Fine homes and fine dining
For serious foodies, whose ideal home requires access to the world’s finest gastronomy, Japan is an obvious first choice. For more than a decade Tokyo has topped the world Michelin restaurant rankings with more of those famous stars spread amongst its eateries than any other city in the world.
Still need convincing? Consider that as of 2020 two other Japanese cities, Kyoto and Osaka, also make the top five of the prestigious list. In case the Far East falls outside your property-hunting radar, here are five other international destinations that combine some of the world’s most desirable properties with world-class cuisine.
Second only to Tokyo for total number of Michelin stars, the French capital has 10 establishments with the highest possible 3-stars. Testament to France’s heritage as the global benchmark for haute cuisine, the current list of the most Michelin-starred chefs is dominated by French, including the number one Alain Ducasse and Pierre Gagnaire at number two.
Highly regarded for dining out with a good range of Michelin restaurants are the neighbouring 6th and 7th arrondissements and facing them across the Seine, the 8th arrondissement. All are hot spots for some of the city’s most desirable centrally located addresses, not to mention world-class shopping.
Quintessentially Parisian, the 7th is on the Rive Gauche and home to architectural delights such as the Eiffel Tower and Musée d’Orsay, as well as Rue Cler, one of the most famous streets for food in Paris. Still on the Left Bank, the 6th includes the arty neighbourhood of Saint-Germains-des-Prés.
On the Right Bank, the 8th is home to the Champs Élysées, Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde and boasts five restaurants with a 3-star rating – more than any other district. In these neighbourhoods, beautifully finished period apartments start at around €2.5m for a two-bedroom property.
Ranked respectably as the sixth most Michelin-starred city in the world, London has three 3-star restaurants. Like Paris, the UK capital is one of the go-to destinations for a top chef to include in their restaurant portfolio. That said, one of the appeals of London’s fine dining scene is diversity – these days stars are as likely to be awarded to gastropubs and curry houses as to traditional French or European chefs.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of Michelin stars are located in Prime Central London (PCL) neighbourhoods. Mayfair has the highest concentration and includes two of the 3-star establishments, owned by French chefs Ducasse and Gagnaire, with Gordon Ramsey’s Chelsea restaurant being the third.
Elsewhere, Kensington, Westminster, Belgravia and Knightsbridge won’t disappoint for choice of Michelin dining, while the City and hip eastern district of Shoreditch have plentiful options too.
To have the best choice of eateries on your doorstep, aim for PCL where prices range typically from £3m-£10m, but for a really exclusive post code such as Mayfair, expect to pay super-prime prices of £10m-plus.
The Big Apple can compete with any other capital city on just about every level, including world-class dining, and with the help of five 3-star restaurants it’s the fifth most Michelin starred city in the world. It won’t come as a surprise to learn that practically all of New York’s finest establishments are in its commercial and cultural heart Manhattan, particularly Midtown and Lower.
Like London, diversity of quality of cuisine is one of its big attractions, ranging from steak houses to the city’s famous Chinatown, not forgetting its strong Japanese offering. That said, two of its most established top restaurants are Le Bernadin and Eleven Madison Park, with French and Swiss chefs respectively.
Manhattan, home to iconic sites such as Central Park, 42nd Street and the Empire State Building, has a variety of fashionable neighbourhoods. Upper West Side and Upper East Side, next to Central Park, are popular – typical two-bedroom luxury condominiums (apartments) there start from around $1.5million. Larger budgets could try West Chelsea or Tribeca in Lower Manhattan.
Incredibly, this famous Emirate is yet to be covered by The Michelin Guide, but pressure is mounting for this to change. In the past decade, Dubai has been a rising star of the international culinary scene, attracting celebrity chefs with Michelin-star restaurants elsewhere in the world, including Ramsey, Locatelli, Alléno and the late Gary Rhodes – to open up restaurants.
Dubai’s expat lifestyle and expanding luxury developments, including some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, are the ideal environment for world-class dining. The best options are focused around Dubai Marina, Jumeirah, The Palm Jumeirah, Bluewaters and Downtown Dubai – all of which are popular residential areas.
Luxury two-bedroom apartments in one of Dubai’s newer residential communities, such as Dubai Marina or Bluewaters, start at around £500,0000. A flagship project right now is Dubai Creek Harbour, scheduled to be finished in 2021 and including a new Creek Marina and yacht club, the cable-tied Dubai Creek Tower – expected to be higher than Burj Khalifa, and a huge commercial area called Dubai Square, offering world class retail and leisure amenities.
Courchevel, French Alps
Skiers who enjoy the finest international cuisine after a hard day on the slopes should start their property search in Courchevel, the so-called Saint-Tropez of the French Alps. This famous upmarket resort, which incorporates four villages and attracts celebrities and royals, has no less than 11 Michelin stars shared between six restaurants – more than any other Alpine resort.
The star of the show is the 3-star Le 1947 at the Cheval Blanc hotel. The skiing there is equally impressive, as Courchevel is part of Les Trois Vallées, one of the world’s greatest ski areas with 600 kilometres of slopes. For one of Courchevel’s most desirable chalets, budget €5 to €10million.