The gal loves eating outside. On Seven Seas Navigator, for instance, when the weather allowed it was divine, at breakfast and lunch, to get a table on the outside terrace of the Verandah restaurant at the tenth deck stern. What a luxury ship can offer over and above the view from any unforgettable hotel, of course, is the endless fascination of the wake billowing out, and look at those little white horses on the crests of waves – and IS that a whale over there?
But dining out at hotels is also pretty special. Restaurants at Emirates Palace Kempinski in Abu Dhabi all flow out on to terraces, for instance, and I also remember with delight dining on the terrace at Belmond Villa Michele, Fiesole, looking down at the twinkling lights of Florence, below.
Owners and developers are increasingly aware of the marketing appeal of allowing diners to eat under the sun, or stars. In Copenhagen, Gemyse, right in Tivoli Gardens, is a productive vegetable garden that happens to have tables, chairs and a first-class chef and menu: you are welcomed, as shown above, by a slate set among tomato plants. At Chewton Glen Hampshire – which won the UK magazine The Caterer & Hotelkeeper‘s best countryhouse hotel, on Thursday July 19th, 2018 – the owners a year ago opened The Kitchen. Brilliantly set right by the main road, to attract outside business, but a good half-mile from the main hotel, The Kitchen is a full-fledged casual-chic restaurant. It has tables inside, next to the working kitchen and glass-walled cookery school, and it also has tables outside, among lots of lavender and significant metal sculptures.
And if, of course, you cannot actually eat outside, think of The Pig hotels in southern England. In most of these truly unforgettable hotels the restaurant is a working conservatory attached to the main building. You feel as if you are dining outside even if in fact you are in a greenhouse surrounded by potplants and fruitful vines…