#1: Ithaa in Rangali Island, Maldives
Ithaa is a 14-seater glass restaurant – the world’s first and only undersea dining joint – with a 180-degree panoramic view of sea creatures swimming overhead. A spiral staircase takes you down 5m below the surface to where sharks and rays circle.
#2: Cloud Camp heli-hiking in Canada
Cloud Camp British Columbia, which sits 1,372m above sea level, is so remote you must first take a helicopter, then hike to where your chef is already preparing dinner. Afterwards sleep it off on your own private mountain.
#3: Grotta Palazzese in Puglia, Italy
This massive cavern under a seaside hotel in Puglia province’s Polignano a Mare has been turned into a sophisticated restaurant where you can see waves crashing into the cavern down below your table.
#4: Return to the wild sleep-out in Zambia
Walk all day through Zambian wilderness and then camp out in the middle of a riverbed with your own private chef cooking dinner over a campfire. Afterwards, an armed escort stands watch for wild animals while you sleep under mosquito netting.
#5: Ninja New York in USA
Designed to look like a 15th-century Japanese feudal village full of dark passageways and blind alleys, Ninja New York employs “ninja” staff who bow, yelp, fall over and perform martial stunts while serving you sushi and sake.
#6: The Royal Dragon in Bangkok, Thailand
Not only is this restaurant one of the biggest in the world (540 waiters serving 5,000 customers at a time) but its talented staff dance, walk on water, do martial arts and fly to your table on zip wires.
#7: Basement Galley in London, UK
Lovers of the London Underground transport system will enjoy this opportunity to dine inside one of the iconic tube carriages from the Victoria Line, now housed at Walthamstow Pump Museum.
#8: Vuurtoreneiland in Amsterdam, Netherlands
This organic restaurant on Vuurtoreneiland (lighthouse island in Dutch) near Amsterdam offers a nose to tail experience, with produce sourced from its immediate surroundings. Using traditional techniques and wood fire only, a weekly changing menu is a surprise even to regular diners. On the cards are mini festivals, such as a theatre, a classic open air concert and midsummer night camping for families as well as a small boutique hotel.
#9. Onoir in Toronto, Canada
Guests order in a lit bar but are then led to a blacked-out dining room where during the two-hour dinner visually-impaired servers explain what food is being placed on the table in front of you.
#10: Lycabettus in Santorini, Greece
Seemingly floating above Santorini’s caldera on a jutting out piece of cliff, this Greek restaurant marks out its best table with two huge pink thrones. Enjoy vertiginous sea views, seagulls and great Greek wine.
#11: Redwoods Treehouse in Warkworth, New Zealand
This private dining pod sits 10m above the ground in a redwood tree. It is accessed by an elevated treetop walkway built with redwood milled on site. The open-air treehouse can seat up to 30 diners.
#12: Bel Canto in London, UK
Combine fine dining and culture at this opera-themed restaurant near Hyde Park, where the three-course gourmet French menu is served by classical opera-singing waiters. The interiors are also theatrical and audience participation, while not mandatory, is highly encouraged.
#13: Safehouse in Milwaukee, USA
If you’ve always fancied yourself as a sleuth, or if you’ve been a fan of Sherlock Holmes, here’s a chance to relive your fantasy. This 50-year-old institution, inspired by espionage movies, is inconspicuously located in an alleyway. Guests have to pass a fun and imaginative test to attain a password which will let you enter the restaurant and bar. It’s not just for grown-ups though. Even kids get their own spy mission to embark upon, along with food. Filled with hidden passageways, secret entrances, spy-holes and two-way mirrors, amuse yourself with spy games, followed by creatively named cocktails such as Spytini.
An adapted version first appeared in Silverkris.
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