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Top 35 recipes of 2016

2016 was all about slow-roasting, fresh pasta and comfort food. These are the recipes you clicked on most this year, counting back to number one.

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

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

Christmas vegetarian recipes

The versatility of vegetarian dishes means they can be served alongside meat and seafood, or enjoyed simply as they are. With Christmas just around the corner, we’ve put together some of our favourite vegetarian recipes to appease both herbivores and carnivores alike.

Best travel destinations in 2017

We're thinking big for travelling in 2017 - and so should you. Will we see you sunrise at Java's 9th-century Borobudur Buddhist temple, across the table at Reykjavik's newest restaurants or swimming side-by-side with humpback whales off Western Australia's coast?

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.

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.

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.

Christmas ham recipes

The centrepiece of any Christmas feast, hams can be glazed with many ingredients. Here are our favourite combinations.

Hot Hotels: Jawai Peranakan Mansion

Jawai Peranakan Mansion bedroom

Jawai Peranakan Mansion bedroom

Shophouses and mansions in Penang are restored as UNESCO heritage award winning hotels.

Former Sydney banker turned international hotelier Chris Ong has opened his sixth hotel, Jawi Peranakan Mansion, in Penang's heritage showpiece, George Town. Its 12 suites evoke the Anglo-Indian mansion it once was.

"It's an unusual property in Penang because no one has restored an Indian Muslim property to its original state," says Ong. "Culturally speaking, Jawi Peranakan style is newly identified and quite distinct. It's both Anglo-Indian and Mughal."

Ong opened his first property in 2004, the celebrated Galle Fort Hotel in Sri Lanka.

The villa restoration earned him and co-owner Karl Steinberg a heritage award for what UNESCO judges called "a masterpiece of cultural heritage and conservation".

Hotels may be Ong's business, but conserving heritage architecture is what drives him. He traces his inspiration and finances to Australia, where he worked for 20 years as a banker. "Back in the '70s and '80s I watched suburbs like Paddington and Fitzroy being renovated. Every second person seemed to be doing up a house, and I did it, too."

Rooftop pool at Jawi Peranakan Mansion.

In Penang, meanwhile, 150-year-old terraces of traditional shophouses were being cleared to make way for apartments. It was at Galle Fort that Ong realised the plight of his hometown's heritage and, in 2007, he returned to begin buying houses "no one else wanted to touch".

Among them was Seven Terraces, a row of 19th-century shophouses previously owned by Anglo-Chinese traders. He had it configured as an 18-suite retreat and appointed it with his collection of museum-quality Peranakan antiques.

Ong now has four properties under a new brand, George Town Heritage and Hotels.

He says many locals still prefer living in modern apartments, but a 2008 UNESCO World Heritage listing of George Town has meant old buildings are increasingly being repurposed as cafés, restaurants and hotels.

"I want to put the George Town shophouse on people's bucket lists," says Ong. "I want it to be regarded in the same way as the Japanese ryokan, the Tuscan farmhouse and the Balinese villa."

Jawi Peranakan Mansion, 153, Jalan Hutton, George Town, Penang, georgetownheritage.com/jawi-peranakan-mansion

Rooms from $146, 153 Jalan Hutton, George Town,
Rooms from $146, 153 Jalan Hutton, George Town,
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