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Top Ten Restaurants of 2017

‘One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.’ – Virginia Woolf. And dined well we did! Here are my top ten restaurants on 2017.

1. Araki, London 

The Araki had been on my to visit list for a while but when it was awarded its third Michelin star in September 2017 it quickly flew to the top!
The restaurant of choice for my birthday this year, this hard-to-get-booking at restaurant is not only the first Japanese restaurant in the UK to receive a coveted three stars but it’s also the most expensive restaurant in the country. When we booked we had to put down a deposit of £300 per head! And wAS it worth it? Yes, yes, yes!! Having been to sushi restaurants in Japan, its the closest I’ve seen to the real thing plus you have a semi private audience with Mr Araki himself.

2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain

Easily one of the highlights of my entire blogging career, I was invited to Girona in Spain by The Macallan Whisky for dinner at El Celler de Can Roca
The Catalan restaurant has three Michelin star and has been twice voted the best restaurant in the world. As such it was an absolute honour to meet owners, the three Roca brothers and to enjoy a multi-course tasting menu paired with the wines and whisky. 

3. The Over Water Bar at Gili Lankanfushi, The Maldives

I’ve said time and again that a good restaurant experience isn’t all about fine dining and Michelin stars – it’s also about the people you’re with and special unique locations. I totally fell in love the beautiful eco-chic resort Gili Lankanfushi in The Maldives and the experience of dining on a restaurant on stilts above the lagoon at The Over Water Bar.
There’s both buffet and a la carte options and much of the produce comes from the hotel’s organic leaf garden. You can’t beat the ice cream dessert, there’s more flavours than I’ve ever seen! And by night the restaurant is an extravaganza of different cooking stations and a super chic dinner venue. 

4. Tickets, Barcelona

One of the most theatrical restaurants I’ve ever been to – Mr S and I were absolutely blown-away by Tickets, a Michelin starred restaurant in the Barcelona that has made the world’s best restaurant lists.

After a about twenty intricate and innovative courses, the climax of the meal was being led into a separate dessert room for a tasting of different desserts. The whole thing is sheer genius!

5. Steirereck, Vienna

With two Michelin stars and number ten in the World’s Best Restaurants list, we had high expectations for Steirereck in Vienna, and oh gosh did it deliver! Not only were we blown away by the menu of modern Austrian food but the bread trolley and the cheese trolley will go down in restaurant history for me. 
Incredible food and minute attention to detail made Steirereck not only one of the best restaurants I’ve been to all year but also one of the best of all time.

6.  Aponiente, Jerez, Spain

It’s been my year to discover more of Spain and Aponiente is the third Spanish restaurant on this list. As part of a press trip with Gin Mare, I was fortunate enough to visit this two-Michelin star restaurant in Jerez.

Our multi-course tasting menu was a feast for the senses as we explored the cuisine of Ángel León, also known as the Chef of the Sea. The meal was a total immersive experience with several wonderful surprises that were totally unforgettable!

7. The Veranda, Villa D’Este

Another meal that was more about the overall experience then the actual food was our lunch at The Veranda at Villa D’Este whilst on our anniversary trip to Lake Como. Mr S had visited this gorgeous hotel restaurant for lunch five years ago on a previous trip and going again brought back flood of happy memories. 
Walking into the hotel makes you feel like you’re in a Hollywood movie as old glamour is the order of the day. I remembered eating a whole sea bass to share the first time so we relived that experience by ordering the beautifully cooked fish again.
After lunch, despite slightly bad weather we took some time to admire the hotel’s gorgeous floating pool and perfectly manicured gardens. Villa D’Este is a magical place that will always be in my heart!

8. Onyx Restaurant, Budapest 

Our dinner at Onyx Restaurant in Budapest was so special not only because the food and atmosphere were incredible but also because it was part of a plan put together by Mr S to create the perfect trip.

We loved the modern Hungarian food served at the restaurant, and the service was also absolutely exquisite. 

9. Petra, Santorini, Greece

The rumours are true, Santorini is one of the most romantic places on earth. I’d seen so many photographs of the island’s white washed houses and iconic blue domes, I thought this beautiful Greek island was too good to be true. 
And there’s nothing quite like dining with a view in a beautiful place. We ate at several beautiful restaurants but my favourite was Petra at Canaves Oia Suites. The food is Greek / Mediterranean and quite simply a work of art in itself. 

10. Tavaru, Velaa Private Island, The Madives

At 37 feet high, Tavaru is the tallest restaurant in The Maldives with an incredible view over the Velaa Private Island resort where it’s located. 
Not only are you treated to this fantastic view but Tavaru serves my favourite cuisine – Japanese food! 
It’s a small restaurant so you have a semi-private audience with the chef and the opportunity to try his exquisite food! The restaurant is also served by largest champagne and wine selection in The Maldives so you can guarantee a delicious pairing too!

Those are my top ten restaurant of year! Which of these do you like the best? Have you eaten in any wonderful restaurants this year?