As travellers, we’re becoming more adventurous and seeking holiday experiences that blow us away, especially when looking for unique places to dine. Our experts have picked their favourite foodie finds around the world.
Dine in an undersea restaurant – Maldives
If you’re looking for a dining experience that will blow you out of (or under) the water, spectacular is served 5.8 metres below the sea at Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives. This all-glass undersea restaurant is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion, with inventive, impeccably-presented cuisine complemented by mesmerising views of aquatic life. It’s romantic in the evening with illuminated lighting and an exclusive vibe, but we recommend booking in a lunchtime slot to fully appreciate the colourful reef views.
A sweet escape in Saint Lucia
Learn the craft of chocolate-making from bean to bar with a day of adventure and delectable dining at the picturesque Rabot Estate in Saint Lucia, owned by renowned chocolatier Hotel Chocolat. Begin with a tour of the cacao groves, then get hands-on, creating your own bar whilst taking in spectacular views of Gros Piton. Once your chocolate is ‘tempered’, sit down to graze your way through a sumptuous cacao-influenced lunch at the world-class Boucan restaurant before collecting your hand-crafted bar to take home – that’s if you can resist the temptation to eat it.
Tea factory experience - Heritance Tea Factory, Sri Lanka
The museum-like Heritance Tea Factory tells the incredible story of the Sri Lankan tea trade while offering amazing experiences in colonial style. Set above the rolling hills of tea plantations, you can immerse yourself into the history. For something special, ‘Dining on Wheels’ offers exquisite food on board a train carriage, once used to transport tea from the factory but now static, part of the hotel itself. Indulge in a culinary journey through a six 'station' menu of delicious local food.
Cave for two – La Gomera, Spain
Hotel Jardin Tecina has an enviable location on the incredible volcanic cliffs of La Gomera. A local legend tells of a couple lost at sea washing up on the rocks and being invited to dine with a local cave dweller. The hotel has taken this myth and used it to create a unique experience. You’re guided to a natural cave with ocean and mountain views offering absolute privacy. Your evening isn’t even interrupted by waiting staff as your meal arrives by basket pulled up on wires from the kitchen.
Dinner with a view – Agra, India
The Taj Mahal was built as the ultimate declaration of love, so what could be more romantic than a candle-lit banquet with this majestic monument as the backdrop? At The Oberoi Amarvilas, every room has uninterrupted views of the famous platinum-white domes, and you can make the most of these front-row views with a memorable evening on your private balcony. A personal butler will spoil you with the renowned Oberoi service as you indulge in a four-course Royal Indian Thali feast – just add Champagne for extra sparkle.
Take dining to new heights in Thailand
A trip to Thailand is often a tale of two halves; many visitors spend a few nights in bustling Bangkok before retreating to a beach paradise. In the chaotic capital, stay at Banyan Tree Bangkok to level up city dining at the alfresco rooftop restaurant, Vertigo. End your dizzying dinner with a nightcap in the new Saffron Sky Garden, a soaring urban oasis with twinkling trees, comfy daybeds and herb-infused cocktails.
After a few days of temple-hopping and shopping, you’ll be ready for some R&R and a stay at Banyan Tree Krabi is just the tonic. Treat yourself to a night at Krabi’s most iconic dining venue, Bird’s Nest, where you’ll find quirky tables perched among the treetops. Dine on exquisite Thai-fusion cuisine and drink in views of the limestone islands scattered across the Andaman Sea, particularly magical at sunset.
Taste wine in the Indian Ocean’s largest wine cellar – Mauritius
Even seasoned oenophiles can’t fail to be impressed by the wine cellar at Constance Prince Maurice, a worthy member of the Leading Hotels of the World on Mauritius’s idyllic east coast. This stunning Aladdin’s Cave features over 25,000 types of wine from 17 different countries, including top-quality French wine and bottles from boutique South African vineyards. Book a private wine and cheese tasting experience and the expert sommelier will select velvety reds, jammy Zinfandels and Vintage Reserves to savour, served with creamy cheeses and snacks to accompany the degustation.
Wake to a sunrise breakfast at a volcano – La Réunion
If you’re holidaying on La Réunion – dubbed as the ‘French Hawaii’ due to its dramatic volcanic landscape – don’t miss your chance for the ultimate breakfast-with-a-view. Rise early to be whisked off to a remote spot on the island to witness an unforgettable sunrise over Piton de la Fournaise, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Tuck into a tasty breakfast while watching the serene spectacle unfold before your eyes, before exploring native forests, cascading waterfalls and valleys, keeping an eye out for rare wildlife and endemic birds. Top it off with an authentic Reunionese lunch at a local restaurant before heading back to relax at your resort.
Go truffle hunting in Tuscany
A stay in a magnificent 10th-Century castle estate in the Tuscan hills is a treat in itself, but it’s the enchanting dining experiences at Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel that are the icing on the cake. The restaurant serves up rustic Tuscan fare with a fine-dining twist and foodies will love the cooking classes, wine-tasting tours and aperitifs and canapés at a floating table in the forest. But our favourite activity has to be truffle hunting. You’ll head out with an expert guide and trained tracker dogs to uncover these earthy treasures before heading back to the spa for a truffle-inspired treatment. For the grand finale, esteemed chef Daniele Sera will plate up an extravagant four-course truffle-themed dinner paired with wine from a local vineyard.
Seafood and sunset at a clifftop temple – Bali
It's no wonder food-lovers make a beeline to Bali. This tropical island is brimming with taste sensations, from gourmet dining in world-class hotels to spicy cuisine rustled up on a street corner. At the cliff-hugging Uluwatu Temple, one of the most photographed sites in Bali, you can up the foodie-ante with a romantic dinner set in stunning surroundings. As the sun melts into the ocean's waves and the sky lights up in an orange haze, watch a captivating Kecak Fire Dance performance before settling down for a luxurious seafood spread on pretty Jimbaran Bay beach, washed down with fruity cocktails.