He is one of the more affable and authentic chefs on the world stage and a favorite son of Cornwall.
Dining at a Rick Stein restaurant on the southwestern tip of England is just one of the many epicurean excuses to visit this former Celtic kingdom.
Even without its celebrity chef pulling-power, the far-flung County of Cornwall has ever so slowly become a foodies haven in its own right.
The rugged coastline and expansive dunes culminating at Land’s End frame a delicious distant corner of the UK that attracts more and more discerning palates every year.
A long way from the humble Cornish pasty that put the region’s culinary bona-fides on the map, today things have moved decidedly upmarket. (And by the way, don’t write off the pasty until you’ve tried the real deal in Cornwall; the original recipe is delicious).
The best way to enjoy the breadth and diversity of what this tucked away corner has to offer the taste buds is to join a tailored small group tour purposely curated to highlight the regional specialties.
Each trip has a maximum of just 18 guests who travel the region in air-conditioned luxury with an expert tour leader and enjoy hand-picked boutique accommodation at day’s end.
Departing London en-route to St Agnes via Glastonbury and Tiverton, the Cornwall Food Tour welcome dinner takes place at the delightful Rose in Vale Cornish Country House.
The following morning kicks off with a visit to an award-winning cider farm and continues with an intimate exploration of nearby Newquay and lively Truro – the UK’s most southerly city known for its artisan providores, bakeries and ice creameries, trendy cafes and cocktail bars.
Traversing the moorlands in a luxury mini-coach, this is a very special part of the world where expansive ocean vistas feel somehow familiar to Australians … and certainly to fans of the TV series Poldark that was filmed throughout the County.
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In Penzance, on the south-western tip of England, the focus is very much back on the epicure with a demonstration and cooking class at the acclaimed Fat Hen Wild Cookery School after champagne and canapes on arrival.
Here you’ll also get to take time out to enjoy the beautiful 26-acre sub-tropical Trebah Garden and in particular its renowned magnolias. The garden is ranked in the top 80 in the world.
At Totnes, it’s all about cheese and wine and you get to sample the best at Sharpham Vineyard ahead of the drive east to the one-time home of the Saxon kings, Winchester.
The historic town Cathedral is a tour standout. It’s also where you get to sample Rick Stein’s world renowned cooking for a very special lunch to satisfy a rich and rewarding tour of the senses.
And there is more on the menu
If food and wine focused travel is your guilty pleasure, Back-Roads Touring offers more culinary-inspired itineraries in Italy, plus new Asia food tours Vietnam.
The Slow Food Tour of Puglia – the “heel” on the boot of Italy – is a languid, luscious six-day journey through the flavours of Italy.
Look forward to dining in castles and remote hilltops, explore cellars and caves, discover Baroque architecture, amazing seafood and heralded regional wines including Santi Medici Bianco and Rosé, Armecolo and Cento Su Cento Primitivo.
In Manduria, you’ll pay homage to the celebrated Primitivo grape at the museum that celebrates ancient wine making, Museo della Civiltà del Vino Primitivo.
For an altogether different gastronomic travel experience, let your taste buds do the walking as you feast on arguably the world’s best street food along the winding thoroughfares of Hanoi in Vietnam.
The Flavours of Vietnam tour is a 12-day foodie spectacular that mixes taste sensations with enriching culture.
The tour includes entry to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Hue’s royal tombs, Imperial Palace and Minh Mang Tomb, Cham Museum, Saigon Opera House show, War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels.
Highlights of the food experience include a dinner cruise and overnight on Halong Bay, dinner at Hue’s Tha Om Garden House and Mandarine in Ho Chi Minh City, dining with a local family and a guided street eats tour.
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