Whether you are a hard-core gastronome or just someone who enjoys the pleasures of eating great food, finding the very best places to eat when youâ€™re away can be a joyful adventure or a gruelling chore. One way to make sure that you will always, at the very least, have one fabulous meal during your holiday is to ensure that the hotel or resort in which youâ€™re staying has a world-class kitchen.
All over Europe, from Portugal to Croatia, resorts and hotels with excellent fine dining menus mean that you can enjoy the food that you love, without having to go too far to look for it. To illustrate my point, here are three of my favourite restaurants (all belonging to hotels) at which you can savour food prepared by some of the worldâ€™s best chefs.
Channel Island Charm at the Bella Luce Hotel in Guernsey
When weâ€™re enjoy a summer as beautiful as this one you donâ€™t need to go too far to experience that wonderful holiday feeling, or to indulge in some excellent local cuisine. Head Chef Simon McKenzie, at the Dining Room in the Bella Luce Hotel in Guernsey, is one of the UKâ€™s leading lights in the culinary stakes having worked under the watchful eyes of both Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White. Using wonderful local ingredients like Guernsey crab, beef, locally produced vegetables and wild mushrooms, McKenzie gives traditional British food a fine dining twist to create exquisite, delicate dishes. Catering for the holiday market, the Dining Room designs its menus to suit everyone, even children who appreciate a simpler style of cooking.
Michelin Stars in the Algarve at Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spa
Of course, to be guaranteed really fantastic, high-end cuisine, itâ€™s always worth following the Michelin Stars, and the Ocean restaurant at Vila Vita Parc boasts an impressive two. Hans Neuner is the culinary impresario who works his magic in the kitchen. Two-times winner of Portugalâ€™s Chef of the Year, Neuner celebrates traditional Portuguese cuisine by refining it into elegant, award-winning dishes. Expect local delicacies like Atlantic nori bread with goatâ€™s milk butter and fresh local sea bass accompanied by monks beard and mussels. The wine cellar here is fantastic so let the sommelier make some suggestions for the perfect pairing for your meal.
Mediterranean Flavours at Prora Restaurant in Croatiaâ€™s Hotel Excelsior
At the absolute pinnacle of hip, European holiday destinations right now, it is hardly surprising that Croatiaâ€™s restaurants have reached the heady heights of world-class dining. In Croatia, resorts along the Dalmatian Coast compete to attract the very best chefs from across the country to satisfy the discerning visitors who come from across the globe. One of the best meals I have had in this new wave of fine dining was at the Hotel Excelsior. Its wonderful beachfront location and stunning views out over the sea, its relaxed, refined atmosphere and excellent Mediterranean menu make this the kind of restaurant that summer memories are made of. Head chef here, Petar Obad, manages to turn an octopus salad into a work of art, and creates a honey-glazed pork tenderloin which literally melts in your mouth. Bliss.
My advice is: before you book you holiday this year itâ€™s worth doing a little research to find the very best hotel restaurants, whether you are sticking close to home or joining the in-crowd in Croatia. Resorts and hotels are often home to some of Europeâ€™s leading chefs so make sure you donâ€™t miss out on the opportunity for a great culinary adventure.
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. For over 30 years, he has been providing holidays in luxury Croatia resorts, as well as holidays in Bermuda, Tenerife and many other destinations around the globe. John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties, and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.
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