In a world of endless distractions and the constant roar of alarms and updates on our phones, there is a simple comfort in eating well in a special place. Taking a step away from all “noise” can bring real and lasting benefits to us. The sunshine on plates, the taste of what chefs create, and the setting for the experience combine to shape powerful memories of moments that matter.
While good food is obviously the core of any dining experience, the addition of a view adds richness to the joy of dining out with friends, family or colleagues. Whether it’s the sea, the lake or a compelling cityscape, these places can often ask the question even more years later: “Do you remember the time when we went to …?”
Here are hotels all over Europe that take your dining experience to the next level, where the feeling of arrival is of complete absorption in the room, and how each one connects and interacts with its own unique surroundings.
The elite of the Roman world used to relax in Capri. By Jumeirah Capri Palace high up in Anacapri it is possible to do just that and take full advantage of the extensive and elevated views of the sunset over the Gulf of Naples. Being well away from the bustle of the ports and being surrounded by trees and green areas adds to a feeling of escaping from pressure and having a quiet place to relax. At the hotel’s 2 Michelin-starred restaurant L’Olivo, Executive Chef Andrea Migliaccio draws on his extensive experience and knowledge of the region’s cuisine to create menus such as “L’Olivo Undiscovered”, revealing the scope of his ten-year culinary efforts to serve food. in Italy in original ways with the most attention to detail in taste and presentation.
Switzerland never disappoints with its lake and mountain backgrounds. On the sixth floor in Eden at Lac La Reserve in Zurich, La Muňa restaurant offers the finest cuisine and a 360 ° view from its wood-paneled roof terraces. Situated right on the lake and with mountains framing the horizon, it also offers an air surveillance of the city center during any time of the day or night. Philippe Starck led the transformation of the restaurant space with a design that is strange, yet captivating, and which reflects the joy of the time spent on the lake. Chef Domenico Zizzi takes a bold approach in the open kitchen – he uses local ingredients to present a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian dishes.
The quiet Lake Como could not really be closer to the water and all its enchanting light patterns. The place to eat here and experience the full beauty of Lake Como and its surroundings is Ristorante Berto Al Lago. Here, chef Raffaele Lenzi presents authentic regional dishes with a modern twist. He has a passion for buying locally and does not want to use ingredients that have been “driven far away”. His menu says “Believe me … in nine dishes”. When you sit on the part of the patio that extends just beyond the water, you feel like you definitely can. The color, taste and balance of the presented food is the perfect complement to the natural landscape that is all around.
History, heritage and location seem to sum up Hotel de Crillon at the Place de la Concorde in Paris. This 18th Century Palace has retained all its atmosphere following a major restoration program completed in 2013. Its non-flashy sophistication marks it as one of the places to stay in Paris. On the way up to the sixth floor to the terrace that surrounds the famous Bernstein Suite and you are suddenly right in the middle of one of the city views with landmarks in almost every angle. What better moment to enjoy some classic cocktails or a glass or bottle from the carefully crafted French wine list? To accompany the aperitif, you can choose from some distinctive savory dishes, as the drama in Paris unfolds below.
Being close but not in the city sets Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens part. Although only 30 minutes from all the history and liveliness of the city, the hotel is a real seaside resort on the Athenian Riviera. It is located right at the end of its own peninsula and you sense the scent of pine and the freshness of the sea air the moment you arrive. It sits right on the Saronic Gulf, which forms part of the Aegean Sea and is one of the places to watch and experience the sunset. Sit down at the Mercato Terrace restaurant, browse the cocktail menu and wonder which Italian dish you can choose, and it’s hard to imagine anything better.
Situated in a landscape that could only be Provence, Château Saint-Martin & Spa hugs a hilltop and sits so comfortably within its 34 acres of private gardens. Here is an area where the unique quality of light has inspired generations of artists. It is a place where soft green landscapes meet with rock formations and the sunlight dazzles the sea. Surrounded by olive groves, filled with the freshest air and with an elevated and extended view all the way to the Mediterranean, is the terrace of the Saint-Martin restaurant, where Michelin-starred chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois presents a range of gastronomic options. These include his six-course L’Instinct Gourmand Menu – designed to delight the palate with its technical expertise and pure panache.
By Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco in the heart of the Tuscan countryside you immediately feel the character and authenticity of the traditional architecture. From the weathered masonry to the terracotta of the roof tile, there is a sense of both history and continuity. Enjoy an elevated rural position and with views framed by cypress roads it is so relaxing for the soul. Seasonal ingredients straight from the ground find their way from the organic kitchen garden to Osteria La Canonica. Here, the emphasis is always on creating dishes that combine the freshest ingredients with the boldest ideas. Staring at the intense greenery of the landscape and enjoying the closeness to nature creates time to enjoy.