Five Best: Hotels for picnics
Bring on the bubbly, says Keely Tharp, as she dines alfresco
Saturday 30 July 2005
Le Mas Candille, France
To celebrate a new Michelin star, this hotel is planning to "Pamper With A Hamper". Picnic beneath olive and cypress trees in the hotel grounds, or venture to Cannes and Nice. Foie gras, salmon, lobster, raspberry tart, macaroons, chocolate, cheese and wine are some of the treats. The hotel, once an old farmhouse, now has a Shiseido spa and, of course, the restaurant Candille.
Le Mas Candille, Rebuffel, Mougins, France (00 33 492 28 43 43; www.lemascandille.com). Doubles start at €304 (£206), room only. Picnics cost €150 (£210) for two.
Bushmans Kloof, South Africa
Picnickers at Bushmans Kloof can opt for views of 10,000-year-old rock art or wild game. When staying at the retreat, on a private wilderness reserve, guests choose from activities ranging from bird-watching and game drives at dusk to fly-fishing and mountain biking. Sandwiched between the mountains and plains, the reserve is home to an immense variety of plant and animal life. Picnic delicacies include smoked meats, freshly baked bread, spinach and feta filo parcels, fresh fruit, roasted nuts, dessert, champagne and wine. And to revitalise after a long day's exploring, guests can relax in the hotel's new spa.
Bushmans Kloof, Clanwilliam, South Africa (00 27 21 685 2598; www.bushmanskloof.co.za). Doubles start at 3,800 Rands (£310) full-board, including activities and picnic hampers.
Baglioni Hotel, England
With its sumptuous Italian interiors, guests may not want to venture further than the front door of the Baglioni Hotel in Kensington. The hotel is the latest addition to the Baglioni group and opened just over a year ago. However, it's making use of its enviable location this summer - just over the road from Kensington Gardens - by offering picnic hampers to its guests. Featuring an array of delicacies such as Italian salamis and cheeses, the only thing that can't be guaranteed is the Italian weather to accompany it.
Baglioni Hotel (020-7368 5700; www.baglionihotellondon.com), 60 Hyde Park Gate, London. Doubles start at £247, room only. Picnics start at £90 for two.
Park Hyatt, Japan
For a cosmopolitan take on the concept, the Park Hyatt Tokyo is offering a "Picnic at the Park" this summer. It includes a bus tour of Mount Fuji and Hakone, where guests can stop and enjoy the contents of their hampers, or the picnics can be eaten in the Yoyogi, Shinjuku Gyoen and Central parks, just minutes from the hotel. Included are hors d'oeuvres, a choice of main, salad, dessert and wine; picnics can also be tailor-made. And if street-level views fail to impress, the hotel provides a spectacular aerial panorama of the city from the top 14 floors of the 52-storey Shinjuku Park tower.
Park Hyatt Tokyo (00 81 3 5322 1234; www.tokyo.park.hyatt.com), 3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo, Japan. Doubles start at JPY55,000 (£276) including breakfast and picnic.
Lilianfels Blue Mountains, Australia
Overlooking the Blue Mountains, at this newly refurbished Victorian hotel guests can picnic in the hotel gardens or explore the rainforest, canyons, waterfalls and caves of the mountains, hamper in hand. The Gourmet Picnic includes pies, salad, smoked salmon, local cheese, fresh fruit and cake. The Bushwalking Picnic provides a selection of sandwiches, salad, fruit and dessert.
Lilianfels Blue Mountains, Echo Point, Katoomba, Australia (00 61 02 4780 1200; www.lilianfels.com.au). Doubles from AUS$430 (£190), room only. Picnics from AUS$30 (£13).
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