Discover Hotels for Gourmet hotel breaks

Hungry for a gourmet break? From fine-dining country-house hotels and restaurants with rooms to Michelin-star-spangled kitchens at the culinary cutting edge, we've truffle-hunted hotels and foraged the world to cherry-pick those Smith stays that go above and beyond when it comes to cuisine. Whether you want a gastronomic experience par excellence or delectable farm-to-table fare, our gourmet breaks collection has a hotel to suit your foodie taste. Bon appetit!

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Become a champion chocolatier in Brussels

Become a champion chocolatier in Brussels

With its penchant for reverie-inducing confections, you’ll encounter a troupe of Willy Wonka-esque chocolatiers in Brussels. If you want sweet treats without having to be rescued by an Oompa Loompa, head to Zaabär to spend 90 hairnet-clad minutes hand-rolling truffles in meringue and coconut; sprinkling milk and dark cocoa bars with dried fruit, nuts and spices; and perfecting your calligraphic chocolate drizzle – then promptly scarf down your creations afterwards. Sated? Head to Rue de la Tête d'or to visit the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate.

Stay Be Manos; if the dramatic bubble chandelier and monochrome design of the restaurant don’t woo you, melt-in-the-maw Blanc-bleu Belge beef, lemongrass soup and tongue-fizzing sherberts will.

Paco Pérez

Paco Pérez

As you might expect from a chef who trained under Ferran Adrià, Paco Pérez creates dishes that could pass as artworks, colourful culinary portraits painted in foams, jus and powders. But these are not just hollow theatrics – Pérez has a gift for combining flavours that has bagged him a quintet of Michelin stars over the years. Miramar, the seafood-slanted restaurant he set up with his wife in his hometown of Llançà, near Girona, has become a site of gastronomic pilgrimage (sea cucumbers are a speciality). Peréz has not confined himself to Spain, however. When he opened Cinco at the Das Stue in Berlin in 2013, expectations ran high. Within a year, its technically accomplished, Iberian-inflected, 25-course tasting menu had added another Michelin star to his CV.

Explore Das Stue
Room 4 at Crillon le Brave, Provence, France

Room 4 at Crillon le Brave, Provence, France

This very French – et très charmant – country hotel just outside Avignon has all the vineyard views and wine-and-cheese tastings you’d expect from a Provençal stay. In Room 4, a Deluxe, the traditionally understated decor makes for a serene spot that’s ideal for breakfast in bed. The air of relaxation and tranquility extends to the inviting outdoor pool on the hotel’s terrace.

Find out more about Crillon le Brave
Organic kitchen gardens

Organic kitchen gardens

Eco-chic Peech Hotel in the Melrose area of Joburg wows with its grounds. Its seasonal kitchen garden is the source of the fresh organic herbs, fruits and vegetables, that make the bistro’s Modern French menu so mouth-wateringly appealing. (Schoone Oordt and Rodwell House are no slouches in the home-growing locavore department either.)

Find out more about Peech Hotel
Dordogne's cuisine

Dordogne's cuisine

The Périgord's vine-sprinkled terroir is a no man's land for vegetarians and calorie counters: with creamy offal-filled pâtés, duck every which way and vin de pays on tap, only bons vivants need apply…

Known for ubiquitous foie gras, golden-hued goose roasted in its own fat, crusty pain, creamy chèvre, walnut wine and cake, plump strawberries and fungi worth as much as a car.

There's little Parisian-style frippery here; expect earthy andouillette sausages and confit de canard slathered in cèpes-flavoured sauces with a side of Sarladaise potatoes. Foie gras with something fruity and strawberry-strewn tarts too…

Don't miss

• Mediaeval pilgrim-resting-point Collognes-la-Rouge is hosting a new wave of sustenance-seekers. Ferme de Berle dishes up Limousin beef, cabécou smeared on walnut bread (studded with locally grown nuts) and comforting choucroute. Don't be squeamish, the 'veal-head' and 'pig-trotter' menus are excellent; La Grange aux Oies, close by offers a great modern menu, too. 
• There's black gold in the Périgord noir: try your hand at truffle prospecting – and seek out wild saffron – in the Natural Park of Quercy. Slim pickings? Head to self-proclaimed truffe central Sorges, where Auberge de la Truffe's dishes are dappled with black-diamond shavings, and die-hard fungi fans can go follow a truffière trail and visit Musée de la Truffe.
• Home to the Truffle Festival, foie-gras fiesta Fest'Oie and Les Journées du Terroir (where tastings and cookery demonstrations take place), Sarlat is the premier destination for Périgordine produce. There's a market every day too, alongside the organic night market (every Thursday from June to September) and the Truffle and Foie Gras market (Saturdays from December to February).

Stay at Château les Merles; the new-Périgord cuisine at La Bruyère Blanche – whipped up with veggies from the hotel's organic garden – is colourful and creative; Bergerac's wine and Sarlat's stonking food are nearby for top-notch guzzling, and the cookery school gives you something to do in between gorging.
 

Len Marais

Len Marais

Where La Residence, Franschoek, South Africa

Cuisine French

What's the inspiration for your cooking?
Fresh seasonal produce – in full season and bursting with flavour.

Favourite ingredient right now?
Spices – they add warmth to winter cooking My favourite is cumin.

Best breakfast?
Pannetone French toast with crispy bacon, fresh berries and crème fraiche.

Where do you like to eat out?
Hemelhuijs, a small oasis in the heart of Cape Town city centre.
 

More about La Residence
Lee Westcott

Lee Westcott

Where The Typing Room, Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, London

Cuisine Modern European

What's the inspiration for your cooking?
I let the produce and the seasons be the inspiration for my dishes.

Favourite ingredient right now?
Gooseberries.

Best breakfast?
Eggs Royale, fresh fruit and yogurt.

Where do you like to eat out?
The Clove Club, or The Ledbury.

More about Town Hall Hotel & Apartments
Stefano Manfredi

Stefano Manfredi

Where Bells at Killcare, Central Coast, Australia

Cuisine Modern Italian

What's the inspiration for your cooking?
Often our vegetable gardens, or a stroll through the markets – be they fish or produce – provides inspiration but mostly it’s the regional dishes of Italy and my travels to those regions, provinces and towns.

Favourite ingredient right now?
I've just received a few jars of caper leaves preserved in vinegar. They are from the western shores of Lake Garda in northern Italy (close to where I was born). They are relatively unknown outside their terrain and I’m very excited to start using them in soups, vitello tonnato and seafood dishes.

Best breakfast?
I’m not a big breakfast sort of person. All I need is good espresso, made properly, and a perfect, just-made croissant. I love Pioik Bakery and café because it’s close by where I live and Shady Wasef is a consummate baker.

Where do you like to eat out?
I’ve been eating a lot of pizza lately because I’m working on opening a pizzeria later this year. A few days ago I had a wonderful pizza at Gigi’s in Newtown.

 

More about Bells at Killcare
Craft perfect pâtisserie in Barcelona

Craft perfect pâtisserie in Barcelona

Ex-El Bulli pastry chef Oriol Balaguer’s Easter eggs resemble Dali-esque fetishes, with laser-cut cubist choc sculptures, trompe-l'œil fruits and some that look like incubating Giger beasties. He’s also famed for explode-in-your-mouth sherbert and popping-candy chocolates and surrealist gateaux. His 40-hour, €2,200 gastronomy course (for English and Spanish speakers) tops many a pâtissier’s bucket list. You’ll learn to craft gallery-worthy cakes, chocolates, pastries, pies and even sweet cocktails; it’s hardly a cakewalk in the park, but well worth the effort if you want to end every meal with a bang – perhaps literally…

Stay Hotel Omm (nom nom) has a holy trinity of Michelin-approved fraternal chefs: pleasingly alliterative Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca. Restaurant Roca Moo’s menu has two excellent tasting menus highlighting haute Catalan fare.

 

Elena Arzak

Elena Arzak

Contemporary Spanish cooking may well be progressive and forward thinking, but, as in most countries, it’s still dominated by men. Elena Arzak, often lauded as ‘the world’ best female chef’, is a welcome exception. Elena and her father Juan Mari Arzak (one of the big beasts of New Basque cuisine) are responsible for Arzak, the triple-Michelin-star restaurant that has been in their family for 118 years and a standard feature of gourmet ‘must-try’ shortlists. It is set in central San Sebastián (across the river from Smith hotel Astoria 7), home to more Michelin stars per square metre than any other city in the world – possibly related to the fact it sits at the geographical and culinary meeting point of France and Spain. In the last decade, Elena (whose professional education, inevitably, involved a period at El Bulli) has emerged as a remarkable chef in her own right, continuing and building on her father’s legacy with unparalleled artistry and improbably brilliant flavour combinations.

Explore Arzak