Do you care about the view from your seat. Does it matter as much as the food on your plate? Andy Lynes offers a guide
There's one ingredient that can raise a restaurant meal above the ordinary, but you won't find it in any kitchen. A great lake, mountain or city view can transform a memorable meal into an unforgettable one.
There's an ever-changing view from Arcadian Rhodes (0845 3 555 333; pocruises. co.uk), Gary Rhodes's restaurant on board superliner Arcadia. Glimpse Caribbean beaches as you tuck into fillet of beef béarnaise and buttered black tiger prawns.
Taste Scottish baronial style at the remote Ardanaiseig Hotel, Kilchrenan by Taynuilt, Argyll (01866 833333; ardanaiseig.com) and drink in the views of Loch Awe over oatmeal soup with confit cabbage and ravioli of foie gras.
The glass-domed Evo restaurant seems to perch precariously on the top of the Hesperia Tower Hotel & Convention Centre, Gran Via 144, L'Hospitalet del Llobregat, Barcelona (00 34 93 413 5030; Hesperia.com). Stunning city views complement Michelin-starred chef Santi Santamaria's dishes, including coca bread served with razor clams, aubergines and snails.
For uninterrupted views of Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc head for Windows restaurant at the Hotel d'Angleterre, Quai du Mont-Blanc 17, Geneva (00 41 22 906 5555; dangleterrehotel. com). There, dishes on the menu include veal cutlet cooked en cocotte and served with morels.
The Grasse valley stretches out below the terrace of Le Mas Candille, Boulevard Clément Rebuffel, Mougins (00 33 4 92 28 43 43; lemascandille.com), where you can sample chef Serge Gouloumès' blue lobster in court-boullion with star anise or roast pigeon with quinoa soufflé.
It could be the beautiful views over the ocean to Robben Island and up at Table Mountain that draws celebrities such as Kate Moss and Charlize Theron to the Atlantic, The Table Bay Hotel, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Quay 6, Cape Town (00 27 21 406 5000; tablebayhotel.co.za). Or perhaps it's the thought of choosing a fine South African wine from the restaurant's cellar, one of the largest on the continent.