One such chef is Macarena de Castro, who serves a dish of "diced pork loin with dried cabbage leaf and a sauce made with sobrasada nothing more, or less, than a deconstructed version of the traditional llom amb col".
A few of the island's country house hotels have even gone back to making their own olive oil and wine. The Gran Hotel Son Net (pictured above), "a hotel housed in an impressive mansion dating from the 17th century", produces a "crisp and aromatic white" made from the local malvasa grape. It is now entirely feasible that you would go to Mallorca just for the food. You couldn't have said that ten years ago, says Richardson.
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For more information, see Sonnet.es. Rooms from €276, including breakfast.
Its cold winters and hot summers mean the cuisine is more varied than thesouth, explains top London-based chef Angela Hartnett in The Daily Telegraph. In fact, most of what we think of as Italian food comes from this region, including Parma ham, Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar from Modena not forgetting Britain's favourite pasta dish, spaghetti Bolognese. (Although Italians always make it with tagliatelle.)
The hotel scene in the capital, Bologna, isn't brilliant, says Brunton. So, head over to Parma and splash out on a "sumptuous suite" at the Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati for a view over the Piazza Duomo (above) and its "immense Romanesque cathedral".
Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati suites from €200 a night in October, +39 0521 386429, PalazzoDallaRosaPrati.it.
Sample the local specialities at one of the many winstub inStrasbourg. Most of these traditional winebars have been turned into restaurants, such as atAu Pont du Corbeau. Here, "the menu ranges from escargots and homemade goose foie grasto grumbeerekiechle tasty potato pancakes with crunchy smoked bacon".
Hotel Graffalgar is without doubt "the funkiest place to stay in Strasbourg". Each of the hotel'srooms has been decorated by graffiti artists, ranging from "an Escher-like homage to StanleyKubrik in room 203 to the psychedelic bordello of 303".
Doubles from €90, breakfast €8. See Graffalgar-Hotel-Strasbourg.fr.
Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.
Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.
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