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Travel

Friends and clients who know us well understand that working in Wine involves a lot of travel - often to fun and interesting places. Naturally, we need to find a good place to eat, have a decent glass of wine, and get a good night’s rest - so we are often asked for our best suggestions while on the road. Anyone can look up the fanciest hotel or most expensive restaurant online, but a personal recommendation is always best.

We have compiled a few of our old standbys and newest favorites - Where We Eat and Where We Sleep - as our suggestions for your next trip. These "travel notes" will always be followed by the traveler’s name and will continue to be updated as we find new places.

Please Choose a Region


Asia

Taipei

Where We Eat
Justin’s Signatures http://www.justinquek.com/js.html  

A small restaurant serving modern western food. It's a comfortable modern space, good service and you can bring your own wine for a fee. Food goes very well with Colgin wines as shown by the recent dinner we hosted there with Ann Colgin. April 2012: Bob

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L’Atelier de Robuchon http://www.robuchon.com.tw/atelier/main.html  

This is one of the very few Robuchon restaurants in the world which allows their customers to bring their own wines. The chef, Xavier Boyer has worked at L’Atelier de Robuchon in New York and London for many years. The Sommelier Benoit Monier had spent a few years working at L’Atelier de Robuchon in Hong Kong. Food quality and style are consistent with other branches in the world, with a slight Taiwanese touch. Efficient and friendly service. Having the option to BYO wine is definitely a plus, although they do have a good wine list. April 2013: Michelle C.

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Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodles  

This is one of the most famous places in Taipei City for Taiwanese beef noodles. I arrived around 11:30am to avoid the usual long queue. I ordered their signature dishes – a bowl of noodles in soup with half tendon/half beef slices. The beef slices were tasty and tender; and the noodle was cooked al dente. Remember to add their secret sauce (in powder form) to give some spiciness and to enhance the herbal flavor of the broth. April 2013: Michelle C.

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Yen Bar at W Taipei http://www.wtaipei.com/en/yenbar  

Situated on the top floor (31/F) of W Taipei, this is considered an absolute to see and to be seen hot spot in town. Stunning view of Taipei skyline from the floor to ceiling windows. Great selection of wines, cocktails and whiskey. April 2013: Michelle C.

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Yu Dow Son Aesthetics Japanese  

Taipei City is famous for its high standard of Japanese food. This is the sushi place where I try to visit whenever I am in Taipei. The ingredients are absolutely fresh – some imported from Japan and some are local seafood. Order ‘Omakase’ and sit at the sushi counter to see Head Chef Liu Ji-An in action. The sushi rice is slightly warmer than normal (and most of the time a bit too cold at majority of Japanese restaurants) and with great texture – it goes seamlessly with the fish. Very refined and elegant style. April 2013: Michelle C.

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Where We Sleep
The Sherwood http://www.sherwood.com.tw/  

Conveniently located, and comes with typical Taiwanese efficiency – everything works extremely well – a great business travelers hotel.

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W Taipei http://www.wtaipei.com/  

Conveniently located in Xinyi district, W Taipei is in the heart of the shopping and entertainment area such as Eslite Bookstore, Mitsukoshi Department Store. Chic and colorful elements are applied throughout the hotel. More suitable for leisure than business trips. The popular Woobar, Wet Bar and Yen Bar are major attractions to the young generation on the weekends. April 2013: Michelle C.

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Seoul

Where We Eat
Cham Sut Gol  

An upscale Korean restaurant in Mugyo-dong serving top quality hanu beef from young cattle (two years old or younger). Unavailable outside of Korea, it is grilled on a charcoal fire and is lean, meaty, and tender - different from other top quality beef such as Japan’s Kobe, US Prime and Australian Wagyu. Now I get why Koreans are so proud of their cows! It was perfect with a few bottles of red Bordeaux (reasonable corkage at USD 10/bt). Apart from beef, rice in a hot stone bowl and their famous cold noodles are also outstanding. Definitely a reason for me to visit Seoul again. April 2012: Michelle

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Pierre Gagnaire à Seoul http://www.pierregagnaire.co.kr/?strLanguage=en  

This Pierre Gagnaire restaurant is very different from the others in Hong Kong and Tokyo. This one is in fact unique – the style is more Korean then French! Due to South Korea’s food import regulations, it is very difficult to bring French ingredients into Seoul, hence Korean-grown food has to be used. The outcome is definitely a very pleasant surprise. Stylish decor with a spectacular view of Bukhan Mountain and downtown Seoul. Attentive service and helpful staff; Expensive price tag expected – lunch set starts from USD 75 including tax. April 2012: Michelle

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Sushi Cho http://www.westinchosun.co.kr/comm/en/seoul/sushi.action?leftMenuId=035  

Located on 20/F in Westin Chosun, this Japanese restaurant is considered the best in town. One of the chefs used to work at the Michelin-awarded Sushi Kyubey in Tokyo. Korean ingredients are used and the quality is exceptional. Traditional and refined. I saw many Japanese diners - an indicator of the quality. Impeccable service. Although pricey, definitely worthwhile to try. April 2012: Michelle

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Villa Sortino  

Situated in Itaewon-dong, a popular area for expatriates. A Korean client of Sotheby’s Wine brought me there on a Sunday evening (free corkage on Sunday evenings!) with a group of friends. Casual Italian style and friendly service. Good pizza and pasta. A great venue for wine gatherings. April 2012: Michelle

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Where We Sleep
Westin Chosun http://www.westinchosun.co.kr/Eseoul.action  

Very efficient, organized and very central - we were only here for a night, but we liked it and I am sure we will be back again soon. May 2010: Jamie

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Shanghai

Where We Sleep
The Park Hyatt http://shanghai.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html  

Like the Park Hyatt Beijing, it has the annoying check-in on the 87th floor, but other than that, it has wonderful views across the Bund, and the state of the art rooms include the now standard “look no hands” amenities. We hosted a fabulous dinner with Baron Eric de Rothschild and Christophe Salin (from Lafite) and the Austrian chef, Andreas Fuchs did an incredible job matching contemporary Chinese food to the Duhart Milon, Carruades, Lafite and Rieussec – as impressive as I have tasted anywhere. This is a standard Park Hyatt in China.

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Beijing

Where We Eat
Bei  

One of about 5 restaurants in the much talked about, and very trendy, Opposite House, Swire's first hotel. The service was impeccable, the wine list interesting and the Japanese food by Chef Max Levy was incredibly good. Well worth trying. April 2010: Jamie

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Dadong http://www.dadongdadong.com/en/  

This was my favorite restaurant in my last two week trip to Asia. Our driver insisted on us going here……it has a traditional setting, which is simple, but stylish and elegant. The restaurant is known for having the best roast duck (Beijing’s specialty) –whether it does or not, I have no idea, but it is very, very good! Crispy, lean and delicious – I like simple places that do one thing very, very well. We also had deep fried sweet & sour fish, which was also pretty good. And a glass of Chanson’s Chablis washed it all down just fine. While this place is no great secret – it is worth going. September 2011: Jamie

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LAN Club http://lanclub.cc/  

A vast, raw warehouse space for the hip Beijing crowd - eat in your secluded dining area, wrapped in your own private curtain, before rocking the night away - fun! March 2010: Jamie

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Made in China http://beijing.grand.hyatt.com/en/hotel/dining/MadeinChina.html  

We tend to stay away from hotel restaurants, but this is one of the exceptions. Serving authentic Beijing dishes such as Dumplings, Zhajiangmen and Peking Duck in a Modern/Chinese Imperial setting, guests get entertained as well with all the action going in the open kitchen. Boasting a decent wine list, prompt service and flavorful dishes, it is hard not to recommend this fabulous site located in the Grand Hyatt. Don’t miss out on the desserts! March 2014: Paul

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Temple Restaurant http://www.trb-cn.com/  

Tucked in the narrow streets Hutong in a traditional residential area of Beijing, it is not easy to locate, but it is well worth the search especially for 1st timers. The restaurant was refurbished from a traditional 19th century Beijing courtyard house with modern touches, and it offers top notch European contemporary cuisine. The dishes are reasonably priced, with an extensive wine list, and also a good selection of wine by the glass. The service is excellent, definitely a rarity in China even at top addresses. Recommended. March 2014: Paul

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Where We Sleep
The Park Hyatt http://beijing.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html  

Great atmosphere, with a good vibe – stylish, modern and fun. Took a while to find where everything was in the room, but hey, that’s a modern luxury hotel nowadays. Good for both business travel and hanging out in Beijing.

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The Opposite House http://www.theoppositehouse.com/  

Definitely a current hotspot in the Sanlitun district - Swire's first hotel is attracting quite a buzz. Spacious, modernist and whacky, with about 5 different restaurants and bars - the ones we tried were all excellent. Ideal for more adventurous travelers and worth checking out even for the less exotic minded. January 2010: Jamie

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Beijing Clubhouse, Hong Kong Jockey Club http://www.beijingclubhouse.com/eng/index.html  

If you can find a member to get you in, this is a perfect, tranquil, sophisticated retreat, where you can get over the jetlag, get some sport to restore the body and either work or relax. There is a big concentration on wine in all the restaurants and their team take very good care of us. March 2010: Jamie

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Hong Kong

Where We Eat
American Restaurant (Peking Food)  

The name is somewhat off-putting, so it took me 5 years to try it. Fast, efficient but charmless service and everything I ordered arrived at once. But, the chilli shrimp and sizzling beef were excellent. The setting is fine. Worth trying. September 2014: Jamie

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Cafe de Joel Robuchon (Kowloon) http://www.robuchon.hk/about_us  

For a mall, it's good looking and well done. Smart staff who deliver good service. Food is respectable, but bland. For a branded "chef" restaurant, the concept and service work, the food not so much. Still it was crowded and clearly making money...September 2014: Jamie

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Beef & Liberty http://www.beef-liberty.com/hk/  

A good vibe and an excellent burger. Service not so much: my first course arrived with my burger, but no fries...though many apologies. If you need a burger, try here, but make a reservation (it's busy) and be very explicit about your order. September 2014: Jamie

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001  

A very secret bar located in Central in the middle of a wet market, situated behind an unmarked black door. No signage. Jazz live band a few times a week. Great Earl Grey Martini and grilled cheese sandwich. April 2014':' Michelle C

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22 Ships http://22ships.hk/  

This is Jason Atherton’s (of London’s Pollen Street Social) Hong Kong tapas bar. Atherton was elBulli’s first British intern and some of the influences show through in the menu. No reservations but exciting food and an interesting Sherry list (some bought from the elBulli wine auction in April 2013). April 2013: Bob

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8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA http://www.ottoemezzobombana.com/  

The best Negroni I have ever had, followed by a good amatriciana and veal milanese. As popular as ever. September 2014: Jamie

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Alfie's http://en-cn.dunhill.com/the-homes/hong-kong/#alfie%27s  

Good lunch spot in Central with gastro pub style menu (fish 'n chips, Shepherd’s Pie, bangers and mash etc.) but all done with style and sophistication. Can bring wine for a fee, and a good bar for a drink as well. Busy at lunch so book ahead. September 2013: Bob

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Ammo http://ammo.com.hk/  

A former British Army munitions depot (as the name suggests) has been converted by renowned New York-based architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien next to the Asia Society. The team behind AMMO is chef and restaurateur Tony Cheng, with Chef Roland Schuller. Great looking space with simple contemporary Italian menu. Great spot for lunch and a short walk from Sotheby’s (behind the Conrad). April 2013: Bob

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Benson Cuisine & Wine http://www.benson.com.hk/restaurant/  

It has become a tradition for the Wine Department to go out for a nice meal after the last day of wine auctions. This time we went to Happy Valley for hairy crab dishes in season (usually available from Oct to Jan). Their signature hairy crab linguine is a must-eat dish, especially for people who find eating a whole crab with shell too much of a hassle. I love adding a spoonful of Chinese vinegar to make it less heavy and bring out more flavors. Steaks and desserts are also good. Friendly and attentive service. Corkage: HKD150/bt (USD20/bt) September 2012: Michelle C.

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Brickhouse http://www.brickhouse.com.hk/  

No reservations and about as authentic as Mexican can get in Asia. February 2013: Bob

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Cafe Gray http://www.cafegrayhk.com/  

In the Upper House Hotel next to Sotheby’s offices. Contemporary food (can’t bring your own wine) which usually delivers and is good for lunch and dinner. Amazing view of the harbour and the bar is a scene after work (I’m told). April 2012: Bob

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Caprice http://www.fourseasons.com/hongkong/dining/restaurants/caprice/  

Great ambience and service in the Four Seasons hotel. Beautiful room with a view (and a great private room as well where we recently hosted a Krug Champagne dinner). Best cheese selection in HK which can also be enjoyed at the adjacent Caprice Bar if you don't want the full dinner. Everything you would expect – very good. October 2012: Bob

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China Club  

We have had several great dinners here, where the dining rooms are fabulous, the atmosphere is magical and the food and service are excellent. They have a lot of wine pouring experience, so like most places in Hong Kong, the wine service is impeccable. Go if you are offered the chance. April 2010: Jamie

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Crystal Jade http://hk.crystaljade.com/  

A dumpling noodle chain with addictive qualities. Various locations (including the airport!). Fast and efficient; you must have the Xiao Long Bao (pork dumplings with the soup inside). October 2013: Bob

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Da Domenico  

The famous (infamous?)Causeway Bay restaurant where the chef has banned critics as he can’t accept any more customers. All the ingredients for his Italian menu are flown in daily and although the room is unimpressive the food is excellent. You can bring your own wine (for a fee) but it is tricky getting a reservation and the bill can be surprisingly high. Worth the visit. April 2012: Bob

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Fook Lam Moon http://www.fooklammoon-grp.com/en/hongkong/home.asp  

Still my favorite restaurant in all of Hong Kong: the most civilized, with impeccable service and excellent food. Peaceful, calm and revives the spirit. The corkage has gone up to HKD 300,but that still works fine. Strongly recommended. September 2014: Jamie Our favorite restaurant in Hong Kong – we always try to get here at least once each trip. Excellent food and HKD100 corkage – that works! January 2010: Jamie

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Hong Kong Club http://www.thehongkongclub.hk/  

We have held many dinners here - the food is excellent and the wine service impeccable. Well worth going if you are invited. January 2010: Jamie

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Island Tang http://www.islandtang.com/  

From David Tang (of Shanghai fame) – very cool room (including a small private one for 8 people). You can take your wine for this modern take on Shanghainese cuisine. Good service and a fun experience. April 2012: Bob

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Le Port Parfumé http://port-parfume.com/  

A French bistro style, name literally means ‘Hong Kong’ in Chinese fragrant harbour. Fresh daily caught seafood sourced from local fishermen cooked in French way. Casual and relaxed. Friendly service. No corkage. Pretty crowded on weekends. Advance booking required. March 2014: Michelle C

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Liberty Private Works http://www.lpw.hk/  

Almost impossible to get a reservation. Great space with U shape bar to eat at around an open kitchen (good for 2 people or up to 4 if you have the corner but not more). Innovative western style set multi course menu with wine pairing if you like. April 2012: Bob

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Mak's Noodle Ltd  

If you need a little sustenance during the day while exploring Hong Kong, stop by Mak's Noodle for excellent Won Ton Min (shrimp dumpling with noodles) and Yau Choi (Chinese broccoli) - this is very basic and very cheap, but good. If you like fancy restaurants, this is not for you. If you like good noodles in a hurry and don’t mind sitting on a stool, it's the right place. Chinese fast food that's way better than McDonald's. January 2010: Jamie G/F, 77 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2854 3810 Open 11am to 8pm No corkage (not the kind of place you would want to bring any wine!)

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MO Bar at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental http://www.mandarinoriental.com/landmark/fine-dining/mo-bar/  

A popular weeknight bar and a pretty good hamburger for when you want to give the chopsticks some well-earned rest.

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Restaurant Akrame http://www.akrame.com.hk/  

Opened end of last year on Ship Street in Wanchai, the HK branch of this renowned Paris restaurant has already become a trendy and must go place for the chic crowd. Creative menu from starter to dessert which changes regularly. Execution is bold and full of surprises. April 2014: Michelle C Where We Eat

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Saint Germain http://www.french-creations.com/saint-germain  

Paris Brasserie in Happy Valley at the south end of the race track. Delivers reliable steak frites style fare in a non-fancy, neighbourhood joint type environment. You can bring wines for a corkage fee. Rib eye for 2 is pretty good. April 2012: Bob

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Shek O Chinese and Thai Restaurant  

Chinese Thai Restaurant – Shek O – the restaurant name accurately described the menu at this beachside shack in the village of Shek O which is a favourite of families, hikers and beach goers for lunch. Formica tables, Tsing Tao and the green curry chicken are the order of the day. October 2013: Bob

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Sijie Sichuan Dishes  

If you like the spiciest version of Chinese food, this is for you. This private kitchen has everything covered in the Sichuan peppers that numb the mouth (thankfully) after a while. It’s good if you like the style and (I’m told) authentic. Typical HK private kitchen means you enter through a door with no name in a non-descript building. Very basic decor. April 2012: Bob

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Yung Kee http://www.yungkee.com.hk/  

Our second favorite “restaurant” in Hong Kong, though we have never managed to eat in the actual restaurant, as we have always dined in the Kee Club next door, which has been both spectacularly entertaining and superb. If you get the opportunity, go! April 2009: Jamie

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Zuma http://www.zumarestaurant.com/zuma-landing/hong-kong/en/welcome  

Another restaurant in the Landmark Mandarin Oriental, this time serving top class modern Japanese food in stylish surroundings - but what is important is that the substance matches the style (cool, but not too cool; good music not muzak; and not too loud, particularly for those of us who did too much shooting without earplugs). Nothing not to like here......whatever we ordered was excellent - the Chef, Dan Segall runs an impressive operation.

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Where We Sleep
The Upper House http://www.upperhouse.com/en/default.aspx  

A Swire Hotel that is right next door to our office in Pacific Place. Big, spacious, modern rooms, with great views and all the accessories you need to feel relaxed and happy. For business travelers, like us, they have all you need and it is not penny pinching: free wifi, soft drinks, snacks etc. The service is top class, as it is with most HK hotels, and it has a modern chic vibe. I really like staying here - you are happy to be Hong Kong and particularly happy to be at this hotel, looking at the view of HK. September 2013: Jamie

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Mandarin Oriental http://www.mandarinoriental.com/landmark/  

What’s not to love about the Mandarin Oriental? Staying here is a pleasure and an education in how to run a truly great hotel – the service is seamless and unbelievably good. Michelle has her own chair at the Captain’s Bar, she liked it that much. Everyone should stay here at least once – it’s great. January 2010: Jamie

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France

South of France

Where We Sleep
La Colombe d'Or http://www.la-colombe-dor.com/indexEN.html  

A great, low-key hotel, with seriously good paintings and sculptures. But the best thing is to have lunch (preferably) or dinner in the garden. January 2010: Jamie

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Champagne

Where We Sleep
Hôtel Les Avisés http://www.selosse-lesavises.com/hotel-restaurant-en-champagne/hotel-les-avises-champagne.html  

Hôtel Les Avisés, located in the town of Avise, is also the homebase for Domaine Jacques Selosse. Anselme Selosse, together with his wife Corinne, run the hotel which is directly across the courtyard from the winery. Set on a hill overlooking the town of Avise, the hotel features completely renovated modern rooms, many with views of the town. Late sleepers beware-the hotel is across the street from the church…. September 2012: Duncan

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L'Assiette Champenoise http://www.assiettechampenoise.com/  

To speak of the Hotel L’Assiette Champenoise is to speak about Arnaud Lallement, the incredibly talented chef and owner of the hotel. The hotel features modern rooms, many with views of the parc, and a terrific pool all in this superbly run hotel in Tinquex, a stone’s throw from Reims. September 2012: Duncan

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Where We Eat
Hôtel Restaurant Les Avisés http://www.selosse-lesavises.com/hotel-restaurant-en-champagne/restaurant-les-avises-champagne.html  

There is an excellent restaurant in the hotel, so be sure to make reservations in advance, as there are very few tables. The lucky few who do eat there will discover the superb food, often pairing local produce with a small but thoughtful and outstanding wine list. Your chef is the talented Stéphane Rossillon, formerly of Maison Pic where he spent 13 years at the side of Ann-Sophie Pic. September 2012: Duncan

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L'Assiette Champenoise http://www.assiettechampenoise.com/index.php?action=le_restaurant  

Incredible food awaits you in the two-star restaurant run by Arnaud Lallement who gained his experience alongside some of the greatest chefs in France. In just 8 years after his arrival, the restaurant went from zero to two Michelin stars. With a list of the greatest Champagnes, Lallement strives to create food which brings out the flavors in Champagne - a tomato millefeuille with a glass of tomato flavored water alongside Krug Rosé is one happy memory of a dinner there hosted by Olivier Krug in September, 2012. September 2012: Duncan

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Les Crayères http://www.lescrayeres.com/#/le-parc/  

The former residence of Madame Pommery, this incredible hotel and restaurant is once again in the hands of the Gardinier family. Under the direction of Philippe Mille, the kitchen is turning out superb food including great game and truffles in season. The wine list, while not inexpensive, has a comprehensive selection of Champagne with nearly 300 choices and is arguably one of the greatest lists of Champagne in the world. If you find yourself traveling in Reims, you need to visit Les Crayères. February 2011: Duncan

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Burgundy

Where We Eat
Auprès du Clocher http://www.aupresduclocher.com/Accueil.html  

In the center of the town of Pommard is surely the Beaune area’s next Michelin Star, Auprès du Clocher. Chef Jean-Christophe Moutet, ex-Lameloise, is a master at delivering traditional dishes from the region in a modern style coupled with a magnificent winelist. The list of wines is not only the most comprehensive list of Pommard and Volnay in the region, but also includes great selections from Chablis and Meursault, the chef’s home town. There are very few tables here, so reserve in advance. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday. 2012: Duncan

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Castel de Très Girard http://www.castel-tres-girard.com/uk/index.php#restaurant.php  

A good spot for lunch with an excellent wine list. Try to get a spot on the terrace in the back overlooking the pool and the vineyards. Also a hotel. 2010: Duncan

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Caveau des Arches http://www.caveau-des-arches.com/  

The sort of food which has made Burgundy famous prepared by chef/owner Marc Gantier. A comprehensive wine list and cool modern dining room underground in a former cellar. In winter, you must try the Beef Bourguignon. 2010: Duncan

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Chez Guy http://www.chez-guy.com/  

Excellent food here under chef Yves Rebsamen, formerly of Ledoyen. An excellent wine list, reasonably priced, and the terrace in the center of town is the perfect spot for lunch, or to relax at dinner after a long day of tastings. 2010: Duncan

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Hostellerie des Clos http://www.hostellerie-des-clos.fr/fr/index.php#restaurant-et-bar.php  

A one-star Michelin Restaurant in the capable hands of chef and owner Michel Vignaud. Superb food and the most comprehensive Chablis wine list in town. This is also a hotel with reasonable pricing and a perfect spot to begin your tour of the Yonne. 2010:Duncan

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L’Ecusson http://www.ecusson.fr/  

Modern, inventive food with an excellent wine list, and, near the train station. Also has a nice terrace for summer dining. 2010: Duncan

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L’Espérance http://www.marc-meneau-esperance.com/uk/restaurant-vezelay-site-officiel.php#restaurant-etoile-michelin-vezelay-bourgogne.php  

At times, spoken of as the greatest restaurant in France. Currently at two stars from Michelin, Marc Menau’s food is sublime. Classic French food prepared in his dining room overlooking the parc. The Poularde de Bresse en papillote is not to be missed. 2010: Duncan

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La Table de William Fevre  

This bistrot, next door to Hostellerie des Clos, is also run by Michel Vignaud. As you might imagine, a comprehensive selection of Chablis from William Fevre. Try the terreace in the courtyard for lunch. 2010: Duncan

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Le Chambolle http://www.restaurant-lechambolle.com/  

Eric and Martine Claudel run this excellent restaurant tucked away in a small alcove in Chambolle. He is in the kitchen and she is in the dining room. Simple French fare, immaculately prepared, with a good list of local wines. Finish your meal here with the terrific caramel ice cream, made on site. A small dining room, so be sure to book in advance. Reservations only by telephone (03.80.62.86.26) 2010: Duncan

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Le Chevreuil http://www.lechevreuil.fr/hotel-restaurant-meursault/restaurant-meursault.php  

Terrific food here in the center of Meursault right across from the 15th century church. The Gouges family serve excellent traditional fare here accompanied by a wine list featuring the best of Meursault, from Coche-Dury to Pierre Morey and Dominique Lafon. A smaller room, so book in advance. 2010: Duncan

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Ma Cuisine  

The best wine list in Beaune is eclipsed by Fabienne Escoffier’s food. Pierre Escoffier is in the dining room, and you are in sure hands with his recommendations. The restaurant, in the Passage Sainte-Hélène, is small, so be sure to book ahead and do NOT miss the desserts. 2010: Duncan

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Where We Sleep
L’Hotel  

An excellent hotel in the center of Beaune, just off Place Carnot. L’Hotel also offers terrific food served in the main dining room, as well as on the terrace in the courtyard. Complete internet access and business friendly. A perfect outpost while you are visiting. 2010: Duncan

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Hotel Le Montrachet http://www.le-montrachet.com/  

Suzanne and Thierry Gazanges manage one of the better hotels in the area, as well as a superb restaurant with their newly constructed terrace opening out onto their private park. A new bar offers and extensive selection of wines by the glass, and is surrounded by photographs of local vintners keeping watch on the diners. Excellent food from Chef Thierry Berger, formerly the main man in the kitchen at Plaza Athénée and Hôtel Vernet. 2010: Duncan

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Hostellerie de Levernois http://www.levernois.com/uk/index.php  

Located in a scenic parc, this Relais & Chateaux property is an excellent hotel and restaurant. Accompanied by an excellent wine list, the food is outstanding and the setting is extraordinary. 2010: Duncan

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Bordeaux

Where We Eat
Au Bistrot https://www.tripadvisor.fr/Restaurant_Review-g187079-d8511429-Reviews-Au_Bistrot-Bordeaux_Gironde_Aquitaine.html  

Excellent bistro just next door to the Marché des Capucins, introduced to us by Jean-Charles Cazes, who is a regular visitor. Excellent asparagus and roast chicken and an interesting wine list. April 2016: Jamie

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Cafe Lavinal http://www.jmcazes.com/en/cafe-lavinal  

Another great Cazes success, as they have developed the little hamlet of Bages from a group of run down buildings into a little village, the center of which is their wonderful Café Lavinal - a low key, non chi-chi place for breakfast, lunch or dinner - recommended. April 2008: Jamie

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Chez Greg http://www.chezgreg.fr/  

Herve Berland at Mouton Rothschild introduced Bob and I to this fun, modern restaurant right in the centre of Bordeaux next to the Opera - worth trying. January 2007: Jamie

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L’Envers du Décor http://www.envers-dudecor.com/  

Hidden in the back of this terrific winebar is an excellent restaurant with a superb winelist specializing in wines of the region. Great hangar steak and frites, and don’t miss a table by the fireplace in winter. January 2013: Duncan

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L’Estacade http://www.estacade-restaurant.com/  

Situated on a small pier on the “wrong” side of the river in the centre of Bordeaux this restaurant gives great views of the city and provides a more modern take on Bordeaux cuisine than some of the more traditional establishments. Solid wine list and good service. Bob: June 2013

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La Tupina http://www.latupina.com/en/tupina-restaurant-bordeaux/  

This is the most “classic” restaurant in the center of Bordeaux and well worth a visit – on our last Futures tasting trip we had a very festive and enjoyable dinner with Serena, David and Bob. April 2012: Jamie

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Le Cochon Volant  

If you are ever fed-up of chi-chi French food and just want simple, but excellent, hearty bistro fare, try this. We escaped Vinexpo (and the endless client dinners) and had a fun, relaxed evening away from wine-speak. The food is good, the wine list interesting—it even strays outside Bordeaux—and it's in a neighborhood which makes for some entertaining viewing, but if you get an outside table, keep your wallet safe! A favorite of Melanie Tesseron who put us onto this place. Recommended. June 2010: Jamie

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Le Lion d'Or  

The Bordeaux wine-makers home away from home with, naturally, a very friendly corkage policy. If you spend much time on the left bank of Bordeaux, you will certainly end up here one day. April 2010: Jamie

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Restaurant La Gare Gourmande http://www.la-gare-gourmande.fr/  

Dining options are limited in the Medoc, so if you are staying near Margaux this is a good option. Nice people, good food, good service and a friendly corkage policy. March 2013. Jamie Ritchie.

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Where We Sleep
Au Logis des Remparts http://www.logisdesremparts.com/  

A great budget hotel, right in the middle of Saint-Émilion. Everything (including the internet) works impeccably and it has a wonderful breakfast to set you up for the day. Recommended for those on a budget. March 2010: Jamie

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Cordeillan Bages http://www.cordeillanbages.com/?langue=2  

Part of the Cazes family empire - this is by far the best place to stay in the Medoc - everything is modern/contemporary, including Thierry Marx's food, who has now garnered 3 Michelin Stars. Nice, if a little bare, but perfectly located. Recommended. April 2008: Jamie

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Hotel de Normandie http://www.hotel-normandie-bordeaux.com/  

Right in the center of town - this hotel has been recommended to us, but we have not yet stayed there - as soon as we do we will let you know our thoughts.

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Sources de Caudalie http://www.sources-caudalie.com/en/  

Our home away from home - we love staying here. The Cathiards are a very talented family with Smith Haut Lafitte and Sources de Caudalie. The hotel is set among the vineyards and is incredibly peaceful with perfect views. If you don't like the gym (like me) you can go running in the vineyards. The spa, swimming pool and bar are all just as you want them and the food in both restaurants excellent. When we bring clients to Bordeaux, we always stay here - I know we might have to drive a bit further, as we are a little down south, but waking up at Sources de Caudalie is well worth it. April 2008: Jamie

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Paris

Where We Eat
Les Cocottes Christian Constant http://www.maisonconstant.com/les-cocottes/  

Great food from a great chef in the 7th, with an easy going, young, fun atmosphere and good wines. Very Parisian. Jamie Ritchie. April 2013

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Les 110 de Taillevent http://www.taillevent.com/les-110-de-taillevent-brasserie/  

The more relaxed version of Taillevent with top class food and 110 wines by the glass - sit at the bar and the hours and glasses of wine go quickly. Jamie Ritchie. April 2013

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La Fontaine de Mars http://www.fontainedemars.com/index.html  

A classic French bistro in the 7th with excellent food - the type of place where you want to eat everything on the menu. Fun and relaxed. Jamie Ritchie. April 2013

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Italy

Tuscany

Where We Eat
Il Santo Bevitore (Florence) http://www.ilsantobevitore.com/home.htm  

Il Santo Bevitore, Via di Santo Spirito, is terrific – noisy yes, but one can see why as everyone is having such a good time. Fresh Tuscan food and a real spread on the wine list. Stays open late – reserve, especially in the evening. Very much enjoyed Rocca di Montegrossi 2008 Chianti Classico from Marco Ricasoli Firidolfi. March 2012: Serena

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La Bussola (Florence) http://www.labussolafirenze.it/  

Back on the other side, La Bussola on the Via Porta Rossa has great wine and appetising food and the virtue of staying open very late which is good for us nocturnal owls. March 2012: Serena

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Olio & Convivium (Florence) http://www.conviviumfirenze.it/html/olio/ristorante.html  

Olio et Convivium, Via di Santo Spirito – a touch more modern and ‘trendy’ but very good ingredients – you can pick up both food and wine to take away here too. March 2012: Serena

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Perchè No (Florence) http://www.percheno.firenze.it/index.php?lang=en  

And ice cream? There is only one place, Perchè No, Via Tavolini - I have loved it since the Sixties!!! Nocciòlo, hazelnut, is my favourite. Not far from the Duomo (which is so much more stunning outside than inside!). March 2012: Serena

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Ristorante Celestino (Florence) http://www.ristorantecelestino.it/en  

A more traditional trattoria but very comforting is Celestino in the Piazza Santa Felicità. Lots of regulars and a terrace for fine weather. Very Florentine food but well executed and you can always find good wines that are good value too. March 2012: Serena

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Piedmont

Where We Eat
Al Cantinone (Milan) http://alcantinone.it/  

A recent dash to Milan (okay, we do love La Scala) gave us a new find. After the opera, we repaired to Al Cantinone with its tempting choice of risotto dishes and appealing wine list where we compared different Dolcettos. They really understand rice here and have some superb combinations which enhance one’s idea of the perfect risotto. March 2012: Serena

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Boeucc (Milan) http://www.boeucc.it/boeucc/  

For classicism in a palazzo, sleek service, excellent food and delicious wine, Boeucc, right in the centre of Milan. Discreet businessmen and refined Milanese women murmur around you. They only take Amex or cash (and trusted me to go back to our hotel to fetch my Amex card!). We had marvellous crab, fish and Abbazia di Novacella’s Sylvaner which has nostalgic memories for us. One emerges purring. March 2012: Serena

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La Ciau del Tornavento http://www.laciaudeltornavento.it/ita/ristorante  

A fabulous restaurant, with a great view, a great Chef and a great wine cellar. We were with Elisa Scavino and Weston Hoard, and after a long afternoon tasting, we thought we would get a quick bite to eat with our young children, Ella (8) and Archibald (5). At 1:45am, with Ella and Archie still going strong, we finally decided to call it a day...This is a great restaurant and on my "do not miss list" for a visit to Piedmont. July 2009: Jamie

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Trattoria Masuelli (Milan) http://www.masuellitrattoria.com/  

A short taxi ride from the centre, Trattoria Masuelli, traditional Lombardian and Piedmontese food with great ingredients, plus a serious wine list. Try and go in winter and with friends to enjoy it to the full, with time and appetite! The owner recites what he has and it is warming and wonderful and perfect for the major reds on the list. March 2012: Serena

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Where We Sleep
Cascina Barac http://www.barac.it/  

An Agriturismo in the heart of the vineyards and a perfectly tranquil retreat from tasting and eating. The staff could not have been nicer, making us a special late lunch, as we arrived mid-afternoon. We will definitely stay here again. If they built a swimming pool, it would be even better! July 2009: Jamie

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Spain

San Sebastian

Where We Eat
Arzak http://www.arzak.info/index.html  

Three star Michelin restaurant that lives up to its billing and price tag! A must for any true food and wine lover with an incredibly modern and creative take on Spanish cuisine. I would recommend a long, luxurious lunch featuring the daily tasting menu. June 2012: Connor

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Where We Sleep
Hotel Niza http://en.hotelniza.com/  

Absolutely extraordinary location overlooking La Concha beach, with very spacious rooms, Satelite TV and wifi. Very affordable and a superb Spanish Breakfast in the hotel. Only a 5 minute walk to the old town for many pintxos restaurants. Make sure you book early to get a seaside room!!! June 2012: Connor

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Rioja

Where We Sleep
Hotel Marques de Riscal http://www.hotel-marquesderiscal.com/en  

Absolutely amazing 5 star hotel constructed within the vines of Marques de Riscal in Elciego. Though the Frank Gehry design is jaw dropping on its own, this hotel offers so much more: incredible service, stunning rooms and views, and a 1st class gym and spa. Take the hotel bikes and get lost amongst the vines. At night there is no need to travel as the Restaurante Marques de Riscal’s chef’s table and its 12 course tasting menu is one of the great gastronomical experiences Spain has to offer. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! June 2012: Connor

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Ribera del Duero

Where We Sleep
Abadia Retuerta http://www.ledomaine.es/default-en.html  

A luxury hotel recently contructed within the walls of a Romanesque-Baroque Monastery, featuring a 12th century abbey. Spectacular vineyard views, amazing service and a terrific restaurant (featuring a deep and very affordable global wine list) make this a terrific option for any travelers staying in Ribera del Duero. June 2012: Connor

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Fuente de la Acena http://www.fuenteacena.com/  

A tiny, charming water mill turned hotel overlooking the Duero river, this hotel offers true peace and quiet after a long day of wine tasting! It features superb architecture, great value and a offering simple yet quite refined food. June 2012: Connor

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Hotel Pesquera http://www.hotelpesquera.com/en/elhotel.php  

A boutique hotel recently opened by Alejandro Fernandez (of Pesquera winery fame) in an industrial area of downtown Peñafiel. This is a hommage to art and modernism and features a terrific restaurant and Spanish wine list. June 2012: Connor

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Madrid

Where We Eat
El Lando http://www.casalucio.es/oldweb/el-lando.html  

Old world Spanish steakhouse featuring the same waiters and décor for years. Downstairs setting with relaxed and wonderful homy feel. Superb steaks arrive still cooking on hot plates, the best tomato bread in Madrid and nice selection of reasonably priced Spanish wines. June 2012: Connor

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La Trainera Restaurant http://www.latrainera.es/  

Every morning La Trainera receives air shipments of the best seafood from both Spanish coasts. Fish tanks line the main dining room and bar. A neighborhood/family friendly place ideal for a long lunch or early dinner with a larger group. Best Gazpacho I have ever had!!! June 2012: Connor

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La Trucha  

While not a formal setting, La Trucha offers the best 'real' tapas in Madrid. Dark and lacking many seats, this stand up bar produces amazing asparagus, tomatoes and croquettes. June 2012: Connor

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Mercado de San Miguel http://www.mercadodesanmiguel.es/  

Fabulous modern market with tons of food options...standing room and seats with croquettes/fresh seafood/meat/paella/Jamon Iberico (Not to mention beer and wine). Full of hustle/bustle and color especially on the weekends. June 2012: Connor

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San Gines http://www.chocolateriasangines.com/Chocolateria_San_Gines/Bienvenidos_a_San_Gines.html  

The oldest chocolatier in Madrid...great coffee and churros... a fun break while exploring the town. June 2012: Connor

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Where We Sleep
Westin Palace Madrid http://www.westinpalacemadrid.com/en  

This stunning hotel is situated within walking distance of the Prado and Reina Sofia museums and offers sublime old world charm and beauty along with every modern amenity a visitor needs. June 2012: Connor

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Barcelona

Where We Eat
Bar Mut http://www.barmut.com/  

This small restaurant located close to Las Ramblas offers wonderful tapas including chorizo, egg dishes and seafood right out of the water. There is no menu and they only offer what is fresh. Though expensive, this is a must for either a relaxing lunch or dinner. Sit outside for more space and people watching. Reservations highly recommended. June 2012: Connor

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Casa de Tapas Canota http://casadetapas.com/  

Don’t be confused by the simple décor. Canota offers fabulous tapas featuring Catalonia’s traditional meats and fresh seafood. Don’t miss the barnacals, octopus or the beef sliders! Also, be sure to ask for the ‘real wine list’ and order a shockingly affordable old Rioja! You won’t be disappointed. June 2012: Connor

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Fonda Gaig http://www.restaurantgaig.com/en/  

Michelin star chef Charles Gaig’s more affordable offshoot, this more casual restaurant is highly recommended for a relaxing weekend brunch or lunch. Highlights include a great wine list and some of the best patatas bravas Barcelona has to offer. June 2012: Connor

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Tickets http://www.ticketsbar.es/web/  

Tickets offers Barcelona’s most innovative food setting. It is purposely whimsical with fabulous colors and lights and a focus on the enjoyment of modern Tapas. Albert Adria (younger brother of elBulli chef Ferran Adria), has created one of the most popular restaurants in the world. The service is world class and the dizzying array of meats, fish, vegetables and sweets arrive in all temperatures, shapes and forms. If you are lucky enough to get in the door, sit back and take it all in. (I was there for 4+ hours!) It is a culinary experience for the ages! June 2012: Connor

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United States

Aspen

Where We Eat
Bonnie's  

One of the best places to eat on the Mountain. January 2013: Jamie

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Campo de Fiori  

This is a fun Italian restaurant with a great atmosphere, good food and a good wine list - a perfect place for a relaxed dinner. January 2013: Jamie

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Element 47  

The restaurant at the Little Nell has just been renovated with a new, fresh modern look and a new menu by Daniel Boulud alum, Robert McCormick. I was there for La Paulee des Neiges and we had a good dinner (with Daniel Boulud joining Robert in the kitchen) in the private room - good wine list and excellent service, as you would expect. January 2013: Jamie

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Where We Sleep
Little Nell  

Top class hotel - with a great setting and excellent service. Excellent wine list - where you will be happy! August 2012: Jamie

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Los Angeles

Where We Eat
La Super Rica  

(Santa Barbara) My favorite Mexican restaurant anywhere - if you go to Santa Barbara try it! Ok, it's a shack, with not much more than a tarp to cover you, but the food is just what I like and the beers are cold - no wine here! April 2010: Jamie

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Lucques  

Suzanne Goin creates an interesting menu, in a relaxed space, with a great staff and an interesting wine list. There are two rooms, a warmer, cozier brick-walled first room and a rather spartan garden room. October 2006: Jamie

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Osteria Mozza / Pizzeria Mozza  

The Batali/Bastianich/Silverton show in LA is way out of the way of everything and still has crowds lining up for tables at either the pizzeria or the main restaurant. Both are great - I have just had more luck getting in to the Osteria, so I know it better. They are both great places to hang out in LA and watch the scene - truly a spectator sport here - well worth going... April 2010: Jamie

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Where We Sleep
Avalon  

Though it appears hip and trendy, it is neither cool nor un-cool. The set-up is rather odd, with rooms in different buildings, but that's no problem - the rooms are spacious and quiet, with everything you need. The staff are very helpful (all of them are concierges) and their specialty cocktails help you unwind after a long flight. I like staying here and the price is right. October 2006: Jamie

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Bel Air Hotel  

Undoubtedly a great hotel, in a fabulous setting - lunch at the Bel Air makes one feel alive and, surprisingly, they are very child friendly. The atmosphere and setting makes this hotel and it has charm,which is sadly lacking in most American hotels. The price is also surprisingly inexpensive compared to the usual luxury rates at other larger groups - perhaps that's because it takes you forever to get anywhere from Bel Air. May 2006: Jamie

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La Quinta Resort (Palm Springs)  

In need of February sun, swimming and sport (tennis and golf), we (Manou, Ella, Archie and I) headed to La Quinta outside Palm Springs for a few days R&R. It delivered blue sky and warm sunny days, in an elegant setting, super-nice staff, great tennis and golf coaches – difficult not to have a great time and forget about work for a few days. If you have young children and need this type of break, I would recommend it. Tips: Nicest rooms are around the lap pool: 1600–1649 & behind the lobby 107–150; our children wanted a local diner for breakfast and Louise’s Pantry delivered. March 2012: Jamie

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Nantucket

Where We Eat
Black Eyed Susan's  

I was in Nantucket for 24 hours for the Nantucket Wine Festival and only had one chance to eat in a restaurant: the "morning after" breakfast at the highly recommended Black Eyed Susan. It lived up to it's reputation and was excellent - restoring the equilibrium before joining Piero Incisa della Rochetta (oh so Italian) for a Sassicaia lunch. Breakfast was very good, though the addition of an expresso machine would save having to get a decent cup of coffee afterwards. Dinner is also recommended, but I was back in NYC by then. Jamie (May 2011)

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Napa Valley

California

Where We Eat
Ad Hoc  

Thomas' new place, where there is a set menu (no other options) every night, seems quite popular. Although, when I was last there, it was Thomas' only place that was not heaving, plus the poor Maitre d' had to give everyone a five minute explanation of the restaurant before seating them, which seems too much hard work for me. April 2010: Jamie

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Bouchon  

For those expecting a touch of the French Laundry magic, think again. This is a well designed (Adam Tihany), stylish room with good bistro food and a fun, relaxed atmosphere. It's always a great place to eat - so long as your expectations are not too high - with excellent service and an interesting, fairly priced wine list. And, don't forget about the excellent Bouchon Bakery next door - great for breakfast and a sandwich for the plane ride home. Somehow, this is the best part of Napa for me, so I always make a stop here and never regret it. August 2006: Jamie

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Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen  

I like this low key, down to earth restaurant with solid food and a good list. April 2010: Jamie

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French Laundry  

I first went to The French Laundry in 1995, with my good friend Gilles de Chambure, and we had one of the best dinners of my life - about 17 courses, most standing in the kitchen with Thomas Keller and it finished at 3am - I was younger then! I have been lucky to go back several times, most recently with the Peter Michael team and the butter poached lobster was unbelievably good, as was the service. If you are in Napa, it is well worth going, if you can get a reservation. February 2013: Jamie

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Redd (Yountville)  

At 9.30pm on a Sunday evening on my way to Calistoga, I pulled off 29 and had a drive through Yountville: Ad Hoc closed; Bouchon empty; Bistro Jeanty empty; Redd full. I went to Redd...where ex-Auberge de Soleil chef, Richard Reddington was in situ and everyone was hanging out having a great time. Top class hamachi and tuna tartare, followed by excellent fish tacos, a glass of white and red. By the time I left it was still quarter full, while the other restaurants in town were shut-up for the night. Definitely worth checking out and on my list to return to next time. February 2012: Jamie

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Redd Wood  

Richard Reddington's more laid back restaurant in Yountville - good food, good vibe - my sort of place. Jamie Ritchie. February 2014

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Terra  

After 18 years, the staff seem to have lost their enthusiasm - being aloof rather than inattentive. The raw dishes (hamachi and tuna ceviche) were excellent, the rest rather disappointing, except for a good and reasonably priced wine list. October 2006: Jamie

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Where We Sleep
Meadowood  

When in Napa, try and stay at Meadowood - it may not be the best (I have no idea), but it is the complete package. The rooms are fabulous (make sure you go to sleep with a log fire burning), the grounds are beautiful, the food and wines excellent and you can play golf or tennis. But more importantly, you are at the epicenter of what is happening in Napa. The brilliant Bill Harlan is always around and so are the other movers and shakers of the valley, so hang out and become part of the scene. Whatever your plans, this is the best place to lay your head. April 2010: Jamie

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Rancho Caymus Santa Fe  

We often travel to Napa and rarely on a Meadowood budget, so the next best option that we all like is the Rancho Caymus Santa Fe, which is perfect for our missions - worth checking out if you have a budget in mind. April 2010: Jamie

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New Orleans

Where We Eat
Galatoire’s  

The Good news is that after more than 100 years, Galatoire’s now takes reservations. Friday lunch is a tradition for the locals where lunch can drift on into the evening… This temple to seafood is always entertaining, so pull up a chair, admire the clock and, whether your choice is Crabmeat Yvonne or Oysters Rockefeller, you are in good hands at Galatoire’s. February 2011: Duncan

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New York

Where We Sleep
Affinia Gardens  

A good budget option on 64th street (between 3rd & 2nd) on the Upper East Side in Manhattan - many friends and colleagues have stayed here and have had no complaints. April 2010: Jamie

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The Carlyle  

Sotheby's hotel of choice for all clients and colleagues, and an institution in its own right. We love The Carlyle, Bemelmans Bar and Café Carlyle. One of the last traditional New York hotels on the Upper East Side. April 2010: Jamie

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The Surrey  

Recently re-opened, The Surrey has great rooms, a smart staff and a perfect location. Add to that Daniel Boulud's Bar Pleiades & Café Boulud and you have ready made entertainment, with great food. April 2010: Jamie

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Where We Eat
Balthazar  

Keith McNally's magic keeps on working - this long time favorite is packed from morning 'til night and for good reason - delivering terrific classic French food, at affordable prices in a great atmosphere. The wines at all of Keith's restaurants are overseen by the talented and low key Chris Goodhart, who does an excellent job ensuring that there are always interesting wines on each of the restaurant's list. Thank you Chris! We go to Balthazar as often as we can. Also worth trying are his other joints Pastis, Schiller's and the newly opened Pulino's. April 2010: Jamie

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Bar Boulud  

Another Daniel restaurant - this one with great charcuterie and good Burgundy and Rhone - opposite Lincoln Center. April 2010: Jamie

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Cafe Boulud  

Another Daniel restaurant on the Upper East Side that always delivers - great food and great service - no wonder it is always packed with movers and shakers -very good. April 2010: Jamie

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DBGB  

I love DBGB - this is my type of restaurant - good simple food, incredibly well executed, and with real flavor. This is alongside an interesting wine list and a very professional staff. Daniel Boulud may be the most professional restaurateur in NYC. April 2010: Jamie

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Jean Georges  

Jean Georges is one of New York's great restaurants and the great man is often there. I prefer lunch (which is a fantastic deal if you go for the set menu) to dinner, and the first room, to the more formal second one. I always try to pick his Asian infused dishes, particularly the fish with broth, as these are exceptional. You never have a bad meal here. I am not such a fan of JG's other restaurants, which I have found very uneven over many visits during the last 15 years, but Jean Georges has always remained at the top of its game. April 2010: Jamie

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Kurumazushi  

They are not giving it away, but the best quality is always expensive and this is the best sushi I have had in New York. Toshi is a master of superbly fresh and delicate fish. I recommend passing over all the very mediocre sushi in most restaurants and saving up to have the chance to sit at the bar. But be warned it is expensive to sit there. January 2007: Jamie

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La Esquina  

Still fun Mexican, a great vibe and difficult to get into, but worth the effort. Jamie Ritchie. January 2014

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La Grenouille  

This is the last ''old school'' French restaurant in New York - the reason it is still going is because it is still a great experience. Old fashioned, but in a classy, stylish way, with a great room, top class service and more than respectable food. I love the room, I love the private room upstairs even more and if you want to have a private dinner in a classy space, I am not sure there is any better in NYC. Jamie Ritchie. March 2014

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Le Bernardin  

My favorite restaurant for lunch and about the only place I eat fish - the reason being that Eric Ripert cooks it better than anyone else. I like to room for lunch (less so for dinner). I think Eric is the most creative Chef in the city and look forward to every visit with anticipation of what I will taste. I also think that Le Bernardin offers incredible value for the money, as the quality of the food and service is so much higher than his competitors, yet the pricing remains fair. Go any time you can. April 2010: Jamie

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Le Charlot  

Classic, well run bistro on the UES, close to Sotheby's, with an interesting wine list (they are good clients of our auction business!). Good solid food and you always have a good time, so worth remembering if you are close to Sotheby's. February 2010: Jamie

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Lupa  

One of my all time favorite Italian restaurants from the very talented Batali & Bastianich team. Great antipasti and pasta that is simple and not over done - also kid friendly for weekend lunches. We always want to come here more than we actually do, as getting a table can be tough. April 2010: Jamie

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Mary's Fish Camp  

We love this "no reservations" spot for lunch - the cod sandwich, or lobster roll, and a glass of Sancerre works very well. January 2010: Jamie

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Minetta Tavern  

Keith McNally's newest venture reaffirms his position as one of the best restaurateurs in New York City alongside Daniel Boulud, Danny Meyer and the Batianich/Batali team. McNally's newer venture delivers a steakhouse with great style - fabulous steaks, good wine, and even better eye-candy. What's not to love about this fun new hangout that's a tough table to get, even in this economy? August 2009: Jamie

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Phoenix Garden  

Recommended to me by Eric Asimov of the NY Times, this is my favorite Chinese in NYC for a couple of reasons. First, it does not have a liquor license so it's BYOB, no corkage. Secondly, the food is excellent. And, I will add a third, if there is a big group of you (we tend to go for late Sunday lunch with friends and our children), they don't bring all the food out at once, so lunch is not over in 20 minutes. Instead they manage it at a nice pace, so you enjoy a good number of different wines. The result: some seriously long lunches. February 2010: Jamie

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PJ Clarke's  

Need a good burger, but also a glass of wine to go with it? Try PJ Clarke's……we love other burgers (JG Melon, the burger place at the Meridien hotel and Danny's Shake Shack) but we like to sit down and enjoy it with a decent glass of wine. April 2010: Jamie

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Sasabune  

There are few decent restaurants around Sotheby's, but this is an excellent Japanese one, and, like most good Japanese, it is not cheap. Their logo includes: "No Spicy Tuna. No California Roll. TRUST ME" and that is great advice - just leave it to them and you will have an excellent lunch or dinner. Definitely recommended, if you are in the hood and, for me, a lot better than Sushi of Gari. February 2010: Jamie

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Serefina  

Serafina has been making great pizzas in a fun atmosphere, at an affordable price, for longer than the 15 years I have lived here. Always worth going for a relaxed lunch or dinner and great with children. April 2010: Jamie

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Soto  

Soto is one of the best restaurants in New York city and easily my favorite Japanese, run by Chef Sotohiro Kosugi. Don’t be shy about ordering any number of dishes before the excellent sushi, as everything I have tried was sophisticated, interesting and delicious. This is combined with elegant restaurant design by Architect Hiro Tsuruta (also known for his sleekly minimalist designs of ChikaLicious and Momofuku Noodle Bar). When you walk out, you think “Wow, that was good” and wonder whether Eric Ripert gets some inspiration for his crudo dishes from Sotohiro. October 2012: Jamie

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Spigolo  

By far our favorite UES Italian - Scott and Heather Fratangelo make a great team and we frequently try to snag a couple of seats at the bar on our way back home. It is small, so we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment. Some of Scott's pasta dishes are the best that I have eaten in NYC and we also found the La Zolla Barolo here that we love so much. April 2010: Jamie

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Sushi Yasuda  

Our favourite mid-range sushi restaurant, with excellent quality and an elegant room, at a bearable price. April 2010: Jamie

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The Boathouse  

On a sunny spring or summer day, there are few better places than having a drink at The Boathouse in the middle of Central Park. April 2010: Jamie

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The Mark by Jean Georges  

I was there when it just opened, so Jean Georges was holding court- always a treat. Fun and stylish room, which is much better than I expected, with a mix of jacket & tie Upper East Siders, along with a more edgy crowd. The menu covers everything from Jean Georges classics to a burger - all the food was good to excellent. A strange mix being half hotel and half restaurant, but it works and is a very welcome addition to the UES - we'll be back...frequently. February 2010: Jamie

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Palm Beach

Where We Eat
Café Boulud  

OK, it’s not quite as slick as the New York original, but Daniel is a great restaurateur and this outpost is a good option in PB for a quick heart-starter or lunch al fresco – PB not being renowned for its gastronomic temples. February 2010: Jamie

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Club Colette  

How come every time we have a dinner in PB it is at Club Colette? They do a good job, in an old-fashioned and formal way, and they are very accommodating -- putting together menus paired to the wines and serving them -- so that works! February 2010: Jamie

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Where We Sleep
The Brazilian Court  

Very central and a little old-fashioned, but hey, that’s Palm Beach – it has a good atmosphere and works well for our short stays (being just around the corner from our office). After all, we are in PB to work not hang out at the pool or beach. February 2010: Jamie

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San Francisco

Where We Eat
A16  

One of my favorite restaurants in SF - ya gotta luv the girls with lots of metalware in every orifice and hardly a bit of skin that is not covered in tattoos. The Italian food and wine fits the vibe and it's a relaxing place to kick back and hang out when you are tuning out from the East coast stress. May 2007: Jamie

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Slanted Door  

Charles Phang's wonderful Vietnamese is always buzzing with a happy crowd. The room is elegant and relaxed, the service is fast and attentive, and the wine list interesting and reasonably priced. Always worth a visit. October 2006: Jamie

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Swan's Oyster Depot  

One of my favorite places in SF. I always end up going on my way to or from the airport on my way to Napa, when I am on my own, which is a good thing as there are only about 15 stools at the counter. Go alone or as a party of 3 max - and try to go before or after 1.30pm - it is no reservations and there is a long queue at lunchtime. The seafood is fabulous and I love the atmosphere - not fancy at all. The wine selections are extremely limited, but they do have a few interesting bottles in the fridge, but you have to ask - after all, it was Jason Pahlmeyer who recommended Swan's to me. February 2013: Jamie

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Where We Sleep
Huntington Hotel  

A slightly old fashioned hang out on Nob Hill, but we have been staying here for years and it's become home. April 2010: Jamie

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Washington D.C.

Where We Eat
Proof  

Proves the point, that you can eat very, very well in DC - Mother's Day brunch included an avocado, coriander, jalapeno and lobster soup that was one of the best dishes I have eaten in the last year. Haidar Karoum's food is excellent and owner Mark Kuller (aka the "tall guy") loves wine, so the wine list is good. One of the best restaurants we have been to in DC. Jamie

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Two Amy's Pizza  

My family's favorite restaurant in DC, a city which has not yet become a gastronomic destination. Two Amy's is packed on the weekends, so we tend to go on a weekday. Great design, excellent pizza and good wine - we wish we had one of these near us in NYC. May 2010: Jamie

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Latin America

Mexico City

Where We Eat
Restaurant Dulce Patria  

Terrific local specialties here, amazing seafood and an excellent wine list. However, the selection of Mezcals from 100% Agave is a better choice for lunch - try to sit on the terrace in nice weather. January 2013: Duncan

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Where We Sleep
Hotel Las Alcobas  

Las Alcobas is centrally located in Mexico City in the Polanco district. Service is a standout here and when you need a car and driver at the last minute for a meeting, they are completely dependable. Superb food awaits around the corner at their restautrant Dulce Patria. Januay 2013: Duncan

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Sao Paulo

Where We Sleep
Fasano  

One of the best hotels in South America - sophisticated design paired with the fact that everything is where you think it will be, and it all works. The black-out shades are a must if you are staying long in Sao Paolo. Our wine dinners there start and end late - due to the Fasano and the legendary Brazilian hospitality, we do not return home too tired. The location is also great, as you can walk to so many things. I also heard they now have a Fasano in Rio, so that may also be well worth checking out. Highly recommended. April 2006: Jamie

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England

London

Where We Eat
Ceviche  

Just returned from a ‘stimulating’ lunch at Ceviche (17 Frith Street, Soho, London), the new buzz Peruvian restaurant in London. Don’t worry – there is no guinea pig on the menu, but the Pisco Sours are simply FABULOUS. And the marinated fish dishes are divine, with palate-tingling freshness. Staff sweet, bar fantastic, music alluring. Another Pisco Sour please... June 2012: Serena

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Le Caprice  

I love Le Caprice - if I take a day flight, after checking in it's about 9.30pm, so I stroll over (from The Mayfair - see my hotel recommendation) and usually find a place at the bar. After a couple of glasses of wine and some reassuring English food, I feel fully restored and back at home in my own country - that's all it takes!- and I am ready for work the next day. April 2010: Jamie

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Noor Jahan  

You gotta love the Noor. I have been going to the Noor, one of my favourite Indian restaurants in London, for over 20 years and it always delivers - same great Indian food, same quirky service - good beer and decent enough wine to pour down with a spicy curry. I only wish I could find the same in NYC. Not fancy, but a great local restaurant. April 2010: Jamie

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Sir Charles Napier  

This is in Chinnor, approximately 50 miles (80km) from London. One of my all time favorite restaurants, run by the mother of a good friend, Caroline. I have lived in New York for 15 years and there is no restaurant like it here, so we try to get back to the Sir Charles Napier as much as we can. When living in London, we frequently would drive down for a long (or very long) Sunday lunch - driving back was the issue. Good local beers, a great wine list and lots of good English food, particularly game. Worth a detour! August 2007: Jamie

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The Wolseley  

If you arrive on the red-eye, try breakfast at The Wolseley - it's a perfectly civilized heart-starter with all those good old English options (bacon and egg sandwiches, eggs with soldiers and I am sure they even have the good old kipper). If your room is not yet ready, this will make up for it. It's also very good for lunch, dinner or in between. April 2010: Jamie

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Vinoteca  

Vinoteca in Seymour Place (my joint) and also in the area of Clerkenwell, is pure joy. Tilted towards Spain but strong on all the Mediterranean, the wines are brilliantly chosen and the food is mouth-watering. Fantastic and original wine list, encompassing Spain, Portugal and Italy – with great suggestions for matching. Real foodies and winies go here – and go away purring (in Mediterranean). June 2012: Serena

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Where We Sleep
The Mayfair  

Sotheby's designated hotel when visiting London on business - great location off Berkeley Square, close to Hyde Park and Green Park for an early morning jet lag run. Everything works well and the casino always produces some interesting eye candy at all times of the day and night. April 2010: Jamie

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Rest of the World

Marrakesh

Where We Eat
Yacout  

An essential Marrakesh experience - great food in a wonderful atmosphere - fun! September 2009: Jamie

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Where We Sleep
Riad El Fenn  

We were totally spoilt here, as two friends took over this incredible Riad in the Medina to celebrate their 40th Birthdays, so it was a non-stop party from the minute we arrived. It is the perfect place from which to explore Marrakech and an ideal place to hang out, relax and have fun. Highly recommended. September 2009: Jamie

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