Travel News

The Hot 100 2013, 51-75

Edible insects, wine labels worth framing, boutique hotels-cum-libraries. Welcome to this year’s Gourmet Traveller Hot 100. Consider this your global hit list (in no particular order), from the most exciting food and drinks trends to the latest and greatest in travel.
AJ Moller

THE HOT 100 2013

The Hot 100 2013, 1-25

The Hot 100 2013, 26-50

The Hot 100 2013, 51-75

The Hot 100 2013, 76-100

The 2013 Hot 100 in pictures

**51 Cake Kiosk

** When pastry chef Jade Halloran’s ’70s caravan trundles its way to the farmers’ market in Brisbane’s New Farm on the second and fourth Saturday of every month, it’s crammed full of the sweetest homemade goodness – zingy lemon coconut confections, buttery melting moments. Halloran, a former pastry chef at Pearl Café, found the van second-hand and had it pimped up. Now it’s a fully licensed kitchen.

**52 Best pied piper impersonation

** The tiny pueblo of Garzón has an outsized reputation, thanks in great part to South America’s master chef Francis Mallmann, whose Hotel & Restaurant Garzón, more of a restaurant-with-rooms, attracts an international following to this Uruguayan outpost, miles inland from the chic beach resorts of José Ignacio and Punta del Este. But where Mallmann goes, others follow, so now you can also rent stylish haciendas such as Casa Anna or Casa Rosa, visit the Colinas de Garzón vineyards for a tannat tasting, or simply hang out in the local social club on tango night.

**53 Solid travelling companions

** Our travel bag shows its history: the deodorant that leaked en route to Rome; the face cream that spilled on the descent into Delhi. Which is why we love the shift towards all things solid. Jao dubs its Coiffette a “bomade”: an essential-oil blend that smooths flyaways and softens cuticles. Australian-made Indah takes the stress out of flying with its Lalu Travel Balm, a pulse-point rub for testing journeys.

**54 Spreyton avocados

** Avocados in Tasmania. Who knew? And who knew that Spreyton grower Dick Shaw’s avocados would be so creamy and perfect that even expat Queenslanders (such as Jay Patey at Hobart’s Pigeon Hole Café) would be willing to say they’re the best he’s ever eaten? Served on Pigeon Hole’s toasted rye with salt and a lemon wedge, they must truly be one of the best breakfasts around. They’re not available all year, but in season, they’re sold at Alps & Amici in Launceston and the New Town Greenstore in the south.

55 Best costume change

It’s been Peter Morrissey-designed garb for a decade, but now, as Qantas settles into its new partnership with Emirates, it’s all change for the Flying Kangaroo’s uniforms. Melbourne-born, Paris-based designer Martin Grant has just revealed his handiwork, which will be phased in by early 2014. Say goodbye to the Wirriyarra print – strong tailoring with a sense of timelessness is the Grant calling card.

**56 Young Guns

** Brother-and-sister team Stephen and Niki Filipovic and their business partner Jesse Saunders have already made a splash in Melbourne with the People’s Market, a pop-up village in Collingwood that over its four-month life attracted the likes of MoVida Bakery, The Meatball Company and Woods of Windsor. They’re taking People’s Market on the road to Brisbane while also working on their latest project, a refurbishment of the Order of Melbourne with chef Michael Fox at the helm. It’s little wonder the three 20-somethings are starting to turn heads.

**57 The new Latin love

** The luxury buzz over Nicaragua, long the domain of adventure travellers and backpackers, is starting to grow with Carlos Pellas’s just-open Mukul resort on the Emerald Coast. It’s the country’s first true top-tier retreat, set on its own 6.5km stretch of white-sand beach. Pellas, whose family’s 16 companies employ more than 18,000 people, has created what feels more like a private home than a hotel. The bohíos (aka cottages) and villas all have private pools, while world-class surfing and snorkelling beckon just offshore.

58 Empire lions

As desirable hotel addresses go, this one’s hard to beat. A former royal palace, just two blocks from the Hermitage, guarded by a brace of lions… Expect St Petersburg’s most spacious rooms, grand 1820s interiors and front-row views of St Isaac’s Cathedral when the Four Seasons Lion Palace débuts in August.

**59 Growlers of beer

** Two-pot-screamer? Plump for a squealer rather than a growler. Both are clever, recyclable, reusable, glass containers for takeaway craft beers, with the former holding about the same as three bottles and the latter the equivalent of a sixpack. This environmentally friendly way to access hard-to-get keg beers has been popular on the US craft beer scene for years, and is now building a head of froth among Australian drinkers. Legend has it the term “growler” dates from a time when ale swillers brought beer home in buckets – the growling noise was made by escaping carbon dioxide. Depending on the sealing system used, these days you generally get two weeks to six months of shelf life from an unopened growler. At Young Henrys in Sydney’s Newtown, brewer Richard Adamson prefers a swap-and-go system, with growlers prefilled ready to take away from a selection of half a dozen taps. At Brisbane’s Green Beacon Brewing Company, the taps have been designed to work with both growlers and squealers, so they fill on demand with any of the seven beers on pour.

**60 The great (new) sandwiches of Paris

** Some of the best food in Paris right now is to be found between slices of bread. Excellent bread, unpasteurised butter and plenty of charcuterie are just the beginning. You’ll find Paris’s best new sandwiches at Chez Aline and L’Épicerie du Verre Volé in the 11th arrondissement, and at latest Paris hotspot Abri in the 10th, where Japanese-inspired fillings such as tonkatsu are wedged between your bread. You can eat in or take away at Chez Aline and Abri, but it’s takeaway only at L’Épicerie du Verre Volé.

**61 Waikiki’s most welcome new addition

** A strong dollar, those low taxes, more flights than ever from the east coast – you can’t keep Australians away from the Hawaiian islands, and many will no doubt find themselves feeling even more at home when Bill Granger opens his next restaurant in Waikiki next month. The new Bills Oahu outpost will sit next to Donald Trump’s eponymous hotel and be part café and part restaurant. The menu will make the most of Hawaii’s excellent produce but be skewed towards fresh South East Asian flavours.

**62 Tinnies

** News just in from the world of beer: the humble tin is making a resurgence, not least because it is lighter and less bulky than glass. It also keeps the beer itself in better nick.

**63 Hopping wallaby

** Could kangaroo’s cuddlier cousin succeed in today’s top Australian restaurants where kangaroo is thus far failing? Kylie Kwong, Ben Shewry and Shannon Bennett are among the chefs arguing the affirmative.

**64 SoBe So Hot

** Miami’s South Beach is still the hottest sandbox around. Art Basel and the Wynwood art walk are major cultural draws. Top Latin chefs such as José Andrés and Douglas Rodriguez have dining outposts here. Portugal’s Group Pestana has just opened its first US hotel here. Cabanas are sexy again. And the ongoing renovation of the Art Deco district’s historic landmarks really adds sizzle: Ian Schrager’s residences atop the 1950s building set to open as his next Edition hotel early next year are already setting price records; Philippe Starck and Lenny Kravitz make virginal white décor seem naughty at the SLS Hotel; The James Royal Palm is a modernist retreat with its own artist-in-residence program; and The Freehand will please stylish flashpackers with its hipster hostel vibe.

**65 Timeless hotels

** In this era of ebooks, we’re gratified to see the old-fashioned library alive and well, at least when it comes to hotels. New York is overflowing with bookish boutique hotels – the Crosby Street, the new NoMad and the Trump Soho each have wonderful libraries, and we’re smitten with Thornwillow, a classic reading room at the St Regis. But we also love less obvious literary spots such as The Libraryresort in Koh Samui, where a sleek white library adjoins an outdoor reading space, and Istanbul’s high-style House Hotel Nisantasi, whose glossy book collection is ample reason to stay in.

**66 Here, there…

** Architects Herbert & Mason, the team behind Melbourne’s Gingerboy Upstairs, Sydney’s Reuben Hills and London café The Association, are now the design force behind both the new Fratelli Paradiso project on Ash Street in the Sydney CBD and Maurice Terzini’s Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta, opening at Bondi’s Boheme development this spring. For his project, Terzini says that he wants “all the elements of an old trattoria but done in a completely contemporary way”. Herbert & Mason’s trademark uncluttered clean lines should be just the ticket.

**67 Friends in far-flung places

** Ethical collaborations are where it’s at for Australian designers. Jac+Jack‘s new-season homewares collection was produced in collaboration with Chandroti, an Indian-based not-for-profit artisan collective that provides work for women in the Himalayan village of the same name. Sass & Bide‘s new Hello Goodbye key ring is part of the Ethical Fashion Initiative by the United Nations’ International Trade Centre. The project, which also involves Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, and designer and restaurateur Ilaria Venturini Fendi, works with women from Haiti and Africa to not only retain artisan skills and develop new ones, but also to empower their communities.

**68 Eastern European wine

** It’s a given, seemingly, that no self-respecting wine list in Melbourne can be seen without at least one Croatian label in the ranks, but to be really part of the club you now need to go further east – krstac from Montenegro, pinot blanc from Slovenia, tokaji from Hungary, even merlot from Transylvania – if Attica, Cutler & Co. and The Crimean are any guide.

69 Scenic Railway

The Rocky Mountaineer goes international in 2013, launching a three-day journey from Seattle’s King Street Station on the US west coast to Banff or Jasper in the Canadian Rockies. Get on board.

70 The next So-Cal hotspot

Move over Silverlake. The LA district of Koreatown, already known for its vibrant nightlife, multi-culti air and table-top barbecues, is fast emerging as the new epicentre of brazen hipsterdom. Lock & Key is a new speakeasy serving inventive craft cocktails in a space adorned with green leather banquettes, flocked wallpaper and a marble bar. Opening this season is The Line Los Angeles, a hotel by the Sydell Group, which has executed other style-savvy inns including The NoMad in New York and The Ace in Palm Springs. In a first, The Line is inspired by Korean-American culture, food and design. The existing 389-room property has been completely overhauled, with private karaoke rooms and noted LA chef Roy Choi handling the restaurant.

**72 Stunning stemware

** The wide-bowled Zalto wineglasses from Austria are just so light and fine, they almost feel as though they’re not there. They make for an exquisite drinking experience.

**73 Best reason to hold the Cherry Heering

** The Singapore Sling might be world famous, but it’s just the tip of the country’s new hand-cut cocktail iceberg. Chinatown’s cocktail-bar-per-square-metre ratio is hard to beat, as is the commitment shown by Jigger & Pony to both drink-making and service. In Robertson Quay, Fine Spirits by La Maison du Whisky is king. A high-end bottle shop by day, the local arm of the Parisian liquor merchant becomes a bar from 6pm. Local beer tastes are also changing. The Good Beer Company – a craft beer stall in the wondrous Chinatown Complex hawker centre – allows diners to wash their chicken rice down with artisan local and imported brews. Lychee beer, anyone?

**74 More is more design

** Michael Delany, interior designer and co-creator of late, legendary Honky Tonks, current operator of Melbourne pub-disco-diner The Bottom End, co-revitaliser of a whole slew of Sydney pubs (The Abercrombie, The Norfolk, The Carrington) and Kings Cross’s Santa Barbara, says that his house style is “a bit mindless”. It’s also a funny, energetic mix of overlapping styles and colours with unpretentious drinks and food to match. More Sydney pubs are scheduled – next stop, Petersham. Good times.

**75 Canberra’s where it’s at…

** and not because of leadership squabbles and election campaigns. Full credit to 8 Hotels‘ Paul Fischmann, who sees much potential in the capital. Fischmann turned a 1920s office building into the Diamant Hotel, the city’s first boutique hotel and a successful blend of art, attitude and irreverence. Next door and soon to open is Hotel Hotel, a green-minded property that’s a cornerstone of the new Nishi development in the NewActon precinct. The minimalist Hotel Hotel occupies three floors of the Japanese-inspired building, and was designed by architects Fender Katsalidis, responsible for not only the Diamant Canberra but MONA in Hobart.


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