The February issue

Our clean eating issue is out now, packed with super lunch bowls, gluten-free desserts and more - including our cruising special, covering all luxury on the seas.

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Australia's top 20 rieslings
22.02.2017

We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.

Recipes by Christine Manfield
21.02.2017

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

Normandy landings
20.02.2017

To travel to Normandy along the Seine is to take it by stealth, writes Larissa Dubecki, who ventured forth in search of chateaux and Calvados.

Cirrus, Sydney review
20.02.2017

Cirrus moves the Bentley team down to the water and into more lighthearted territory without sacrificing polish, writes Pat Nourse.

How to grow rocket
20.02.2017

A vegetable patch without rocket lacks a great staple, according to Mat Pember. The perennial performer is a leaf for all seasons.

50BestTalks brings World’s best chefs to Sydney and Melbourne
16.02.2017

Massimo Bottura and more are coming to the Sydney Opera House.

Toby Wilson, Sean McManus and Jon Kennedy to open Bad Hombres
16.02.2017

Expect Mexican-Asian flavours and an all-natural wine list from two of Sydney’s edgier operators.

Local Knowledge: Moscow
16.02.2017

Director of Shakespeare theatre company Cheek by Jowl Declan Donnellan walks us through the essential sights and his favourite cafes and restaurants of his hometown.

Australia's best hotel spas

Crown Metropol's Isika Spa

Crown Metropol's Isika Spa

Indulgence comes easily to Australian hotels. In-house spas are the ticket to peace and tranquillity, whether decked out in their Roman Empire best or set simply, in a beautiful setting. Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge in northern Tasmania takes the latter course, letting neighbouring Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park cast its spell. The force is strongest at the lodge's Waldheim Alpine Spa, where a couple's sanctuary straddles the picture-book Pencil Pine River.

Just outside the feelgood capital of NSW, guests at the Byron at Byron Resort & Spa check into a 25-hectare tropical haven for site-specific treatments such as the "rainforest respite" and botanical facials. Guests eat well, too: chef Gavin Hughes' menus highlight regional produce (Bangalow pork, Yamba prawns) sourced from farmers' markets.

Our élite lodges excel at relaxation therapy, from Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa's stress-busting combination of World Heritage wilderness and six-room spa featuring Sodashi beautifiers to Qualia's rituals of "bush essence" body wraps and warm stone massages deployed in tropical pavilions overlooking the Coral Sea. The bijou spa at the Reef House Hotel in Palm Cove packs plenty of pleasure into a small space. Its Dreamtime-themed offerings use home-grown Li'Tya products and run to purifying body tonics using local ochres, ash clays and smoked paperbark oils. The Healing Waters Spa at nearby Silky Oaks Lodge draws its inspiration from the Daintree National Park and Mossman River. Nature-based treatments using Sodashi products include a three-hour detoxifying ritual.

We're spoiled for urban spas, and among our favourite city retreats are Crown Metropol's Isika Spa, set 27 floors above metropolitan Melbourne. Besides chakra-balancing massages and anti-ageing facials, the high-rise pool, gym and sauna are perfect for letting off steam. The neighbouring Crown Spa at Crown Towers ramps up the indulgence factor with its Aqua Retreat (hammam, lap pool, private lounge) and elixirs infused with caviar and gold.

In Sydney, we love the Australian-accented treatments (clays, quandong) at the Park Hyatt spa, not least because guests have access to the rooftop pool with its harbour views. And relative newcomer QT Sydney has given us a new appreciation for the old-school pleasures of wet shaves, pedicures and facials tailored to suit every skin type.

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