Get an authentic taste of Sicily from Susafa, a 200-year-old family-run farmhouse which harvests and presses its own olives and cherries, and where chefs pick herbs and vegetables from the gardens, ready for dinner. Take a stroll around the idyllic grounds of fragrant orchards, before settling down to a picnic of homemade jams, organic oils, freshly baked breads and just-picked herbs and vegetables beneath the cherry trees. If you’d like to take the ingredients home with you or learn the Sicilian art of baking, baskets of organic delicacies are available to purchase via the hotel’s e-commerce site dedicated to Susafa-grown produce – including selections for pasta, pizza, and cake lovers, along with access to online cooking classes. With a deep respect for the environment, the land and its rich history are the main sources of inspiration for the owners, who envisage a self-sufficient, zero-emissions future for their Sicilian country estate.
This secluded Scandi-style retreat on a fjord-fringed hilltop overlooking the Sunnmøre Alps encourages guests to enjoy life at a slower pace, an ethos which is evident on Storfjord’s unpretentious gourmet menu. Renowned for championing the produce of its Norwegian neighbours, Storfjord works closely with the local community to protect the old farms along the fjords from Ålesund to Geiranger, whilst immersing guests in an array of traditional activities – including visits to a nearby authentic fjord farm, local food safari tours, baking classes, and rustic tasting dinners with Norse storytelling. The fairytale hideaway even serves Storfjordbrygg, its own locally brewed ale which can only be tasted at Storfjord.
With over three-acres of farming land right on property, there’s plenty of space for flavour to grow at Castle Hot Springs, an off-grid oasis with its own organic, closed-loop farm in the Sonoran Desert. The resort’s team of skilled agronomists and flavour farmers cultivate and harvest over 150 different crops during each season which make the culinary experience at Harvest Restaurant as fresh as you’ll find. All meals are included during your stay so you can experience the many delights of the ‘harvest of the day’ menu. Daily farm tours are also available for guests on request, which unearth the sustainable growing practices followed by the team, and how they utilise one of the most unique growing climates in the world to cultivate crops from seed to plate.
Originally a working farm, the honey-hued Domaine de Manville sits within an 100-acre estate of olive trees, scented wild herbs and lush green fields. The Domaine’s agro-forestry farm takes pride of place in front of the Castle of Les Baux de Provence, supported by a firm specialising in permaculture. The fruits of this forest can be tasted at the Michelin-starred Restaurant l’Aupiho, where Chef Lieven Van Aken is inspired by the Alpilles region and sources the very best Provençal produce from the immediate terroir and the morning market in Cavaillon. Think locally raised lamb, slow-roasted tomatoes, apricots, and sun-gorged strawberries paired with rosemary. Dine beneath pretty parasols on the terrace, or shaded by century-old plane trees to the chant of crickets.
For farm fresh ingredients in a bucolic setting, look no further than Hacienda Zorita Wine Hotel – where specialities including extra virgin olive oil, local cheese and pata negra are produced on the estate and can be savoured amongst the vineyards. All ingredients come from the on-site organic farm or from local farmers and artisans in the Douro Valley. While away an afternoon browsing Churra sheep, Verata goat and countless other varieties of their delectable dairy in the Zorita Cheese Room, or enjoy a four-wheel ride through the farm where you can tuck into a traditional country meal. As pioneers of the slow food movement in Spain, Hacienda Zorita takes care to conserve native animals in danger of extinction, whilst cultivating local products and traditional farming methods.
By championing seasonally-inspired food and sustainability, VALA Hua Hin brings you closer to nature. Stroll down to its organic farm, where the hotel staff grow over 30 varieties of fruit, vegetables and scented herbs. Here, little ones can search for fresh eggs in the chicken coop and learn how to plant rice in the field – or get creative with a selection of arts and crafts. Over at WOODS Kitchen & Bar, chefs draw on the fresh farm-grown ingredients to put their own spin on iconic Thai dishes, tapas and plates from the grill. Meanwhile, Eden Café is perfect for on-the-go snacks and in-your-suitcase goodies: choose from local honey and salt, to homemade jams.
The Margi is the only hotel in Athens that has its own organic farm, providing fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, cheese, and extra virgin oil to its Greek-inspired restaurants. The 20,000 square-metre farm is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, from which award-winning chef Panagiotis Giakalis creates Mediterranean masterpieces at trendy poolside Malabar and the hotel’s picturesque patio restaurant. Private farm tours are available all year round, taking guests on an immersive journey of traditional Greek food and wine.
Award-winning food and wine are defining features of the Grove of Narberth, a wonderfully rustic retreat which started life as a traditional Welsh longhouse. Subtle botanical motifs throughout the Fernery, overseen by the visionary Executive Head Chef Douglas Balish, are a nod to the surrounding woodland and the restaurant’s love of using local ingredients in its tasting menus. If you fancy something more casual, head to the Artisan Rooms for comforting meals that celebrate the very best of Pembrokeshire, from Welsh lamb and local fish to artisan cheeses. There are usually at least five dishes which are completely homegrown, depending on the season. The Grove’s beautifully kept gardens are deservedly its pride and joy, where you can join the Head Gardener for an educational amble around the restored 17th-century walled garden, cottage meadows, and manicured lawns.
A traditional Kasbah set in a haven of manicured lawns and fragrant almond blossom, it is easy to understand the Arabic meaning behind Dar Ahlam’s name, ‘House of Dreams’. With no menu or dedicated restaurant space, meals are crafted from local ingredients sourced from the souk or grown in the hotel’s garden, while guests are invited to dine in the dozens of private spaces dotted in and around the hotel at any time they wish. Original recipes are created daily to highlight traditional local agriculture, including Bakkola de Luzerne, pomegranate vinegar, date caramel, Amlou, and spurge honey.
White walls traced with climbing vines and bright blossoms. Rustic stone courtyards dotted with antique chairs and tables. Centuries-old olive trees reaching up to a deep blue sky. This converted 17th-century masseria was once a fortified farmhouse used to protect Puglia’s rich produce from Saracens. Today, the gates are open and the tables are set with local delicacies – the chefs using many ingredients grown in the hotel’s own kitchen garden, including hotel-produced extra-virgin olive oil. Seasonality is the restaurant mantra at Il Melograno, which gives guests a generous helping of authentic, local Apulian cooking. Each morning, the kitchen is a riot of colour and fresh aromas as local farmers and artisans bring their produce to the white-washed door.
Photograph by Ken Spence
A world away from the everyday, Gangtey Lodge is an all-suite outpost overlooking Bhutan’s Gangtey (Phobjikha) Valley. Surrounded by mountains and forests, the Lodge offers guests spectacular views of this unspoiled landscape from which it draws inspiration for its seasonal menu. Recently extending its already authentic Bhutanese culinary offering, the Himalayan hideaway now provides guests with a private dining experience with valley views at the new Woodshed, a secluded spot just steps away from the main lodge. Guests are also invited to connect with the local community during visits to a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse, where you can experience the rural rhythms of a typical day on a family-run homestead.
An extraordinary collection of contemporary buildings, created from recycled local materials specifically designed to blend in with the estate of Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Les Sources de Caudalie is surrounded by its own vineyards and lake-filled gardens. The two-Michelin-starred La Grand Vigne Restaurant is set in a former orangery modelled on an ornamental 18th century glasshouse, where Chef Nicolas Masse has developed close relationships with local fishermen, livestock breeders, and market gardeners on the Atlantic coast and in the Graves countryside who supply him with seasonal produce. Meanwhile, the cuisine at wine bar Rouge is deeply anchored in Aquitaine region – think foie gras, wine confits and Iberian hams.
As its name suggests, Finca Serena is the epitome of farmhouse cool. Bucolic bursts of citrus trees give way to rippling hills and dramatic peaks as far as the eye can see. Traditional Mallorcan ingredients grown in the surrounding gardens are given a contemporary culinary twist, giving you a taste of modern Mediterranean cuisine. Choose to dine in the panoramic Restaurant Jacaranda, or outside among the lavender, vines and olive trees. You will also be able to take part in cooking demonstrations with the hotel’s chefs and visits to the kitchen garden.
Birdsong rings across the mountains. A fresh breeze plays through the pine forest. At Grand Forest Metsovo, getting back to nature comes easily. The Epirus region’s culinary heritage stretches back centuries, and this high-altitude hideaway is proud to share it with guests. It could be a picnic basket brimming with local meats, cheese, bread and wine for a day exploring the woods. Or an evening of fine dining among soaring views at Pines. From wine tasting to wild truffle hunting, guests are given a masterclass in modern yet modest Greek gastronomy.
As you take your first quiet step into Donna Carmela’s subtropical gardens, nature takes centre stage at this volcanic getaway on Sicily’s eastern coast. Well-travelled chef, Piergiorgio Alecci, takes the helm at La Cucina di Donna Carmela. Bringing the hotel’s garden produce directly to the table, Pergiorgio’s menu is a nod to the Mediterranean sights and citrus scents that fragrance the hotel grounds. Refined combinations and Sicilian specialties are elevated by his culinary team, which includes a pastry chef and sommelier.