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.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

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

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

Australia's finest hotel spas

Quailia, QLD

Quailia, QLD

Relax and rewind across the country in style.

Victoria's Central Highlands are the heartland of Australia's spa country, with more than 100 natural mineral springs bubbling forth from the bedrock and a host of properties that encourage restorative stays. The new Hepburn Spa Retreat (20-22 Mineral Springs Crescent, Hepburn Springs, Vic, hepburnsparetreat.com.au) has opened across the road from therapy central, the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa (Mineral Springs Cresent, Hepburn Springs, Vic, hepburnbathhouse.com). The retreat's 10 villas combine raw materials and natural light to stylish effect.

See all the winners from our 2016 Australian Hotel Awards here. 

A few kilometres away in downtown Daylesford, Lake House (4 King Street, Daylesford, Vic, lakehouse.com.au) is a magnet for pleasure-seeking travellers drawn to Salus Day Spa with its treehouse hot tubs, and also to the inspired regional excellence of the house's celebrated restaurant and the indulgent trappings of its 33 waterside rooms and villas.

Waldheim Alpine Spa spans pretty Pencil Pine Creek at Cradle Mountain Lodge (4038 Cradle Mountain Road, Cradle Mountain, Tas, cradlemountainlodge.com.au) in the heart of Tasmania's World Heritage-listed wilderness. Expect all the usual skincare and massage options, set against the backdrop of a pristine, ancient landscape. And on the north-east Tasmanian coast, accessible only to walkers who've paid top dollar to do the multi-day Bay of Fires (bayoffires.com.au) trek, is a one-room spa set in a Tasmanian oak box, with a blazing fire, glass walls framing the very beaches you must trudge along to get here, and the promise of some well-earned pummelling .

Experience equally memorable massages at Southern Ocean Lodge's (Hanson Bay Road, Kingscote SA, southernoceanlodge.com.au) spa pavilion, perched on a cliff above the untamed seas pounding Kangaroo Island's shoreline.

Queensland's climate lends itself to languid indulgence, inspiring such élite spa properties as Qualia (Hamilton Island, Mackay, QLD, qualia.com.au) on Hamilton Island and Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat in the Gold Coast hinterland (192 Syndicate Road, Tallebudgera, QLD, gwinganna.com).

For more immediate relief from modern stresses, Australia's urban sanctuaries are second to none. On the mezzanine level of boutique hotel QT Sydney, Spa Q (49 Market Street, Sydney, NSW, spa-q.com.au) offers harried city types a retreat from reality into a parallel world of caviar facials, coffee and sea-kelp wraps, bamboo and ginseng polishes. For the gentlemen, it's sharp cuts, wet shaves and "supernatural" facials combining the sensory delights of liquorice and sandalwood.

As a bonus at Park Hyatt Sydney's (7 Hickson Road, The Rocks, NSW, sydney.park.hyatt.com) small, tranquil spa, guests have access to the hotel's rock-star rooftop pool. And The Langham Sydney (89-113 Kent Street, Millers Point, Sydney, NSW, langhamhotels.com) emerged from a recent $30 million makeover with its subterranean spa enhanced and Roman-inspired pool intact.

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