I love badges – especially Michelin ones!
How do you all feel about badges? I’ve always been a fan. Ever since my first swim badge was sewn onto my swimsuit aged five, I’ve been addicted. Walking out into the pool area that day I felt 10 feet tall and everyone around me knew that I, Melissa, had conquered the 20 metre backstroke. They were envious and impressed, I could tell. I became addicted and quickly that swimsuit looked like a patchwork quilt of success. I think my obsession with badges and accolades comes from those early successful swimming days. I like to get them and I also look for them all over the place. Clearly I like seeing the SLH badge outside of hotels because it lets me know I’m in for a trustworthy holiday treat. Another favourite is the Michelin star. Even writing the word Michelin make me salivate more than is acceptable in public. Right now if you could see me you’d not be impressed. That little badge gets me very, very excited, perhaps too excited. So today I’m going to talk about how you can combine these two favourite badges of mine. An SLH badge on the front door, and a Michelin star outside the restaurant. Win win. Here are just a handful of places to stay for those of you who want to eat food that’s officially delicious!
Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola, Lugano, Switzerland
f you’re in Lugano and you want Michelin star food, I’m afraid this is the only place to go. Gallery Arte Al Lago is one of three restaurants at the hotel and the head chef specialises in lake fish and sea food. The restaurant is literally on the lake so one can assume the fish is fresh! And if the art on your plate isn’t enough you can also enjoy art on the walls between courses here.
Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux, France
Some of you might not be impressed by one Michelin star. But how about two? La Grand’Vigne restaurant and its chef Nicolas Masse are in the two club thanks to seasonal produce from the hotel garden, local farmers and the Atlantic. Expect lovely treats such as Aquitaine caviar, lobster and wild turbot. Yum. The frills here include the fact you are sat in a Bordeaux vineyard (so you can expect delicious wine with the meal) and the option of popping into the spa for some vinotherapy while digesting.
Palé Hall, Wales, UK
This place has literally opened today but we already know the food is going to be special. The rather well-known chef Michael Caine, who has won two stars elsewhere, is spearheading the restaurant at this north Wales hotel. Expect glorious surroundings and a stunning Grade II listed building that has been refurbished beyond former glories to become one of the country’s finest country houses.
Hotel L’hôtel, Paris, France
Even for the non-French speakers among you, it shouldn’t be hard to work out what Le Restaurant is. But you might be surprised by what this Michelin-star spot looks like. Romantic doesn’t quite cover it. Think a beautiful fountain, cobbled terrace and a living wall… it’s the perfect spot to try head chef Julien Montbabut’s food. He uses classic techniques to create modern and fresh French food.
St James’s Hotel and Club, London, UK
After just one year this hotels restaurant, Seven Park Place, won a Michelin star. All thanks to chef William Drabble who makes French dishes with British ingredients such as poached native lobster tail. With only 26 covers this is one of the smallest Michelin-star restaurants in London.
Althoff Villa Belrose, St Tropez, France
I realise this is a food related post but Le Belrose restaurant has more than 500 French wines on offer. 500! This makes it one of the largest collections in the region so thank goodness head sommelier Arthur Chabidon is there to keep an eye on them all. So the wine is French, the views across St Tropez are very French, but the chef, Pietro Volonte, is Italian and as such serves inventive Mediterranean food.
I’m salivating so much now I could really do with a bib! So I’d better go eat something delicious… St James’ Hotel is just around the corner so I’m off to beg for one of those 26 spots!
See you next week