30 Castle Restaurants Around the World (Slideshow)
July 30, 2013
Yes, you too can dine like a king or queen
30. Estancia la Candelaria, Argentina
Built in 1894 by a French architect, this castle was constructed in the style of similar royal residences on the banks of the Loire River in Paris. It was commissioned by the local nobleman Don Orestes who named it in honor of his wife Candelaria Marble. The restaurant in the main dining hall is almost always packed and serves quintessential Argentine dishes made with local ingredients.
Dish to try: Traditional Argentine asado barbecue.
29. Dragsholm Castle, Denmark
While it may be located in the oldest castle in Denmark, which is also rumored to be haunted, the restaurant Slotskøkkenet is known for serving innovative gourmet cuisine with dishes that use beet and elderberry garnishes for the game. The kitchen is also an original part of the baroque-era bastion. Dish to try: Pickled mushrooms with raw squid
28. Xara Palace, Malta
The legend goes that when the knights of Saint John arrived in Malta they were granted a city which they named Mdina. Then in the 17th century the Xara Palace was built high on a fortified hill as a residence for the Moscati Parisio, a local noble family. Today, as the Xara Palace Relais & Châteaux, it’s a family-run, boutique hotel. That family atmosphere extends to the kitchens where sibling chefs Kevin and Adrian Bonello run the restaurant De Mondion, which was built atop the bastion walls with a full view of the medieval town.
Dish to try: Stuffed saddle of rabbit with onion and fennel root relish
27. Taj Lake Palace Hotel, India
Built in 1746 as a residence for the Mewar dynasty royals on the banks of Pichola Lake in Rajasthan, the Taj Lake Palace was constructed to seem as if it were floating on the water. Once it was converted to a hotel, the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, the King of Nepal, and Jacqueline Kennedy stayed there. It was also a location for the James Bond film Octopussy. The hotel’s famed Neel Kamal restaurant (meaning “blue lotus” in Hindi) serves guests rich dishes that showcase the vegetarian-focused tastes of Mewar all prepared with local ingredients. Visitors can dine in a room decked out with rich silks, ornate wood carvings, and imperial columns.
Dish to try: Mathania Lal Murg, a chicken dish with tomato, turmeric, coriander, and other Indian ingredients
26. Óbidos Castle, Portugal
In 1292 King Dinis gifted his lovely new bride the entire town of Obidos leading to its unofficial name of Queen’s Town. Since then the castle has been decked out in all the religious and historical finery associated with kings and queens of Portugal and was often used as a weekend getaway from court for the royals. It’s since been listed as one of the seven Marvels of Portugal and is currently on the list to become a UNESCO World Heritage site. Dinner at the Pousada de Obidos restaurant offers up a feast of regional delicacies paired with the best local wines.
Dish to try: Carre De Borrego
25. Oheka Castle Hotel & Estates, New York
This luxurious, family-owned French-style château, located on the Gold Coast of Long Island, serves up award-winning cuisine in an authentic European setting. Guests can enjoy signature dishes in the hotel's restaurant or a bottle of wine and small plates in the hotel bar and lounge.
Dish to try: Chicken stuffed with broccoli rabe, Fontina cheese, roasted peppers, and garlic sausage over couscous with fig purée drizzle
24. Hotel Castle Liebenstein, Germany
Prepare yourself to feast medieval-style at this small, family run hotel situated in the Middle Rhine Valley in Germany. Whether dining amongst suits of armor in the Knight's Hall or dining al fresco over the Rhine River Valley, Hotel Castle Liebenstein is an unforgettable experience.
Dish to try: Traditional German fried pork with potato salad
23. Parador de Jaen, Spain
Featuring breathtaking views of the Sierra Morena hills and Sierra Nevada mountains, the restaurant in this 13th century Arabic-style fortress dazzles guests with both local specialties, including "ajo blanco" (garlic soup) and "pipirrana" (mixed vegetable salad), and international dishes alike.
Dish to try: Ajo Blanco soup made with garlic, olive oil, almonds, and bread
22. Thornbury Castle, England
At Thornbury Castle, you'll find a modern take on internationally-inspired dishes along with traditional English favorites, all created using only fresh ingredients, often sourced from the castle's gardens. Combined with wines from the castle's own vineyard, and you have a locavore's dream come true.
Dish to try: Roasted rump of veal with truffle gnocchi, chervil root, smoked garlic, broad beans, and foie gras velouté
21. Sababurg Castle, Germany
Legend has it that Sleeping Beauty slept in this castle for 100 years before a kiss saved her. Today, guests can experience "Sleeping Beauty Tea," an afternoon service of rose tea with scones and rose jam. Traditional German cuisine is also available for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Dish to try: Consommé with venison, apple sherry, forest mushrooms, and vegetable pearls
20. Hôtel Du Château De Chissay, France
At La Table du Roy, a gothic-style restaurant offering dishes inspired by the region, hotel patrons enjoy refined cuisine in a royal setting. Whether dining from three tasting menus or à la carte, we're certain the prailine cappuccino with nougat ice cream will be a fitting end to your meal.
Dish to try: Artichoke risotto with Iberian ham chips and shaved Parmesan
19. Domaine de la Tortiniere, France
Offering three tasting menus and à la carte options as well, The Domaine de la Tortinière's restaurant highlights many ingredients from the rich Touraine region, including Marigny Marmande truffles, Racan pigeon, and Sainte-Maure de Touraine goat's cheese. Cooking classes for groups of eight are also available.
Dish to try: Duckling breast fillet, herb polenta, and crispy salad
18. Château de Mirambeau, France
Located where the vineyards of Bordeaux and Cognac meet, food and wine lovers will easily get their fill of world-renowned French gastronomy at Château de Mirambeau. Another unique feature of the castle is the Cognathèque, a room dedicated to wine and cognac tastings.
Dish to try: Poached half lobster with shellfish and coconut milk sauce, mashed fennel, and local white beans
17. Amberley Castle, England
A unique luxury hotel located in the picturesque village of Amberley, this magnificent 900-year-old castle has a long held reputation for delivering outstanding cuisine. Whether dining in the Queen's Room or the Great Room, you will be guaranteed a fine gastronomic experience.
Dish to try: Sussex beef sirloin with herb purée, wild mushrooms, roast shallot broad beans, and red wine sauce
16. Parador De Santiago de Compostela, Spain
This famous Spanish parador features two dining options: the restaurant Dos Reis and the restaurant Enxebre, which offers traditional Galician cooking. Be sure to sample the "pulpo a feira" (octopus and potatoes dressed with olive oil and paprika) and their house empanada (savory pie) as well.
Dish to try: Seared turbot with steamed potatoes and collard greens
15. Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Canada
Dramatically overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the majestically-turreted Chateau Frontenac offers four dining options that each provide innovative, seasonal fare sourced locally and regionally. One restaurant, Le Café de la Terrasse, also features lavish buffets, some of which have specific themes such as seafood on Friday evenings.
Dish to try: Pig tail black pudding with garlic potato puree, onion marmalade, arugula, and grilled apples
14. Balfour Castle, Scotland
Dubbed the most northerly castle hotel in the world, Balfour Castle's exquisite dining options feature award-winning local beef, the finest seafood fished from local waters, and delicate herbs and robust root vegetables from the castle's local larder. Don't miss the chef's signature starter, Crab Tian.
Dish to try: Halibut with aubergine purée and sweet peppers spruced with white wine vinegar, garlic, and thyme
13. Castle on the Hudson, New York
A Zagat-rated winner of five stars from The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, Castle on the Hudson's Equus Restaurant is composed of three splendid rooms: the historic, French-influenced Oak Room; the elegant Tapestry Room, and the airy Garden Room. Wine tastings and a Sunday brunch are also available.
Dish to try: Rack of Hudson Valley lamb with spring vegetable fricassee, gratin dauphins, and rosemary essence
12. Dromoland Castle, Ireland
Combining a wealth of fresh, locally-sourced produce with an extensive selection of dining options, including à la carte, gastronomic, and daily table d’hôte menus, there is something for everyone at Dromoland Castle. Be sure to pick up a copy of the Dromoland Castle Cookbook while you're there.
Dish to try: Dromoland Irish lamb stew with vegetables and potatoes
11. Ashford Castle, Ireland
Ashford Castle has entertained guests long before it became a hotel, and today's patrons can expect creative cooking, innovative menus, and inspired use of seasonal ingredients, which combine to create the ultimate fine dining experience. Located in the heart of the castle is the George V Restaurant, one of the premiere castle restaurants in Ireland.
Dish to try: Crème brulée of Irish goats cheese with golden raisins, port reduction, and white balsamic vinegar
10. The Fairmont Empress Hotel, Canada
Sitting majestically at the corner of Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbour and the vibrant city center, this luxurious establishment boasts four dining options, all focused on a farm to fork philosophy. The "hot-ticket" event of the summer is the Fairmont Empress's Magical Martini evenings, featuring culinary pairings from the hotel's chefs and their mixologists.
Dish to try: Vancouver Island wild Pacific salmon with green pea sticky rice, bacon, tomato, and cold pressed olive oil
9. Hôtel de la Cité, France
With six dining options, the Hôtel de la Cité's gastronomic reputation rests on its Michelin-starred restaurant, La Barbacane. Located in the heart of the hotel, it features magnificent fireplaces, high ceilings, and cathedral chairs and offers a menu that combines the freshest local ingredients with innovative recipes and impeccable attention to detail.
Dish to try: Foie gras with rhubarb chutney and balsamic vinegar, toast, and salad
8. Ruthin Castle, Wales
You can live out your King Arthur fantasies at Ruthin Castle. Make sure to attend one of Ruthin's "Jester's Feasts," a medieval-themed dinner modeled on the legendary feasts of the Earl of Warwick, and grab a bite at Bertie's award-winning dining room, whose menu changes frequently to best utilize local ingredients.
Dish to try: Fillet of Welsh black beef served with thyme rosti, wilted spinach, glazed baby carrots, and port jus
7. Château de Bagnols, France
A wildly romantic five-star hotel, Château de Bagnols is everything a castle should be, complete with a moat, drawbridge, and a restaurant that offers its guests traditional local cuisine with a contemporary twist. Picnic lunches and wine tastings will make your romantic stay at Château de Bagnols complete.
Dish to try: Foie gras terrine with seasonal chutney and toasted country bread
6. Swinton Park, England
Food plays a prominent role at this luxury castle hotel in the Yorkshire Dales. From their commitment to minimizing food miles with a four-acre kitchen garden to their award winning restaurant and cooking school, guests of Swinton Park can be sure to enjoy a delicious, authentic English experience.
Dish to try: Fillet of Scottish halibut with white beans, poached white cabbage, smoked chicken stock, and confit chicken wing
5. Peckforton Castle, England
Dining at Peckforton Castle is truly a special occasion. Their 1851 Restaurant, holder of 3 AA Rosettes and a Taste Cheshire Award, treats diners to a gastronomic extravaganza featuring carefully selected, locally-grown produce. An unforgettable evening can also be had at a medieval banquet in the heart of the castle.
Dish to try: Peckforton beer-battered sustainable cod with chips and mushy peas
4. Hotel Burg Wernberg, Germany
Dating back to the 12th century, this castle hotel entrances guests with the Gothic charm of the building and the contemporary appeal of the cuisine. Grand Chef Thomas Kellermann has created a sophisticated menu that showcases vegetables, herbs, spices, and regional ingredients, including game from the nearby forests.
Dish to try: Cold horseradish and celery soup with shrimp and red and green apple
3. Castel Monastero, Italy
The gourmet restaurants at Castel Monastero, "Contrada" and "La Cantina," both led by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, highlight the true essence of Tuscan and Italian cuisine and feature the finest dishes and freshest ingredients from the region. Cooking classes and guided tours to various wine regions are also available.
Dish to try: Lobster spaghetti with clams and chillies
2. Hotel Schloss Fuschl Resort and Spa, Austria
Nestled in Austria's "Sound of Music" Salzkammergut region, the historic Schloss Fuschl, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, features four dining options and an on-site winery that provide guests an unforgettable epicurean journey. Cooking classes, wine tastings, and tours of the hotel's wine cellar are also available.
Dish to try: "Schloss Fuschl" cake made from Dark chocolate and hazelnuts, filled with a apricot preserves, and topped with whipped truffle cream and Marc de Champagne
1. The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Canada
With eight dining options and a wine bar to choose from, you're guaranteed to dine like a king or queen at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Whatever your craving might be Canadian, Italian, Bavarian, Japanese, or even health-conscious options such as gluten-free, macrobiotic, raw, and vegan – you won't leave this castle hotel hungry.
Dish to try: Fried suckling pig terrine with Brussels sprouts, two kinds of apples, and wheat beer jus