To say I ate and drank well this year does not begin to describe how delectable 2013 was for me. Both in London and beyond, I had the pleasure of experiencing some of the best meals outside the home I’ve ever eaten. This was the year that Peruvian proved itself to the British palate and that a real choice of decent pizza was made available across London. Elsewhere (mostly France and Italy), I enjoyed fabulous meals in a variety fantastic settings that still have me shaking my head in disbelief at how delicious life can be.
Listed below in alphabetical order are five restaurants (outside of London) that I enjoyed visiting the most over the past 12 months along with five extra honourable mentions tied for 6th place. Keep an eye out for more Best of 2013 posts with listings of my favourite London restaurants, cheap eats and pizza places. Please note, these ‘best of’ lists merely reflect how I chose to dine during 2013 and are comprised of long running and brand new venues as well as businesses that are local to me or somehow related to where work and play took me this year.
Here’s hoping 2014 is just as tasty as 2013 turned out to be.
Best Restaurants – Everywhere Else
Antica Corte Pallavicina
Polesine Parmense, Italy
Antica Corte Pallavicina is a gorgeously restored 14th century castle situated on the banks of the Po River and has been transformed into a six room boutique hotel with Michelin starred restaurant, its own working farm andvineyard, and – most notably – 0ne of the world’s most famous cellars for ageing culatello.
GB1 Seafood Restaurant & Bar
Newly opened at the recently refurbished Grand Brighton hotel, GB1 is a treat for lovers of fresh and expertly prepared fruits of the sea.
Intercontinental Tahiti Resort, Fa’a’ā, French Polynesia
Situated over the lagoon (check out all of the colourful fishies below nibbling on the crumbs from your table) with a stunning view of nearby island Moorea (book a table for sunset and enjoy Mother Nature’s light show), Le Lotus offers haute cuisine in an “oh my God” setting. Fancy a cold drink? This has got to be the only three Michelin starred restaurant in the world with its own swim-up bar perched on the edge of an infinity pool.
Chestnut gnocchi with duck ragu in a Barbaresco wine sauce – it’s even more delicious than it sounds, and is but one of many highlights to be savoured at this quaint osteria.
Thai Spices an excellent choice for an intimate dinner … and some of the best pad Thai you’re apt to have outside of Thailand.
- Al Vo’ (Trento, Italy);
- Grand Hotel de la Muse et le Rozier (Peyreleau, France);
- Osteria il Cappello (Bologna, Italy);
- Osteria Stallo del Pomodoro (Modena, Italy); and
- Sot’Ajarchi (Ancona, Italy).
To read more about the above listed restaurants and all sorts of other great eateries in London and beyond, check out my blog’s Restaurants category.