LIT­TLE BLACK BOOK

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - The Food Issue -

TONY Bil­son, of­ten re­ferred to as the god­fa­ther of Aus­tralian cui­sine, has long been known for his pur­suit of ex­cel­lence in gas­tron­omy through his former restau­rants, in­clud­ing Berowra Wa­ters Inn, Kin­se­las and Bil­son’s. The colour­ful restau­ra­teur and chef has just re­leased his mem­oir, In­sa­tiable (Mur­doch Books, $39.99). Best wine list: La Tour d’Ar­gent, quai de la Tour­nelle, Paris, has the most com­pre­hen­sive wine list in the world. Des­per­ate to get back to: Albi, a quaint 12th-cen­tury vil­lage in south­west France re­cently de­clared a UNESCO World Her­itage site. Albi Cathe­dral (for­mally known as the DEALS OF THE WEEK Hunter har­vest: Book be­fore Oc­to­ber 31 for a Qan­tas Hol­i­days gourmet get­away in the NSW Hunter Val­ley; from $540 a room twin-share, in­clud­ing two nights at the Hunter Re­sort , break­fast at San Martino restau­rant daily, a pack of 12 premium wines, and vine­yard tour. Travel un­til De­cem­ber 15. More: qan­tas.com.au/travel. Cathe­dral of Saint Ce­cilia) is in­cred­i­ble, as is the sur­round­ing coun­try­side. Un­less I visit Albi, I feel I haven’t been to France. Must visit: The Art In­sti­tute of Chicago (in Grant Park) has one of the world’s most no­table col­lec­tions of im­pres­sion­ist and Mag­i­cal Mar­garet River: Book an all-in­clu­sive West Aus­tralian wine tour on the date of your choice, in­clud­ing gourmet lunch at Fraser Gal­lop Es­tate, guided Wilyabrup coastal cliff walk, four-wheel-drive visit to the Meekadarabee Falls and more; from $165 a per­son (nor­mally $205). More: mar­gare­triverdis­cov­ery.com.au. post-im­pres­sion­ist paint­ings, in­clud­ing six of Monet’s Haystacks and a num­ber of his Water Lilies. Best culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence: Din­ing at Carre des Feuil­lants, rue de Castiglione, Paris, for Alain Du­tournier’s ex­cel­lent Basco-Bear­naise cui­sine. Dis­tinc­tive ho­tel: The lux­u­ri­ous Ho­tel le Bris­tol, on rue du Faubourg Saint Honore, Paris, has a won­der­ful en­trance and a din­ing room dec­o­rated like the in­side of a cello. Best Aus­tralian desti­na­tion: I en­joy the scenery along the Snowy River, par­tic­u­larly near Dal­gety, NSW, and hope to see the planned re­lease of water into the sys­tem. South­ern Com­fort: Get a taste of Italy at New Zealand’s Pen-ybryn Lodge at Oa­maru on the South Is­land on Novem­ber 13. Chef Jo Sea­gar will launch her new book, Italia, with dishes pre­pared by the Pen-y-bryn team. A two-night pack­age for two, in­clud­ing break­fast and the Italia din­ner, from $NZ1160 ($905). More: peny­bryn.co.nz.

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