Category Archives: Culinary Travel

City Experiences Expands Tour Offerings in Europe

An Evening Out in Athens is one of City Experiences’s new tour offerings in major European destinations © Karen Rubin/

City Experiences has expanded its one-of-a-kind tours in major European destinations through the award-winning international tour providers Walks and Devour Tours. The brand continues to fortify its robust lineup of tour offerings globally, but especially in Europe with 11 new tours launching. 

In partnership with some of the world’s top museums and monuments, including the Vatican Museums, Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Terminal, Niagara Falls, the Royal Alcazar of Seville, Sainte-Chapelle, and most recently, the Prado Museum and Buckingham Palace, Walks and Devour Tours offer truly unique, often exclusive, tours that travelers cannot find elsewhere. 

“In an era where travel is not just about the destination, but the experience, we are thrilled to announce the expansion of our unique tours in Europe. Walks and Devour Tours immerse travelers in the culture of each city, from major landmarks to mom and pop eateries, and offer an unparalleled exploration of Europe’s diverse tapestry,” said Stephen Oddo, SVP Hornblower Group, President & Founder of Walks. “With the addition of eleven new tours across the continent in the first months of this year alone, we continue to cement our commitment to providing unforgettable experiences for our guests.”

City Experiences will help guests travel smarter and experience more, whether it be an upcoming bucket list summer vacation or simply exploring their own backyard. New this year, City Experiences has rolled out the following Walks and Devour tours in Europe:

Spain (Madrid, Seville, San Sebastian):

  • VIP Alone in the Prado: Exclusive Early Access Museum Tour: It can be hard to appreciate the Prado Museum’s masterpieces fully among the daytime crowds, but that won’t be a problem on this early access tour where the intimate group will be the only people inside besides museum staff. On this VIP tour of the Prado, guests will be welcomed into the museum before the site opens to the public, offering plenty of space to enjoy legendary works such as Velázquez’s Las Meninas, Goya’s Black paintings, Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, and more, complete with fascinating insights from an art historian guide.
    • An Evening Out in Seville: Triana Neighborhood Tapas Tour: On this evening tapas tour, guests join a local foodie expert and a small group of new friends in Triana, Sevillanos’ neighborhood of choice for a night out. As travelers eat and drink their way across four unique styles of tapas bars, they will get a crash course in what it means to eat out in Seville—so they can conquer even the loudest, liveliest bar like a pro during the rest of their stay. 
    • An Evening Out in San Sebastian: Centro Neighborhood Pintxos Tour: Travelers looking for great food at bars they will remember for years to come should join this tour of the Centro neighborhood in San Sebastian. This lesser-visited area is the one the locals choose when making plans. This tour will show visitors a true local experience full of both iconic pintxos and pleasantly unexpected tastes they won’t find anywhere else. 

Vatican City

  • Alone In The Vatican: Exclusive VIP Access Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour: Explore the Vatican at its quietest on this exclusive, super-special access tour. Visiting before the Museums open to the public or after they’ve closed their doors for a once-in-a-lifetime tour and rare chance to admire its beautiful galleries completely empty and free of crowds. No matter which option you choose, they’ll enjoy the company of an intimate small group (as well as a knowledgeable Walks guide) and have Michelangelo’s masterpiece entirely to themselves.

Florence, Italy

  • Alone in the Duomo: VIP After-Hours Tour with Dome Climb & Private Terrace Access: Experience the stunning Florence Duomo like a VIP on this once-in-a-lifetime tour. Entering after closing time, visitors get away from the crowds and experience the sacred space at its most peaceful, allowing them the serenity to fully appreciate its magnificence. Complete with a guided dome climb, private access to both terraces, and even an encounter with the Key Master himself, there’s no more privileged way to experience this Florentine treasure.

Paris, France: 

  • From Orsay to Giverny: Skip-the-Line Museum Tour & Exclusive Monet House Day Trip: This full-day art experience won’t just give travelers an up-close look at these legendary works within the museum, they will also see the stunning scenery that inspired Monet and other Impressionist masters on a day trip from Paris to Giverny! From the halls of the Orsay (complete with perfectly timed, skip-the-line entry) to the peaceful gardens at Monet’s Giverny retreat, this impeccably planned, expertly guided experience is perfect for anyone who wants to dive deeper into French art and culture—or who just wants a relaxing escape from the busy capital in beautiful surrounds.
    • Exclusive Montmartre Experience with Private Vineyard Tasting, Skip-the-Line Museum Tour, & Sacré-Coeur: On this relaxed early evening Montmartre walking tour, guests will explore the neighborhood with a local, following in the footsteps of artists, musicians, and activists who left a lasting mark on its cobblestoned streets. From the top of the hill at the magnificent Sacré-Coeur to a private stroll among the vines at a hidden urban vineyard, this is the Montmartre many visitors seek out, yet few can claim to have truly found.

London, England:

  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter & London Walking Tour: This tour combines a city stroll to several famous landmarks in central London with private transport to and from Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, where they will walk in Harry Potter’s footsteps. Impeccably crafted sets, original props and costumes, and more magical encounters await, making the Studio Tour one of the most in-demand locations in the UK.
    • Best of Buckingham Palace: Skip-the-Line Tickets & Royal London Walking Tour: With skip-the-line access to either the palace’s breathtaking State Rooms or the fascinating Royal Mews, visitors  spend an enjoyable morning getting to the heart of royal life in the UK without any of the hassle of trying to get tickets or figure out a route on their own. At every step of the way, experienced guides will regale tour goers with stories they will have to hear to believe about the fascinating sites and the household-name monarchs.

Athens, Greece:

  • Delphi Small Group Day Trip from Athens with Honey Farm Visit & Homemade Lunch: As the most important archaeological site in Greece outside of Athens, Delphi has attracted countless travelers throughout the ages. While trying to get there on their own can be challenging, this carefully curated Delphi day trip from Athens comes with all logistics handled, including round-trip private transport for guests and their small group of 15. Together with a knowledgeable guide, they will explore the Delphi Archaeological Site on the slopes of Mount Parnassus before venturing off to a family-run honey farm, where they will meet the owners and indulge in a homemade lunch.
    • An Evening Out in Athens: Koukaki Neighborhood Food & Wine Tour: Tucked away in the shadow of the Acropolis, the Koukaki neighborhood is the place where locals go out for dinner and drinks in Athens. Along the way, they’ll get a crash course in all things related to Greek food culture—from how to choose a great spot to what to order when they get there—so they can make every meal memorable throughout the rest of your stay.

For a full list of offerings, visit

About City Experiences

City Experiences represents Hornblower Group’s expansive portfolio of water- and land-based experience companies and includes two sub-brands: City Cruises and City Ferry.  City Cruises companies operate dining, sightseeing and private events across 22 destinations in the U.S., Canada and the UK.  City Cruises companies also operate cruises on behalf of the National Park Service and the Niagara Parks Commission and currently hold service contracts to provide ferry service to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, Alcatraz Island and Niagara Falls.  City Ferry companies offer specialized  knowledge and expertise required to transport passengers, vehicles and other cargo safely across inland and coastal waterways, serving as operator of NYC Ferry and Puerto Rico ferry system, among others.  City Experiences’ portfolio of companies also offers a range of water- and land-based experiences including shore excursions, partner-offered experiences, multi-port packages, with companies including Venture Ashore, Walks and Devour Tours. For more information visit

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Savoring Wine is Key Feature of European Waterways’ Luxury Hotel Barge Cruises

Experiencing the innovative wine-making techniques of the Lissner Winery on European Waterways’ Panache canal cruise through the Alsace-Lorraine, France © Karen Rubin/

“Wine and friends are a great blend,” Ernest Hemingway once said.  This philosophy is at the heart of European Waterways’ dedication to offering its guests exclusive, immersive wine experiences on their luxury hotel barges that cruise the canals.

Guests cruise with like-minded fellow travelers who are enjoy sharing the experience of learning about the history and traditions of winemaking, from grape growing to bottling, and the nuances of the different wines. Excursions feature tastings at family-owned vineyards and private tours of historic châteaux.

The cruises also include gastronomic meals paired with the finest regional wines, sometimes from the very vineyard visited. On board hosts explain the significance of each vintage and guide guests on how to best enjoy them.
“Wine and the company of fellow passengers are integral parts of the luxury hotel barge cruising experience,” said Derek Banks, Managing Director of European Waterways. “Whether serious connoisseurs or just curious about wines, our guests are always sure to stay in good ‘spirit’ throughout the six-night, all-inclusive cruises.”
A Fine Wine Romance

Among European Waterways’ popular hotel barges is the eight-passenger Finesse, which cruises Southern Burgundy. Guests aboard Finesse visit Maison Champy – a winery located in the heart of Beaune, the Capital of Burgundy Wines. A UNESCO historical monument, the winery was designed by the famed architect, Gustave Eiffel, and is one of the oldest in France. Here they’ll enjoy a guided tour of the vineyards and a tasting hosted by a wine expert. They’ll also be treated to a gourmet lunch at CUVE 17, a unique dining experience inside one of the winery’s huge historic wooden wine vats, known as ‘cuves’, where a four-course seasonal lunch with wine parings of Premier and Grand Crus is served.

Guests aboard European Waterways’ eight-passenger Renaissance, cruising France’s oldest canal, the Canal de Briare, enjoy a tour and private wine tasting at the Sancerre winery of La Perrière. The winery is famous for its vast natural cave, dating back millions of years, where its distillation vats are housed. Renaissance cruises include excursions to the studio home of artist Rosa Bonheur, the most celebrated female artist of the 19th century, with a private lunch in her salon. They also offer a cooking demonstration at the privately-owned Château de La Bussière, a former fortified castle dating back to the 12th century.

Guests on the 12-passenger Panache visit the boutique Grand Cru champagne house of Frerejean Frères, located in the middle of the Champagne countryside. The tour is followed by lunch in the family Domaine, with ingredients harvested from its gardens. Champagne cruise passengers savor more bubbles with tastings at the world-renowned house of Moët & Chandon and the Maison Pannier winery with its labyrinth of medieval underground cellars.

The Panache also travels through the Alsace-Lorraine region.

Hotel Barging on European Waterways

Hotel Barging is a boutique experience that offers an immersive and all-inclusive “gentle voyage of discovery,” focusing upon the culture, history, fine wine, and gourmet cuisine of the cruise regions. With a 6-to-20-person capacity and 1:2 crew ratio, European Waterways is able to provide an impeccable level of on-board service and transport its guests on intimate inland waterways that are inaccessible to larger vessels.

This fascinating network of smaller canals allows for flexibility, spontaneity, and ample opportunity to hop off and explore the beautiful surroundings via bicycle or on foot. In addition, there are daily, chauffeured excursions “off the beaten track” to a wide variety of enthralling locations and activities, from exquisite wine tastings to private tours of stately homes.

With over 40 years’ experience and a fleet that spans nine countries, European Waterways is one of the largest luxury hotel barging companies in Europe.

Most European Waterways hotel barges can also be chartered for a more immersive Wine Appreciation Cruise.

For more information, call 1-877-879-8808 in the U.S. and 1-877-574-3404 in Canada, or visit

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NEW Cycling and Culinary Tour of Friuli, Italy Hosted by Top Chef Brooke Williamson

On Tourissimo’s NEW 7-day Chef Bike Tour of Friuli Venezia Giulia hosted by Chef Brook Williamson and her husband Nick Roberts, guests will cycle from Tarvisio along the Tagliemento River Valley via the Alpe-Adria Bikeway, one of the first long-haul rail-to-trail projects in Europe.

(Turin, Italy) — Friuli Venezia Giulia (often shortened to Friuli) is a northeastern Italian border region tucked between Slovenia and Austria where travelers will find the cultural and culinary imprints of all three countries.

On Tourissimo’s NEW 7-day Chef Bike Tour of Friuli Venezia Giulia hosted by Chef Brooke Williamson and her husband Nick Roberts, guests will cycle from Tarvisio along the Tagliemento River Valley via the Alpe-Adria Bikeway, one of the first long-haul rail-to-trail projects in Europe. The rest of the biking will be on secondary country roads with many interesting and tasty stops. Chef Williamson will play an important role in understanding the local cuisine, which reflects the varied cultures that surround this region.  Prices start at $4,995 per person double. Companions that are non-riders are welcome. E-bikes are available upon request. 

 “We are fond of Friuli not just because it is cycling heaven, but also because it is a must-visit destination for gourmands and wine lovers, and is finally being recognized as such,” said Beppe Salerno, co-founder of Tourissimo. “It is the perfect destination for someone who has been to Italy several times and is looking for something new and different.”

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Brooke Williamson has carved out an impressive resumé full of leading roles and professional achievement, such as being the youngest female chef to ever cook at the James Beard House, winning Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 14 in Charleston, and most recently, being crowned the first winner of Food Network’s “Tournament of Champions” in spring 2020. 

Tour Highlights:

  • Scenic Alpe-Adria Bikeway
  • Wine tasting at a family-run winery that includes the rare and up-and-coming Schioppettino
  • Cividale del Friuli (UNESCO World Heritage Sites), and Venzone (National monument)
  • Stunning cycling along rolling hills covered with vineyards and with the Julian Alps in the backdrop
  • Grado’s golden beaches
  • Palmanova and Aquileia
  • Regional food that combines Mediterranean and Mitteleuropean influences
  • Dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant with cooking demonstration

The tour takes place June 25-July 1, 2023, $4995 pp.

For more information, visit

Tourissimo are Italy experts and have several decades of combined experience in all facets of the adventure travel industry.

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This Holiday Season Give the Gift of a Private Chef dinner from Chef Omakase

he gift of a private chef cooking for you in the privacy of your own kitchen is now a reality with an online booking company, Chef Omakase. The home dinner party has never been more appealing or affordable and makes a distinctive holiday gift.

The gift of a private chef cooking for you in the privacy of your own kitchen is now a reality with an online booking company, Chef Omakase. The home dinner party has never been more appealing or affordable and makes a distinctive holiday gift – or to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, corporate gatherings, special occasions.

Chef Omakase creates a fantastic culinary experience with Michelin star meals that diminishes the perception of a private chef only being attainable by the ultra-wealthy. The smooth and streamlined process is easily accessible and as simple as ordering a taxi or a vacation rental via an app.
This service is the brainchild of Keiko Ono Aoki, widow of Rocky Aoki, and former CEO of Benihana Tokyo. From the legacy of the Benihana restaurant dynasty comes a new concept in dining that creates the ultimate​ luxury​ lifestyle for all. Keiko’s experience during the pandemic in New York City led her to conceptualize the digital platform that enables customers to experience a meal prepared by a private chef in your own home simply by choosing the style of cuisine and paying a fixed price per person for the experience. During COVID, like many Keiko become accustomed to working from home and experiencing historically high amounts of quality time with loved ones. The benefit of the pandemic was people learned to connect again, and the controlled environment setup has become a preferred way of life for being with friends and family.
The comfort and joy in eating at home in the last year​ is now desirable more than ever. Now Chef Omakase can provide the perfect opportunity to continue this image. Like the high-profile company Airbnb, Chef Omakase allows you to personalize a unique experience that embarks on​ a journey that takes off and embraces​ you​ in your​ own luxe moment.
Chef Omakase works by connecting you with a professional chef to cook a curated menu ​in​ your home at your convenience. The company takes the stress out of a dinner party for groups of up to eight people.

Private chef booking is easier than ever with this new​ online service that provides options of different food categories such as New American, Italian, Asian, ​Mediterranean, French, International Plant-Based Vegetarian,​ American and Kosher. Fresh ingredients will be delivered to your door the day before the set time ​of ​arrival ​for​ your chef​ ​ ​booking. Sessions booked include food prep time for the chef, delivery of grocery supplies​, the cooking experience and minimal kitchen clean up. The website and chef help you select a menu based on food preferences, as well as the supplies found in your own home kitchen.​ ​​The entire experience from start to finish ​creates​ a beautiful memory in your own private setting. ​​
​Menus include such selections as an Italian curated dinner with an appetizer of poached Fava Beans and Herbed Tomatoes. Then ​​a salad of Tiny Burrata ​with ​Warm Ceci Beans, Toasted Garlic and Parsley​. The main course consists of Pan Seared Crispy Chicken Breast ​with ​Lemon Reduction and Baby Greens​. And finally, the dessert follows of Panna Cotta ​with ​Roasted Summer Fruit​.​

Personal chefs include well-known individuals like Mark Mata, Danilo Galati, Veronica K. Lindemann, Thiago Silva, and Solanki Roy. 

The Chef Omakase team is​ led by notable Chef Tadashi Ono of such legendary establishments as La Caravelle and the Japanese restaurant Matsuri. Born and raised in Tokyo, he started his cooking career as a teenager. Moving to New York ​Ci​ty in 1988​,​ ​​ ​he ​began ​his food industry journey ​and gathered​ over 30 years​ of work in the field. Successful moments in the kitchen made him a leading expert with ​media ​​features​ in The New York TimesGourmetSauveur and Bon Appetit.  Ono is also the cookbook author of “Japanese Soul Cooking” “The Japanese Grill” and “Japanese Hot Pot.”
Service is available only in New York – Manhattan, Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill,
Carroll Gardens/Red Hook, Fort Greene, Williamsburg/Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Chef Omakase, 641 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10022,  646-612-7790, [email protected],

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From Travel to Wellness: Recipe for Immune-Boosting Comfort Soup

Anne Dimon, founder/editor of Travel to Wellness offers this recipe for immune-boosting Sweet Potato, Coconut, Ginger Soup

Anne Dimon, the founder/editor of Travel To Wellness and the co-founder/president of the Wellness Tourism Association, offered this marvelous recipe for an immune-boosting soup that comes from her friends at Grail Springs Retreat for Wellbeing in Bancroft, Ontario – just what we need while sequestered at home to keep healthy with comfort food that evokes the tastes and pleasures of travel. She writes:

It’s been a while since we reached out to you with wellness travel news and updates, and we sincerely hope all is good with you and your family in this time of global stress and disruption. While we are all going thru our own challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to keep positive that it will be contained, hopefully sooner rather than later. I have no doubt that you have been inundated with things you need to do to keep yourself and others safe and healthy, so we won’t bore you by reiterating the things you probably already know. Just one quick suggestion: there is a lot of misinformation out there. Take the advice of those you trust, like public health professionals.

So, to get to the point, one thing we all need to do is keep our immune systems strong. Yesterday, I whipped up a batch of this immune-boosting soup courtesy of our friends at Grail Springs Retreat for Wellbeing in Bancroft, Ontario. Once you have all the ingredients purchased, It takes about an hour to make. Double the recipe, freeze a batch for later, or share it with a family member, friend or neighbor.

Wherever you may be in the world today, know that we are all in this together. On a personal note, my husband is in the category of the most vulnerable so we, too, are being extra careful. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Stay strong. We shall overcome.

Sweet Potato, Coconut, Ginger Soup


1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tsp salt

1 red onion chopped

3 celery stalks chopped

1 carrot peeled and chopped

1 inch of ginger root peeled and sliced

1 Tsp apple cider vinegar

2 small sweet potatoes peeled and chopped

1 can of coconut milk

Sauté onion in oil until softened. Add celery, carrot, ginger and salt and saute until they have softened about 5 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar and stir to de-glaze pan. Add sweet potato and coconut milk. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Simmer until potatoes are soft.

Blend in a blender until smooth. Add water, coconut milk or almond milk to get desired consistency.

Launched in 2004, was one of the first editorially-driven online resources for the wellness-minded traveler.  

The Wellness Tourism Association is a not-for-profit with a mission to bring definitions and standards to the industry for the global good. 

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New Culinary Themed Cultural Journeys by Luxury Gold

Luxury Gold launches exclusive 2020 Themed Journeys with culinary focus

As the era of food tourism continues to grow, Luxury Gold, the worldwide leader in luxury guided journeys, is launching new and exclusive 2020 Culinary & Cultural Discoveries Themed Journeys. Today’s traveler focuses on the how to eat aspect of their culinary travels and seeks immersive experiences in unique settings. Continuing to lead on this gastronomy trend, Luxury Gold’s new experiences take you on a journey beyond the ordinary to explore distinct destinations that are rich in cultural and culinary delights.

“With our ability to connect to taste makers, we know that one of the best ways to get to know a destination is through its memorable and unique cuisine and the sharing of stories,” said Jon Grutzner, president of Luxury Gold. “Food is no longer a simple pleasure, it exposes culture and traditions, allows for meaningful connections and fosters memories. That’s why we’ve introduced these new Themed Journeys which are in demand and with only one or two 2020 departures. Space is limited, and clients need to book soon.”

You can enjoy these exclusive Exceptional Dining and VIP experiences and relax at luxury hotels while traveling on Luxury Gold’s exclusive Themed Journeys:

Peru Culinary Experience – 8 Days (Departure date October 31, 2020)

Peru has been named the World’s Leading Culinary Destination for 7 years consecutively by the World’s Travel Awards and it’s no wonder as the country holds five of the world’s best restaurants, including Mil by Virgilio Martinez. You’ll have the opportunity to experience this renowned restaurant on this incredible itinerary and experience Peru’s culinary diversity. A journey through the Andes reveals a fresh farm-to-table meal at a working hacienda where guests will learn about the many ingredients that are local to Peru, including over 4,000 varieties of potatoes. You’ll savor the creative combinations thanks to the father of Peru’s gastronomic revolution, Gaston Acurio, as he adds his signature flair at Chicha, during a Celebration Dinner in Cusco. To understand the history and significance of Machu Picchu, you’ll explore alongside a Local Expert and witness one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.Making travel matter with The TreadRight Foundation, clients will also visit the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) to meet local artisans including Nilda Callanaupa, a weaver, and bring home the wonderful creations that women in this cooperative make by hand.

Chile & Argentina Wine Experience – 8 Days (Departure date November 7, 2020)

From an electrifying performance of traditional tango in Argentina, to world-class vineyards and wineries, the best Chilean restaurants and vistas from Valparaiso, the UNESCO World Heritage city center, this journey pairs the cuisine, wine and culture of Argentina and Chile perfectly. Expert guides offer an in-depth exploration of the best vineyards in Mendoza, offering you the chance to sample the New World’s best wines. Introducing Chilean ingredients, techniques and products to the world, Rodolfo Guzmán is the mastermind behind Chile’s best restaurant, Borago, and clients experience his innovative dishes while in Santiago. From edible coral mushroom, to venison tartare, duck hearts grilled in duck fat, you can expect to find these unique and typical dishes over dinner.

Culinary & Cultural Greece – 8 Days (Departure dates May 18, 2020 and September 14, 2020)

You’ll immerse yourselves in Athens as though you’re local Athenians. Discover the colorful tastes of Greece by dining seaside at Greece’s first Michelin-rated restaurant located on a boat that is based on land. You’ll learn the art of making the perfect Greek coffee at a local kafenio (Greek café) in Athens before enjoying a VIP Experience in the afternoon, where you’ll meet a world-class Athenian scholar and philosopher in the Ancient Agora to understand how ancient Greek philosophy affects our lives today. You’ll also travel to the island of Delos to enjoy a private guided visit to the birthplace of Apollo and learn about traditional farming methods in Mykonos after visiting a traditional farmstead before indulging in a freshly prepared organic meal.

To book a journey, contact your local travel advisor, call 888-862-5952 or visit

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Savor the Best of New Zealand Food & Wine with a New Curated Tour

New Zealand in Depth is introducing a wine-centric travel program which recognizes winners of the Air New Zealand 2016 Wine Awards with a “pairing” of gourmet, local food experiences.

Auckland, New Zealand – New Zealand travel experts New Zealand In Depth announce a wine-centric travel program which recognizes winners of the Air New Zealand 2016 Wine Awards with a “pairing” of gourmet, local food experiences.  The personalized 13-day New Zealand Food and Wine Tour visits New Zealand’s three main wine regions, Hawkes Bay on the North Island with its award-winning Chardonnay and full-bodied Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot; Marlborough on the top of the South Island, acclaimed for Sauvignon Blanc and aromatic whites; and the Central Otago, the world’s most southerly wine-growing region and home to some of the world’s best Pinot Noir.

Accommodations include lodges and inns, selected for their personalized service, outstanding location, and gourmet offerings. Travel is by ferry, plane and car, starting in Auckland on the North Island and ending in Queenstown on the South Island. Additional activities such as hiking, cycling, and gourmet sailing excursions are available. The program is fully customizable to reflect travelers’ activity, wine and dining preferences. To help you decide, New Zealand In Depth offers a quick overview of the country’s wines here. Travel can be arranged from September 2017 to June 2018.

Among the wines to be sampled are many of New Zealand In Depth’s “insider” favorites:  Bordeaux-style Stonyridge Vineyard Larose on Waiheke Island; Endeavour Chardonnay at Clearview Estate Winery in Hawke’s Bay; barrel-aged Sur Lie Sauvignon Blanc from Hans Herzog and Alsace-style Gewurztraminer at Johanneshof Cellars in Marlborough. In Central Otago, oaked Fume Blanc at Amisfield Winery in Arrowtown and single-vineyard Cornish Point Pinot Noir are showcased. Paul Carberry, founder of New Zealand In Depth and a passionate wine lover notes, “There is nothing better than hopping from one winery to another across New Zealand to sample some of the best award-winning vintages. Whether you are an expert, or a passionate enthusiast of good food and wine like me, this new itinerary is a celebration of the best New Zealand has to offer.”

The itinerary visits Auckland, Waiheke Island, Napier and Hawke’s Bay on the North Island with opportunities for beach activities and city sightseeing; and South Island’s Blenheim, Marlborough region, and Queenstown with possibilities for hiking along the Queen Charlotte Track, cycling to the vineyards, adventure sports and boat trips.

For more information, program detail,  and advice on travel to New Zealand in general, visit, call +44 1298 74040 or email [email protected].

Now entering its 14th year, New Zealand In Depth is a team of travel experts who are passionate about creating personalized luxury experiences for clients looking for a distinctive and exclusive vacation in the land of the Kiwis. With nearly 50 years of collective experience, the New Zealand IN Depth team develops programs that reflect a commitment to understanding client needs on a one-on-one basis. The company advocates for responsible tourism in New Zealand and works with people on the ground who genuinely care for their local environment and actively take steps to protect local habitats and native flora and fauna. Personalized programs reflect the long-term relationships held with local providers of activities, superior and unusual accommodations, and off-the-beaten-track experiences, allowing New Zealand In Depth to create itineraries with experiences that are often not available through other tour operators while being mindful of their impact on the environment., +44 1298 74040 Twitter: @NZInDepth   Facebook: NewZealandInDepth.

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Guernsey International Food Festival Set for Sept 23-Oct 2 Celebrates Island’s Gastronomic Heritage


Following the success of 2015’s inaugural Guernsey International Food Festival, the foodie’s paradise is back this September with more exciting culinary indulgences. This festival, taking place from Sept. 23 – Oct. 2, 2016, is a celebration of the island’s rich local produce and gastronomic heritage while paying homage to influences from the international stage.

Jean-Christophe Novelli is the celebrity ambassador, leading events across the island from farmers’ markets to cook-offs, culinary master classes, chef residencies and wine tastings. Two of Guernsey’s finest hotels, The Duke of Richmond Hotel and The Old Government House Hotel & Spa, Guernsey’s only five-star property, will be participating by showcasing the island’s bounty of gourmet food and varied hospitality.

Here are a few highlights of what visitors and guests can expect:

Curry Leaf Café Masterclass Lunch 

Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25 from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Venue: The Old Government House Hotel & Spa

Tickets: $53 including welcome drink and glass of wine with lunch

Head Chef Kanthi Kiran Thamma of Brighton’s Curry Leaf Café hosts a master class lunch in The Old Government House’s Curry Room featuring classic dishes from Kerala and Southern India. While preparing the dishes, Chef Kanthi will answer general questions about Indian cuisine and describe how to re-create similar entrées at home. A three-course lunch serves as the finale, complete with a carefully selected wine pairing.

British Game Gala Dinner featuring Ridgeview Wine Estate and Blackdown Artisan Spirits

Saturday, September  24 at 7:00 p.m.

Venue: The Old Government House Hotel & Spa

Tickets: $92 including dinner and matched wines

Channel Islands Chef of the Year 2016, Simon McKenzie of The Old Government House Hotel & Spa, prepares a gala dinner featuring the best of seasonal game meats. Each dish is perfectly paired with an award-winning sparkling English wine from the Ridgeview Estate, craft spirits from Blackdown Artisan Spirits (both hailing from Sussex), and fine wine from local wine merchant Bucktrouts.

Food Lab Dinner

Tuesday, September 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Venue: The Duke of Richmond Hotel

Tickets: $53 for five courses ($79 including matched wines)

Five producers, five chefs, five dishes. The festival’s most creative dining experience, randomly matching kitchen and production talent for a never-to-be-repeated gourmet meal at The Duke of Richmond.

International Chef Exchange: St. Lucia comes to Guernsey

Thursday, September 29 at 7:00 p.m.

Venue: The Old Government House Hotel & Spa

Tickets: $73 for three courses including matched wines in advance from The Old Government House Hotel

The Cliff at Cap Restaurant is one of the most highly sought-after restaurants in St. Lucia, recently hailed by the New York Times as one of the best restaurants on the island. In one of the Caribbean’s most dramatic settings overlooking the surging Caribbean Sea, the restaurant is under the direction of Executive Chef Craig Jones. His nouveau French West Indian menu elegantly presents the bounty of St. Lucia’s fresh local produce and seafood readily sourced on this tropical island. Chef Craig takes over the kitchens of Chef Simon at The Old Government House Hotel for one night only, treating guests to a mouth-watering three-course dinner with accompanying wine, including some of his Caribbean favorites such as poached lobster ravioli, pan-fried kobe with caramelized plantain and an island-spiced doughnut.

This Chef Exchange is part of a reciprocal agreement where UK chefs swapping kitchens with international chefs across the globe. Old Government House’s Chef Simon will be flying over to St. Lucia for a Taste of Guernsey weekend, taking place on the Caribbean Island in February 2017.

The Guernsey International Food Festival is preceded by Guernsey Cocktail Week from September 16 – 24, 2016. Various venues across the island, including The Old Government House Hotel and The Duke of Richmond, will produce special signature cocktails based entirely on local produce.

The Old Government House Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of St. Peter Port and offers the finest in five-star luxury. Five minutes’ walk from the picturesque quayside, this hotel is perfectly placed to explore the island and provides guests with a ‘home away from home’ boasting fine dining facilities, the stylish Crown Club , an outdoor heated swimming pool and luxurious Spa and fitness center.

Just up the road is The Duke of Richmond Hotel which offers unparalleled service in peaceful surroundings. Overlooking a quiet park, this elegant property is home to the relaxing Leopard Bar and Restaurant where guests can sit back and enjoy a range of cocktails and expertly prepared dishes, a chic monochrome Residents’ Lounge and an outdoor heated swimming pool complete with sun loungers perfect for glorious Guernsey summer days.

Room rates at The Old Government House Hotel & Spa during the festival start at $260 per room, per night, including full English breakfast, based on two people sharing. Room rates at The Duke of Richmond Hotel during the festival start at $199 per room, per night, including full English breakfast, based on two people sharing.

For details and reservations, contact:

The Old Government House Hotel & Spa at +44 1481 724921 or email [email protected].  Visit online at

The Duke of Richmond Hotel at +44 1481 726221 or email [email protected].  Visit online at


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Macedonia Experience Paves Way for Foodies to Discover Macedonia’s Culinary Heritage

Macedonia Experience ( introduces “Culinary Experience,” a 10 day/9 night sampler with hands-on demonstrations of traditional Macedonian cuisine.
Macedonia Experience ( introduces “Culinary Experience,” a 10 day/9 night sampler with hands-on demonstrations of traditional Macedonian cuisine.

SKOPJE, REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA – Sitting due north of Greece and near Turkey is Macedonia, a yet-to-be-discovered country just beginning to pop up on the culinary radar thanks to cheese, wine and wild game.

Macedonia Experience ( introduces “Culinary Experience,” a 10 day/9 night sampler with hands-on demonstrations of traditional Macedonian cuisine combining Balkan and Mediterranean characteristics of fresh fruits and veggies, mountain-grown herbs and local wines. Toss in Turkish tastes that prevailed during long centuries of Ottoman rule, a few wild game dishes and gustatory senses will be overjoyed.

This pepper-spiked adventure includes accommodations (guests select the class of hotel they desire); all transfers, tours and activities; ingredients for the preparation of dishes; guidance and tutorials for preparation of the dishes in a traditional setting; and the services of a tour guide. This tour is offered year-round for a minimum of two people or a maximum of 12. An average tour cost for guests booking medium-priced hotels throughout the journey starts at €2000 per person, double based on four participants.

Guests transfer from Skopje Airport to their hotel in the historic town of Skopje, inhabited since 4000 BC. Here the culinary games begin. Lunch is in a restaurant built in a traditional style with live Macedonian music surrounded by the mystery of the Old Bazaar where wines and spirits (mainly rakija, a typical Macedonian spirit made by distillation of fermented fruits) and cheese are served in bars and eateries. The next day a pre-breakfast visit to a pazar (typical market) introduces foods and spices before a traditional breakfast of pastry with chorba (a minestrone-type soup). Guests learn how to prepare makalo (gravy), pot cheese and proja (preparation of cornmeal into a type of bread). Later comes a wine and cheese tasting before dinner at a winery near Skopje.

Days 3, 4 and 5 bring guests to Mavrovo National Park to sample wild game specialties, an exploration of Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a market tour to purchase ingredients to prepare selsko meso (Macedonian and Balkan pork and mushroom dish) and pastrmajlija (Macedonian bread pie made from dough and meat). Embroideries, musical instruments and objects made of clay are also available in the markets. A visit to a handmade paper workshop (one of only seven in the world where the paper is made in the original Chinese way from the 2nd century BC.) shows how this paper was used on Gutenberg’s original printing press from the 15th century. The equipment and clothing here are 100% authentic.

Days 6 and 7 continue with tours and tastings in Bitola and Krusevo, distinguished as the highest town in the Balkans. Guests learn how to make lokum (traditional sweets) before sampling region-wide famous Krusevo sausage and kebab. Next come Krusevo pies filled with cheese, leeks, cabbage and spinach. An enologist meets the tour in the Tikvesh wine region before visiting the ancient ruins of Stobi and passing on to Berovo, a small town near the Maleševo Mountains where nature combines with the history of the Ottoman Empire. Guests prepare their own dinner here. At Berovo Lake guests mingle with locals who share their customs through handicrafts, musical instruments, songs and dances preserved for centuries. Guests dine in a traditional sheepfold on ingredients sourced locally before departing the next day.

For more information and reservations contact the North America representative office: 866-748-8867, or by email: [email protected].


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Context Travel Offers Gastronomic Experience in Vienna

Old World traditions in Vienna © 2014 Karen Rubin/
Old World traditions in Vienna © 2014 Karen Rubin/

Vienna– Context, organizer of critically acclaimed walking tours, expands its program in Vienna, with Tasting Tradition: An Appetite for Austria, a new gastronomic experience that uncovers Austria through a multicourse annotated meal.

The influence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire continues to have an impact on local cultures, including contemporary Austrian cuisine. At the same time, regionality is heavily reflected in the country’s culinary traditions, and continues to shape its cuisine today. This three-hour annotated meal tells the rich story of Austria past, present and future, offering a menu of foods from the nine federal states, each of which have their own unique terroir and cuisine. Led by a scholar of food anthropology, the experience takes place in an exceptional restaurant in the vibrant capital.

Tasting Tradition: An Appetite for Austria comprises five courses with optional wine pairings. Choices include goulash, different types of dumpling, the world-famous Wiener Schnitzel (veal), as well as pork roast, pan-fried carp, pasta, poppy-seed specialties, and seasonal dishes based on apricots and asparagus, chestnuts, chanterelle, game and pumpkin. The experience also offers the opportunity to sample some cold cuts, regional cheeses, and of course drinks and dessert – including the legendary Kaiserschmarrn.

The dinner sets the scene for discussions about Austria’s eating habits, Vienna’s burgeoning streetfood scene, issues around produce procurement and availability, as well as food trends, from Asian fusion and fifties Americana to organic and vegan to burgers and cupcakes. Breaking bread together, participants learn about how tradition and modernity have collided to create an exciting and truly multicultural food culture.

“We developed this meal as a new and unique way for visitors to picture Austria throughout history, by sampling its culinary heritage and geographic variety,” says food anthropologist Katerina Nussdorfer, who co-designed the tour.  “It’s also a chance to find out firsthand just how royal Kaiserschmarren really is, and experience the untranslatable Germanic feeling of Gemütlichkeit – the art of cosy joy in the company of good people and good food.”

Tasting Tradition: An Appetite for Austria lasts 3.5 hours (including 30 minutes transport time) and is available Tuesday to Saturday at 6 pm (excluding December 22, 2014 to January 2, 2015). Group walks cost €75 per person. Private tours cost €330 per party. Tasting fee is €65 per adult and €55 per child up to age 16. As with all Context walking seminars, groups are led by a credentialed expert and limited to six (6) people maximum.

Founded by National Geographic writer Paul Bennett and designer Lani Bevacqua, Context Travel is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes, who organize and lead walking seminars in twenty-five (25) world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Istanbul, Athens, Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Tokyo, Kyoto, Amsterdam and Buenos Aires. A certified B Corporation, Context Travel was named one of the fastest growing American companies in 2011 by Inc Magazine. Travel + Leisure has called Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs. To learn more about Context, visit its website


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