Epicurean travels: 10 new culinary experiences around the world

Belmond Coquelicot - Upper Deck Dining
Luxury barge Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat, will debut in Champagne in May 2023.

Ultra-luxury boating through Champagne

Luxury group Belmond will launch a new luxury barge as part of its French collection: Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat, Champagne. From May 2023, Coquelicot will take guests on highly personalised journeys of the Champagne region, winding along the region’s canals. It features three cabins with ensuites, an indoor salon with a champagne bar, and an extensive outdoor deck. Coquelicot will partner with Maison Ruinart, the world’s oldest champagne house, founded in Reims in 1729. Guests will be treated to a private tasting lunch by Maison Ruinart’s Chef en residence, Valérie Radou, and Coquelicot Head Chef aboard the new barge. As part of the collaboration, Coquelicot guests will also discover the brand’s latest sustainability initiatives during private guided tours of the historic Taissy vineyard. Rates start from €82,000 (about AUD$128,384).  Helicopter transfers from Paris are available upon request.

Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat
The upper deck lounge seating area on Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat.

Walk on in

Whisky lovers can now explore the new, eight-floor Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh. From the store, purchase rare and exclusive whiskies, or fill your own bottles and have them personalised. The rooftop Explorers’ Bothy whisky bar, with views of Edinburgh’s skyline, is stocked with 150 different whiskies. The facility carries the Green Tourism Gold Award, the highest sustainability accolade for a visitor attraction.

Johnnie Walker Vistitors Centre
Johnnie Walker Vistitors Centre, Edinburgh

A refreshed The Louise opens in the Barossa

Baillie Lodges has opened a new-look The Louise in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, following a $3m makeover. Restaurants at the boutique 15-suite luxury lodge include the award-winning Appellation, offering a five-course degustation, and Contour restaurant. Renovations were led by renowned South Australia-based architect, Max Pritchard. Executive Chef Asher Blackford takes the lead in the kitchen, formerly from Baillie Lodge’s flagship property, Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island.

Contour Restaruant, The Louise, South Australia
Contour Restaruant, The Louise, South Australia

Fine Mexican dining at The Standard, Bangkok

The eye-catching The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon is in one of the city’s most iconic buildings — the King Power Mahanakhon. This 77-storey twisting glass skyscraper is by German architect Ole Scheeren. The hotel is a collaboration between Spanish artist and designer Jaime Hayon, and The Standard’s in-house design team. One of its most striking sky-high dining experiences can be found at Ojo, a Mexican-inspired restaurant by multi-award-winning chef Francisco ‘Paco’ Ruano.

Ojo Restaurant at The Standard Bangkok
Ojo Restaurant at The Standard Bangkok

Boutique fine dining in High Country Victoria

Lancemore Milawa in Victoria’s King Valley has unveiled a major refurbishment by interior designer Hana Hakim of The Stella Collective. The 40-room boutique luxury hotel draws inspiration from the natural environment. Its Restaurant Merlot is led by executive chef Aaron Jose who showcases the best of paddock-to-plate fine dining in the region. While staying here, enjoy the surrounding gourmet offerings including Brown Brothers winery, within walking distance.

Merlot Restaurant & Bar, Lancemore Milawa
Merlot Restaurant & Bar at the recently renovated Lancemore Milawa in Victoria.

Sustainable New York dining

Located on the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue in the Art Deco Crown Building, the new Aman New York is a collaboration between Aman and Jean-Michel Gathy of Denniston Architects. On its 14th floor, guests at the Bar Lounge can enjoy light meals, premium drinks and cocktails with a Japanese twist. The bar flows onto the Garden Terrace, a space shared with the modern Italian restaurant, Arva. The culinary team aim to source more than 75 per cent of Arva’s menu ingredients locally, drawing on partnerships with initiatives such as Grow NYC and Our Harvest.

Aman New York, USA - Garden Terrace
The garden terrace at the new Aman hotel in New York City.

LUMA opens at The Playford Adelaide

Boutique Adelaide hotel The Playford, an MGallery hotel on North Terrace, has recently unveiled an extensive upgrade which includes the launch of Luma Restaurant and Bar. A highlight is an 800m handcrafted contemporary lighting sculpture, designed by Hachem and inspired by the flowing lines of The Playford’s original, Art Nouveau bar. The wave-like piece took four weeks to install. The bar is managed by renowned mixologist Gregory Perrot, while Luma’s restaurant is overseen by award-winning executive chef, Kevin Martel.

Luma restaurant and bar at the Playford Hotel Adelaide. Credit In-house imaging
Luma restaurant and bar at the Playford Hotel, Adelaide. Credit: In-House Imaging

Vinous therapy

One for the wine lovers … in Switzerland’s picturesque Lake Geneva region, you can indulge in a La Vigne wellness session. From a deep-soaking hot tub, recline with a glass of wine and take in vineyard views in the heart of Lavaux. The two-hour La Vigne pop-up wellness experience is currently hosted at Domaine Bovy, Chexbres. After a soak in a bubble dome tent, skin is gently cleansed with a pomace peeling and soothed with body wraps made of wine yeast, followed by a face and body massage using grapeseed oil.

La Vigne - Swiss Wine Therapy
La Vigne - Swiss Wine Therapy

Escape to Bordeaux

Learn about sustainable winemaking at a Premier Grand Cru Classe wine estate, Château Troplong Mondot, in Saint-Emilion in Bordeaux, France. The recently restored 18th-century estate includes an onsite Michelin-starred restaurant, Les Belles Perdrix. Led by chef David Charrier, the popular restaurant has recently been awarded a Green Star for its sustainable practices. Join the educational experiences at the estate, such as touring the vineyards in a vintage Land Rover to be immersed in the terroir and learn about Troplong Mondot’s commitment to sustainable winemaking practices. Reach the estate by car in a 45-minute drive from Bordeaux airport.

Chateau Troplong Mondot. © Romain Ricard
Chateau Troplong Mondot in Bordeaux. ©Romain Ricard

Discover the flavours of Morocco

Join a 12-Day Morocco Culinary Tour hosted by award-winning author, TV presenter and speaker, Lyndey Milan OAM. In conjunction with Australian tour company By Prior Arrangement, Lyndey leads a small group journey through Morocco, visiting food markets and souks in Marrakech, exploring the alleyways of Fes, the UNESCO site in Meknes, and the seaside town of Essaouira. You’ll be transported in a luxury, air-conditioned vehicle to explore the heady scents of Morocco during several cooking classes and visits to spice markets, olive markets and bakeries and cafes. At the time of publication, tour dates were to be confirmed but it will take place in Morocco’s autumn season (Sept/Oct 2023). Check the website for details.

Moroccan Briouates
Moroccan Briouates

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