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.

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

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

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

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

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.

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."

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.

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.

Notel, Melbourne

An Airstream at Notel

An Airstream at Notel

Take six shiny vintage Airstreams. Hire a 50-tonne crane to hoist them onto the rooftop of a two-storey city car park. Kit out the caravans with designer fittings, ensuites and minibars - and what do you have?

No, not a hotel. It's a Notel, and it opens in Melbourne - above a laneway, naturally - on Friday 26 August.

James Fry is the man behind the elevation of the humble caravan. His family car park, Fry's Fast Park down the southern end of Flinders Lane, is the setting for the city's hipster trailer park where nightly room rates start at $395 for accommodation, with no staff on site (though a staff member is on call), no room service and no facilities.

Interior, Notel.

But Fry is confident the concept will capture the imaginations of travellers seeking unique experiences in the Victorian capital.

The caravans, all vintage from the 1970s, have been "completely redone as very high-end, hotel-room interiors", he says. The six are similar except for one "Airstream with Benefits" (for $440 a night) that has a private deck with spa bath above Flinders Lane.

Common to all are queen-sized beds, custom interiors of bright pink, grey and white, and woven vinyl Bolon flooring, and swank bathrooms with full-height showers and Malin & Goetz toiletries. Complimentary minibars contain Melbourne-brewed Shiki beer, Paul Louis Champagne, waters, chocolates and snacks.

Airstream with spa.

There's no check-in or check-out desk. Guests download the Notel app and receive directions and an "air key" to their rooftop accommodation. There are no actual, physical staff on site. In-room iPads feature virtual concierges who advise guests on what to see, do, eat and drink in the city. Through Fry's contacts, Notel's concierge will be able to secure bookings at some of the city's more infuriatingly unbookable restaurants.

If people want more conventional hotel accommodation, "to sit in their room and have food delivered to their door, I will help them book at the Hilton", Fry says. "But if you are coming to stay with us, we want you to go and experience Melbourne and really enjoy it. You're going to love our Airstreams. But more than that, we want you to find the hidden gems, live like a local."

Bookings through the website only: notelmelbourne.com.au.

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