The February issue

Our clean eating issue is out now, packed with super lunch bowls, gluten-free desserts and more - including our cruising special, covering all luxury on the seas.

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Most popular recipes summer 2017

Counting down from 20, here are this summer's most-loved recipes.

Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

Fig recipes

Figs. We can't get enough of them. Here are a few sweet and savoury ways to add them to your summer spread.

Australia's best rieslings

We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.

Chorizo hotdogs with chimichurri and smoky red relish

A hotdog is all about the condiments. Here, choose between a smoky red capsicum relish or the bright flavours of chimichurri, or go for a bit of both.

Top Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2017

A lot has changed since we first published our pick of the best chefs to follow on Instagram (way back in the dark ages of 2013). Here’s who we’re double-tapping on the photo-sharing app right now.

Christine Manfield recipes

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

Curtis Stone's strawberry and almond cheesecake

"I've made all kinds of fancy cheesecakes in my time, but nothing really beats the classic combination of strawberries and almonds with a boost from vanilla bean," says Stone. "I could just pile macerated strawberries on top, but why not give your tastebuds a proper party by folding grilled strawberries into the cheesecake batter too? Cheesecakes are elegant and my go-to for celebrations because they taste best when whipped up a day in advance."

Hot Hotels: Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques, Madrid

Meliá Palacio de los Duques' rooftop spa

Meliá Palacio de los Duques' rooftop spa

Only in Europe can a hotel claim to be brand new and centuries old at the same time. Madrid's Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques, a Leading Hotels of the World member, is a six month old hotel built on 800 year old bones. To create it architect Alvaro Sans combined a 13th century convent and a 19th century palace. The palace belonged to a line of dukes, and their taste in home décor is one of its few surviving features.

Suite A Bedroom.

The dukes collected the work of Spanish court painter Diego Velazquez. Although none of his original paintings remain on site (one of them is hanging in the Prado National Museum), his art still dominates the newly renovated walls. His masterpiece Las Meninas inspired the hotel's colour scheme. And every room, passageway and common area features reproductions of his most famous paintings. Like at a museum, placards provide background information about each piece. Walking past the Water Carrier suite, I read that it was painted while the artist was in Seville in 1618-1622 and that I can view the original next time I'm in Wellington. I'm not sure I've ever learned so much on the walk from the elevator to my door.

Lobby.

"You'll always find art in Gran Meliá hotels," says sales manager Ana Escribano. "We could have had different Spanish painters in all the rooms but since the duke was fascinated with Velazquez, there was more of a relation in the story of the palace and the story of us."

Private RedLevel lounge.

The spirit of Velazquez even haunts mealtimes. Sit down at the hotel's Restaurante Montmartre and you'll be served a pull-apart bread loaf inspired by his painting, The Lunch. In the neighbouring Coroa Gallery Lounge there's an eye-catching art installation: 84 different wines in glass beakers, arranged by colour from lightest to darkest like a drinkable painter's palette. Velazquez would surely have approved.

Rooftop pool.

Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques, Cuesta Santa Domingo 5, Madrid, Spain, +34 91 5416700, melia.com.

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