Our favorite foodie vacations
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.
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.
In a day sure to ignite your senses, discover the incredible sights and smells of India withe a street food tour in Delhi. Your expert guide will take you to Old Delhi's most famous market, Chawri Bazaar where you'll learn about the variety of delicacies on offer. Wind through the narrow streets, stopping at traditional food stalls full of house specialties for you to sample like paranthana (Indian flatbread), samosas, and sweet jalebis. End your tantalizing tour with High Tea at Dharampura Haveli. Dating back to the late Mughal period, the property is teeming with history and the perfect place to commence your delectable culinary tour.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Laos is a country often overlooked as a culinary destination in favor of its more popular neighbors. Less about street food than Vietnam, the culinary scene in Laos emphasizes tradition and origins of the food. Loa cooking pulls from Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and local influence, culminating in an unbelievable and unique sampling of Asian cuisine. Luang Prabang is especially an undiscovered culinary gem. Visit colorful and exotic local markets, take in a cooking class led by an accomplished local chef or tuck into a gourmet picnic as the brilliantly turquoise Kuang Si Waterfalls tumble behind you.
In recent years, Peru has undergone a gastronomic revolution. Restaurants across the country are creating their own take on traditional Peruvian fare, which usually consists of dishes like cuy (guinea-pig) or ceviche (marinated fish). The gastronomic boom is focused around the restaurants of Lima, where people queue for tables at Acurio’s La Mar, a Cevichería specializing in Peruvian seafood; and many more restaurants are popping up in the suburb of Miraflores, blending Spanish and Japanese flavor influences into traditional dishes. We also recommend stops at local food markets like Surquillo and the San Isidro fish market to really get under the culinary skin of the city.
Morocco is a food lover’s dream. Sample the country’s most famous dishes, like fragrant tagines served in clay cooking pots, gooey honey, pillowy bread and fluffy couscous. And make sure to save room for sweet mint tea, it’s an art form here. For many, Marrakech is the first place in Morocco that comes to mind for foodies, from the carnival-like souk to incredible restaurants, Marrakech is a gastronomical paradise. The Jemma al-Fna is the largest market in the country and a must-see. In Marrakech foods can range from the exotic, like sheep’s head to the accessible like hunks of cheese and bread. From tasting fresh goat’s cheese in Chefchaouen to baking bread with a Berber family in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco is a completely exciting, immersive culinary destination.
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.
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.