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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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.

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

13 of our most decadent chocolate recipes to indulge guests with this Christmas.

What the GT team is cooking on Christmas Day

We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

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

Sydney's best dishes 2016

For our 50th anniversary issue in 2016, we scoured Australia asking two questions: What dishes are making waves right now? What flavours will take us into the next half-century? Sydney provided 16 answers.

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."

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.

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.

Siena, Italy travel guide

Hotel Certosa di Maggiano, Siena

Hotel Certosa di Maggiano, Siena

Siena, famed for the Palio horse race which runs this month, is a medieval gem and a sure-fire winner in the arts and culinary stakes, writes John Irving.

STAY
Hotel Certosa di Maggiano
Just a kilometre from the centro storico, this refined four-star hotel is set on parkland in a restored 14th-century Carthusian monastery. Its 17 rooms and suites are all converted monks' cells and its stylish restaurant, Il Canto, is one of Italy's finest. A heated pool, tennis court, spa and a jogging track are among the many amenities available. Rooms from $522 per night. Hotel Certosa di Maggiano, Strada di Certosa 82, +39 0577 288 180

DO
At the foot of the 100-metre-tall Torre del Mangia on the vast, scallop-shaped Piazza del Campo, which doubles as a racetrack for Il Palio, the 13th-century Palazzo Pubblico is a lovely building. Inside, it's an embarras de richesses for art lovers. Not to be missed are two Renaissance masterpieces: Il Buon Governo by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Guidoriccio da Fogliano by Simone Martini. You'll have seen them on postcards but the genuine articles are something else. Palazzo Pubblico, Piazza del Campo 1, +39 0577 292 111

SHOP
Lined in Renaissance times with banks, patrician palazzi and guild workshops, Via Banchi di Sotto and Via Banchi di Sopra, now locals and tourists flock there to shop for everything from food to fashion. At Morbidi (Via Banchi di Sopra 75) you'll find Tuscan charcuterie and cheese, while Liberty (Via Banchi di Sopra 28) offers designer clothes and shoes. For the best panforte and cantucci in town, head to Bar Nannini Conca d'Oro pâtisserie (Via Banchi di Sopra 24), run by the Nannini family, famous thanks to the exploits of whizz-kid scions rock star Gianna and her brother, ex-Formula One racing driver Alessandro.

DRINK
Housed in the 15th-century palace of the same name, a stone's throw from Piazza del Campo, Enoteca Palazzo Piccolomini (Via del Paradiso 56) stocks a staggering assortment of wines and spirits, while close by, Enoteca I Terzi (Via dei Termini 7) has about 1800 labels in its 13th-century cellar, a number of which are always available by the glass and for group tastings. The popular Compagnia dei Vinattieri (Via delle Terme 79), in a basement opposite the house where Saint Catherine, the city's patron saint, was born, is the place to go for apéritifs of an evening.

EAT
Osteria Le Logge
This centrally situated modern restaurant is run by Brunello di Montalcino producer Gianni Brunelli. It's housed in a former pharmacy and the original display cabinets are still part of the décor in the ground-floor dining room where classic Tuscan cuisine is served, revisited with contemporary tweaks. Via del Porrione 33

Antica Osteria da Divo
The magical dining spaces here are hewn out of the tufa rock of ancient Etruscan tombs. The menu, which alternates traditional with creative, is unabashedly carnivore-leaning, but occasionally features seafood, too. The wine list is excellent. Via Franciosa 25-29

Hosteria Il Carroccio
A typical osteria with outside tables, this is a great place to enjoy hearty, unfussy Tuscan fare: hence tripe in tomato and chilli sauce, ribollita, pappardelle with wild boar ragù, and more besides on a menu that changes monthly. Via Casato di Sotto 32


DON'T MISS
The Palio, held twice a year on 2 July and 16 August, is an inebriating experience. But so is the lead-up, when competing neighbourhoods become scenes of drum-rolling parades and riotous banqueting.

DAYTRIPPING
The walled towns of Monteriggioni and San Gimignano with its 16 medieval towers, the wine hills of Montalcino, the "ideal" city of Pienza and Etruscan Volterra are all an hour or less by car from Siena. Take your pick.

GETTING THERE
Singapore Airlines has multiple flights from Australia to Singapore, with three connections to Rome a week. Local carriers offer connections between Rome and Siena. 

DON'T MISS
The Palio, held twice a year on 2 July and 16 August, is an inebriating experience. But so is the lead-up, when competing neighbourhoods become scenes of drum-rolling parades and riotous banqueting.

DAYTRIPPING
The walled towns of Monteriggioni and San Gimignano with its 16 medieval towers, the wine hills of Montalcino, the "ideal" city of Pienza and Etruscan Volterra are all an hour or less by car from Siena. Take your pick.

GETTING THERE
Singapore Airlines has multiple flights from Australia to Singapore, with three connections to Rome a week. Local carriers offer connections between Rome and Siena. 

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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.

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