6. Dinner in the sky, Belgium
Imagine dining whilst floating 150ft off the ground, legs dangling freely as your seat gently sways in the breeze. This unsettling concept promises to elevate the dining experience for the 22 strapped-in dinners that perch around a six-ton table suspended by a giant crane. Based in Brussels, the restaurant can be hired anywhere in the world from Paris to Niagara Falls – all for sky-high prices, of course.
7. Sarastro, London
Opulent, gaudy and unforgettably theatrical, this over-the-top opera-themed restaurant has been entrancing diners since 1996. Private boxes and elegant balconies in a myriad of styles, from Rococo to Byzantine, overlook the bustling restaurant. Every nook and cranny is crammed with gold furnishings, velvet drapes, a multitude of ornate lamps and an overwhelming hotchpotch of stage props, flamboyant artworks and theatrical curiosities. The ladies’ toilets also seem to be decorated with scenes from the Karma Sutra.
8. El Diablo, Lanzarote
Taking the barbeque to the extreme, Lanzarote’s El Diablo restaurant cooks its meat over an active volcano. Built over a hole in the ground, nine layers of volcanic basalt were needed to fortify the grill against the singeing 500-degree temperatures emitted from the bubbling lava below. And the views aren’t bad either – the restaurant boasts panoramic vistas of Timanfaya National Park’s expanse of red sands, rocky peaks and gaping chasms.
9. Muru’s "pop-down", Finland
Putting a fresh twist on the urban obsession with pop-ups, Muru became the world’s first "pop-down" restaurant. In the southern Finnish town of Lohja, customers were invited to plunge 80 metres underground, to dine in an old limestone mine. In the sultry, rocky enclave lit with suspended lamps and flickering candles at each table, diners could enjoy a menu inspired by "Elemental Earth" featuring imaginative dishes such as flambéed escargot in Pernod.
10. Cat Café Calico, Japan
Once the preserve of eccentric spinsters, surrounding yourself with a posse of feline friends is now big business in Japan. In fact, fluffy havens like Cat Café Calico are fast becoming dating hotspots, with weekend reservations essential for those wishing to sip a latte or surf the net amongst its twenty-odd cats. Like Tokyo’s other fifty or so popular cat cafés, this place helps to fill the void left by the city’s cramped no-pet apartments and hectic lifestyle.