Food Tasting Experiences & Culinary Destinations To Discover

Discover

Whether you consider yourself a foodie or not, experiencing a new destination through food is the perfect way to take a deep dive into a new culture. Food tourism is the “tendance du jour”, meaning very trendy as travellers try to seek out new ways to consume sustainable food! Whether it is through a guided food tour, or exploring the vast universe of culinary delights on your own, food-centric holidays can be quite fulfilling! Here are a few of the best of those destinations.


Sri Lanka

The tropical climate in this area of the world lends itself to some pretty amazing culinary experiences! Here on the south coast of the island, Why House is a secluded oasis set within walled gardens. Tucked away in the jungle, and within the lush surroundings, this is the perfect hideaway for artists, writers, and yes, the food enthusiasts!

Take part in the Why House’s cooking demo. Led by the fabulous Henrietta, she will guide your taste buds to euphoria on a food tasting experience by showing you how to use local ingredients and spices to make an exquisite Sri Lankan curry. Get to know how to make Sri Lankan street food, then sample your creation!

In their kitchen, the food reflects the cosmopolitan tastes of their guests in the way of family-style meals prepared with fresh quality produce. Everything is made in-house, with dishes ranging from Thai, Lebanese, Seafood BBQ, Singapore noodles, roasted chicken and more. The bar serves a full range of cocktails, with a wine selection chosen by Henrietta herself.

With a selection of 10 en-suite rooms decorated with a flair for the lavish and traditional, enjoy the nature-inspired swimming pool, complete with yoga shala and massage area set in three acres of tropical plants and fauna. Choose from a private garden view or terrace with pool view. Couples seeking a romantic respite will no doubt opt for the private Cabanas.

Culinary tourism is such a wonderful way to truly experience a new destination. Why not take advantage of these gorgeous locations and discover some awe-inspiring new foods.


Scotland, UK

From the land of haggis comes dishes so uniquely authentic, you will want to come back time and again to this burgeoning food capital. To say that food and drink is at the very heart of this land would be a gross understatement. The culinary scene here is fast becoming the lifeblood of Scotland’s culture and economy.

Take Edinburgh, for example. After all, this town has the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Scotland, currently four. But the city also boasts some more typically traditional fare for the taste buds that wish to savour the delicious flavours of the city.

The seafood here is as rich as the hefty waters that provide Scotland with it. Wild trout, salmon, sea spawn oysters, crabs and scallops are of the finest quality; some like them sautéed with delicious and delicate spices, whilst others prefer the more traditional method of a few drops of lemon and down the gullet she goes!

The stunning landscapes of Scotland offer more than just scenery. Ayrshire potatoes and the soft fruits of Fife are just a couple of the incredible ingredients chefs here have to play with. Give your palate a whirlwind romance with the likes of Stornoway Black Pudding, traditional Ayrshire Dunlop cheese and Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar — these delicacies are the real deal and have given Scotland its firm footing on the culinary map.

In winter, Scotland’s highlands and borders foster game including hare, partridge, pheasant and deer. The chefs here make the most of these culinary options (yes, even the famous Aberdeen Angus!) to the delight of visitors keen on savouring more than shortbread, oatcakes and whiskey.

As you are winding your way through Edinburgh’s food scene, book your stay at The Dunstane Houses, and delight in all of its Orkney heritage. Yes, you will even get a taste of culinary adventure here, as a full breakfast spread (including a Full Scottish) is included with your room. Enjoy traditional Scottish delights with a modern twist.


Lithuania

For those gourmets in search of new flavors, Eastern Europe does not disappoint. Lithuania is one country at the forefront of the foodie movement. Book yourself a trip to Vilnius, the heart and soul of culinary country in this part of Europe.

Lithuanians love to break bread and sink their teeth into a good crusty loaf whilst coming together for group meals. Duona, or black rye bread, is as dense as it is naturally sweet, and common in this part of the continent. The bread comes out looking burnt, but don’t let that fool you! It is the natural colouration of rye flour fermented with water, which gives it its distinct taste.

For any food odyssey, your first stop should be the farmer’s markets around town. Walk the corridors and absorb the atmosphere full of locals going about their day. The stands are bursting with fresh fruit, vegetables and all manner of produce. Here you will no doubt find a dessert called šakotis, made of butter, flour, eggs, sugar and cream; then cooked by pouring the batter on a rotating spit over an open fire. It is typically served covered in chocolate and edible flowers, and simply melts in your mouth.

One staple in the Lithuanian diet seems to be the almighty pig. It’s no big secret that Baltic countries in general feature menus that are a bit heavy on the meaty side of things, especially pork. Many restaurants will serve their own delectable varieties of pork, such as stuffed cabbage rolls and bacon. One dish, known as skilandis, is pig’s stomach filled with pork meat and dried into a sausage.


Asturias, Spain

Here in northwest Spain, the Spanish bring a new meaning to sustainable eating. It is Spain’s best-kept secret, and meals taken in the mountains of the region offer a hearty journey all on their own. Worldwide, the concept of slow food is just gaining traction, but here in Asturias, slow food has been the stuff of legend for much longer. The area is unique in that visitors can enjoy both sandy beaches and snowy mountains – it is like a microcosm of Spain as a whole. Natural beauty is commonplace here, with no less than 24 nature reserves to explore.

At El Gran Sueño, they take organic food to heart. Everything is prepared by the property’s chefs, even the bread, which is made tenderly (and daily) with local ingredients. The meat is procured from local livestock and vegetables are brought in from a nearby certified organic farm. The restaurant specialises in vegetarian and vegan food, although a few carnivorous options remain. Their slow dishes afford their guests supersensory experiences found only in Spain.

But the El Gran Sueño is not just about food, it is about offering their guests an immensely comfortable stay amidst the beauty of the surrounding countryside. Set atop a twisting road, the lush green lands envelop the boutique hotel, and the location makes the perfect base for hiking and exploring. The region is known for its rugged coastline, religious sites and medieval architecture.

The rooms offer sentinel views towards the Picos de Europa mountain range. Elegant touches throughout each of the five guesthouses surprise and delight with underfloor heating and thoughtful touches in the decor.


Victoria, Australia

Set in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range of Victoria is the lavish gardens near the town of Daylesford, about 80 minutes northwest of Melbourne. The area is known for its natural mineral springs, with the nearby Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens sitting atop an extinct volcano.

Located along the quaint shores of Lake Daylesford is the Lake House — a beacon of graceful hospitality and the vision of co-owners chef Alla Wolf-Tasker and her artist husband Allan. Back in 1984, they set out to create a gastronomical experience for those seeking a respite and a slower pace of life, guided by sustainable food production and a love for the natural surroundings.

During their time at Lake House, they have forged close relationships with their community of growers and farmers over the decades, bringing nothing but the best ingredients into their kitchen. They even have a fully-equipped bake house on site, and one of their specialties is slow fermented sourdough. Along with croissants, fruit Danishes and more, they are prepared and delivered each morning to the Lake House for immediate serving to guests.

Workshops centered around learning on the farm and in the Bake House are offered to any guests that are curious enough to experience a hands-on approach to their food. Classes such as ‘Intro to Sourdough Baking’ and others are offered year round.

Their 33 gorgeous waterfront suites at the Lake House invite their guests to lay their heads surrounded by sophisticated décor after enjoying incredible meals. Take an immersive wine tour to learn about regional flavours, then see incredible works of art right on the property, before jumping into the infinity pool. And to work off some of that delectable food, there is the 70,000 hectares of nature to be enjoyed at the neighboring Wombat State Forest.

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