The strong Euro and weak pound is proving highly beneficial to many fine dining hotels and restaurants across the UK. The luxury portfolio, Relais & Châteaux is experiencing a distinct surge in visitor numbers from Europe and in particular from France and Germany.

As Jacques-Olivier Chauvin, CEO of Relais & Châteaux, arrived in London this week for the launch of ‘A Taste of Relais & Châteaux’ – a culinary tour around the UK & Ireland – with recipes from our leading chefs, the message is clear: “the UK has become the destination for a weekend break, for our hedonistic European counterparts.” The cookbook, a culinary ‘first’, has been sponsored by Yes Chef! Magazine, part of Network Publishing Ltd. and comprises nearly 100 recipes from 29 Relais & Châteaux establishments in the UK and Ireland.

“In the past we flocked across the Channel to take advantage of cheaper prices but now the tables have well and truly turned.” says Malcolm Lewis of Longueville Manor in Jersey, chairman of the UK delegation for Relais & Châteaux. “The UK offers a standard of luxury and fine dining on a par with any other gourmet destination, and our European cousins are reaping the benefit of the strength of the Euro. We’re not complaining as our hotels and restaurants are reporting record visitor numbers from high spending Europeans.” “The pre-launch copies of the book sold very fast and we are already looking into printing French and German translations.” Adds Jacques Olivier Chauvin, CEO of Relais & Châteaux.

A Taste of Relais & Châteaux comprises nearly 100 recipes from 29 Relais & Châteaux properties across the UK and Ireland. Recipes range from the simple ‘Lemon Pudding’ from Gravetye Manor, through to the more complex ‘Roast Loin of Dorset Lamb and Braised Shoulder Shepherd’s Pie’ from Summer Lodge. And for the really ambitious wanting to be technically challenged, Heston Blumenthal’s famous ‘Sound of the Sea’ from the Fat Duck: ideally to be eaten while listening to the sound of waves on one’s iPod.

Other chefs who have contributed to the cookbook include: Raymond Blanc (Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons); Alain Roux (The Waterside Inn), John Campbell (The Vineyard at Stockcross) and Michael Caines (Gidleigh Park), each of whom has been awarded ‘Grand Chef’ status by Relais & Châteaux. All of the chefs featured have an enviable collection of Michelin stars, AA Rosettes and other industry accolades.

The book is published by Network Publishing Ltd., priced at £30 and is available online at and It is also available at Relais & Châteaux properties, the Maison des Relais & Châteaux in Knightsbridge, the French Book shop in South Kensington, and exclusively in Harvey Nichols nationwide.