I’m not a food expert and this is not based on any survey, vote or poll. Just 17 of me and my loved one’s favourites and a few words why.
2) Holiday on Formentera. Our favourite place in the sun. Amazing beaches, incredible food and much quieter than its rowdy big brother, Ibiza.
Stay at Can Aisha, dine late at Marea, have a drink at the quirky beach bar on Cala Saona.
Commercialisation could rip the heart out of Cuba so go now – be like Hemingway with a daiquiri at La Floridita. www.floridita-cuba.com
4) If you’re in New York you must go to the legendary Union Square Café. It closed for a year, moved two blocks and was re-born last month.
Danny Meyer (one of the world’s greatest restaurateurs) is transforming the industry by introducing no tipping (service included) in his restaurants and focusing on ‘enlightened hospitality’. The food is awesome too. www.unionsquarecafe.com
5) Stay in Hotel 41 London. You’ll be next door to Buckingham Palace and if you have a room at the front you can even peep in to the Queen’s London residence.
But the best bit? You will be treated like royalty. Probably the best customer service hotel in the world. www.41hotel.com
6) Immerse yourself in a live performance at the legendary Ronnie Scotts. There’s something about this venue that makes the music sound even better.
You can enjoy a decent meal there too.
7) Still in Soho? Enjoy the best tapas ever at Barrafina. You will eat more than you planned and as soon as you see what other people have ordered you’ll want to try that too.
And because it’s tapas, you feel justified in having ‘just one more’. Be prepared to queue though, our record is 1 hour 45 mins.
A neighbour almost choked when I revealed, ‘No, I’ve never been to Gleneagles’. He insisted it was nothing to do with the golf, you just ‘have to go’ – so we booked a long weekend.
Gleneagles is everything you would expect and more. Definitely one for the bucket list. www.Gleneagles.com
9) Yes I am biased towards the North East, but when Jay Rayner describes a place as ‘the eating experience of the year’ you know you’re not alone in your love for Riley’s Fish Shack at Tynemouth.
The freshest fish, simply cooked and served in cardboard boxes. It’s world class.
10) I’ve never been to Moor Hall. At the time of writing this blog it hasn’t opened, but I am expecting great things and it’s on my 2017 must visit list. Since leaving L’enclume (see no.12). Chef /proprietor Mark Birchall has been working on this project for close to two years.
You’ll not meet a more ambitious and creative chef. Mark, won the Roux Scholarship and worked at El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, a 3 Michelin Star Restaurant, twice voted the world’s best restaurant.
He looks determined to take dining to a new level. Watch this space, you read it here first. www.MoorHall.com
I never thought Vegas would have been a place for us, but we loved it. Have a champagne brunch and take lots of power naps. www.bellagio.com
12) Scoff the best meal of your life at L’enclume. Simon Rogan’s 2 Michelin starred restaurant in the Lake District has become a magnet for foodies from around the world.
Enjoy a mere 16-20 courses of the freshest, most delicious food you will ever consume.
The best – and second best – meals of my life have been enjoyed here.. www.Lenclume.co.uk
13) Fenwick’s Food Hall in Newcastle could give Harrods a run for its money. After a major refurbishment, it now boasts some amazing purveyors of fine foods and great eating concessions; including my favourite Saltwater Fish.
They’ve got the spelling of the name slightly wrong 😉 but the gin is brilliant!
A fine mixture of Northumberland botanicals takes gin o’clock to a whole new level.
The main room, featuring a massive beautifully festooned Christmas Tree, is always packed; but you’d be crazy to go to Edinburgh any time in November and December and not call in for a glass (or two).
16) Buy some cheese from the Fine Cheese Company. I called here whilst walking through swanky Belgravia. As you enter, the first thing you’ll notice is the amazing smell, Stinkin’ – like a good cheese shop should be.
You’ll receive an enthusiastic welcome from the lovely staff. They’ll encourage you to taste a bit of this and try a bit of that.
Then you’ll spend a small fortune on delicious meats and cheeses. It’s brilliant! www.finecheese.co.uk
I was first romanced by these legendary pies, peas and mash twenty years ago and I still compare every pastry treat to Harry’s.
What have I missed? I’d love to read your favourites for 2017. Please leave your comments below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Heppell is a customer service expert and the author of 6 books including 5 Star Service and How to Be Brilliant.
He works with individuals and organisations across the world who have a desire to be brilliant.
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