If you’re planning to travel in Europe, it pays to know where to dine out. There are some world-class restaurants dotted about all over the continent, each with its own specialties.
In de Wulf
In Belgium, In de Wulf, in Heuvelland, offers whelk, mackerel, oysters, young potatoes, scallops, red mullet, golden beet, wild duck, goat’s cheese and sea buckthorn. It was once a farmhouse and the former barn and stable have now been converted into a high-class restaurant. You can also spend the night there and awake to a first-class breakfast. The chef and owner, Kobe Desramualts, aged 35, took over the restaurant from his parents 12 years ago.
La Maison Troisgros
Across the border in France, you’ll find La Maison Troisgros, in Roanne, run by the Troisgros family, who are renowned French restaurateurs. Since 1957, Jean and Pierre Troisgros have been involved in French cuisine. The Troisgros restaurant specialises in high-class cuisine and serves rich Burgundy wines, in association with the famous winemaker, Robert Serol. Their cuisine includes charolais beef, butter-poached lobster, crispy duck with pickled radish and cheese-boards with home-made jams and freshly-baked bread.
The Quique Dacosta Restaurante
The Quique Dacosta Restaurante, in Denia, Spain, uses only locally-sourced ingredients and serves unusual dishes, such as slices of tuna on a bed of caramelised, smoked kelp, with herbs and onions rings; liquid Parmesan inside a crisp layer of cocoa butter; smoked octopus; beetroot ravioli and rich desserts, such as a Bloody Mary meringue with a liquid centre. The chef, Quique Dacosta, started working in a family restaurant in 1989, when he was just 17. He is now one of Spain’s most highly-regarded restaurateurs.
le Louis XV Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel
In Monaco, Restaurant le Louis XV Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris, in Monte Carlo, offers a unique culinary experience. Located on the French Riviera, the restaurant offers a modern and authentic menu by chefs Dominique Lory and Alain Ducasse, using only fresh juices, fully-flavoured broths and spices. Their gourmet recipes include sea bass in puff pastry; poached lobster in bouillon; sea bass marinated in lemon and basil; Alpilles rack of lamb and crêpe suzettes.
Piazza Duomo, in Alba, Italy, has almost a cult following among lovers of cuisine, with its speciality dishes including cod and broccoli; carbonara and prawns; risotto with porcini mushrooms; lamb and chamomile; sirloin beef with Italian sauce and sea bass and caviar. The chef, Enrico Crippa, started his career at just 16 years of age as a commis chef in Gualtiero Marchesi’s Milan restaurant.
This is just a small taste of some of the top restaurants in Europe, which are well worth a visit. While planning your trip, always remember to check that you have the essentials needed to travel – in particular your European Health Insurance Card. The EHIC allows you to get state healthcare in other European Economic Area countries and Switzerland if you’re from the UK.
You can receive healthcare at a reduced cost, or in some places free of charge. It will cover your treatment while abroad until you return to the UK. It is not an alternative to travel insurance and you require both before travelling to Europe. Some insurers insist you have an EHIC and will often waive the excess if you have one.