Written by Secret Escapes UK Head of Editorial Emma McWhinney
Secret Escapes, the luxury travel site that offers up to 60% off four and five-star hotels and holidays, has launched a collection of foodie stays to whet your appetite; from tasting menus and celebrity chefs to Michelin stars and cooking classes. With so many palate-pleasing destinations to choose from, we’ve asked Secret Escapes’ UK Head of Editorial, Emma McWhinney, for her pick of the best gourmet getaways:
From freshly rolled pasta and soft, doughy pizzas, to fresh burrata and delicately cured prosciutto, the Italians know a thing or two about food and wine. Lyrical landscapes aside, this abundant pocket of Italy is bursting at the seams with bustling trattorias and local, seasonal and sustainable finds. With vineyards aplenty, wine cellars, daily farmer’s markets, truffle hunting spots and albergo cookery courses, there’s really nowhere better to enjoy la dolce vita. Here, you’ll be able to learn how to fold pasta and toss pizza dough like a pro as you take in the beautiful backdrop of rolling hills and picturesque villages.
Shrouded in mystery and perched at the end of Africa’s spice route, Morocco has made a culinary name for itself thanks to its eclectic and aromatic flavours. From saffron infused sauces and pomegranate-flecked couscous to fresh seafood and steaming tagines, Moroccan food is the stuff of Arabian nights: exotic and unknown. For a whistle-stop tour of Morocco’s cuisine, Marrakech’s Djemaa El Fna Square is the place to go; with its fragrant jungle of spice markets, fresh orange juice vendors and steaming street food stalls. Opt for a cookery course during your stay and you’ll soon be able to master delicacies such as tagine, harira and zaalouk.
With its fragrant French lavender fields and more Michelin stars than you can shake a baguette at, Provence is the grand dame of gourmet getaways. Rich in history, culture, boutique hotels and food, Provence is home to iconic wine regions, farm-to-table bistros, abundant local produce and a café-culture way of life. Head to the local markets to stock up on local cheeses, freshly baked breads and regional wines, and be sure to stop off at Marché au Poisson for fish and Marché Capucins for spices.
Cape Town, South Africa
When it comes to dining, Cape Town represents the globe, with a climate that affords fresh, seasonal produce much of the year round and a sustainability scene that is way ahead of the curve. Days here can be spent enjoying the city’s café culture, hiring a car to head into the surrounding winelands to sample cheeses, chocolate and local tipples, or simply heading to the beach for a typical South African braai. With a cosmopolitan, urban edge, Cape Town offers some of the most buzzed-about restaurants in the world, where diners can sample traditional foods such as biltong, boerewors and bunny chow whilst taking in the surrounding vine-carpeted valleys.
The pretty-as-a-picture Cotswolds has well and truly earned itself a well-deserved spot on the British foodie scene with its fair share of praiseworthy restaurants – including the ultra-cosy Wild Rabbit in Kingham, Upper Slaughter’s elegant Lords of the Manor, and Le Champignon Sauvage – the area’s only holder of two prestigious stars. Peppered with bustling market towns, gastro pubs and food festivals, drawing in celebrity chefs, the Cotswolds tick all the boxes for a foodie weekender.
New Orleans, USA
Known as one of the culinary capitals of the US, New Orleans is certainly worth a visit for those who enjoy hearty meals with a side of rhythm. Try iconic foods like Beignets, Gumbo, Boudin and Muffaletta to experience the city’s best authentic eats whilst taking in the Louisiana charm. Be sure to visit the oldest area of New Orleans - French Quarter – for elegant hotels, vine-draped courtyards, sunny cafés, rich jazz traditions and charming architecture.
Feeling inspired for your next foodie escape? Head to luxury travel flash sales website, Secret Escapes where you’ll find gastronomic breaks at four and five-star hotel stays with discounts of up to 60 per cent, along with foodie extras such as unique classes, tasting experiences, multi-course tasting menus and restaurants with top chefs at the helm, some with Michelin stars!
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