Mother’s Day is just around the corner. (26th March to be precise.) If Mum deserves more than tulips and choccies this year - and let’s just fantasise that money isn’t an obstacle - here are five of the most jaw-dropping restaurants in Europe where you can give her a treat she’ll remember forever.
1. Topaz, Istanbul, Turkey
Trekking to Turkey for dinner definitely constitutes a schlep, but you’ll be glad you made the journey. Topaz isn’t nicknamed The Jewel of Istanbul for nothing. The delicious dishes are a blend of Ottoman and Mediterranean cuisine. But it’s the views that steal the show, with stunning panoramas overlooking the Bosphorus and the city skyline beyond.
2. Le Calandre, Sarmeola di Rubano, Italy
Every Mum loves Italian, don’t they? And a taste of the Med doesn’t come much better than when it’s served at Le Calandre. The kitchen is run by Max Alajmo, who is the youngest chef ever to earn three Michelin stars. The menu is deeply rooted in Italian classics, but expect a contemporary twist.
3. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
Sixty miles south of Barcelona, in a quiet suburb of Girona awaits El Celler de Can Roca - a place so in-demand that they have to employ three people just to turn anticipatory diners down on the phone. It’s run by three brothers who seriously know their stuff when it comes to wining and dining. And they have three Michelin stars to prove it. Oh and El Celler de Can Roca was ranked the best restaurant in the world in 2013. So, you know. Freestyle interpretations of Catalan cuisine are the order of the day.
4. Le Chateaubriand, Paris, France
It’s the trendiest eating spot in Paris and for good reason. The food is sensational. In fact chef Iñaki Aizpitarte is so confident in his improvised, off-the-cuff culinary creations that you have no say in what you eat at Le Chateaubraind. There’s one fixed tasting menu on offer - paired with wines from around the world - that you can tuck in to for €70. Bistro dining doesn’t get much finer, although it's probably best that Mum is an omnivore.
5. La Pergola, Rome, Italy
It’s one of the highest points in Rome, the interior decor is stunning and you will never get a more spine-tingling view of St Peter’s Basilica and the rest of Vatican City. You could eat beans on toast up here and the experience would be spectacular. Yet La Pergola’s food is every bit as special as the views - head chef Heinz Beck has three Michelin stars to his name.
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