|A Dream Day of Luxury Dining|
When we talk about luxury travel, it’s easy to think only about first class seats in a plane, feather-soft beds in five-star hotels, upmarket shopping boutiques, and….oh, the list goes on.
But today, to wrap F&T’s luxury ramble, let’s have a daydreaming zip around the world dining at our favourite places.
Breakfast: Alvear Palace Hotel, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Buenos Aires has had it rough, but things are looking up. It’s years since we visited this magnificent hotel, still glamorous despite the tough times, and located in a refined quarter of parks, wide avenues and elegant classic architecture.
Our dinner in its restaurant, La Bourgogne, was decadently French, but best of all was the expansive breakfast in L’Orangerie. It stretched for table after table and mostly I remember the different things I wasn’t used to seeing on hotel breakfast buffets: dulce de leche (that South American super-sweet caramelised milk) in little containers, and cubes of cooked, almost candied pumpkin. All this, of course, along with patisseries, fruit, and cooked dishes.
Lunch: La Briquetterie, Champagne region
This Michelin-starred restaurant feels almost rural with its sweeping views, and serving a fine regional menu. If it’s a chilly day, we can curl up in the elegantly welcoming bow window of the dining room or enjoy the view from the terrace in warmer weather.
High Tea: Brown's Hotel, London
Across the Channel, now, to London for one of the spiffiest high teas in the world. The Langham claims to have masterminded it originally, and still serves a fantastic one, but the one at Brown's Hotel, every afternoon from 4pm is a standout.
This is where you can give your little finger a work out, crooking it delicately as you savour milk-in-first tea from bone china teacups and slender cucumber sandwiches followed by not so slender-making fresh scones piled with jam and cream, and endless trollies holding cakes and pastries.
Dinner: Don Alfonso 1890, Italy
It’s been a big day and somehow in this dream-day we manage a trip back to Naples, then travel south to this century-old Michelin-starred restaurant. Its unassuming looks don’t reveal the wonders of its table, attended by whisper-discreet wait-staff. Much of the fresh herbs, olives and vegetables are grown on the restaurant’s own farm, nearby.
Order the degustation menu (if you dare – it’s huge) then ask to see the cellars, excavated to a Roman-era tunnel, with a 2000-year-old well.
After all this, it’s too late and we’re too relaxed to move a muscle, but that’s OK, Don Alfonso has boutique (luxury, of course!) accommodation upstairs.