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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.

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?

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

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

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.

First look at QT Melbourne

QT Melbourne's lobby

QT Melbourne's lobby

QT Hotels always do good first impressions, and their Melbourne property is no exception.

It's been a while since Melbourne's CBD has scored a new boutique hotel, so some of the anticipation building around QT Melbourne's opening on Monday might be the novelty of a new kid on the block. More likely, though, it's because QT Hotels' first property built from the ground up is a genuinely exciting hotel.

Designed by Sydney-based architect Angelo Candalepas, with public spaces and rooms by QT's favourite designers, Nic Graham and architect Shelley Indyk respectively, QT Melbourne is an 11-storey concrete and stone modernist building on the site of the old Greater Union cinema. It has 188 rooms and a floor dedicated to Pascale, the hotel's signature bar and grill, with an open kitchen, glassed-in wine rooms and expansive, luxuriously upholstered lounges. There's a ground-floor café and aperitivo bar called The Cake Shop, a rooftop bar, a Japanese-Korean laneway bar called Hot Sauce and, beside it, a shop that sells handcrafted Japanese knives.

QT Hotels always do good first impressions, and their Melbourne property is no exception. A double-height lobby houses an aged-brass reception counter etched with scenes from Collins Street's Paris End. The Cake Shop serves pastries made in an in-house "pastry cube" by a Robuchon-trained pâtissier. Original artwork includes an intriguing installation by Clare Healy and Sean Cordeiro titled Double Horizon, comprising thousands of trashy paperbacks meticulously stacked to towering heights.

Double Horizon sits to one side of the lobby's central, international Klein blue-carpeted stairs leading to Pascale on the first floor. Pascale's menus are designed by QT creative food director Robert Marchetti and realised by executive chef Paul Easson, formerly of Melbourne's Rockpool Bar & Grill. The theme is modern Euro bistro - think terrines, grilled meat and fish, freshly shucked oysters - with much of the heavy lifting done by a Josper oven and a bespoke charcoal grill.

QT Melbourne's rooms have an industrial look with spacious bathrooms screened by sliding doors of rippled glass and black metal, oak floors, leather furniture and large baths in the Executive King rooms, where they are located prominently in the main room. Less exuberantly quirky than other QT properties, QT Melbourne's guestrooms have a calm elegance. The group's fabled minibar offering still surprises: children's books and games alongside quality booze and snacks. Also surprising are the interactive lifts, with accented female voices (Eastern European, French, English) calling out to guests as they exit.

There's plenty of natural light and city views, with large windows at the ends of corridors, in public spaces and in rooms.

QT Melbourne displays the group's trademark quirkiness, but it's toned down to a suitably Melbourne volume. It's emerged feeling just about right.

QT Melbourne opens on Monday 5 September. Pascale begins all-day service from breakfast on Tuesday 6 September, and Hot Sauce will open Wednesday 14 September. Rooms from $350. 133 Russell St, Melbourne, (03) 8636 8800, qtmelbourne.com.au

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