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Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Where to stay, shop and eat in Trieste

Canal Grande, Trieste

Canal Grande, Trieste

On the border with the Balkans, Trieste, one of Italy’s most storied cities, matches its rich heritage with Old World charm.

STAY

Savoia Excelsior Palace
The ornate Excelsior is a reminder of the city's Belle Époque past as a key port of the Austro-Hungarian empire - Emperor Franz Josef has been among the hotel's illustrious guests. Most of its spacious rooms have impressive views over the Gulf of Trieste to the Adriatic.
Riva del Mandracchio, 4, starhotels.com

L'Albero Nascosto
Located amid the steep, winding streets that were once home to the city's Jewish merchants, the area surrounding this boutique hotel is a hive of bars, restaurants and bespoke retailers, and the best place to witness the city's revival. Each of the 10 large, modern rooms is individually styled with a mix of antique and contemporary furniture. 
Via Felice Venezian, 18, alberonascostotrieste.com

SEE

Castello Miramare
Follow the coastline east to this castle atop the promontory of Grignano, a 10-minute drive from the city centre. Built by Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Hapsburg for his wife, Charlotte, in 1860, it's an eclectic blend of medieval, Renaissance, and Gothic styles. The real attraction is the view and the chance to swim in crystal-clear water, if the season allows.
Viale Miramare, castello-miramare.it

Teatro Verdi
Like many of the city's most notable buildings, and the city itself, Teatro Verdi has had various name changes over the years. The glory of this building, however, has never changed. Opened in 1801, Trieste's stunning opera house was modelled on the famed La Scala in Milan and still stages regular seasons of opera, dance and classical music.
Riva 3 Novembre, 1, teatroverdi-trieste.com

SHOP

Katastrofa
Pop a couple of classic Italian labels in your suitcase during your stay. Katastrofa stocks a range of travel-friendly trinkets such as tortoiseshell eyewear cases and Pucci-print scarves along with highly covetable designer vintage furniture and collectables
Via Armando Diaz, 4, katastrofa.it

Liberty
Boutique jeweller Liberty specialises in Art Deco items such as Lalique and vintage brooches, earrings and cufflinks by Cartier and Verdura. 
Via del Ponte, 7.

Libreria Antiquaria Umberto Saba
Once managed by celebrated Trieste poet Umberto Saba, this place is heaven for bibliophiles and anyone who loves first editions and service with Old World charm
Via San Nicolò, 30, libreriasaba.it

EAT

Al Bagatto
There's inventiveness in the menu, and also behind the bar. An impressive "wine library" holding more than 1500 mostly local wines stretches from floor to ceiling behind the central dining room. The dégustation demonstrates the city-wide culinary reputation for artfully combining "acqua e terra", seen in dishes such as gnocchi with sea urchin, tomato, celery and pine nuts.
Via Cadorna, 7, albagatto.it

Al Bagatto

Eppinger
This elegant pasticceria is known for its house specialty, presnitz - a rich pastry filled with dried fruit and nuts and laced with grappa - paired with a "capo in B", a tiny cappuccino served (for reasons obscure even to the locals) in a shot glass.
Via Dante Alighieri, 2/b, eppingercaffe.it

Buffet da Pepi
A Trieste-style buffet is nose-to-tail eating with no salad bar in sight. Prop yourself at the counter at this old-school eatery between 11 and 11, order una birra and a mixed plate of pork shoulder, tongue, and rich, fatty musetto sausage.
Via Cassa di Risparmio, 3, buffetdapepi.it

DON'T MISS

No trip to Trieste is complete without a visit to Caffè San Marco. Founded in 1914, the Viennese-style coffee house remains a magnet for young intellectuals - James Joyce held court here. Its Sacher torte is the best this side of the Austrian border.
Via Battisti, 18, caffesanmarcotrieste.eu

DAYTRIPPING

About 45 minutes' drive south-east of Trieste, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine region, are the vineyards of the Collio and Isonzo zones.
One of the most picturesque wineries is Tiare Wines, on the Slovenian border, best known for its malvasia. Località Sant'Elena, 3a, 34070 Dolegna del Collio (Gorizia), tiaredoc.com

Getting there

Airlines including Qatar, Etihad and Emirates-Qantas fly one stop between select Australian capitals and Venice, then it's a two-hour train to Trieste. trenitalia.com

DON'T MISS

No trip to Trieste is complete without a visit to Caffè San Marco. Founded in 1914, the Viennese-style coffee house remains a magnet for young intellectuals - James Joyce held court here. Its Sacher torte is the best this side of the Austrian border.
Via Battisti, 18, caffesanmarcotrieste.eu

DAYTRIPPING

About 45 minutes' drive south-east of Trieste, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine region, are the vineyards of the Collio and Isonzo zones.
One of the most picturesque wineries is Tiare Wines, on the Slovenian border, best known for its malvasia. Località Sant'Elena, 3a, 34070 Dolegna del Collio (Gorizia), tiaredoc.com

Getting there

Airlines including Qatar, Etihad and Emirates-Qantas fly one stop between select Australian capitals and Venice, then it's a two-hour train to Trieste. trenitalia.com

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Signature Collection

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

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Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

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2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

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