Introducing our favourite European Michelin-star restaurants, all of which have overnight accommodation, so you can enjoy the foodie luxury for longer. Be sure to book your table as soon as you get your room reservation though, these places are known to draw a crowd…
The cuisine at The Dylan’s Michelin-starred restaurant Vinkeles is a perfect match for the setting: impeccably presented and delicious. Chef Dennis Kuipers’ menu is traditional French with a modern twist – think roast Anjou pigeon with 5 spices, coffee couscous with marinated mango, and a delicious mascarpone sorbet. Better yet, cruise Amsterdam’s canals over a private dinner at Vinkeles on the Water, the hotel’s 19th-century wooden salon boat – exclusive to Dylan guests.
Chef Andrea Cannalire has brought fantastic recipes, colourful presentation and a Michelin star to La Sommita’s great-value vaulted restaurant, Cielo. Our sea salad had some of the most succulent bites of sea bass and gilthead bream we’ve ever tasted, softened by half-molten cubes of ricotta and tomato, plus a crisp crunch of Adriatic seaweed. Flavours were resolutely local: our plates came with a colourful sprinkling of oxalis and vetch petals, picked that morning in the olive groves. The wine list has 15 pages of mostly Italian bottles.
After opening the Red Lion pub in 2008, owners Brittany and Guy Manning worked tirelessly to build up its culinary reputation. In 2012, they were rewarded with a Michelin star. Service and quality is outstanding, ingredients are locally sourced and all extras are homemade – from the brown sauce to the Bloody Mary tomato juice.
At dinner, a warm crab tart with shaved fennel was light-as-a-feather. Fresh sourdough came with butter hand-churned by Guy’s 81-year-old father. The ridiculously indulgent ‘fluffernutter’ pudding with peanut nougatine and banana ice cream, was matched to a Cennatoio Italian dessert wine.
First came the Le Clos Saint Pierre restaurant, then the Michelin star (gained by head chef Daniel Ettlinger); next small Hotel du Clos – for those who didn’t want to leave. Those who come find exceptional food, excellent service and super value for money.
We sat at a candlelit table on the pretty terrace, draped in grape vines. Numerous canapés pre-empted a delicately delicious battered sea bream fillet in broth. We obviously had a cheese course (when in France…), but dessert was our favourite: a simple mix of fresh cake squares, yoghurt, berries and ice cream, with a side of chocolate macaroons.
Moo, Hotel Omm’s Michelin-starred restaurant, is headed up by the esteemed Roca brothers, whose innovative Catalan food is known throughout Barcelona. The restaurant is all one room, with different spaces defined by the height of the ceilings rather than walls. Our first course was melt-in-your-mouth apple and foie gras with vanilla oil, accompanied by a glass of Sauternes. Other highlights included a duck breast with strawberries and roses. Puddings are sinfully good – we recall a spectacular cigar-flavoured ice-cream…
21212 owner and chef Paul Kitching has a mischievous sense of fun, which won him a Michelin star within 8 months of opening. He creates from scratch, with Sunday-morning sketches evolving into the week’s dishes. Conformist eyebrows may furrow, but the ground-breaking food is hard to fault. Our main was Sicilian-style ‘pink trout’, with artichokes, shimezi and shitake mushrooms, giant pasta shells, almonds and chickpeas, warm coleslaw, leek, spring onion, kidney beans, balsamic and thyme yeast cream, plus dried courgettes and grated feta cheese. Concoctions change weekly, so no one will ever again eat what we ate (sadly, as it was all utterly inspired).
Hameau Albert 1er is a remarkable hotel; built in 1903 to welcome the arrival of the railway, it has remained in the same family ever since. At its heart is exceptional food – Restaurant Albert 1er has 2 Michelin stars and a wine cellar holding 19,000 bottles, which might explain why its wine-tasting lunches are so popular. Menus range from a light lunch to a 9-course evening tasting menu. You might find risotto with white Alba truffle, half a lobster with grapefruit, then a warm green Chartreuse soufflé with homemade Chartreuse ice cream.
Some say the food at Vila Joya is the best in Portugal, and there are few settings more romantic than the ocean-facing terrace. Austrian super-chef Dieter Koschina won the fabled second Michelin star with his highly imaginative, exquisitely good-looking cuisine. We had one of our best-ever meals here, including frog’s legs served on potato ‘snow’ and turbot in a herb sauce with goose barnacles. To finish, a light lychee soup with rose petal sorbet. Our sommelier recommended a Douro reserva followed by a 2002 Gewürztraminer and finally vintage Pommery champagne – all, of course, a perfect match.
Headed up by Jordi Cruz, Spain’s youngest chef to receive a Michelin star, the food in ABaC’s elegant restaurant speaks for itself. The seafood and unusual meat dishes are a highlight; we recommend the formal Tasting Menu or Grand Tasting Menu for value for money. Imagine tuna belly with ponzu sauce, kumquat skin, crispy artichokes and spicy roots purée or perhaps baby goat shoulder with green cider foam. The accompanying wine list has over 1,000 choices. Before or after dinner, take cocktails in the uber-cool subterranean ABaC Lounge.
People travel to Slovenia purely to eat at Hiša Franko. In 2017, head chef Ana Roš was crowned the world’s best female chef; were the Michelin guide to cover Slovenia, there is little doubt this exemplary restaurant would receive ample recognition.
Meals are served at immaculate tables on the terrace, surrounding by meadows and mountains. Our 5-course dinner was divine, and complemented perfectly by selected wines. A wild herb and edible flower salad with tarragon, mint, watercress, blueberries and a peanut sauce set the tone – quite incredible. The highlight was the roasted duck with beetroot, pink grapefruit, kumquat and melting pumpkin. Food art at its best.
Melissa’s taste for travel began during a month-long expedition to Malaysia, and since then she’s taken every opportunity to discover pastures new. From babysitting lion cubs on a South African reserve to trekking the Atlas Mountains. She spent 6 happy years on the i-escape editorial team, before embarking on a freelance editing and writing career.