Cross Napa Valley vineyards with a vintage Pullman carriage and you get one of the most romantic dining experiences yet… Dinner on the Napa Valley Wine Train.
We have found six gourmet breaks that are ready to tantalise your tastebuds, one ingredient at a time!
The Wine Train, Napa
Cross Napa Valley vineyards with a vintage Pullman carriage and you get one of the most romantic dining experiences yet… Dinner on the Napa Valley Wine Train. You will have the chance to dine on gourmet food while the historic train takes you on a picturesque journey from Napa to St Helena. After lunch in one of these mahogany panelled carriages you can then tour one of Napa’s famous vineyards. In fact if you choose to visit the Grgich Hills Estate, you can step off the train at the vineyard, sample some of their wines, and then climb aboard the train once more for dessert.
BOOK: winetrain.com. Priced from SGD$174.
The UP (Unlimited Possibilities), New York
Dominique Ansel, the man who brought the world Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot, the Frozen S’more and the Cronut, has launched UP (Unlimited Possibilities), an exclusive desserttasting menu at his eponymous restaurant in New York. Ansel invites just eight sweet-toothed fans at a time to tantalise their tastebuds with his innovative new menu at the Dominique Ansel Kitchen. Once you see what’s on offer you will understand why the buying of these tickets is just as frenzied as the queues were for the Cronut. The UP tasting starts by a flick of a switch when the state of-the-art private dining table drops from the ceiling, then guests will enjoy Ansel’s innovative launch menu ‘Firsts’. Each course is designed to create those initial rushes of excitement that comes with those firsts in your life, such as your first kiss, first date, first dance… He does this by pairing such treats as panna cotta, meringue and marshmallow, cocoa nibs and almonds with an equally mouthwatering cocktail. Tickets go on sale up to seven weeks before each event so if you’re keen to take a seat at this exclusive table, make sure you book well in advance.
BOOK dominiqueanselkitchen.com. From SDG$119.
CELEBRITY CHEFS ON SNOW
The Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience, Courmayeur
If you like the finer things in life you’re sure to love Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience in Courmayeur with Michelinstarred chef Heston Blumenthal. Over four days, Blumenthal and fellow award-winning chefs Sat Bains and Marcus Wareing, will whip up Michelin-starred dishes in one of the world’s most glamorous ski resorts. Guests will start at one of Blumenthal’s restaurants in London, then they will be flown to Courmayeur to enjoy a gourmet dinner at La Chaumiere prepared by Bains and Wareing, a suckling pig cooked on a spit at a mountain restaurant and even a cup of Heston’s hot chocolate. And when guests are not dining on fine foods, they have the chance to hit the slopes with a ski guide. Now that’s what you call luxurious…
BOOK: momentumski.com. Next experience from 8 to 11 January 2016. Priced SGD$8,469 for two including five-star accommodation, flights from London, dinner and ski lessons.
La Grand Maison, Bordeaux
Two French food gurus have come together to create one of the most gourmet breaks around. Wine magnet Bernard Magrez and Michelin-starred chef Joël Robuchon have turned gourmands’ dreams into reality by bringing together a fine dining restaurant with a unique wine cellar in the launch of La Grand Maison in Bordeaux. This boutique mansion, inspired by Napoleanic times (which was when Bordeaux Grand Cru was first classified), is the height in sophistication. The plush lounge is decorated with Magrez’s art collection, while in the main dining room Baccarat chandeliers provide the lighting for guests as they dine some of Robuchon’s famed dishes including foie gras, caviar jelly in cauliflower cream. These can be enjoyed with one or more of the 250 bottles of Bordeaux Grand Cru that are on the wine list. After dining you can retire to one of the sumptuous bedrooms named after some of Magrez’s 40 vineyards. And as there are only six rooms at the hotel you could easily turn this into your own home for the weekend.
BOOK:legrandmaison-bordeaux.com. Rooms from SDG$457 per night. Menus between SGD$174 and SDG$309. Degustation menus is priced SGD$468.
Sea Restaurant, Maldives
Don’t settle for a beachside restaurant, dine underwater. The striking Sea restaurant at Anantara Kihavah Villas in the Maldives shoots out under the waves and gives you a 360 degree view of the ocean. Sea turtles, trumpet fish and sharks will glide past the restaurant’s panoramic windows while you dine. While it’s hard to tear yourself away from the scenery, it’s also worth paying attention to the food. For dinner, the restaurant serves up a five-course menu that includes mouthwatering treats such as yellow fin tuna and Japanese scallop tartar, Maldivian lobster and chocolate egg filled with passion fruit and champagne mousse. And if that’s not enough, each stage of this five course menu is paired with wine from the world’s first underwater wine cellar. The world’s first underwater wine cellar stocks 250 labels from 14 different countries, including Cloudy Bay and Malbec. You can be sure that your wine will be served chilled…
BOOK: kihavah-maldives.anantara.com. Dinner from SGD$591, lunch from SGD$316.
Stage Presence, Budapest
For a dining experience filled with drama look no further than Stage Presence launched by the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest. This fine dining experience takes place on the stage of the decadent Hungarian State Opera House. The entire theatre can be yours for the night and as you dine on sea bass and Rossini-style veal fillets created by executive chef Leonardo Di Clemente, you will be treated to a private orchestral performance by a string quartet. The theatre closes for three days before your dining experience to make sure that they can cater for your every wish and your evening is perfection.
BOOK: fourseasons.com/budapest. From around SGD$132,000 for private hire of the Opera House with gourmet dinner.
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