The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 28th December, 2016 for your chance to win a share of $50,000!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.

Dark chocolate delice, salted-caramel ganache and chocolate sorbet

"The delice from Source Dining is a winner. May I have the recipe?" Rebecca Ward, Fitzroy, Vic REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Koh Loy Sriracha Sauce, David Thompson's favourite hot sauce

When the master of Thai food pinpoints anything as his favourite, we sit up and listen.

Taming the Wilderness

Heading to Canada’s far-flung places means a whole lot of adventure with life’s luxuries on the side.

Garlic recipes

This pungent yet essential little bulb sets the foundation for countless dishes across the globe. Slowly roast it alongside spatchcock or whole snapper, or grind it down to thick paste for a rich alioli. When it comes to garlic, the possibilities truly are endless.

Cooking breakfast like a chef

Direct from our Fare Exchange column and recipe vault, we've picked the best breakfast recipes from chefs cooking around Australia. From croque-monsieur to Paris Brest, you won't find poached eggs on toast here. All of the dishes are the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee.

Paris day tripper

Exhausted after a few days in Paris? How about a trip to a quaint town? Or a plush chateau? Savour these quick escapes less than an hour from the French capital.

Hang around Paris on a Sunday with all the tourists? Vous plaisantez? As any self-respecting Parisian knows, the day of rest is the perfect time to leave town. Australian-born Deborah Anthony has lived and breathed France since studying French history at the Sorbonne, anmsid now lives in Paris running insider tours of the city through her French Travel Boutique company. Here are her favourite great escapes an hour or less from the French capital.

VAUX LE VICOMTE
This castle has become a favourite movie location - Sofia Coppola shot scenes for Marie Antoinette here and the James Bond film Moonraker was also filmed on the grounds. Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria even chose it for her wedding reception. It was really the forerunner to Versailles - Louis XIV commissioned the same architect, landscape artist and painter to build Versailles. Hire a golf buggy and spend time in the superb Le Nôtre garden or have lunch in the converted stables. There's an excellent audio guide.
Travel time 35 minutes from Paris, take the train from Gare de Lyon or RER D to Melun, then a 6km taxi ride or the weekend shuttle bus.

MAISONS-LAFFITTE
In the suburbs north-west of Paris, Maisons-Laffitte was originally the domain of a 17th-century wealthy landowner, and was important for its stables. It was later owned by Marie-Antoinette's brother-in-law, the Comte d'Artois, who introduced horse racing to France. In 1818, it was bought and developed into 'a town made up of country houses'. The Grand Park here is a favourite weekend and holiday destination for well-heeled Parisians. The grocery store - L'Epicerie de Longueil - has a mind-boggling range of gourmet ingredients (250 different brands of honey and jam alone) as well as a wine cellar. There's also a fromagerie with a huge selection of farmer's cheeses, plus hundreds of different liqueurs.
Travel time 20 minutes from Paris, take the RER A. 

VERSAILLES
Stay at the hotel opposite the palace (Trianon Palace Hotel) and beat the crowds early in the morning or visit an hour before the palace closes, when all the tourist buses have gone. Sign up for a private apartment visit as soon as you get there because this will end inside the château and you can see the amazing state apartments without having to wait in another long queue. Don't miss the Grand Trianon and Domain of Marie-Antoinette, and be sure to visit the town where you'll find Louis XIV's vegetable garden, Potager du Roi, which was established in 1678 and is still producing vegies.
Travel time 40 minutes, take the RER C to Château de Versailles.

MONTFORT L'AMAURY
A fabulous little village 45km south-west of Paris, where many famous people lived - composer Maurice Ravel, EEC founder Jean Monnet, art collector Louis Carré. The Château de Groussay is a must-see. Bought by Charles de Beistegui in 1938, he spent 30 years developing a range of follies in the gardens, adding two spectacular wings and renovating the library, which was the model for Henry Higgins' library in My Fair Lady. There's so much else to see in this area that you could hire a car from Versailles or Rambouillet and spend a couple of days. There's a B&B in the village (Hôtel Saint-Laurent), a small antique fair at weekends, plus the Thoiry Château and zoo.
Travel time 50 minutes from Paris, take the train from  Paris Montparnasse towards Dreux, stop at Mere/Montfort-l'Amaury, then a 4km taxi ride from the station.

CHEVREUSE VALLEY
This is the ultimate 'fresh air' break in a vast national park, with lots of bushwalking tracks and little villages. It's a real foodies' haunt with countless restaurants specialising in local produce, and places such as La Ferme de Coubertin, a family-run farm with tastings of cheese, pâtés, honey, cider, vegetables and eggs. There's even an organic snail farm, Ferme de Fanon, that supplies many of France's top restaurants. Be sure to visit Château de Breteuil. One of the ancestors of the owner (it's belonged to the same family since 1712) was a contemporary of Charles Perrault, author of children's fairytales including Little Red Riding Hood, Puss In Boots, Tom Thumb, and children will find all their favourite characters in animated and wax figures throughout the castle and its outbuildings. You can also picnic in the gardens. Stay overnight at Abbaye de Cernay, a 12th-century abbey which is now a luxury hotel. A less expensive alternative is Relais Saint Laurent.
Travel time 40 minutes from Paris, take the RER B to St-Remy-les-Chevreuse.

AUVERS-SUR-OISE
This is a pilgrimage destination for fans of Vincent Van Gogh, who is buried here. It's also the best introduction for people wanting to learn about Impressionist painting and should be visited before a trip to the Musée d'Orsay. Visit the 'spectacle' at the Château d'Auvers, which traces the history of the Impressionists, then wander the village checking out Van Gogh's paintings in the original locations he painted them. Visit his attic room (Auberge Ravoux) and his grave in the town cemetery. A copy of his last self-portrait near the château carpark entry marks the spot where he shot himself.
Travel time 60 minutes from Paris, take the train from Gare St Lazare (change at Pontoise) or Gare du Nord (change at Valmondois).

CHATEAU DE VINCENNES
This is a rare example of a medieval royal residence with a recently restored dungeon. Many famous prisoners of French history were sent to the dungeon, including the Marquis de Sade, whose grafitti is still on the wall. There is a terrific English audio guide and the château is on the edge of a huge natural wood with lakes and hire bikes. Along the street facing the château are plenty of restaurants and bistros - the locals get their lunch at Elisabeth and Regis Royer's Boulanger Pâtissier in Avenue du Château. 
Travel time 20 minutes from Paris, take the metro line 1 to the end. 

FONTAINEBLEAU
This château is one of my favourites because over the centuries various kings added bits and it's like a time capsule of French history. It was also a major residence of Napoleon. There are thousands of his books in the library and private apartments, which are being renovated. There's also a Chinese-style salon that Napoleon III's wife, Empress Eugenie, furnished. All you feel that's missing is the people.
Travel time 60 minutes from Paris, take the train from Gare de Lyon to Fontainebleau-Avon.

CHATEAU DE MALMAISON
This is Napoleon and Josephine's private house just west of Paris. It's very pretty with beautiful gardens and a little lake. You can visit Napoleon's office and council room, and even their bedrooms. There are still dinner sets and make-up sets on display and you do get a sense you could just move in and live there. Also nearby is the church where the tombs of Josephine and her daughter Hortense are located. A bit further afield is La Fournaise, the restaurant that appears in Renoir's painting.
Travel time 35 minutes from Paris, take the RER A or metro line 1 to La Defense.

MARLY-LE-ROI
This town is the place to escape Paris for fresh air, a change of scenery and a great lunch. Louis XIV built his private weekender here and it was a favourite of the Impressionist painters. Walk through the beautiful park then visit Le Village restaurant (3 Grande rue, +33 1 3916 2814) for lunch. Run by Japanese chef Tomohiro Uido it gets rave reviews from French food critics. After lunch, take a bus and visit Alexandre Dumas' Château de Monte-Cristo, then catch the bus to St-Germain-en-Laye and take the train back to Paris.
Travel time 40 minutes from Paris, take the train from Gare St Lazare or La Defense towards St Nom le Breteche and stop at Marly-le-Roi.

For rail routes and timetables, visit the English site www.transilien.com. For Deborah Anthony's tours of Paris and surrounds, visit www.frenchtravelboutique.com


GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
The GT x STILY
Christmas Boutique is now open

The smallgoods, homewares, art and more from the pages of GT are now all under one roof, ready to take their place under the tree.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Best of Italy

Rome, Florence, Naples, the Amalfi... the list of our favour...

Best New Hotels 2009 slideshow

We’ve got the keys to the most fabulous new hotels in the wo...

Burgundy, France: Top soil

“Water can rust iron. Imagine what it does to your insides. ...

Bali's new high

It’s no secret that recent times have been tough for Austral...

New South Wales South Coast

Unsung hero Flashier holiday spots may steal the limelight, ...

Gourmet Barcelona

From the city's best sandwich bar to its favourite charcuter...

Greece's Mani peninsula

Greece’s rugged and bloody Mani peninsula was once a no-go z...

Venice in pictures

Read our story on what to do if you only have 24 hours in Ve...

Great Brittany gallery

Take a walk on the wild side. Follow Brittany’s windswept co...

South African safari lodges gallery

Travelling from the Great Karoo to the Kruger, Emma Ventura ...

Iceland photo gallery

Erase the images of that volcano with the unpronounceable na...

Happy holidays

They’re following the sun and chasing the snow, staying clos...

Kyneton and Castlemaine

Kyneton and Castlemaine were born out of the gold-rush era, ...

Insider's guide to Manly

Breath of fresh air The classic Sydney beachside neighbourho...

The best of New Zealand

Choosing from the bounty of New Zealand's holiday destinati...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×