Sightseeing is so much more fun when you can eat while you’re doing it. So in order to save you some time, and make sure you never have to stare at another car park while you enjoy your dinner, here’s our guide to the world’s most scenic dining experiences.
(View from Portrait Restaurant, National Portrait Gallery, London)
Whilst partaking in a traditional English afternoon tea at the National Portrait Gallery, a sight across famous landmarks that is only surpassed by Lord Nelson’s can be enjoyed.
(View of Snowdon Summit Cafe, courtesy of Christopher Owen Jones’ Flickr photostream)
Anywhere that Prince Charles described as ‘the highest slum in Wales’ is well-worth checking out. Surprisingly not swamped with gang-banging, pimpin’ and thievin’, but a recently revamped café in an unrivalled spot for gazing over Snowdon.
(View from The Stratosphere restaurant, courtesy of be OH be’s Flickr photostream)
If the jetlag doesn’t get you in a spin, this New York eatery certainly will as it, err, revolves. High above Times Square. The food is pretty damn fine too.
Whereas our next destination, The Stratosphere in Las Vegas, takes us to dizzy heights above the city though the quality of the dining sadly lags behind, remaining at ground level.
If you would like a taste of Paris, but don’t have a passport, then amble over to the Eiffel Tower Restaurant. You’ll never know the difference. (Ok, you will - but it sounds good!).
Better news along the Californian coast as just outside San Francisco perched on the rocks of the Pacific coast is Cliff House, which has been serving up delightful dishes and mouth-watering views since 1863.
(View of Cliff House, California courtesy of © John Benson )
If you prefer your water cascading with violent beauty, as some people do, then there is the Watermark perched perfectly high above Niagara Falls.
The view across the bay at Oskars restaurant
Now, not wanting to offend our Aussie friends, let’s give some props to the Gold Coast hugging Oskars, where as the surfers negotiate the waves, diners negotiate the fresh and locally-sourced, seafood-packed menu and drift off as the sun sets and the moon rises across the ocean horizon.
Meanwhile, over in Japan, in the shadow of the stunning Mt. Fuji is this aptly named plush hotel offering an exquisite range of quality menus from French, traditional Japanese to a modern garden cafe as the lake and peaks lie gracefully in the background until the evening sky is consumed by starry nights.
(View across the lake of Mt.Fuji, courtesy of gio_phel’s Flickr photostream)
(View of Menaggio, courtesy of Shark Attacks’ photostream)
An address of One Red Square tells you what you’re going to be gawping at as you consume some Russian specialities in an area drenched in history. As time is against us let’s drop in to the glorious Lake Como area, where spoilt for choice we’ll plump for the numerous options from street cafés to family run Trattoria available in the quaint, picturesque charm of Menaggio - which if given five minutes to describe it, I will end up fully-fledged member of Adjectives Anonymous.
(A view from Le Ciel de Paris, Nicole Chatelier © 2007)
In the Eur district of Rome, make your way up to the Quattordicesimo Piano restaurant of the Il Fungo building and peruse the Italian Rationalism style architecture while eating some slightly pricey Italian food.
The final destination on this whistlestop tour is obvious, but essential. Paris. High above the city on the 56th floor of the Tour Montparnasse is Le Ciel de Paris, the astronomically highest dining point in Europe - with gastronomically high standards of cuisine too folks. Phew, now on the short trip home I can consider all the ones I’ve missed.
AND FIVE THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE LIST
Baan Rim Pa, Phuket, Thailand:
Amangani Hotel, Wyoming, USA:
Sierra Mar, Big Sur, California:
The Astral, at the Loews Le Concorde, Quebec City, Canada: