Off the Beaten Track – Unusual Ideas for Foodie Holidays
Food is one of the major factors in deciding where to go on holidays, particularly if you are a culinary connoisseur. For those with a healthy appetite for all things gastronomical, they can probably spent hours day dreaming of all the places they could visit and all the cuisines that await them.
With a huge surge in countries using food tourism as a draw, you can now take yourself on a tailored culinary experience almost anywhere in the world. Loads of companies are now offering tailored tours so it’s not hard to find one that is suited to your needs. If you are looking for something a little more unusual and off the beaten track, get some inspiration here with some of the world’s more unique holidays.
London, England – Jack The Ripper Happy Hour Tasting Tour
This is definitely a tour for history and horror fans. Experience the side of London that was home to one of the deadliest killers ever to prowl the city. You will learn the scary story of Jack the Ripper as you explore the East End of the city and its hidden history. Your guide Sarah Rose will bring you on an educational tasting tour too as on your way you will stop and sample some of the local food and beverage treats including markets, old-fashioned gin, craft beer, tapas and wine.
Hilo, Hawaii – Zipline Tour & Sunset Volcano Dinner
For adventurous foodies, and I don’t mean those who like to expand their palates, this trip looks like one that will tick all the boxes. Flying through the air from the Hilo Forest Reserve to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, your zip line flight brings you over the incredible geological features of the island. Soar over the Honolii River with its spectacular waterfalls and valleys before getting up close with the volcanoes and some lava. Your day will end in style with a tour of the Volcano Winery vineyards and a fine dining sunset dinner.
Belgium – Belgian Beer Tour
At first glance you might not see anything particular unusual about this one but G Adventures have taken beer tourism to the extreme with an epic eight day trip, hitting all six of Belgium’s Trappist monastery-breweries. Only serious beer connoisseurs need consider this trip as you take in the history of brewing in Brussels, Rochefort, Bruges and Antwerp with a very special stop over in Westvleteren; their 12 brew is regularly ranked the best beer in the world. Along the way you will have guided tours of the cities and sample all of Belgium’s signature foods from mussels and waffles to the world famous chocolate.
Melbourne, Australia – Champion Racehorse Tour with Beer and Wine Tasting
Racing fans will be chomping at the bit for the chance to travel to the Woodlands Historic Park, home to the Living Legends stables and several winners of the renowned Melbourne Cup. You can explore the stables, meet the prize winning horses and then relax with morning tea and watch as native kangaroos amble through the gardens and parklands. Lunch is a gourmet feast of wood fired pizza at the award winning Gisborne Peak Estate winery where you can enjoy a sample of their rieslings, chardonnays and semillons. If that wasn’t enough to satisfy your needs you will spend the evening sampling award winning craft beers in the Holgate Brewery, soaking up the country ambience.
Barcelona, Spain – Make Your Own Cava
Blending your own wine is a common activity among wineries and vineyards now but this activity is slightly more unusual. In a family-run vineyard in the Penedes wine region, you will receive an intimate guided tour of the premises before a tasting of several varieties of Cava. The opportunity to get hands on is the real draw as guests can then create their own bottle by selecting a blend of grapes and putting them through the process of ‘disgorgement’, the final step in the wine’s production. Before designing your own label and bottling your Cava to take home with you, relax over a rustic Catalan lunch in the farm house which is over 1,000 years old.
New York, USA – Devour Food-Art at the MET
Ok, there’s no ACTUAL food involved in this one but art-as-food is still nourishing… On this personalised tour Angelis Nannos brings you on a gourmet tour of one of the world’s most famous museums. Immerse yourself in the history of food throughout the ages from ancient feats to modern cooking equipment and everything in between. This tour provides an endless menu of paintings, sculptures and exhibits that is sure to satisfy the cultural foodie in you. After the tour you will probably be ravenous, your guide will happily provide some local recommendations.
Paris, France – Champagne Cruise on the River Seine
Most of the river cruises on the Seine are expensive and crowded. Sail the river in luxurious style with this intimate tour of the city. With your personal sommelier as your guide, learn the history of Champagne making while taking in the sights and sounds of the city on either side of you. Taste and enjoy a range of quality Champagnes introduced and described by your guide who will widen your knowledge and enhance your enjoyment of the wine. The evening sailing means you can enjoy the sun setting over the city of love and toast it with a glass of great Champagne.
Cape Town, South Africa – Private Wild Animals and Wine Tour
While they really could have come up with a snappier title for this one, it tells you all you need to know. Your personal guide will bring you to a selection of reserves, parks and wineries for a complete African nature and wine experience. In the Villiera Nature Sanctuary you can get up close with giraffes, zebra, wildebeast and more before sampling the Villiera Estate’s range of sparkling wine. Your next stop is with the birds at Eagle Encounters, a conservation centre on the Spier Wine Estate which is also home to a world class winery. You will be taken to visit crocodiles at the Bonhur Croc farm and wrap up the experience at the Cheetah Outreach Programme at the Eikendal Estate. A unique opportunity to experience the local wildlife and viniculture of the region.
Barcelona, Spain – Secret Dinner in a Famous Chef’s Home
Imagine getting the chance to dine in the home of one of your culinary idols. Double Michelin star chef Xabi Bonilla has created a totally unique experience that is at the forefront of the supper club movement in Barcelona. The Santa Rita Club Gastronómico has been delighting guests for over five years with Bonilla’s signature fusion of tradition and innovation. Leaving professional kitchens behind him, Bonilla wanted to establish a private dining area where he could entertain his friends and create a more intimate food experience. Menus change monthly depending on whatever is inspiring the chef so no two visits are ever the same.
Alison has been writing since she could hold a pen, which came in handy for her degree in English, Media and Cultural Studies. She has been working in media since graduating and is the latest features writer for TheTaste.
Writing for TheTaste allows her to combine her passion for the written word with her love of food and drink. Find her on Twitter @AliDalyo