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Botin – Madrid, Spain

Founded in 1725 by Frenchman Jean Botin and his wife, Botin is the oldest restaurant in the world still running today, according to the Guinness Book of Records. It serves traditional Castilian food cooked in a cast iron wood-fired oven as old as the restaurant itself.

Famous guests throughout history

Ernest Hemingway was reportedly a regular and the restaurant is mentioned in the book Fortunata y Jacinta by Benito Perez Galdos, published in 1886. The artist Francisco de Goya worked as a waiter at Sobrino de Botin while waiting to get accepted into the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

On the menu

The house specialty of roast suckling pig, cooked the old-fashioned Spanish way, is mentioned in the closing pages of Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises. Other signature dishes include roast lamb and sopa de ajo, a soup featuring an egg poached in chicken broth with garlic and sherry.

Herberg Vlissinghe – Bruges, Belgium

Bruges’ oldest inn, hidden in the city’s Sint-Annakwartier district, first opened its doors in 1515. The wood panelled interior is beautifully preserved and the outside area with its shady garden is popular in summer with guests enjoying spirited games of boules.

Worldcare Australia - Bruges Restaurant

Famous regulars throughout history

Locals say Rubens once painted an imitation coin on one of the inn’s tables and then did a runner. Rumour has it his favourite chair in the pub is still there today, although his cheeky work of art is not.

On the menu

You’ll find a range of Belgian beers and hearty snacks like meat platters, cheese and croques on offer at Herberg Vlissinghe.

Tsuen Tea Shop – Uji, Japan

Worldcare Australia - Green Tea Japan

The Tsuen family has been serving up steaming green tea to weary travellers on the Yamato Road to Kyoto since 1160, at Japan’s oldest continually running teahouse.

The building that stands today was built in 1672 and is a great example of Machiya architecture from the early Edo period, with deep eaves, wide pillars and a wide entrance. Tea jars spanning several hundred years are lined up outside the shop, along with a wooden statue of the shop’s first Tsuen owner.

Famous guests throughout history

Many prominent Japanese historical figures like Ashikaga Yoshimasa, Toyotimi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu have enjoyed tea here. The shop is especially famous for its mention in Yoshikawa Eiji’s novel Musashi.

On The Menu

The Uji area is known for its superior quality green tea, and it’s this tea, served the traditional way, that’s kept Tsuen Tea Shop’s customers coming back throughout the years.

Old ’76 House – Tappan, USA

Just north of New York City in the small town of Tappan is the unassuming Old ’76 House, built in 1668 by Dutch immigrants and reportedly the USA’s oldest tavern.

The bar itself is an unassuming stone building, but the cosy interior has four fireplaces and hosts live music most nights of the week.

Famous guests throughout history

In 1780 the Old ’76 House was used to imprison Major John Andre, the British officer who Benedict Arnold plotted with to turn over West Point to the British Army. George Washington and his generals drank here as they convened for Major Andre’s trial.

On the menu

Belgian Beers

The bar is well-stocked with a range of American-style drinks and the tavern’s restaurant serves fine local cuisine and comfort food. It’s particularly well-known for its Sunday brunch buffet. If you’re feeling brave, try the Alligator Empanada appetiser with spicy braised alligator meat.

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