41 Best news to come out of Broome in years
The first five-star hotel to open in Broome in 20 years is Pinctada, a 72-room stunner amid the pindan bush behind Cable Beach. Pearl heiress Marilynne Paspaley and her husband Garry Grbavac strove to create a breezy casualness to their $33-million resort, without stinting on creature comforts. The menu at resort restaurant Selene was designed by Melbourne's Greg Malouf, ensuring sophisticated city-dining standards at the gateway to the Kimberley. Rooms from $280. Pinctada Cable Beach Resort & Spa, 10 Murray Rd, Cable Beach, Broome, WA, (08) 9193 8388.
42 Ultimate spa experience
Udaipur's fairytale Taj Lake Palace, that shimmering white mirage of a hotel that seems to float on India's Lake Pichola, has conjured a spa experience to win over even the most pamper-shy guests. The hotel's Spa Boat accommodates just one couple at a time and offers therapies and treatments first devised for the Rajput royals who once ruled the land. The post-spa glass of wine, taken on the deck with a picture-perfect view of Udaipur laid out before you, is pure bliss. Rooms from $847. Spa Boat treatments from $248.
43 Vegetable of the moment
The radish is the little vegetable that could: as a tiny heirloom variety or a bog-standard number, braised or sliced paper-thin, this most prosaic of vegies is enjoying its moment in the sun, and seems almost emblematic of the back-to-the-garden trend.
44 Most lavish new art hotel
Moorilla's millionaire owner David Walsh has the art world agog with anticipation over his $75-million private gallery, the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), due to open next January. But style-conscious travellers will be more interested in the attached accommodation known as the Mona Pavilions. Designed by Nonda Katsalidis and furnished by Flos, Arad and Starck, the pavilions will feature artworks from Walsh's fabled collection and are due to open in November. Given their prime location beside the Derwent and the dream team behind them, it's safe to say they'll be a blockbuster addition to Tasmania's already impressive accommodation line-up. Pavilions from $490. Mona Pavilions at Moorilla, 655 Main Rd, Berriedale, Tas, (03) 6277 9900. (In the meantime, try The Cullen or The Olsen in Melbourne for art-themed hospitality.)
45 Best brains in the business
Bar Lourinhã's Matt McConnell has always had a way with offal, a fact that is made abundantly clear by his crumbed lamb's brains. There are several secrets to its success. McConnell uses fresh brains rather than frozen, so the texture is buttery, not mushy. The crumbs are made with bread that's been mixed with garlic oil, thyme and smoked paprika, and the brains are topped with a salad of salted pig skin, watercress, vinegar-soaked raisins, pistachio and red onion. Crunch, tang, saltiness and a cloud-like smoothness make this a shoo-in for the best brains in town. Bar Lourinhã, 37 Little Collins St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9663 7890
46 Best natural high
Holidays don't have to be all about you; sometimes the most lasting memories come from giving something back. We're not talking about staying in slums like Mother Teresa but somewhere more like Anantara's Golden Triangle resort - a unique hotel on the border of Thailand, Burma and Laos that's home to 40 elephants rescued from slavery and other horrors. Guests can breakfast with baby jumbos, train as mahouts and get involved in the future of this inspiring rehab program. Accommodation, dining and activities are as elevated as you would expect from Anantara, and each March the 65-hectare hotel hosts the Elephant Polo tournament, now one of Thailand's major tourism attractions. Rooms from $603.
47 Clubbiest new bar
Take one well-connected celebrity chef, add a groovy Soho address and art by said chef's mates Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst et al and you have Mark's, one of the most desirable new bars on the planet. Upstairs, diners feast on Mark Hix's modern Brit fare, while down in the basement bar, drinkers can slowly work their way through a novel cocktail list (try the Royal Toast, a combo of Sipsmith vodka, cherry brandy and Noilly Prat Rouge) in a room that channels the current London fad for clubby private drinking holes, with Chesterfields and a billiards table. The big difference is that Mark's isn't members only, and the bar snacks are the best of Hix British - fish fingers with mushy peas, anyone?
48 The next big thing in drinks
Cider is more "now" than "next", really. Australian sales of the drink grew by a whopping 27 per cent in 2009. And it's not just the commercial fermented apple juice that people have developed an insatiable thirst for. Artisan ciders made by small producers using "proper" cider apples (smaller, sharper, more tannic and more perfumed than dessert apples) and old-fashioned techniques are also very much in fashion. To find out what all the fuss is about, look for the excellent Norfolk and Somerset-style still ciders from Small Acres in Orange, NSW, or the cloudy scrumpy-style Duck & Bull from Henry of Harcourt in central Victoria. And if you want a walk on the wilder side of cider, track down a bottle of rustic, Camembert-loving Normandy "cidre" from Victor Gontier or Le Pere Jules.
49 Hotel most likely to cause vertigo
Spread over floors 79 to 93 of the Shanghai World Financial Centre, the Park Hyatt Shanghai's dizzying real estate ranks it as the highest hotel in the world - at least until the Ritz-Carlton opens on the 102nd floor of Hong Kong's new International Commerce Centre later this year. Lifts shoot guests straight to reception on the 87th floor where walls of glass provide the first glimpse of the city far, far below. Rooms, from $1052, are uniformly plush, with walk-in robes, espresso machines and, of course, million-dollar views.
50 World's greatest airport sandwich
If you find yourself peckish at Venice's Marco Polo airport, head to Culto Café e Cioccolato (in departures in the main terminal, before security) and order a buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto di Parma panino. The cheese and the ham are both genuine DOP and the panino is toasted to the point where the ham becomes hot and crisp but the cheese stays perfectly lush and gooey. The recommendation comes from GT's restaurant guru Pat Nourse. 'Nuff said.
51 Best reason to smoke indoors
After meticulous testing, David Coomer - a freshly minted Hispanophile following last year's opening of Pata Negra, the tapas-bar cousin to his Perth fine-diner Star Anise - is ready to hit Perth with his highly addictive house-made smoked chorizo. While mum's the word when it comes to the actual percentages of each ingredient, Señor Coomer says the sausages are simply pork, salt and paprika, hung for one to two weeks, then hot-smoked over oak. Expect to find the chorizo cooked with cider at Pata Negra and also making the occasional cameo at Star Anise. Pata Negra, 26 Stirling Hwy, Nedlands, WA, (08) 9389 5517; Star Anise, 225 Onslow Rd, Shenton Park, Perth, WA, (08) 9381 9811
52 Sexiest new beach getaway
Like José Ignacio in neighbouring Uruguay, Parati in Brazil is one of those hitherto unsung seaside towns that was discovered by the jet set and is now firmly on the high-end holiday circuit. Tom Cruise and Mick Jagger have both holidayed here and even the likes of Salman Rushdie and Julian Barnes have dropped in for the newly established Parati International Literary Festival. But celebrities are not the only attraction; Parati's old town, preserved and restored from its 18th-century heyday as a thriving gold port, is a national historic monument begging to be explored, and there are more than 40 beaches in the area. They're easily reached by hired dinghies, for when you need to escape the supermodel hordes.
53 Swankiest safari experience
Persian carpets on the sundeck? Check. Infinity pools with views across the veldt? Check. Chaîne des Rôtisseurs-approved haute cuisine? Check. Discerning travellers will struggle to find fault with South Africa's Royal Malewane, a 13,000-hectare private reserve and safari lodge within Kruger National Park and arguably Africa's most luxurious safari camp. The six thatched-roof suites are private and suitably indulgent, while the two Royal suites are among the largest on the continent. Game viewing is topnotch - expect to see white and black rhinos, elephants, leopards, lions and buffalo with ease - and a staff-to-guest ratio of four to one ensures guests (including French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Elton John) never want for anything. Rooms from $2850.
54 Best edible hand luggage
Although West Australians have developed a habit of arriving at Perth domestic with green polka-dot boxes in tow, a steady stream of own-made sugary goodness has long been trickling out of the state to destinations in Asia and beyond. Among the usual carry-on suspects of duty-free vodka and Hennessy, expect to find many a Corica apple strudel stowed away in overhead compartments, their bazooka-like boxes dutifully stored "this way up" to preserve the ooh-la-la planks of unbelievably light pastry, airy whipped cream, moreish apple and rich custard. Corica Pastries, 106 Aberdeen St, Northbridge, WA, (08) 9328 8196
55 Most enjoyable way to go green
The tiny coastal town of Kaikoura, on New Zealand's South Island, is making a big impact on the environmental front. Its council was the first in the world to receive Green Globe certification for sustainability, and the community of 4000 is on track to be carbon-neutral by 2015. "We're small but aware," says local mayor Kev Heays. So why visit? For compelling insights into Maori culture, for whale watching - the fish-rich coastline is a favourite feeding ground of at least 10 species, including sperm, humpback, minke and southern right whales - and for honest, small-town hospitality.
56 Most appetising new travel trend
It started with emails or texts sent to a select group of diners keen for out-of-the-ordinary eating experiences. The venue was rarely revealed until the last minute, the menus were a mystery, and yet from London to Buenos Aires, underground supper clubs have become a thrilling new frontline of fine dining. In London, try food stylist and photographer Arno Maasdorp's impeccably presented banquets in Brixton (about $50 for three courses; see www.eatwithyoureyes.net). In the Argentine capital, Manhattan expat Dan Perlman and his Peruvian partner host innovative dinners and cooking classes at their puerta cerrada, or closed-door home diner, in trendy Barrio Norte (five-course tasting menu for $30; www.casasaltshaker.com).
57 Best reason to eat your greens
It may be the world's seventh most pervasive weed, yet the commercial availability of purslane - a summer herb with succulent green stems and edible leaves that features in Greek, North African and Middle Eastern cooking - is scarce. Cath Kerry, chef/owner at Adelaide's Art Gallery Restaurant, realised it was growing wild in her home garden, so now she uses it on her menu, adding washed purslane to a mixed leaf salad, dressed only with extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar, or in a tomato or green bean salad. It has quite a delicate flavour, adding a nice crunchiness to the mix. Art Gallery Restaurant, Art Gallery of South Australia, North Tce, Adelaide, SA, (08) 8232 4366
58 Cleverest new carry-on bag
American designer Tom Bihn has a habit of thinking outside the box - or the bag in this instance - and coming up with very smart alternatives to carbon-copy cases. His Tri-Star is a combination carry-on, backpack and shoulder bag that can handle both business and pleasure travel. A few highlights: three roomy internal compartments, including one large enough for a laptop, four external zippered pockets for essentials such as water bottles and boarding passes, and a lifetime warranty. Plus the Tri-Star comes in non-regulation colours such as indigo and crimson, for easy identification on the baggage carousel.
59 Italian nonnas' latest heart-throb
Since stepping out from the shadows as sous chef to take over the kitchen at Auge Ristorante a year ago, 26-year-old Thomas Robinson has shown great flair in respecting classic Italian cooking while adding a twist: chestnut gnocchi with spatchcock dumplings; a whole roasted poussin artfully presented like a mini Christmas platter. "I like adding a refined touch to rustic recipes," says Robinson, "but my style is still evolving. Three days after writing a new menu, I'm always thinking I could do things better." Still, his Italian accent must be just right, as nonnas keep asking for the chef to visit their table. "They certainly don't expect to see a young Aussie come out from behind the stoves." Auge Ristorante, 22 Grote St, Adelaide, SA, (08) 8410 9332
60 Best non-cricket reason to visit the gabba
It's no secret to savvy Brisbanites, but sporting tourists to Queensland's Woolloongabba may be bowled over to find a vibrant restaurant quarter has sprung up just a stone's throw from the hallowed ground. The start of ho-hum Logan Road has transformed itself into a stylish dining hub. At numbers 10 to 12, you'll find 1889 Enoteca, a Roman-flavoured vinaio/wine bar/restaurant in the heritage-listed Taylor-Heaslop building; next door is newcomer Bistrot Bistro, while further along sits the cool Pearl Café. The deliciousness continues over the road in a renovated antique store, courtesy of The Crosstown Eating House.
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