The Perfect 10: Gourmet getaways

Filed under: Be A Supergirl

Whether the autumn weather makes you want to comfort eat, or you're feeling inspired by British Food Fortnight, go gourmet in style with these fabulous foodie destinations.



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Perfect 10: Gourmet getaways

Lyon has claimed the title of food-loving France's gourmet capital with a whopping 1,828 restaurants. It's all thanks to the 'Mères Lyonnaises', 19th century cooks who had previously worked for the city's prominent families, offering the same perfectly cooked traditional recipes in the restaurants and bouchons, or old-fashioned inns. There's still one named for Mère Brazier, first woman to receive three Michelin stars.

Do make a stop at the Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, on cours Lafayette, named after the city's famous chef who shops at the market's 56 stalls, as well as checking out the recently reopened Tetedoie restaurant. Stay at the Sofitel Lyon Bellecour where six chefs, boasting 12 Michelin stars between them, will prepare their signature dishes for the Stars Food and Art event on October 2. Rooms cost from £150 and the hotel has its own Michelin-starred restaurant Les Trois Dômes.

Perfect 10: Gourmet getaways

The city of Chichester is the perfect base for a thoroughly edible getaway. Nearby West Dean Gardens holds courses to teach you everything from how to cook without recipes to a marmalade masterclass. Or Farm Shop at the heart of Goodwood has opened its own shop, selling meat, fruit and vegetables straight from the farm.

And between September and November, you can't beat a spot of mushroom picking on the Sussex Downs, so sign up to a hunt with expert forager Nik Westacott, for £65 including lunch at his B&B, where rooms cost from £65 per night.

Or venture further afield to hit one of the nearby harbours for seafood at The Crab and Lobster pub, Sidlesham or Michelin-starred Restaurant 36 on the Quay, Emsworth, both of which also offer accommodation.

Perfect 10: Gourmet getaways

The self-proclaimed food capital of Italy – with some admittedly fierce competition – the region of Emilia Romagna is home to prosciutto, balsamic vinegar and Parmesan, and is so protective of its quality they've got laws to safeguard more than 30 foods. There's a string of 'greedy events' throughout the year – with 13 throughout the area during September and October alone.

Base yourself in the region's capital, the medieval city of Bologna, at one of the city's Art Hotels – Novecento has fantastic 30s-style decor, while Corona D'Oro is based in a 14th century palazzo – which can arrange culinary tours and cooking courses. And don't miss the chance to eat at Drogheria Della Rosa where they've preserved the furniture from an old grocery, while you tuck into local specialities.

Rooms at the two Art Hotels start from around £150.

Perfect 10: Gourmet getaways

It's not just deep-dish pizza that Chicago has to be proud of; the city invented the chocolate brownie and has regular gastronomic events, plus more AAA five-diamond restaurants than any other city in the US. If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by choice, helpfully they also provide a Culinary Concierge who can offer suggestions on anything food-related.

Or join the Chicago Dine Around tour for £55 to sample three of the city's best restaurants in one evening. Even the hotels have a foodie focus – check into the new boutique theWit hotel, which has two restaurants and is picking up a slew of awards. Rooms cost from around £95.

Perfect 10: Gourmet getaways

The town boasts more top restaurants than anywhere else in Britain – apart from London – with seven Michelin mentions for Ludlow and the surrounding area. Throw in a string of specialist food shops, including butchers, cheese shops and delis, plus a commitment to Slow Food, and you're in gastronomic heaven. Plus there are events throughout the year, including the huge Ludlow & Marches festival of food and drink.

Avoid missing a second of gourmet indulgence and check into the boutique Fishmore Hall, in a converted Georgian house, with its award-winning restaurant, cookery demos with the chef, and gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside. Rooms cost from £140. For more information visit www.ludlow.org.uk/fooddrink.html.

Perfect 10: Gourmet getaways

Influenced by cuisines from around the world, you can celebrate them all at Melbourne's Food Festival, next in March 2011. Or eat your way around the world at any time of year, with Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern and Spanish food, plus modern Australian and 'Bohemian' helping Melbourne be the only Australian city to make best dining destination lists.

If you're not sure where to start, Cutler & Co in Fitzroy, has picked up restaurant of the year awards. And Gordon Ramsay has opened Maze and Maze Grill at the Crown Metropol hotel, where rooms cost from around £110.

Perfect 10: Gourmet getaways

Under the shiny city facade, Singapore is a melting pot of different cultures – which means a mix of great foods as well, with Indian, Chinese, Peranakan (or Straits Chinese) and Malay, as well as some Indonesian and Western influences. So to get your teeth into everything from street food to award-winning restaurants, try a culinary safari with Makansutra Food Tours. Organised tours cost from around £65 for four hours, with options designed to uncover hidden foodie treasures or even a night tour. There's tips on DIY tours too.

And don't miss Iggy's restaurant. Regularly making the list of the world's top hotels, it's moving to the Hilton where they've also renovated the famous rooftop pool. Rooms cost from around £115.

Perfect 10: Gourmet getaways

Moules frites, chocolate, waffles, beer – apart from lace and the EU, Brussels' best-known creations are food and drink. After a stop at the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate test out your new-found knowledge with a tasting at some of the best chocolatiers on the Place du Grand Sablon. Wandering the streets around Place Sainte-Catherine, you'll find plenty of restaurants and food stalls to tempt you, without the tourist prices of the central Grand Place.

If eating isn't enough, try your hand at learning a few new culinary skills with a course from Cooking Time there's quick taster sessions costing around £14, or longer courses. And check into Hotel Amigo, which has picked up awards for its restaurant Bocconi. Rooms cost from around £250. Visit www.brusselsinternational.be for more information.

Perfect 10: Gourmet getaways

Texas may not figure highly on dining destination lists, but it's worth detouring to Houston which is building something of a culinary reputation for itself. Discover some of the city's secrets with the help of a string of top chefs who lead the Houston Culinary Tours, skipping the big names to discover the hidden gems tucked away in the city. Tours cost around £110 and new dates are set to be announced for 2011.

Check into the boutique Alden Hotel where restaurant 17 has won awards for its new American cuisine using local ingredients. Rooms cost from around £95.

Perfect 10: Gourmet getaways

Eating in Macau is quite literally like nowhere else in the world. The former Portuguese colony has been influenced not only by Western dishes, but also the African, South American and Indian foods along the trade routes – plus, of course, the native Chinese ingredients. Dubbed 'Macanese' cuisine, you'll come across dishes like Africa chicken in piri piri peppers, Tacho stew, Linguado Macau fried sole as well as Portuguese favourites like bacalhau, or salt cod, and the famous custard tarts.

Get a taste of it all at the Food Festival, scheduled for November. Lasting for 17 days, there are 100 booths, including visitors from Malaysia and Taiwan. Check into the City of Dreams resort, which is actually made up of three hotels, with more restaurants than you can shake a doggy bag at. Rooms start from around £80.

Perfect 10: Gourmet getaways

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