de Groots’ International Adventures

The de Groots office has gone international this week, and our culinary travels have taken our palates around the world.

While we have a passion for the Best Restaurants of Australia, we also love to explore the rest of the world’s culinary destinations. We have now expanded our website to showcase the brilliant restaurants throughout the leading cities of the world. Search the international section to marvel at the dining destinations of Bangkok, Dubai, Hong Kong, Rome, Barcelona and many more. And if you’ve been lucky enough to dine at any of them, we would love to hear about your experience! Email our web editor Edwina and tell us about your magnificent meal –

Our travels this week took us to  the mystical land of Morocco –  not really, but we had a vicarious experience through Sydney’s Souk in the City. The de Groots team were filming for and Eat, Play & Stay on Foxtel’s Aurora Channel 183. Scott Winter, our Top 10 Gourmet Destinations Magazine editor and host of the show, donned a traditional Berber turban and was having so much fun with the snake-bearing belly dancer, that he forgot where he parked his camel. From the moment we arrived we were showered in rose petals – that’s Omar’s typical welcome – and then sat back to enjoy his Omar’s warm hospitality and exotic, flavoursome food.

From cobra-toting belly dancers to mountainous ranges, our film crew then shot the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon. We were guests of The Carrington Hotel, where we filmed and dined in the Grand Dining Room one of the last Victorian dining rooms still operating in Australia. We also spent time filming Wolgan Valley Resort, set amidst the scenery of Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Site. This is the most environmentally responsible spa resort in Australia and is built around a fully restored homestead that Charles Darwin once wrote from.  Nestled within its own private conservation and nature reserve,this beautiful retreat is most definitely world-class.

While we were seeking out the brilliant new restaurants of the Australian dining scene, some of our team have been lucky enough to embark on culinary adventures overseas. Yolanda de Groot recently returned from Thailand where she stayed in her favourite Bangkok hotel, The Mandarin Oriental. An experience at this magnificent hotel is a is a must for any Bangkok travellers, whether it be for a refined meal, the spectacular treats of High Tea, or a lesson from their famous cooking school. She returned with a personal recommendation of China House Restaurant – a richly decorated Thai pavilion reminiscent of old world Northern Thai architecture. Venturing on to Phuket, she attended the spectacular cooking school of Mom Tri’s Boathouse and brought home souvenirs unlike any others – traditional Thai cooking skills. The Banyan Tree Hotel’s signature restaurant Saffron capped off a delicious adventure and added to the list of reasons why we’re itching to our own trips to Thailand!

Maureen de Groot

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