Author - Chris

Biggest Festivals around the World for Gourmet Travellers

Many travellers plan their holidays around an event or festival. Food festivals are becoming more and more popular with gourmet travellers and there is a virtual feast of opportunities for the holidaying foodie.

You can check out some of these scrumptious food festivals right here. For more in depth help in planning the perfect gourmet holiday talk to a travel professional who has already done the research: Travel Associates have over 15 years of rich travel experience you can draw from.

Truffle Festival: Italy

The truffle festival is somewhat of a speciality event. Each October truffle lovers arrive to celebrate the opening of white truffle season. You can hit the Truffle Market to buy truffle and for those with expensive tastes there is the chance to purchase the rarest of truffles at a trifling $2,000 US a kilo.

Galway Oyster Festival: Galway, Ireland

This is one of the oldest food festivals in the world, harking back to 1954. Set on the wild west coast of Ireland it is a festival for serious oyster fans. The World Oyster Opening Championships is fought out each year.

garlic-festival-bulbsGarlic Festival: Isle of Wight

If garlic is your thing this festival is a must for you. It features all things garlic, from garlic ice-cream, to garlic beer and garlic fudge. This festival raises money for 65 charities and is set in summer on the beautiful Isle of Wight.

Savour: Singapore

This is a new food festival where festival-goers get to enjoy a plethora of Singaporean cuisine. This event features an indoor gourmet auditorium, a massive 5,000 square metre gourmet market and an al fresco Gourmet Village. 100 of the world’s best restaurants vie for attention at this event. Prices are fabulous with tickets starting from just $40.

La Tomatina: Spain

This festival dates back to the 1940’s and is world famous as the largest tomato fight on the planet. Excess tomatoes are thrown through the streets by around 30,000 participants!

Maine Lobster Festival: Rockland, United States

This festival has been running for 60 years and is still one the world’s most popular food festivals. Literally thousands of lobsters are boiled in the world’s largest steamer to feed the hungry crowds. Contestants compete for the Crustacean Cup as they race across lobster crates in the Great International Lobster Crate Race.

Hokitika-Wildfoods-FestivalHokitika Wild Food Festival: New Zealand

This wild event takes place on New Zealand’s south island. It is an event for the bravest of foodies. Some of the fare you can expect to sample at this event include sheep’s testicles (mountain oysters), chocolate covered huhu grubs and magpie pies. For the more discerning foodie there is delicious home-cured bacon and rhubarb wine to be enjoyed.

The Crave Sydney International Food Festival: Sydney, Australia

Each October is foodie month in Sydney and the Crave Festival draws international chefs along with visitors wanting to sample some of the best Australian fine dining. Combine some seriously fabulous food with Sydney’s tunning harbour views and you have a winning combination for visitors.

So foodies, why not consider a gourmet festival holiday?

4 Types of Holiday for the Foodies

 

If food is your ultimate passion, your one true love, then chances are you’ll want your holiday to keep food as a major factor, not just a side note. There are some fantastic options for food-focused holidays, so check out these favourite four foodie holiday ideas to get your tastebuds tingling.

Food_Festival_-_Singapore_2006

Cooking and Tasting Tours

In just about any destination you choose there’s bound to be at least one (usually many) tour options designed specifically for the gourmand traveller.

There’s tasting tours around marketplaces, sampling the most authentic street foods off the beaten track. There are cooking tours where guests get to pick produce themselves, sometimes even visiting farms, and learn to cook traditional dishes. There are tours that will escort guests around the finest and most exclusive restaurants to taste famous chefs’ specialties.

Whether you hunger for fresh Asian spices, rich French cuisine, hearty European comfort food, aromatic middle-eastern delicacies, salty Scandinavian seafood, or any other classic national dishes, there’s bound to be a perfect food tour to satisfy your tastes.

Luxury Cruise Holiday

Anybody who’s ever been on a cruise holiday will agree that the dining experiences are one of the true highlights of the cruise ship experience. Most luxury liners will have a vast array of cuisines available, from the homely to the most exotic. Top chefs from all corners of the globe help design menus and prepare feasts to get even the most seasoned tastebuds watering.

Get in touch with the team at Cruiseabout to find the ideal cruise holiday for experiences the finest cuisine at sea. You can even choose to travel to your favourite food destinations and arrange food tours or cooking classes as part of your shore visits at each port.

Bush Tucker Trails

To really get back to basics, don’t overlook your own backyard. The Aussie bush is teeming with all sorts of complex and unique flavours that come straight from our own red soils and bush natives.

An authentic bush tucker trail will teach you all about the intricate flavours and intriguing ingredients that can be found in the wild, as well as ancient knowledge about these foods that has been passed on from generation to generation of our country’s indigenous inhabitants.

The flavours, the scents, the textures, the traditions, the culture and the history all combine to create a truly unforgettable holiday experience that will enrich your culinary skills, expand your repertoire of ingredients and imbibe your trip with a deep appreciation for the natural bounties our sunburnt country has on offer.

Real-foodFood Festivals

You might choose to time your holiday to coincide with a food festival in a favourite location, or even “festival-hop” from one location to the next, following the food events that you’d like to experience.

There are many celebrations of food from the farm to the dinner plate and everything in-between. From small country-town food fairs to week-long events spanning whole cities, the world is simply bursting with exciting festivals to tantalise the tastebuds and enhance your wealth of culinary knowledge. A food festival might just be the perfect excuse for your next trip away!

 

If a holiday that holds food in the limelight sounds like the perfect way to spend your time off, then what are you waiting for? Start planning one of these ultimate foodie escapes now, and give in to the world’s best culinary experiences.

The Best Oktoberfests Around The World

On September 21 travelers and beer-maniacs will pitch up in Munich to kick off the largest beer festival on the planet. This annual celebration of Bavarian culture began life as a wedding party for Ludwig I back in 1810. The king-to-be invited the entire population of Munich to crack open the kegs and drink to his marriage – and tens of thousands were happy to oblige. This spirit of celebration lives on today not just in Munich but all over the world. The infectious mix of lederhosen, bratwurst and steins of lager has become Germany’s biggest international export. Here are a few of the top Oktoberfest parties happening around the world:

7718867.oktoberfest_blumenau_turismo_250_500Blumenau, Brazil

Over 6000 miles from Munich, the notorious revellers of Brazil have taken Bavaria’s traditions to a new level. Between the 3rd and 20th of October over 600,000 people descend on the small city of Blumenau, to remember the German founders of the city with singing, music, dancing and drinking all spiced with a Latino twist.

Zinzinnati, USA

America is no stranger to German influence. As anyone who’s ever been on a cheap holiday to Florida should know, one of most famous landmarks in the US (Snow White’s Castle in Disneyworld) is based on Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. Around 50 million Americans claim German ancestry, the same as Irish and Italian Americans combined.

It is little surprise then that Americans do Oktoberfest in style, washing down over 80,000 bratwurst with litres of German beer, with particular enthusiasm in the Ohio city of Cincinatti. The ‘Oktoberfest Zinzinatti’ festival also has some interesting mentions in the Guinness Book of World Records, boasting the World’s Largest Kazoo Band and the World’s Largest Chicken Dance (a record set with the help of the Crown Prince of Bavaria himself in 1994). The festival runs from 20-22 September.

Keppel Bay, Singapore

It is not just Western countries that have embraced the allure of the bierkeller. 2013 sees the launch of Oktoberfest Asia in Singapore. From 16-19 October, the multicultural supercity will host Bavarian themed entertainment including shoeslap dancers, bell ringers, whip crackers, alpine hornplayers and a yodelling queen. With several big-name traditional German breweries sponsoring the events this is sure to bring Bavarian culture to a whole new audience.

Wherever you are this October raise a glass of beer (or three) to Prince Ludwig and Princess Teresa, joining the world in celebrating the greatest party of the year.

 

Great things to do in Auckland

Auckland is fantastic city with many diversions that both cosmopolitan and naturalistically oriented. Visitors to the city come here to enjoy the cities varied neighbourhoods and world class museums. When the delights of the city grow tiresome the bounty of New Zealand’s nature is usually just a quick car ride away. Whether it is exploring the volcanic mountains of Rangitoto Island or having a coffee over looking the city at beautiful Devonport there is always things to do in Auckland. A couple more of these activities include:

rangitotoislandRangitoto Island

1010 Rangitoto Island | Auckland

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Auckland it’s recommended that you hop a ferry from the Auckland Ferry Terminal over to Rangitoto Island. Rangitoto is a volcanic island across the Hauraki Gulf. Visitors enjoy taking in its scenic beauty by hiking, fishing or taking a bus or train ride around its natural attractions. Hiking to Rangitoto Island’s summit to soak in the amazing views is well recommended by locals and other travellers. Ferry rides to Rangitoto Island islands cost $22 US dollars and leave regularly throughout the day.

Auckland Museum

Domain Drive, Parnell | Auckland

The Auckland Museum tells the story of the Auckland region through various artifacts, exhibits and art works. Separated into three floors, the first floor tells the story of the Pacific Island communities – mainly the Mauri peoples; the natural history of the North Island is on the second floor, and finally the regions military history on the third floor of the museum. A recommendation is to take in the Maori cultural shows that use actors to portray what ancient Mauri life was like. The museum is located in Auckland Domain Park and is open from 10 am to 5 PM with free admission though an $8 US dollar donation is strongly recommended.

Devonport 

Devonport, New Zealand

Devonport is one of Auckland’s most posh and most attractive suburbs. Filled with great restaurants and places to shop, Devonport is a great place to grab a seat and a bite to while enjoying the wonderful views over the city. People come to this area to wander around and look at the fantastic colonial architecture and quaint, peaceful beaches. Tourists wandering this area have said that sometimes it feels like going back in time in terms of the attitude of the locals, the store fronts, and old fashioned yet cozy looking homes that flank these idyllic streets.  A scenic way to get to Devonport is to ride the ferry across the habour. You can catch one of the numerous ferries from the down town Auckland ferry terminal.

Good Ways to Use Facebook Before a Trip

Facebook has become much maligned for wasting people’s time and disconnecting them from the travel experience. Definitely some of those complaints are valid, but what is also valid is that there are ways to use Facebook in order to best maximise your trip. Specifically, there are some things you should do on Facebook before you actually leave. The following tips will help you best connect to people in the place you are going and get as much information from people that have been there before.

facebook

Post your specific travel plans and ask your network for advice

Most of the best things you can do in foreign countries can be found in the advice of people that have visited or lived there. So with that in mind, before you head down to Santiago, Chilie – or where ever else you are going – ask people on Facebook in a status update if they have advice on things to do, places to see, and places to stay. You will be surprised that when you request advice from others that they will be very inclined to give it if they have knowledge. This will generate a lot more useful tidbits than simply saying you are going somewhere. The personalized advice you receive will be better than that from a guide book or from online.

Use FaceBooks City pages to locate friends that know about the city you are going

By entering the name of any city in Facebook search bar you can – after sifting through some advertisements – on the lower left of the screen find an icon that says: Friends that have visited xxxx. Whatever the city you are visiting this will show you which of your friends have been there before.  Perhaps too they will have contacts they can put you in touch with when you get there. This type of highly specific information about a place can really add that cherry on top to your trip. When using this tool you can specifically inquire with these contacts using a Facebook message to ask the person about the place. Almost all travelers are more than happy to talk about a place they have been to others.

Use Face Book to reach out to weak connections

When you are about to head off on a trip the time is right to use Facebook to touch base with some weaker Facebook connections – people perhaps you only know a little bit – in order to make connections where you are going. I personally remember once using this technique to contact a guy I had met one night at a house party in Copenhagen. Not only did we meet for drinks three years later in Copenhagen, when we realized that we clicked as friends, I ended up spending a month living on his couch that summer. We are still close friends now. The moral of the story try reaching out to people in a polite way and just see what happens.