Nine Superb Villas with Private Chefs
There are few more immediate ways to gain acquaintance with a place than by immersion in its food and drink. A private villa chef is perfectly positioned to provide a variety of regional delicacies, often organic and locally sourced, at times from the grounds of the property itself.
Delicate, aromatic Thai cuisine is amongst the most renowned in South East Asia. An ideal setting in which to sample it is at Samara Beachfront Lux, Koh Samui. A healthy breakfast is included in the villa’s fee, and for an ingredients shopping fee of THB500 a wonderful private chef is also included who can prepare their take on classic and contemporary Thai dishes, making the most of Koh Samui’s rich seafood produce. For an additional shopping fee guests can push the boat out with ingredient bills over THB2000 and the ultimate in luxury dining.
At Vila Flor da Vida in Barrinha, Ceará, Brazil, it is vibrant, exotic South American specialities on the menu. Breakfast is included at this gorgeous property, and for an additional fee guests can make use of the private chef who comes as part of the generous seven staff headcount at the villa. There is a fully equipped kitchen and the added authentic experience, loved by children, of collecting chicken’s eggs and vegetables from the private garden, to enhance the fresh produce served up at the dining table.
The exclusive, paradise island property of Amilla in the North Islands of the Maldives has its own separate chef’s kitchen secluded away in the staff quarters. Catering for a huge variety of food whims, a cook is included, as is grocery shopping, with a list of luxury items available at a supplement. In addition to the marvellous on call chef who can accommodate special dining requests, there is an Assistant House Master available to make snacks and light meals, as well as a cocktail lounge and sunset beach dining if desired.
The Prestige Menorca estate offers the ultimate in Spanish island life, and locally sourced wine vintages and superb Mediterranean food products are the order of the day with the cook that comes included in the villa rate. With an emphasis on real quality, guests benefit from daily breakfast as well as five lunches and five dinners for a seven night stay, with drinks available at a supplement. Other supplementary dining experiences available at this Menorcan retreat include wine tastings and beach picnics.
Ultra-luxurious Private Mykonos in the Greek islands has a villa chef available upon request, as well as two al fresco barbeque areas, a professional chef’s kitchen, chilled pantry and bar corner. As part of the Greek food Odyssey that can be embarked upon from Private Mykonos, the property is just 300m away from the superb gourmet restaurants of elegant place-to-be Kalo Livadi beach.
Mountains as well as luxury islands offer aspirational settings for enjoyment of fine dining. A wonderful spot to savour French cuisine is the luxury One Oak chalet in Combloux, Haute Savoie. With a cook included in the villa rate, One Oak enjoys a sumptuous catering offering. In addition to a Champagne reception, a professional chef dinner on five nights is on offer with beer and soft drinks included in the price and a selection of house wines available to sample. There is a generous daily breakfast and afternoon tea and even a bespoke supper for children staying at the chalet, all to be enjoyed against the spectacular backdrop of the French Alps.
Villa Gella in Bulgaria also benefits from astonishing views, of the picturesque Rhodope Mountains. An experienced in-house chef is included within the rate and the villa comes on a half board basis characterised by wonderfully fresh meals making the most of the local organic produce. The villa is a fascinating place to stay during the wild boar season and offers opportunities to sample Bulgarian game throughout much of the year.
Discerning travellers have long been drawn to Italy for an authentic sampling of its renowned wines and cuisine. Castello Bonaparte in Perugia comes with a breakfast set up across a two hour window daily aside from Sundays. For a supplement breakfast food and beverages can be included, and at additional cost lunch and dinner can be requested, all expertly prepared by a professional chef. If the additional service of grocery shopping is required, the villa owner’s own produce and wines from their Tuscan vineyards can form part of the supply. The lovely grounds and lemon tree grove provide the optimal setting to enjoy the cooking.
The rolling slopes of Lazio outside Rome also play host to a special place for Italian dining, at the imposing Villa Elda. A spectacular dining area and well-equipped kitchen provide everything necessary for the private chef that is available at a supplement. Breakfast service from the cook is included six days a week, and food can also be put on the guests’ accounts. Further bespoke pleasures available at extra cost include a drinks service and personalised concierge services, all to be enjoyed in the timeless setting of the landscaped gardens and Monterosi lake.
With such a plethora of options available for private dining, there is a limitless quantity of culinary adventures to embark upon.
By Phileas French, Travel Writer