We've pulled together a collection of delicious adventures that really cut the mustard. Whether you're a foodie or not, we think that a key part of any vacation is what you eat. From a long, lazy breakfast in a Tuscan garden, indulging in fresh croissants and homemade jellies and fruit juice fresh from the orchard, to visiting a bustling fish market in Tokyo to select your sushi straight off the boats, the culinary experiences should be a highlight.
A Culinary Adventure to Kerala
The highlight of a culinary adventure to Kerala will be your stay at Philip Kutty’s Farm. This wonderful Homestay, only accessible by houseboat or country canoe, is set on reclaimed land from the backwaters and the family who own the farm will cook all your meals from their own produce. Your cookery experience, in the family home, will bring together locally picked spices and is based on family recipes, after your lesson enjoy a traditional Keralan lunch of fresh fish, rice and pickles, all served on a banana leaf.
Cream of the Cape, South Africa
Explore the highlights of the Cape, enjoying beautiful scenery and wining and dining in real splendour. Begin your vacation on an all-inclusive basis at Birkenhead House in Hermanus; here you can enjoy delicious food and wine without leaving the comfort of the hotel. Then head into the city and Sea Five for a few days to experience world-famous restaurants such as The Test Kitchen, before finishing up with a couple of nights in the Cape Winelands, staying in the picturesque town of Franschhoek with the renowned Tasting Room Restaurant right on your doorstep.
Without a doubt, the best way to discover the gastronomic wonders of Vietnam is with the local experts. In Hanoi, enjoy the locally brewed “Bia Hoi” with your private guide whilst uncovering the secrets of this beautiful city. Learn the art of Vietnamese cookery in a private lesson with an expert chef on the outskirts of ancient Hoi An and in Saigon, join your guide on the back of a vintage Vespa for a street food discovery amongst the sights and smells of the night market. This is authentic Vietnam at its foodie best.
Gourmet Road Trip in California
This is the perfect route for food and wine buffs; a luxury gourmet road trip that includes vibrant San Francisco and the best of both valleys in California’s wine country. Expect cooking classes at Cavallo Point, meet-the-wine-maker experiences in laid-back Sonoma Valley and Michelin-star restaurant reservations in the Napa Valley at The French Laundry. You must also make the most of California’s epic scenery by biking through vineyards, hot air ballooning over the hills or embarking on a historical hike in the Golden Gate Bridge National Park.
Sushi and Samurai in Japan
Explore Japan foods hubs by combining Tokyo, Kyoto and Hakone. Visit the largest fresh fish market in the world and try your hand at sushi making in Tokyo. Then in Kyoto learn the sacred art of the tea ceremony whilst making your own ‘Wagashi’ or Japanese sweets to go alongside. In Hakone stay in a beautiful ryokan and be treated to a traditional Kaiseki Dinner where each of the 9 courses are more beautiful than the last as the different cooking styles and produce from the area are showcased like an art piece.
Truffle hunting in Tuscany
Where better to spend a long gastronomy-focused weekend than the rolling hills of Tuscany? In the mornings you can make fresh pasta and tantalising tiramisu and in the afternoons get stuck in at the local vineyards and sample the classic Chianti wine varieties before a refined Michelin starred dinner. During October and November the truffle hunt is on so boot up and set off with your truffle hound in search of the goods hidden in the beautiful countryside. You will be rewarded with a heavenly lunch of fresh truffles and Tuscan wine.
A taste of New Zealand
From its world famous lamb, iconic kiwi fruit and sensational wines, to regional delicacies such as green-lipped mussels, crayfish and whitebait, New Zealand is heaven for any gastronome. Traverse the islands from north to south, savouring the seasonal, local produce, served up by the best chefs in the country alongside award-winning wines. You’ll even take to the skies in a helicopter with your own private chef, for the ultimate banquet in the wilds of the South Island.
The delicious Dolomites
It’s not just all about the skiing in the Dolomites. The food is a huge part of the experience and in Alta Badia alone, there are three Michelin-starred restaurants all within a 10 minute drive of each other. In fact, skiers come to the Dolomites especially to eat as the area is renowned for its family-run mountain rifugios serving up exquisite mountain lunches including fresh regional specialties from pasta to polenta and venison to schnitzel. The wine flows in abundance and to top it all, the prices are some of the most affordable in Europe. The key ingredients for the perfect vacation.
Wines and Vines of South America
A South American itinerary for gourmands, this vacation explores the most prestigious wine-growing regions of Argentina and Chile. Expect to dine at parillas in Buenos Aires and the freshest seafood in Valpariso, savour Malbec-paired “asdado” bbq feasts in the vineyards under the stars and ride out with the gauchos on horse-back to picnic among the vines. From exploring Buenos Aires with a renowned food writer to pre-arranging bodega visits to advising on the best bodegas to visit with a breath-taking Andes backdrop, this is a vacation that is for food and wine enthusiasts looking for a unique experience.
Nordic culinary movement
During the past 5 years Scandinavia has been swept by a New Nordic culinary movement, where New actually means Old. Scandinavia’s chefs have been going back to their traditional cooking methods of smoking, drying, pickling and curing and sticking to local and seasonal produce as did their ancestors. The result is imaginative, creative and fresh dishes of the highest quality. The Thief hotel in Oslo is home to Restaurant Fru K which serves fantastic Scandinavian cuisine with a contemporary twist; don’t miss the set 5- or 7-course tasting menus.
Ping in Scott Dunn chalets
This winter we are unveiling an exclusive partnership with Masterchef 2014 Champion Ping Coombes, who has created a delicious range of pan-Asian-Malaysian inspired dishes that our chefs will be serving to our chalets guests in Val d’Isere, Courchevel and St Anton. And our younger guests won’t miss out either, as Ping has been working with our Nannies to create some new, healthy, delicious and fun dishes for little ones to try in our Explorers clubs or with our Private Nannies in the chalets. From Laksa to Lava cake – this takes chalet food to a whole new level.
Head to Seville, southern Spain’s largest city, and indulge in its infamous gastronomic scene. Seville has plenty to offer for a long weekend’s visit; from captivating Moorish architecture and enchanting palaces to intense Flamenco dance shows and mouth-watering dining experiences, whether you’re tapeando your way around the city in the early evening or sitting down to an amazing Michelin starred dinner. Why not extend your stay to a week and spend a few days relaxing in the Andalucian countryside among the bougainvillea and orange groves of Hacienda de San Rafael.