Immersion in another country’s culture is not only about sights and sounds, tastes are also a hugely influential allure and important part of a understanding a new destination. That these tastes are often completely delicious is a bit of a bonus. It does rather raise the question as to what foreigners must deduce from the Brits when they sample a full English breakfast or haggis, but let's not dwell on that.

It is a happy coincidence that many of the best places to eat and drink are also among the most beautiful and vibrant places on our planet - proof, surely, of the Spanish proverb that 'a full stomach makes a happy heart'. Modern doctors might not entirely concur with that but sampling South African Sauvignon Blancs while gazing out across the Cape Winelands, or gorging on pinxtos (the Basque version of tapas) in San Sebastian really is hard to beat.

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Original Thinking

As a bunch of epicureans and oenophiles who appreciate the finer things in life, we have visited some of the finest gastro-destinations in the world, from beautiful wine regions to street food stalls serving up incredible grub and lived (with considerably enlarged waistbands) to tell the tale.

Tom, Original Traveller

Where to go

A River Winding Alongside the Vineyards of Rioja

Bilbao, San Sebastian and Rioja

San Sebastian and Bilbao are the two main cities of the Basque Country, or Euskadi as it is known in the Basque language.

Vineyards of South Africa

The Winelands and Cape

Sample the many delights accessible via scenic drives from Cape Town, from wine tasting to whale watching, and countryside retreats.

Windmill in yellow fields

Lyon, Burgundy & the Rhone Valley

Explore the gastronomic heartland of France from France's second city of Lyon to the winelands of Burgundy.

Oaxaca & Chiapas

Oaxaca & Chiapas

The most culturally diverse experiences in Mexico. And that's saying something.

Sydney Harbour

Sydney & New South Wales

With a stunning natural setting, Sydney is Australia's leading city, known worldwide for its spectacular harbour and the iconic Opera House.

Houseboats on the backwaters

Kerala

Drift through backwaters on a rice barge, explore Cochin, chill on a beautiful beach and hike among tea plantations in the hill country.

Colourful street with hanging lantern

Buenos Aires & the Pampas

One of Latin America's sexiest cities combines easily with a taste of rural Argentinian life and a meeting with the iconic gaucho.

Tea Plantation at Ang Khang - Thailand

Chiang Mai & The Golden Triangle

There's more to Thailand than golden beaches - lovely though they are - so head north for a different take on the country.

Tokyo, Kyoto & Beyond

Tokyo, Kyoto & Beyond

Japan may not feature high on everyone’s travel wish lists, but trust us – it should - and there's no better place to start exploring than Honshu, home of ultra-modern Tokyo and the ancient capital of Kyoto alongside volcanoes, zen gardens and snow monkeys, no less.

Aerial View of Cape Town

Cape Town

Surely the ultimate 'winter sun' city break from the UK; endless appeal, and minimal time difference.

New York

New York

Does it need an introduction? Go shopping, go partying, stay in an uber cool urban hotel, and enjoy your bite out of the Big Apple.

Church of Good Shepherd Lake in Tekapo

The South Island

There is more to this island than bungee jumps and sky dives, for example the towering alps, jagged coastlines, vast plains and amazing food and wine, to name a few.

What to do

Hoi An Street Food Tour

Hoi An Street Food Tour

This street food tasting tour is an entertaining and informative way to see Hoi An through its food. Visit a local market off the tourist map then sit down to sample a 36 local delicacies - from sweet to savoury, noodles, sticky rice, myriad spring rolls, tropical fruits and dishes only found in Hoi An.

I think OT is the best out there for sure having been with you in Maldives last summer, and I really rate and trust your recommendations!

Claudine

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Dave, Eleanor, Saskia and Miranda are our 'Gastronomic Treats' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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