Food and travel go together like fish and chips; for many travellers part of the pleasure of taking to the road is in experiencing the culinary delights that new places have to offer. We look at the best ways to combine holiday stays with foodie treats.
Hotel Breaks With a Foodie Emphasis
The rise in culinary tourism has led to a wave of hotels that offer real foodie treats along with comfortable accommodation that may range in style from simple guest houses, to super chic boutique hotels. Hotels embracing the trend can be found everywhere from the British Isles to the Caribbean, with savvy hoteliers aware that they can entice a new breed of adventurous foodie through the door by stepping up their culinary offerings. Long gone are the days when hotel restaurants were considered synonymous with overpriced, substandard food and many of the world’s best restaurants can be found inside some great hotels.
Culinary Tourism for the Adventurous
Hotels keeping in step with the trend for culinary tourism are upping their game by sourcing their catering supplies from local producers and picking fresh, seasonal ingredients. An increasingly savvy public is now demanding dishes that support local industry and keep carbon-guzzling air miles to a minimum and smart hoteliers are meeting those demands with increasingly strong links with local farmers and food producers. But while hotel restaurants in all price ranges offer a range of foodie treats for their guests, really adventurous foodie travellers will want to hunt out those delights that lie in wait outside the hotel doors. Culinary travel hotspots for really adventurous eaters include the Far East and India, while European destinations such as Provence and Tuscany offer myriad opportunities to sample deliciously rustic dishes that simply can’t be replicated at home.
Food and Wine Tourism
The precursor to the trend for culinary tourism was wine tourism, which has been increasing in popularity over the last decade, not least because wine country tends to be dramatically beautiful. From the sun-baked valleys of California to the rolling hills of Bordeaux and Lyon in France and the snow-capped mountains of Mendoza in Argentina, wine-producing regions offer wonderful sightseeing opportunities, as well as a chance to sample all those delicious wines. Many locations offer a chance to explore wine regions, sample delicious regional food and admire breathtaking scenery all in one place, with France, Italy and Spain the obvious places to start. Catering supplies at all these destinations tend to be high quality.
More adventurous food and wine lovers may want to head to the New World wine producing regions of Argentina or Chile, where they can sample delicious Andean cuisine as well as tasting some of the best wines to come from the New World; don’t leave without picking up a few bottles of Argentinean Malbec to take back home. Note that, as savvy hoteliers have upgraded their catering supplies to meet demand, so to have they improved their wine lists.