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July 31, 2013

Leading Hotels of the World Serve Up Unique Dining Experiences

By Chris Boyle

Luxury hotel collection Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) create engaging environments where guests can experience exceptional culinary offerings in unforgettable surroundings – from the great outdoors to ancient wine cellars, from the Whitsunday Islands to the glittering Middle East.

Experience the traditions of Tuscany

villa la massa770Guests can immerse themselves in the traditions of Tuscany at Villa La Massa, with the hotel’s Enogastronomic Experience, which includes a cheese and wine tasting and a truffle-hunting outing with local “trifolau” (truffle hunter). In the exclusive surroundings of the wine cellar, guests will be joined by a cheese maker who will let them taste a variety of local cheeses and explain their particular qualities, while the sommelier selects ideal wine pairings from the hotel’s collection.

On another day of the stay, a local “trifolau” will take guests truffle hunting with his dog on the Tuscan hills and will personally prepare a rustic lunch to let them taste the exquisite bounty of the hunt. This special offer is valid from September 2 to November 3, 2013, and also includes three nights in a junior suite; an in-room welcome amenity from manager; daily breakfast, either in the restaurant or from room service; one typical three-course Tuscan dinner, at the Restaurant Il Verrocchio, including wines selected by the sommelier; one four-course dinner with truffles, including wine pairings; a private visit to a local vineyard followed by wine tasting, including round-trip transfers. Priced from about $2,359 (€1,780) per person, the offer requires a three-night minimum stay.

Making the most of its picturesque surroundings, Borgo Egnazia takes dining al fresco to new levels with its Nature Grove Grill experience. Surrounded by the expansive groves of 100-year-old olive trees under an unforgettable sunset, guests enjoy a dinner of tender, succulent meats grilled just for them by the hotel’s chef.

Listening to the whispering tall grasses and dining at rustic wooden tables, they are embraced by nature and immersed in the captivating Puglian scenery. While the main dish sizzles on the grill, guests are served bruschetta with fresh red, ripe tomatoes topped with fresh aromatic basil or light and golden frittatas. The meal finishes with the decadence of a chocolate-topped Tiramisu. After the sun has slipped below the horizon, the area is illuminated by myriad hidden lights, prolonging the sense of magic. Beverages are not included.

The Nature Grove Grill experience is offered from August 1 to October 31. Rates start from about $400 (€300) per night, single occupancy; about $460 (€350) per night, double occupancy; and include room accommodations, buffet breakfast, VAT and service charge. A two-night stay is required; full pre-payment is charged to the credit card at booking; 30 days advance cancellation is required to avoid penalty.

Gourmet’s paradise in Scotland

In the atmospheric cellars of The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland, is a gourmet’s paradise – The Sommelier’s Table. Here, one of the hotel’s knowledgeable wine experts helps guests to select fine wines to perfectly complement their chosen menu, introducing them to some of the hidden gems in the collection.

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scotlandWhether guests want to hold a formal multi-course, silver-service dinner, or a more informal affair with quirky dishes such as traditional British fish suppers with a twist, The Gleneagles chefs can design a menu which is sure to delight. Members of the party will also have the opportunity to have a private tour of the cellars, and delve into some of the rare and precious wines and spirits the hotel has amassed over the years.

This unique venue can accommodate up to 12 guests for a private dinner – alternatively, The Cellars are also available for wine and spirit tastings, cocktail parties and canapé receptions. There is a minimum spend of about $1,200 (£800) per party.

Berlin’s finest Michelin-starred restaurants

At Hotel Palace Berlin, from now until December 28, 2013, guests can book the Rendezvous with the Stars offer that lets them experience two of the city’s finest Michelin-starred restaurants.

Off-site, at The Margaux, they will be treated to an exquisite four-course meal by Michael Hoffmann, who is renowned for his complex vegetable cuisine that is grounded in tradition. At the hotel, acclaimed chef Matthias Dieter will delight them with a four-course meal at the first floor gourmet restaurant. Chef Diether’s modern take on classic haute cuisine creates intricate dishes that are as delicious as they are surprising.

The package includes two nights in a business deluxe room, VIP treatment including a bottle of champagne in the room upon arrival, daily breakfast buffet at the Bon Dia restaurant, a four-course tasting menu at the hotel’s first floor restaurant, excluding beverages; a four-course tasting menu at the Margaux restaurant, with aperitif and accompanying wines; limousine transfer from Hotel Palace Berlin to the Margaux restaurant and back; use of the spa with gym and sauna; garage parking; guaranteed early check-in at 12:00 noon; late check-out until 2:00 pm; VAT and service. Rates start at about $1,060 (€799), single occupancy, about $1,390 (€1,049) double occupancy.

Experience spectacular views in Cape Town

LHW picGuests staying at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town, South Africa can stroll straight from their rooms onto the mountainside to take in some fresh air and spectacular views.

Nearby Table Mountain National Park, a World Heritage Site, with its impressive vistas, is a wonderful spot for a picnic. To help guests make the most of an outing to the park, the hotel has created a unique picnic experience which the hotel staff lay out at a special site in the mountains.

A typical hamper includes smoked salmon and cream cheese baguette; pastrami and Cape Country mustard sandwich on health bread; antipasto selection with marinated grilled asparagus, prosciutto, black olives, artichokes and salami; tomato and mozzarella salad; Camembert with preserves and water biscuits; mini apple crumbles; mini baked cheese cakes; scones, butter and strawberry jam; chocolates; potato chips; fresh whole fruits; orange juice, mineral water and a large bottle of Anura Sauvignon Blanc.

Private dining overlooking the Indian Ocean in Durban

The historic Oyster Box, situated in Durban, South Africa, overlooking the Indian Ocean and Umhlanga’s iconic red and white lighthouse, offers inspired menus using the freshest seasonal ingredients, sourced from local suppliers.

For an intimate and truly exceptional dining experience the Chef’s Table at The Oyster Box in the sunken wine cellar, is ideal for private dinners, and unique celebrations, for up to ten guests.

Bespoke menus are created for every occasion, or guests can indulge in the Chef’s Signature Menu. The hotel’s sommelier is on hand to offer advice on food and wine pairings, from the establishment’s award-winning wine-list. The exclusive venue together with world-class cuisine makes for an experience that promises to be truly memorable.

Personalized culinary experience in Australia’s Whitsunday Islands

Taking the concept of the Chef’s Table one step further, is the Chef’s Bench at Hayman in Australia’s Whitsunday Islands. This personalized culinary experience offers up to four guests an intimate banquet in the Main Kitchen.

chefs benchOne of the Hayman Master Chefs will prepare an exquisite 12-course tasting menu, all the while enlightening guests with his kitchen secrets and preparation methods.

The evening will include the creation of spontaneous dishes using seasonal ingredients and techniques from a range of cuisine styles. Hayman’s sommelier will present a selection of superb matching wines to accompany each course. The Chef’s Bench includes a tour of the famous Hayman Cellar and a visit to the ever-popular Hayman Chocolate Room.

Live cooking session in Doha

The spectacular location of La Cigale Hotel in Doha sets the stage for the hotel’s exceptional dining experience. And the guests’ participation in the preparation of their meal adds the garnish.

Between August 10 and December 31, 2013, guests will have the opportunity to engage with Chef Aurelian Lagrosse for a unique live cooking session where they will learn the secrets of the fine dining experience of Le Central restaurant.

The event is livened by cocktails served at the Sky View bar with breathtaking panoramic views of the city and Westbay, and backed by tunes selected by the resident DJ.

The hotel’s Unique Dining Experience package is priced from about $370 (QAR 1,350) single or double occupancy, and includes, in addition to the cooking session with the chef, daily buffet breakfast, 20% off one spa treatment, and Wi-Fi access. A two-night minimum stay is required.


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