Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.
Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 28th December, 2016 for your chance to win a share of $50,000!
Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.
The Botanical Hotel’s public bar has been re-opened as Gilson thanks to the founders of some of Melbourne’s busiest cafes.
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? Melbourne provided 14 answers.
It may be a magnet for destination diners the world over but Attica circa 2016 is more firmly planted in Australia than ever, writes Michael Harden.
After three years and $645 million of construction, Crown Towers Perth is open. Expect a lavish spa experience, an extravagant pool and spacious rooms.
Travel photographer John Laurie's first solo exhibit spans the globe, capturing serene moments in often unlikely spaces.
From the best sugar-free Margarita to a Friday night meat raffle: we head to the beach with jewellery designer Lucy Folk.
When it’s time to raise a toast, choose a glass that rises to the occasion.
Chef's around Australia are taking hams to the next level this Christmas.
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.
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.
Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.
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.
We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
"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."
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.
The success of European river cruises depends not on how many passengers embark but how often they disembark. Rob Ingram assesses the view on and offboard the new MS AmaReina.
It's all happening at the little town of Vilshofen on the
southern fringe of the Bavarian Forest. On the quay beside the
Danube, men who use embroidered braces to keep up their shorts and
wear shaving brushes in their hatbands are slapping their shoes and
shorts - and occasionally other people's. Beers are being poured by
men in long white socks with buckles on their shoes and a brass
band is playing exactly the same tune made by a steam locomotive
and a factory whistle. Roasted pork knuckles, sauerkraut and
dumplings are involved in a chilling disappearing act. And overlaid
on the madness of it all is the serene presence of Princess Heide
It's the christening party for MS AmaReina, promoted by its builder and owner as the most luxurious river cruise ship on Europe's waterways. It's at the cutting edge of river-vessel design, with a central glass elevator, heated pool with swim-up bar and a dining room in the ship's stern. Dutch shipyard Vahali says the design and layout of the "concerto class" riverboat will provide a template for boats on order.
The cruise is a chance to review the evolution of the river cruise experience itself. The popularity of river cruising in Europe is phenomenal; about 500,000 passengers a year float along its waterways. In the 13th century, 50,000 Mongol warriors stormed through Europe, changing its shape forever. What might the river ships do?
Less than 10 years ago, Geoff McGeary, owner of the Australian tour company APT, and two partners founded the river-cruise operator AmaWaterways.
At the time, European river cruising was aimed largely at the American retirement market and focused on budget travellers. APT introduced European river cruising to Australia and New Zealand, and marketed the experience to more affluent passengers. By 2016, it will have 30 luxury ships cruising the rivers of Europe, Russia, Asia, China, India, Africa and the US.
Conspicuously at the luxury end of the market, AmaReina evokes the era of classic ocean-going yachts with private sitting areas, a library, wine room and elegant Art Deco fittings. At 135 metres, it's longer than a football field and its generous size means more space and comfort for its 164 (maximum) guests.
It cost McGeary's triumvirate $37 million and, as he proudly surveys it, he manages to inject a degree of conviction into the old line, "It's not about the boat, it's about the experience."
AmaReina's success will depend not on how many passengers embark, but how often they disembark. APT has built its reputation on visiting great destinations and giving guests "freedom of choice" in sightseeing options and "signature experiences".
Princess Heide is not just a face in the crowd. Owner of a 14th-century castle and a member of one of Germany's most famous families, she's at Vilshofen to give AmaReina a royal christening and, in a rather bizarre tradition, to become the ship's godmother. This is a case of one good turn deserving another. Princess Heide is granting APT guests exclusive "signature experience" access to her home, Burg Namedy castle in Andernach, one of the most picturesque locations on the Rhine. In return for her generosity, the German princess becomes the ship's godmother.
On the short christening cruise between Vienna and Vilshofen, guests delay dinner one evening to accept an invitation from Prince Constantin of Liechtenstein to pop down to the Liechtenstein City Palace in Vienna for a musical soirée. The prince has assembled the Vienna Imperial Orchestra and the Mozart Boys Choir to provide a little Mozart and Strauss to help the cocktails go down - definitely a signature experience.
At Passau, a city of 50,000 inhabitants and 52 churches at the confluence of the Danube, the Inn and the Ilz rivers, APT guests take a side trip to Salzburg and board a train. Not just any train, though, but the luxe Majestic Imperator - a faithful replica of the imperial train built for Emperor Franz Josef I in 1891. This is elegance on a grand scale - its rolling-stock salons include a piano bar, ballroom and fine-dining car, the glamour of a lavish imperial past filtered only slightly by the cargo pants and backpacks of our party.
Back on board AmaReina, guests settle into staterooms in 10 categories, ranging from 15 to 22 square metres. There are also four 28-square-metre premium suites featuring both French and full step-out balconies and marble bathrooms with a shower, full-size tub and twin vanities.
All staterooms have air-conditioning, fine bedding, a sitting area with river views, bathrooms with showers and European products, a flat-screen television with local and satellite channels, free shipwide WiFi, in-room internet and access to a movie and music library.
The public areas of the ship include a main lounge with a bar, piano and dance floor, an observation lounge, library, 24/7 tea and coffee station, a circular glass elevator creating an atrium effect in the centre of the ship, beauty and spa services, a fitness room and heated pool. Bicycles are available for solo exploration, guided bike tours and to grant independence to young, active adventurers, although it is expected the majority of passengers will be mature.
One of AmaReina's distinguishing features is its plethora of dining options. The Verde fine-dining restaurant serves regional and seasonal dishes from produce sourced along the river. Bella Cucina has Italian-inspired fare, and the River Bistro serves light meals. The Erlebnis Chef's Table restaurant tucked into the tail of the ship is an intimate venue with an open kitchen allowing just 28 diners to watch the dégustation menu being prepared. The Wine Room is another small venue perfect for special occasions and there's alfresco dining on the Sun Deck at lunchtime.
With 10 per cent global annual growth for five years running, the popularity of river cruising is outstripping that of ocean cruising. Bookings from Australia are growing at about 15 per cent a year, and APT chief executive Chris Hall claims his company will achieve 30 per cent growth in river cruising last year and this year. Many travellers remain keen on ocean cruising, in which the ship is the destination, but an increasing number are attracted to the guided excursions and easy access to riverbank diversions of river cruises.
Is there a downside to this astonishing growth? There's plenty of room on board but is there any space left on the rivers?
Most of AmaReina's staterooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies for viewing Europe's scenic wonders. One night we're moored on the Danube under the fairytale silhouette of Vienna. It's dreams of scenes such as this that have fuelled the boom in river cruising - to such an extent that the proliferation of vessels means they often have to moor three abreast.
When I draw my curtains next morning, all I see is the slab side of another boat an arm's length away. But, at the end of the week, had it spoilt the experience? Not a bit.
AmaReina will operate on APT's Magnificent Europe itineraries between Budapest and Amsterdam, with 16 departures scheduled this year and 21 departures in 2015. 1300 196 420.
Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.
We’ve read the fine print, weighed up the inclusions, checke...
It’s the mode of travel of the moment but what’s the right l...
Reluctant cruise-ship passenger Kathy Lette was press-ganged...
Gin and tonics on the teak verandah, finger sandwiches and m...
Kendall Hill island-hops aboard the Silver Galapagos and get...
Could this be the world’s most glamorous shortcut? Debbie Pa...
Lured by the promise of plain sailing and Sancerre, Kendall ...
Heading on a cruise? Scrap the extra beauty baggage in favou...
From a life of privilege onboard Crystal Serenity to majesti...
When it comes to world records, Australians aren’t just the ...
Every day unfolds as a fresh series of adventures for Helen ...
Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.×