When visiting a new travel destination, one of the most exciting ways to immerse yourself in the local culture is to sample the local cuisine. With fewer spring crowds, May is a great time for a culinary adventure.
Quieter restaurants and markets, milder temperatures, and cost-friendly experiences make for a delicious off-season break. Here’s a delicious collection of gastronomic experiences that offer the ultimate taste of local life – from budget-friendly tapas tastings to sampling Thailand’s lively street food.
Immerse yourself in Menorca, the European Capital of Gastronomy 2022
The Balearic island celebrates its nomination as European Gastronomic Region 2022 with an extensive program of events featuring fresh, local ingredients and traditional cooking methods. The diverse cuisine of the island, which includes sobrasada hot dogEnsaimada pastries and Caldereta Lobster Stew, has led to its nomination as European Gastronomic Region 2022.
An extensive program of activities with a focus on local produce makes this year the perfect time to visit this enchanting Balearic island. From Mahón cheese fairs and tapas food trucks to Menorcan wine tasting days, there are events and tours to suit all tastes. Travelers visiting Menorca in June can enjoy special menus at 50 local restaurants as part of the Menorca on a Plate event. Full program here.
Jet2holidays is offering five nights accommodation at the Palladium Hotel Menorca from £576 per person on an all inclusive basis in a deluxe room and includes return flights from London Stansted to Menorca and coach transfers. (Based on 5 nights from Sunday 5th June) www.menorca.es
Michelin guide visits Estonia
Estonian cuisine is known for celebrating its landscape, with many restaurants using locally grown produce, either from small producers or, in some cases, sourcing them themselves. A new generation of Estonian chefs are pioneering a rapidly evolving fine dining scene, transforming collectibles into innovative, contemporary cuisine.
The chefs use centuries-old techniques as well as contemporary European methods to create a fusion cuisine style. Of particular note is the NOA, which prepares dishes with fresh and seasonal ingredients. Combined with the signature cocktail menu and the view of the sea and Tallinn’s skyline, this is one of Estonia’s gastronomic highlights.
For more information see: https://www.visitestonia.com/en/why-estonia/introduction-to-estonian-cuisine
Inexpensive tapas tasting in Spain
From tapas trawl experiences to late night dinners, visitors can enjoy great dining on a budget. The Murcia region is famous for its tasty yet affordable food and wine. The region has a deep-rooted gastronomic heritage thanks to the excellent produce it has to offer, such as high-quality fruit and vegetables from the fertile soils of La Huerta de Murcia, fresh seafood from the Mar Menor and beautiful cuts of meat from inland farms. Murcia is known for its incredible tapas made from its fresh produce and inspired by La Huerta such as: Pimientos Asados, Mary Tierra and Albondigas de Bacalao.
Murcia’s legendary wine bus service has returned this spring. Departing from Cartagena or Murcia City, travelers will visit Murcia’s best vineyards, enjoy views of the surrounding countryside aboard the wine bus and sample the delicious wines that Murcia’s stunning vineyards have to offer.
The tour costs £50 per person and includes transport, insurance, guides, food and wine tasting. murciaturistica.es
Expedia is offering three nights at the four-star Atrio del Mar Hotel in the seaside town of Los Alcázares, with a notable pool and golf course nearby. The all-inclusive holiday costs from £173 per person based on two adults, including return flights from Gatwick on British Airways departing 19 May.
Traditions of Sicily with local cooks from Trapani
Spring is a great time of year to explore Sicily as temperatures are mild and the island is less crowded. Different civilizations have left not only an incomparable cultural heritage, but also a culinary history that distinguishes Sicily from mainland Italy.
Exodus Travels’ eight-day Sicily Food Adventure trip costs from £1,799 per person and includes flights, all accommodation, all breakfasts, two wine tastings, a cooking class, five tastings/lunches, all transport, specialist guides and airport transfers. Multiple departures in 2022 (Exodus.co.uk, 0203 1312 785)
An introduction to Puglia
Italy’s sun-drenched heel has long been recognized as one of the country’s most enchanting regions. The capital of the port city of Bari is known for its medieval architecture, beautiful beaches and gastronomic delights. Firm favorites are the ear-shaped eggless noodles, orecchiette, and Riso, Patate and Cozze, Layers of rice, potatoes and mussels baked in terracotta pots.
Surrounded by spectacular farms in the Pugliano countryside, Masseria Montenapoleone is the ideal place to enjoy the charm of southern Italy. The in-house organic kitchen offers cooking classes and introduces visitors to the art of Apulian cuisine. The lesson deals with the preparation of the regional specialty, Orecchiette, from scratch while hearing anecdotes about culinary tradition and local history from the chef. Massiera Montenapoleone is proud of its organic farm that produces delicious fruit, vegetables and extra virgin oil, all used in cooking.
Citalia is offering a seven night stay at Masseria Montenapoleone, Puglia, including breakfast and private airport transfers, from £965 per person. (Citalia.com)
Thai street markets in Bangrak
Thai cuisine is a melting pot of cultures and Bangrak pays homage to all the classics. The area prides itself on the panache and joy of family run restaurants where locals enjoy leisurely meals with family or friends. On this tour, locals like Peach, the foodie expert, will introduce visitors to local cuisine with grand feasts of multiple dishes, all scented with ingredients from different cultures.
Toursbylocals offers the Bangrak Street Food Tour priced at £251 for a group of five (prices vary depending on group size) which includes the guided service, public transport tickets, a tuk tuk ride, four dishes of delicious Thai Meal (or more) and more includes two desserts plus drink/water at the restaurant and one alcoholic drink at the Sala Rattanakosin Rooftop Bar. (Toursbylocals.com)
Experience the best flavors of Tuscany
The Italian region is known for its wonderful world-class cuisine. The beautiful city of Lucca is full of cafes, trattorias and restaurants where you can enjoy the best of Tuscan cuisine. Locals recommend All’Olivo, an elegant restaurant where travelers can sample Tuscan specialties from both sea and land.
In the beautiful old town, visitors will find Buca di Sant’Antonio, one of the oldest restaurants in the city. The town also has a selection of Michelin-starred restaurants such as Giglio Restaurant, a long-established restaurant in a beautiful 18th-century buildingth Century, while Butterfly was inspired by one of Puccini’s greatest operas.
Visitors cannot leave Lucca without going to the recently opened Sommità Martin Orsyn Champagne Rooftop Bar at Grand Universe Lucca, as it is the first of its kind in Tuscany.
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Book the Summer In Lucca package directly through Marriott for a four-night stay for two at the Grand Universe Lucca. The package includes accommodation for two people in a king-size room on a bed and breakfast basis and a wine tasting for two from £1,542. Based on travel dates in June. Flight to Pisa. (Marriott.co.uk)
Stay at an eco farm in La Gomera
A small and quiet island off Tenerife, La Gomera is ideal for those looking for a quieter holiday. Hotel Jardin Tecina is a great base for exploring the island, with a wide range of activities to try and 11 bars and restaurants to enjoy. The hotel’s eco-garden can be visited by guests on a guided tour to learn about their unique approach to farming.
The tour shows how Jardin Tecina tends plants and offers a chance to see the many farm animals that inhabit the land. A visit is best finished with a visit to the El Laurel restaurant, which offers a 100-item organic menu made from produce harvested in the garden.
Sovereign offers seven nights accommodation at Jardin Tecina, La Gomera including breakfast and private airport transfers for £798 per person. (Sovereign.com)
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