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Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Where to eat, stay and explore in Praiano, Italy

Maiori is just a scooter ride away from Praiano

Maiori is just a scooter ride away from Praiano

Discover Positano’s lesser-known neighbour, which serves up twice the charm and half the crowd. Lucinda McKimm has found the perfect places to eat, sleep and explore.

Along the winding Amalfi Coast, in the middle of Positano and Amalfi, lies sleepy Praiano. Blink and you might miss the old fishing village, which is home to a mere 2000 people and whose name derives from praia, or beach, from the Latin word pelagium, meaning "belonging to the sea". 

Praiano operates at a mellow pace. Streets are few and steps are aplenty. There's no definitive town centre; just an alimentari, a handful of shops and a cluster of white-washed houses dotting the undulating streetscape. Culinary pleasures abound, and seafood is an obvious champion, in keeping with the town's fishing village charm.

Here's how to best explore this small pocket of coastline.

EAT

Vivaro Wine Bar
With no menus in sight and the simple option of meat or seafood, Vivaro Wine Bar celebrates the simplicity of Italian flavours with owner Gennaro Criscuolo's three-course offering. He somehow keeps his cool as he bounces between tables, stove and bar of this tiny, bustling restaurant.

The menu of the night may kick off with house-made spaghetti with pipis, olive oil, chilli, lemon and parsley, followed by a piece of grilled fish (each diner receiving a different kind of fish - perch, sea bass, tuna, mackerel) and a simple lemony, peppery leaf salad. Desserts are also switched up between guests - make sure you ask for extra spoons.

The Amalfi coast town of Fiordo di Furore.

Kasai
Kasai is perched high on a quiet street overlooking the sea, with tables set beneath a rustic pergola in view of the stars. Like Vivaro, Kasai's kitchen focuses on seafood, yet with a slightly more ambitious twist. Expect flavours like pomegranate juice, eggplant mousse, candied orange and sweet tomatoes to accompany baked amberjack and tuna, served in one of the most peaceful settings imaginable.

Il Pirata
Head for Il Pirata's sun-drenched lounges early in the morning for a day of bathing, jumping off rocks and swimming around Marina di Praia. By night, the cavernous fine dining restaurant is a go-to for both the setting and the fare. Feast on seared scallops as the moon begins its descent over the marina's fishing boats.

Bar Del Sole
This charming café is as simple as it gets. It's where locals meet for their morning espresso, and where travellers meet to watch them. Expansive views over the sea make it a perfect place to assess the day's weather, which, during Praiano's summer, is likely to be perfect.

The stunning flatiron building of  So Sore Casa.

EXPLORE

Cruise the coast
Hiring a scooter is a breezy, relaxed way to explore the Amalfi Coast, and there are plenty of places to rent one in the centre of town. A plethora of towns dot the rugged coastline, and stopping for a swim or a bite as you please is the best way to enjoy the winding landscape as it unfolds. For those after some more guidance, try Ravello, Maiori and Amalfi.

Spend time at sea level
Seeing Praiano's coastline from sea level is worth the boat trip in itself. Couple that with swimming in the azure waters of Capri, passing the iconic faraglioni rock formations along the way and spending the day on a beautifully kept, traditional boat, and you might have the perfect summer day.

Recommended by locals, Luca Esposito from Luma Charter will collect you from Marina di Praia and take you on a journey to Capri and along the coast. You can get off and visit towns like Positano and Capri, duck into the famous grottos, or simply cruise with a prosecco in hand, deciding where to swim as you go.

STAY

So Sore Casa
So Sore Casa is a holiday rental operated by four local sisters, Adele, Michela, Ilaria and Paola Cuomo, who will warmly greet you with thick Italian accents, countless recommendations, prosecco, limoncello and a classic Italian apartment with a big balcony overlooking the sea. There are two apartments that can be rented together or separately. The location provides an ideal base to explore the town's many restaurants and beaches. A small alimentari sits just next door, equipped with almost everything you'll need for the house and home cooking.

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Signature Collection

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Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

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2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

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