The Christmas issue

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

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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 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.

Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Gifts under $100 at our pop-up Christmas Boutique

Whether it's a hand-thrown pasta bowl, a bottle of vodka made from sheep's whey or a completely stylish denim apron, our pop-up Christmas Boutique in collaboration with gift shop Sorry Thanks I Love You has got you covered in the $100 and under budget this Christmas.

Summer feta recipes

Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

Perth weekender

Crown Metropol

Crown Metropol

The Western Australian capital radiates confidence and a weekend in and around Perth can be a most satisfying culinary adventure, writes Mal Chenu.

They do things differently in the West. Perhaps because of the tyranny of distance, Sandgropers are independent and trailblazing with a home-town pride unmatched by "Eastern Staters," as they describe all other Australians. The sun shines on WA, they say, and this is literally true. Perth averages two hours more sunshine a day than Sydney and summer temperatures are around five degrees higher, so you can be assured of a warm welcome for your weekend visit.

Any trip to Perth should include the bucolic Swan Valley, the oldest wine growing region in WA. Drive just 25 minutes from Perth and you'll be among the vineyards, restaurants and cafés of this European-themed region. Along the way you'll pass through the historic town of Guildford (really a suburb of Perth these days), where you can browse antique shops on James Street, get a great coffee and a snack at Little Guildford or a cocktail and stylish tapas at Jezebelle.

Take the scenic 32 km Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail and explore the wineries, breweries, fine restaurants, cafés, distilleries, markets and roadside fresh produce stalls. The Valley specialises in Chenin, Petit Verdot, Shiraz, fortified wine and Verdelho and pioneers of the region, Houghton Wines and Sandalford Wines both have cellar doors and luncheon venues. Those who want to bike between bites should look into The Swan Valley Heritage Cycle Trail.

Accommodation in the Swan Valley consists mainly of B&Bs but it is so close to Perth that you can return to the city for the night. One top-line accommodation option in Perth is the recently renovated Crown Metropol, a nominee for Best Hotel Pool in the 2014 Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide Readers' Choice Awards. Crown, overlooking the Swan River just east of the city, has an array of fine dining options, including Bistro Guillaume, Rockpool Bar & Grill and Nobu Perth.

A fun and fascinating way to see some of Perth's lesser-known spots is on a walking tour with Two Feet and a Heartbeat. Discover chic and historic bars on the Small Bar Tour ($50, Tues/Wed/Thurs & Sat) or enjoy a three course progressive fine dining event at three venues on the CBD Dining Experience ($150, groups only, Mon/Tues).

Restaurant Amusé at the eastern end of the city specialises in a locally-sourced dégustation menu and the funky Print Hall Bar & Dining Room, run by executive chef Shane Watson and wunderkind sommelier Daniel Wegener, is architecturally and gastronomically intriguing.

Fremantle is another easily reached gourmet treat, just twenty minutes south of the CBD by car or train. There's the famous Cappuccino Strip, Fremantle Prison, Fishing Boat Harbour and a vibrant urban arts scene starring the quite brilliant 'sculpture' chiselled into the wall of the Norfolk Hotel by renowned Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto (aka Vhils).

The Hougoumont Hotel offers hotel rooms created from sea containers and is centrally-located if you want to stay and experience Freo after dark. Try the National Hotel or Mrs Browns for a pre-dinner drink and then head to Bread in Common, a no-fuss, no-reservations dining treat that matches incomparable loaves with spreads, charcuterie, cheese and wine. Barque is a spicy favourite among WA food lovers and Sunday afternoons includes live jazz, while The Raw Kitchen is an absorbing raw food adventure.

Signature Collection

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Christmas Boutique is now open

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