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While the last few months indoors have seen many of us experimenting in the kitchen, there is nothing better than leaving the pleasures of the table to the professionals!

With the chilly season approaching for those of us in the northern hemisphere, sitting down to a well-set table for a tasty meal and a glass of two of delicious wine is far too tempting.

Here is our selection of the top villas offering the best culinary experiences.

Culinary journeys

Lothian Estate

  • Africa, South Africa, Cape Town
  • Guest up to 16

A stay at Lothian Estate is an enriching experience for nature and wine lovers. Resting on the banks of the Palmiet River, the property offers plenty of outdoor activities, from fishing in the river or private lake, to jet skiing, hiking and wakeboarding. In the surrounding grounds flourishes an award-winning vineyard, which has been grown in a traditional, non-interventionist approach, respecting the land and the local climate. Totally secure, the accommodation is composed of eight suites in the main house, with spectacular views over the surrounding landscapes, and plenty of convivial indoor and outdoor spaces.
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Castello di Vicarello

  • Italy, Tuscany, Tuscan Coast
  • Guest up to 18

Boasting 900 years of history, Castello di Vicarello offers nine comfortable suites decorated in traditional Tuscan style, along with two swimming pools, and amazing terraces with wonderful views over the Tuscan hills. Over 50 varieties of vegetables are grown in its organic garden, ready to grace the table following the traditional Tuscan recipes that the passionate owner has collected in a cookery book. The property also produces award-winning wines, to complement an excellent dining experience. Cooking classes and wine tasting experiences are highly recommended, inviting guests to take home a deeper knowledge of local flavours.
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Villa Mas Mateu & 2 Guest Houses

  • Spain, Costa Brava
  • Guest up to 36

This large estate in Costa Brava – 16 bedrooms between the main building and the guest houses – is a unique example of Catalonian hospitality. The highlight of a stay at Mas Mateu is the cuisine; the chef, pâtissier, sommelier and butler all have backgrounds in Michelin star restaurants, and they take pride in offering guests exceptional dining experiences, which are complemented by an exceptional cellar. With 12 Michelin star restaurants nearby, the area is a gastronomes’ delight! The property also offers its guests an unparalleled plethora of exciting activities such as horse riding lessons, quad biking excursions, hot air balloon rides and even light aircraft experiences, for a collection of unforgettable adventures both on and off the dining table.
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Maison Montespan

  • France, Paris
  • Guest up to 10

A truly exceptional home-away-from-home, this elegant Parisian mansion can host up to 10 guests. It does not lack in entertainment, with a home cinema, a gym, a heated indoor pool, and a pretty terrace for al fresco dining that can be arranged with a private chef. The grand piano and artwork enhance the feeling of cosiness that comes from being in a private home. To live life like a true Parisian, the concierge will be able to reserve a table in the best restaurants in The City of Light, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy the best of French cuisine. As for beverages, the maison has a private liquor cellar – ideal for a nightcap before another day of exploration.
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Masseria Antonio Augusto

  • Italy, Apulia
  • Guest up to 18

Bathed in sunny Mediterranean weather, this nine-bedroom property is the perfect destination not only for summer holidays but for breaks all throughout the year. With an oversized swimming pool, a spa and sauna, an indoor pool and a Turkish bath, this oasis of relaxation offers a healthy menu too. Guests can in fact employ the services of a private chef to create original dishes from locally-grown, seasonal produce. If all of this gets a little too healthy, the area is rich in wonderful wineries whose product is becoming increasingly popular.
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Chalet Aspen

  • France, French Alps, Megève
  • Guest up to 13

Born as a farmers’ market town, the village of Megeve has built on its tradition of farming to become one of the best villages in the Alps for gastronomy lovers. Over 45 local farms supply the numerous restaurants, four of which have a Michelin star. This tradition of cuisine has inspired the service at Chalet Aspen, where guests can enjoy daily breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner. Skiers are perfectly catered for with the chalet only a few minutes from the nearest lift, whilst the property has wonderful facilities for everyone, including a heated swimming pool, a cinema room and even a grand piano.
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