THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER

En­joy the best of lux­ury travel and din­ing at these gor­geous lo­ca­tions around the world

Wine & Dine - - CONTENTS - WORDS MICHELLE YEE

In­dulging in a deca­dent five-course meal at one of the finest restau­rants in town may be a great way to cel­e­brate a spe­cial oc­ca­sion, but savour­ing ex­cel­lent food and wine in a pic­ture-per­fect lo­ca­tion takes din­ing out to a whole new level. A ro­man­tic din­ner for two on a pri­vate rice paddy plat­form? How about a day trip to one of West­ern Aus­tralia’s finest vine­yards via he­li­copter and din­ner at a top restau­rant there­after? Book one of these unique ex­pe­ri­ences of­fered by some of the most es­teemed names in the food and hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, and be re­warded with the most de­li­cious mem­o­ries of your life.

HE­LI­COPTER DAY TRIPS TO WEST­ERN AUS­TRALIA’S WINE COUN­TRY BY COMO THE TREA­SURY, AUS­TRALIA

Ex­pect noth­ing less than the best at COMO The Trea­sury in Perth, Aus­tralia. The lux­ury ho­tel re­cently un­veiled a new he­li­copter wine tast­ing day trip for guests to visit Mill­brook Win­ery—one of West­ern Aus­tralia’s finest vine­yards—and dine at the ac­claimed Mill­brook restau­rant as part of a two-night ac­com­mo­da­tion pack­age.

Called Mill­brook Win­ery Ex­pe­ri­ence, the tour be­gins with a he­li­copter tour over the city, where guests will get to wit­ness some of the city’s iconic land­marks such as Swan River and Cottes­loe Beach, be­fore head­ing to­wards the win­ery. At the es­tate, nes­tled within forests of Jar­rah­dale trees, guests are shown the pro­cesses in­volved in run­ning a vine­yard and they will also get to ex­pe­ri­ence mak­ing their own bot­tle of blended wine.

A sump­tu­ous lunch is then served at the Mill­brook Restau­rant, helmed by head chef Guy Jef­freys. The lunch is pre­pared with pro­duce sourced from the win­ery’s gar­den, in­clud­ing 100 va­ri­eties of hand grown heir­loom veg­eta­bles. Chef Jef­freys also sources free-range eggs, olive and honey from the sprawl­ing es­tate. Of course the dishes are paired with Mill­brook’s award-win­ning vin­tages, which best bring out their flavours.

Fin­ish the day at The Trea­sury’s Her­itage Room, which of­fers views of Cathe­dral Square, Stir­ling Gar­dens and the city. Housed in 19th cen­tury build­ings, the ho­tel ex­udes a Vic­to­rian-era façade while hous­ing a mod­ern in­te­rior across 48 rooms and suites.

Book: Call +61 8 6168 7888 or email como.thetrea­sury@co­mo­ho­tels.com How much: S$3,920 for two peo­ple

RO­MAN­TIC PADDY FIELDS DIN­NER AND HOT AIR BAL­LOON RIDE AT THE CHEDI CLUB UBUD, BALI

Cou­ples seek­ing a pri­vate desti­na­tion to cel­e­brate a spe­cial oc­ca­sion should check out this hid­den gem in Ubud, Bali. Spread across five hectares of el­e­gantly land­scaped gar­dens and un­du­lat­ing rice fields, The Chedi Club Tanah Ga­jah com­prises 20 pri­vate vil­las and suites de­signed in tra­di­tional Ba­li­nese style com­bined with con­tem­po­rary flair.

While the sump­tu­ous vil­las set in lush gar­dens are a huge draw, the re­sort’s newly un­veiled ad­ven­ture—Bal­loons over Bali—is set to be­come a star at­trac­tion. The only bal­loon­ing op­por­tu­nity of­fered on the is­land, and the first such ini­tia­tive launched by a re­sort, each hot air bal­loon flight will send guests 50 me­tres above the re­sort’s rice fields, of­fer­ing scenic views of Mount Agung and the sur­round­ing forests.

With mul­ti­ple flights sched­uled at dawn, in the late af­ter­noon/early evening and just af­ter moon­rise, each ex­pe­ri­ence sets sail with a max­i­mum of two adults and two chil­dren un­der 12, as well as a cer­ti­fied pi­lot.

The flights last be­tween five and seven min­utes each, and cost US$150 for each morn­ing and af­ter­noon trip, break­fast or af­ter­noon tea for two in­cluded. For an un­beat­able ex­pe­ri­ence, book the fi­nal flight of the day, in­clud­ing a five-course ro­man­tic din­ner for two on a pri­vate rice paddy plat­form (US$295 per cou­ple). Ex­ec­u­tive chef Dean Nor will put to­gether a lovely com­bi­na­tion of tra­di­tional Ba­li­nese, In­done­sian favourites and West­ern clas­sics, pre­pared with lo­cal pro­duce pro­cured from mar­kets as well as hand­picked from the re­sort’s or­ganic gar­den.

Book: Call +62 361 975685 or email sales@thechedi­clububud.com How much: US$295 for two peo­ple

SPAIN BY PRI­VATE JET: THE UL­TI­MATE FOODIE TOUR BY SCOTT DUNN

A visit to Spain is not com­plete with­out tast­ing an ar­ray of wines, tapas and Ja­mon from some of the most his­toric cities in the coun­try. How­ever, not ev­ery­one has the lux­ury of time to cover the whole of Spain—not un­less they have a pri­vate jet.

With lux­ury tour op­er­a­tor Scott Dunn’s five-night itin­er­ary, dis­cern­ing food­ies can ex­pe­ri­ence the best of Spain’s culi­nary gems in style—a pri­vate jet will whisk you from one city to an­other. The itin­er­ary be­gins at San Se­bas­tian, where ar­chi­tec­tural won­ders in the Belle Epoque style can be mar­velled at and the world of pin­txos can be ex­plored—all while stay­ing at the Ho­tel Maria Cristina. Here, guests can recre­ate dishes with the help of an ex­pert chef, while Basque cui­sine can be ex­pe­ri­enced at three-Miche­lin-starred restau­rants.

This two-night stay is fol­lowed by a flight to Seville, where a one-night stay at the his­tor­i­cal Ho­tel Al­fonso XIII awaits guests who can see the Old Town, visit tapas bars, and rel­ish tast­ing ses­sions that fea­ture Jerez ja­mon iberico and sherry.

The tour is capped off with a jour­ney to Mal­lorca, where guests en­joy lux­u­ri­ous ac­com­mo­da­tions at the St. Regis Mar­davall re­sort. Savour lo­cal flavours at one of the is­land’s top farm-to-ta­ble restau­rants and trek to the coun­try­side to en­counter rus­tic cui­sine that in­cludes olives, so­brasada sausages, and oven-roasted suck­ling pig.

Book: Call +65 3163 0434 or visit www.scottdunn.com

How much: From $13,000 per per­son (low sea­son; based on seven trav­ellers)

PINK PEARL AT JW MAR­RIOTT PHU QUOC EMER­ALD BAY, VIET­NAM

Off the coast of Cam­bo­dia and within the azure Gulf of Thai­land lies the Viet­namese is­land of Phu Quoc, which is famed for its white sand beaches. Lux­ury ho­tel chain JW Mar­riot saw the is­land’s po­ten­tial, and to­gether with ar­chi­tect Bill Bens­ley, con­cep­tu­alised the Phu Quoc Emer­ald Bay Re­sort and Spa in 2017. The re­sort’s show­piece restau­rant is Pink Pearl, a beach­front man­sion serv­ing French fine cui­sine, which was re­cently un­veiled in Oc­to­ber 2018.

At the re­sort, guests are greeted with rooms rem­i­nis­cent of 1920s cul­ture and style, which draw in­spi­ra­tion from lav­ish din­ner par­ties set in a pink man­sion dur­ing the French colo­nial rule in Viet­nam. Fur­nish­ings, up­hol­stery and car­pets re­flect an ex­trav­a­gant at­mos­phere in the main din­ing hall. This lux­ury ex­tends to the five pri­vate din­ing rooms, while the wine-tast­ing room goes for a sub­dued at­mos­phere suited for per­sonal con­ver­sa­tions.

The cen­tre­piece of the Pink Pearl’s din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is its mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tion of clas­sic French dishes pre­pared by chef de cui­sine Amine Lakhdari us­ing pre­mium lo­cal and im­ported in­gre­di­ents. Sig­na­ture dishes in­clude lo­cal sea urchin with Kaviari caviar; Charo­lais beef and Lan­des foie gras with sum­mer truf­fle cov­ered in home­made puff pas­try, topped with Perigour­dine jus and shaved truf­fle; and Opera Pearl made from Marou 74 per cent choco­late.

Book: Call +84 297 7377 9999 or email mhrs.pgcjw.pink­pearl@mar­riott.com How much: Rooms at JW Mar­riott Phu Quoc Emer­ald Bay start from $500 per night

AU­THEN­TIC OMAKASE EX­PE­RI­ENCE AT SRI PANWA, THAI­LAND

While omakase restau­rants are noth­ing new, en­joy­ing an au­then­tic omakase din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence set against the stun­ning An­daman Sea prom­ises to be an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence.

Hav­ing hosted mul­ti­ple pop-up events with top chefs from Miche­lin-starred restau­rants like Kimura Sushi and Umi Sushi in re­cent years, five-star lux­ury re­sort Sri Panwa is fi­nally launch­ing its very own omakase din­ing con­cept at its sig­na­ture Ja­pa­nese restau­rant Baba IKL. Perched atop Cape Panwa, the restau­rant boasts stun­ning sea views, vi­brant in­door and out­door seat­ing, an el­e­gant sushi bar, and a bustling open kitchen where guests can ob­serve chef at work. On the food front, the restau­rant of­fers a cu­rated se­lec­tion of sea­sonal spe­cial­ties in­clud­ing maguro, shima-aji, madai and kin­medai fish—pre­pared with Baba IKI’s sig­na­ture cre­ativ­ity and flair. A ma­jor­ity of the seafood and key in­gre­di­ents served are im­ported from Tokyo for the finest qual­ity.

Com­ple­ment­ing the food is the venue it­self—the five-star Sri Panwa Villa Ho­tel of­fers panoramic views of the ocean through its 52 vil­las, and blends with its jun­gle sur­round­ings with trop­i­cal con­tem­po­rary de­sign.

Book: Call +66 0 76 371 000 or email chill@sri­panwa.com How much: Ex­clu­sive omakase lunch or din­ner ex­pe­ri­ence in­clud­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion, from $508 per per­son

Op­po­site page, clock­wise from topleft COMO The Trea­sury; The ul­ti­mate foodie tour by Scott Dunn; Sri Panwa; Pink Pearl at JW Mar­riott Phu Quoc

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