At Smith, we don't do star ratings – and the Best Hotel Restaurant is not only a culinary star: it's an experience to savour. It's part and parcel of your stay, possibly even the highlight of your trip. Wine-matched tasting menus are all very well, but if they're fancy for the sake of it, we'll take the local chalkboard specials any day.
Given that the owner of this romantic Provençal inn, Alain Ducasse, holds more Michelin stars than any other chef in the world, it’s hardly surprising that the food is show-stopping. The restaurant is a love poem to the surrounding area, a gastronome’s daydream that showcases the finest local produce in a daily changing menu of delectably inventive dishes. There’s no frippery or unnecessary extras; just simple, seasonal ingredients, intelligently prepared and served in a truly beautiful place.
'Long-running yet on-trend, with great home-grown produce
and home-cured meats, superb service, and outstanding wine. Ambitious
but right in tune with its peaceful rural location'
Food and travel writer Sophie Dening
'Combining local and seasonal Australian ingredients with traditional Italian flair'
Juliet Kinsman, Editor-in-chief, Mr & Mrs Smith
The Best Hotel Restaurant is one you'd make a detour for (even if you weren't staying at the hotel): this exceptional eatery serves up a meal memorable enough to recall long after you leave.
We respect a chef who cares where his ingredients come from. Whether your meal includes freshly foraged fruit, Fair Trade cocoa, kitchen-garden herbs or locally landed fish, it should be selected with due diligence.
Hushed tones and bland dining rooms, begone! The Best Hotel Restaurant understands that visuals count as much as victuals; the mood and setting matter.
Is there a celebrated chef or a star in the making in the kitchen? Is their cooking Michelin-quality? Did you want second helpings?
Does this restaurant give you something you can't get anywhere else? An unusual take on local cuisine, an exceptional focus on seasonality, a mouthwatering fusion menu? And don't forget the drinks: is the wine list award-winning? Are regional specialities celebrated?
Does the sommelier know his stuff? Is the maître d' the consummate host? Bowing and scraping isn't necessary – but personable, knowledgable staff who prioritise your enjoyment are essential.