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 next holiday around.
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. Make sure you save room for dessert, as these are exceptional too. Tables are in high demand, so early booking is essential.
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 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 & 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 Argentinean steak in these surroundings is hard to resist, and the Rib-eye with chimichurri sauce alone almost justifies your plane ticket.
Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo, Japan
Located in Tokyo’s upmarket Ginza district, this three Michelin-starred sushi bar is probably Japan’s most famous restaurant. Head chef Jiro Ono will select your dishes from his daily changing omakase menu of about 20 pieces, each delicately prepared to ensure the optimum ratio of rice to fish. You’re recommended to eat each piece within 45 seconds of presentation to ensure it’s consumed at the prime temperature. With just 10 seats, it’s not easy to get a reservation so we try and arrange a reservation months in advance. If you’re lucky enough to get in, you’ll be treated to some of the finest sushi on the planet.
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 180-degree panoramic views of technicoloured marine life while you dine. Imagine tucking into the finest lobster stuffed pasta or reef fish tartare while turtles swim around you, just inches away through the glass. If you’re lucky you might spot stingrays or sharks as you work your way through the six-course dinner menu. Definitely one for the culinary bucket list.
St. Hubertus, 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, 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 dine by the crackling fireplace on indulgent dishes like veal tongue with cranberries and suckling pig with cucumber flowers. The sommelier selected wines emphasise regional vintages from the South Tyrol region.