ITHAA UNDERSEA RESTAURANT, MALDIVES
The Cliff Terrace, Barbados
Rosa Alpina, Dolomites, Italy
The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
Conrad Rangali Island Restaurant Maldives

...Highlights

Restaurants to Cross the World for

We all know that eating well is an integral part of any travel experience. But these destination restaurants are so special, they’re worth building your entire holiday around.

From Michelin stars in the mountains to underwater dining in the Maldives, our travel designers have slurped, sipped, chewed and chomped at restaurants the world over. Here are some of the showstoppers worth getting on a plane for.

The Cliff Terrace, Barbados

Cream of the Caribbean

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The Cliff - Barbados

The setting of Barbados’ most famous restaurant is nothing short of spectacular. Torchlit wooden dining terraces sit perched above an idyllic cove. The turquoise waters below teem with stingrays and tarpon. If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate a special occasion, look no further.

Chef Paul Owens’ creative dishes more than live up to the surroundings, with seafood specialities such as fillet of mahi mahi and Caribbean shrimp Thai curry among our favourites. Desserts are exceptional too, from the chocolate mousse with a crisp almond basket and orange flavoured crème anglaise to the baked apple crumble with calvados custard.

Insider tip

Book as far ahead as possible, particularly in the peak winter months and if you want one of the best tables near the rail overlooking the bay. To get your money’s worth, come early for a drink on the upper level and soak up those views.

“The service is fantastic, with the legions of staff as attentive to mere mortals as they are the many celebs that visit.”
Cavas Wine Lodge, Argentina

Steak out in the Andes

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Cavas Wine Lodge - Mendoza, Argentina

At Cavas Wine Lodge you can dine surrounded by 55 acres of vineyards on your own private terrace underneath the stars, against the backdrop of the Andes Mountains. To say it’s romantic doesn’t quite do it justice. Start with a selection of small picada plates, like mini provoletas (grilled provolone cheese and spices), authentic empanadas or fresh cherry tomatoes from the garden.

Pick a bottle from the 360-label award-winning wine list, with the Gran Reserva Bonarda 2013 a notable vintage. Tucking into an Argentine steak in these surroundings is hard to resist, and the rib-eye with chimichurri sauce alone almost justifies your plane ticket.

Insider tip

The sun shines in Mendoza for around 330 days of the year, but the February to April grape harvest is an especially fun and colourful time to visit.

“The underground cellars are stacked with dozens of Argentina’s most notable labels.”
The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa

Pure African Drama

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The Test Kitchen - Cape Town, South Africa

Drama and theatre are the watchwords at what’s widely considered South Africa’s best restaurant. Set in Cape Town’s quickly gentrifying Woodstock neighbourhood, The Test Kitchen guides diners through two distinct restaurant areas. Meals start in the Dark Room, a moodily lit lounge bar whose lack of light is designed to heighten your sense of taste. The menu begins with a series of small plates that – like everything on the menu – are changed regularly.

Ethiopian Berber curry, Mauritian coconut langoustine and Korean ssamjang (a spicy dipping sauce) were among the highlights of our visit. The action then moves into the next-door Light Room, a semi-industrial, buzzy restaurant with an open kitchen. Technically precise and creatively inspiring, our meal was rounded out with bold and exciting dishes like eiland carpaccio, butter-poached kingklip and scallops with a Cape Malay sabayon.

Insider tip

Like the menu, the wine list changes frequently and often favours local, small producers. Our advice is to sit back and let the excellent sommelier guide you through the pairings.

“An evening here is an experience you’ll be talking about for years to come.”
ITHAA UNDERSEA RESTAURANT, MALDIVES

Under the Sea

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Ithaa Undersea Restaurant - Maldives

If you fancy a change from dinner under the stars, how about dinner under the sea? Ithaa is the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant, located five metres below the Indian Ocean at the Conrad Rangali resort in the Maldives. Curved glass walls give you 270-degree panoramic views of technicoloured marine life while you dine.

Imagine tucking into the finest lobster-stuffed pasta or fish tartare while turtles swim around you, just inches away through the glass. If you’re lucky you might even spot sharks or stingrays as you work your way through the six-course dinner menu. Definitely one for the culinary bucket list.

Insider tip

Unless you feel guilty about eating it in plain sight of its brethren, we recommend the freshly caught reef fish such as snapper or grouper, served grilled with accompaniments such as sautéed kale and lemon-spiked mash.

“The underwater setting is undeniably the main draw but the food is excellent too.”
Rosa Alpina, Dolomites, Italy

Michelin in the Mountains

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St. Huberts - Dolomites, Italy

It might not be crossing the world exactly, but Italy’s newest three-Michelin-starred restaurant is worth any length of journey to dine at. You’ll find it in the tiny mountain town of San Cassiano in the Dolomites, within the heavenly Rosa Alpina hotel. Head chef Norbert Niederkofler’s philosophy is to ‘cook the mountain’, meaning you’ll only be served the finest locally sourced ingredients.

In the cosy 10-table dining room, you can eat by the crackling fireplace on indulgent dishes like veal tongue with lingonberries and suckling pig with cucumber flowers. The wine cellar is stocked with labels from all around the world, but nothing pleases the sommelier more than recommending wines from the local South Tyrol region.

Insider tip

Try the mountain beef cooked in salt and hay and you won’t be disappointed.

“The fresh produce changes with the rhythm of the seasons: delicate herbs in spring, berries in summer, mushrooms in autumn and beets for the long winter months.”

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