Going on holiday might be off the cards right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t daydream about your next adventure. From tables for two perched on a Greek beach to picnic benches overlooking snowy slopes, we’ve rounded up the best tables with a view for some serious armchair escapism.
Visit this peaceful Ionian island to beach-hop by boat, swim in dazzling cobalt waters, and graze your way through meltingly soft feta, local olives, just-caught fish and note-perfect lemon tart. For fish or seafood, have dinner at Mills, where tables are so close to the ouzo-clear water that you’ll be tempted to jump in for a swim after your meal.
Perched among olive groves sits Fireflies and Figs, a little settlement of yurts where food is the focus. Breakfast is served on the very edge of the valley, under a wooden pergola complete with up-cycled dresser and pretty tiles reclaimed from a church in nearby Penne. Feast on homemade banana bread, freshly squeezed melon juice and golden granola.
Ütia Las Vegas is everything you’d expect from a slope-side refuge – sturdy wooden tables, low beams, chequered cushions and disused wooden snowploughs, with the day’s newspapers hanging from them. Order the Bombardino, a local drink rich enough to be a dessert. Sip this eggnog and brandy blend (served hot, with a frothy whipped cream head) on the balcony upstairs for the most impressive mountain views.
At Club Marvy, the adults-only Değirmen restaurant offers an intimate atmosphere. Sat on top of a cliff, it enjoys sensational sunset views – tuck into an à la carte menu of artichoke salad, lamb kebab, and deconstructed pavlova while the sun paints the sky blood orange as it disappears behind the mountains.
Set amid chestnut trees with the rugged mountainous beauty of the Kissamos region as a backdrop, Milia is a beautifully renovated collection of 15th-century stone buildings. The restaurant serves traditional Cretan “humble gastronomy”, such as wild greens soup and grilled aubergine spread, as well as roast baby goat, lamb with herbs, and bureki courgette pot pie cooked in a wood stove. Enjoy it al fresco overlooking the lush green hills.
Mellby Klockargard is what Swedes call a smultronställe (wild strawberry place) – a little gem that you would really rather keep to yourself. Newly renovated in a romantic and charmingly bohemian way, this b&b opens only in the summer months. Guests can also enjoy Mellby’s magical garden, full of secret spots for drinking freshly brewed espresso.
Stedsans in the Woods is a unique foodie settlement, where the chefs’ simple cooking techniques create bright and balanced dishes for guests to enjoy under an ethereal tent in the middle of the forest. The whole evening is about sharing. Guests sit around long tables on animal skins, passing plates down the table, pouring each other wine and dishing out large platters of food to each other.
Set in the hills above the city, Jardin des Douars is an oasis of palms, plants and monkey puzzle trees. The French-owned hotel is a calm retreat of 25 rooms, spaced out between a main ksar building and various terracotta villas in Jardin des Douars’ tropical gardens. Come dinnertime, sprawl out in the sunken, cushioned area of the hotel’s main restaurant, Le Ksar. It’s a palatial room decked out in burnt orange and red hues, boasting spectacular views of the gardens and the argan tree-filled valley below.
La Bastide de Gordes is replete with Napoleonic-era portraits, intricate ironwork twisting around curved stone staircases, and staff dressed in traditional ‘costumes’ of long socks, tweed waistcoats and bowler hats. Elegant French couples sprawl under white parasols next to the slick, tree-lined pool; families in their Sunday best clink champagne glasses beneath an awning of pale green leaves on the orangery’s terrace; and wedding parties take photographs against the backdrop of Gordes’ stone houses.