered carrots with hazelnuts and miso dressing, and market seafood with artichoke-and-olive salad and golden-tomato sauce. For those with a sweet tooth, dessert options include butterscotch crémeux. The epicurean adventure continues upstairs with Ice Box minibars in each room, stocked with beers, market treats and all the ingredients you need to concoct a La Babia margarita. A culinary concierge is also on hand to organise special foodie experiences around town.
LIME WOOD – Hampshire, UK
This Hampshire hideout is famed for its celebrity chef pop-ups, which have included Rick Stein and Tom Kerridge. Originally a medieval hunting lodge, Lime Wood has been given a stately makeover with gourmet dining to match. Chefs Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder combine their British and Italian heritage at Hartnett, Holder & Co. Meat is cured onsite in Lime Wood’s onsite Smoke House and then dished up as a selection of sharing plates. For those planning to eat clean, Raw & Cured serves only raw food and freshly prepared juices in the hotel spa, which also boasts a mud house, sauna, steam house, indoor and outdoor pools, a sun deck and a herb garden. Even your four-legged friends are catered for, with a ribbon-wrapped Bonio for each pooch.
COMO THE TREASURY – Perth, Australia
A heritage heavyweight, Como the Treasury occupies Perth’s historic State Buildings. Expansive views are best taken in from the hotel’s rooftop, home to the signature Wildflower restaurant. Here, chef Jed Gerrard takes you on a culinary tour of Western Australia, with smoked kangaroo, marron crayfish and Shark Bay saucer scallops with sesame cream, fennel and apple. The menu at Post – the second half of Como’s dining double act – is more casual, but still has a distinctly Australian spin. Elsewhere in the State Buildings, continue your culinary exploration with Thai street food at Long Chim.
ZABORIN – Niseko, Japan
On Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, Zaborin is a heavenly hotel with all the understated elegance for which the country is known. With just 15 villas, each with an indoor and outdoor onsen bath filled with volcanic water, it’s intimate and secluded, surrounded by meadows, forests and some of Asia’s best powder slopes. For a traditional Japanese experience, book a Washitsu room, which comes with futons in place of Western beds. Overnight guests are primed for a culinary awakening, where local produce – including ingredients from the forest and a nearby lake – are used. Chef Yoshihiro Seno draws from his experience of authentic kaiseki and washoku techniques to serve multi-course meals each night. If you can’t comprehend what that entails, you soon will...
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