Food and drink holidays
One of the main experiences of travel for me is trying new tastes and local cuisine. There are now ‘foodie’ holidays all over the world offering you the chance to learn to cook like a local! Europe of course is packed full of tasty aromas such as garlic and lemon, Mediterranean herbs and gorgeous wines. There are home stays in Italy where you can learn to bake pizza and make pasta, travel to Andalucia in Spain and learn the art of tapas or experience the laid back style of family cooking in Greece, centred around the production of olive oil. There are plenty of homestays, cookery courses and tasting sessions that are included in set tours or I can tailor make a holiday to include a variety of foodie experiences.
North Africa and in particuar Morocco is an absolute foodie must do! Wander round the souks and pick your ingrediants from the market stall, learning how to combine flavours in a distinctly different cuisine. Stay in lovely riads or spas or visit the coast for a seafood slant on the cooking.The Middle East is a must do for foodies, with world class restaurants in Dubai and Oman and fascinating markets and street cafes throughout the region. In Jordan, head to the Petra Kitchen where you can learn to make local food and then eat it – an evening of fun!
Throughout Africa there are some interesting foodie places – the ‘spice island’ of Zanzibar in Tanzania will show you the tropical plantations of pineapples, spices and strange fruits, the tropical forests of Uganda are full of about 150 varieties of banana used in all forms of cooking and drinking! Coffee and tea is prevalent in Africa with Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Malawi producing some of the worlds finest brews. Mozambique is home to amazing seafood with a spicy Portuguese influence, hotels and lodges along the coast will provide you with a feast for all the senses! South Africa is home to some of the best wines in the world and for me a foodie treat would be a couple of weeks around Cape Town and the winelands of the Western Cape – here you will find, as well as world class vinyards, farms selling cheeses, ice creams and lots of fabulous local produce. Cape Town itself has world class restaurants and plentiful harbourside cafes to enjoy the fruits de la mer ….. and into the ocean itself – across the waters towards Asia, is the Mascerene Islands. A foodie holiday here will reveal an amazing variety of spices, fruits and seafood. A cultural melting pot featuring food from China, India, Africa and France, head to Mauritius for an Indian Ocean food extravaganza! If you enjoyed Masterchef on BBC TV and want to go to the home of this year’s champion, Shelina Permalloo, ask me to sort you out with a food holiday to her homeland of Mauritius!
Across the ocean to Mexico, you can learn all about making moles, tortilla and salsas and sip classic Margheritas and head into the ‘deep south’ of the United States for Creole food and festivals. Around America you will find some of the best steak houses in the world, combined with fabulous wines of California. Into Latin America, you will find foodie fiestas and places where you can eat with the locals, deep into the Andes Mountains or on the beaches of Brazil, there is a magical world of food and wine to be experienced in South America. Wines of Argentina and Chile are particularly enjoyable and you can stay on the wine farms if you want to divulge in some serious tasting! Buenos Aires is a vibrant city with a big food culture and fabulous steaks. Into the Caribbean is a world of fruity punches, rum and sugar cane! Seafood, spice and festivals are plentiful here. Ask me about hotels that are particularly ‘foodie’ themed, there are some fabulous local restaurants and many of the harbours of the islands are the places to head for street cafes and beach bars selling the best of the days catch. For chocoholics head to the luxurious Hotel Chocolat on St Lucia!
India and South East Asia are a complete feast for the senses – travel through India learning about the regional variations in food and spices and maybe visit Thailand or Vietnam to learn about the techniques of local food here, make sure you experience one of the floating markets! Throughout south east Asia there are lot of opporutinities to cook with the locals, experience street foods and immerse yourself in tropical and spicy smells and tastes. Japan is completely unique (in many ways!) and the food here with it’s sushi and fabulous restaurants is a must for the serious culture vulture! If you enjoyed Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odessy on TV, ask me to get you to some of the places he enjoyed so much.
Wine tours of course are popular in vinyards throughout the world and many wine estates have luxury accommodation on site too. Try South America, California, South Africa or Australia for long haul, or the wineries nearer home in France, Spain and Italy, to name just a few.
The variety of food and drink to be enjoyed around the world is endless. Whether you want a family holiday to teach your children more about local foods, want to wander the street markets and spicy souks of the exotic parts of our planet or simply want a luxury hotel with a world class restaurant to celebrate a special event or honeymoon, get in touch and I can tailor make you the perfect foodie holiday!
Just to let you know we had a brilliant holiday to Tuscany and all the excursions/tours were excellent, especially the cooking one, we are now inspired to recreate at home! We don’t know how you do it but we seem to have a standard room booked and end up with an apartment, same thing in Vienna last year, which makes it all that bit more special! We have come back very relaxed, the most stressful part was trying to find the car drop off place at the airport, everyone was going round in circles for ages before following the shuttle bus from the terminal (top tip!). Thanks again for your help, will be in touch for next year and that long awaited safari!
Chris & Laura – Italy, Tuscany (Sept 13)
Learn about the culinary style and ingredients of Vietnam in a fabulous local cookery school!
An authentic owner run Italian restaurant, hotel and cooking school at Portico di Romagna in Northern Italy. Al Vecchio Convento runs cookery and language courses, painting and truffle hunting.
Take a food and drink holiday to Andalucia in Spain and sample some of Europe’s finest sherry, wine, seafood, superb Jamon hams and linger over lunch or dinner in the home of Tapas!
All around Tuscany vinyards and olive groves abound and there are some really special local bistros, agritourismos, festivals and trattorias where you can experience the local cuisine of Tuscany.
There are so many things to see and do in Morocco that you will have to keep returning to fit it all in! Here are some of the highlights and things that you simply ‘must do’ to get the best out of your experience.
Travel through majestic scenery of South Africa, surrounded by mountains and Cape Dutch colonial architecture plus time to explore Cape Town – a feast for the eyes and tastebuds!