From the Cave to the Kitchen

For me, there’s nothing quite as comforting as a home cooked meal – even ahead of a night out in some of most fabulous cities in Europe. Yes, eating out is delicious but I find the daily act of preparing and creating a dish immensely rewarding, particularly if it’s for someone else. I’m a savory sort and love to mash my potatoes and grill my chicken. My food might be simple, but it’s wholesome and made with love.

Up until recently, I rarely gave a second thought to the single most important tool in my kitchen: my oven. Just like many of the technologies we take for granted, I use my oven every single day but never stop to imagine what life would be like without it.

Thanks to this neat interactive infographic from Leisure, I can now safely say that without the oven, human life would be pretty barbaric. According to historians, the discovery of controlled heat and cooked food put our ancestors at the top of the food chain – making us the sentient species we are today.

But how could a good cooked meal have such a massive impact on civilization? Take a look at the infographic to learn more.

A 7 Step History of the Oven

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.

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.

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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.

Neighborhoods of Berlin

One of the indelible elements of Berlin are all the great and varied neighborhoods that give the city its character and charm. With a metropolitan area that is nine times the size of Paris Berlin has many different areas to see and explore. Though many of the more note worthy neighborhoods are located in West Berlin the East has a few really authentic, less touristy neighborhoods as well to visit. Some of the more iconic neighborhoods of Berlin include:

Mitte_Berlin

Mitte

Mitte is perhaps the most central of the Berlin districts and contains many of Germany’s most iconic landmarks. Covering a huge swath of the city some of the attractions inside the Mitte district include: the Brandenberg Gate, the Tiergarten and the shopping street, Friedrichstrasse, hover near the Unter der Linden, Berlin’s main boulevard. Close as well to the Brandenberg gate is the famous, hyper modern Potsdamer Platz square as well as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and the Parliament buildings. If you are a lover of art you can also visit the Museum Island in this area too. Basically, if you visit Berlin you will spend a lot of your time in the Mitte district as there is so much to see.

Friedrichshain & Kreuzberg

East of the Mitte are the Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg boroughs. These districts also have several World War 2 and Cold War landmarks, including Checkpoint Charlie and the Topography of Terror – the latter a museum that details the Nazi atrocities. Kreuzberg has long been the bohemian and artistic quarter of the city and is full of interesting galleries, cafes, and bars. Friedrichshain is home too much of city’s best and most thriving nightclubs, while also having the city’s most vibrant gay district.

Charlottenburg

Southeast of Berlin’s major park Tiergarten is the borough of Charlottenburg. It is here that you can find Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church which was bombed in 1943 then turned into anti war memorial. This area also has the Schloss Charlottenburg which is one of most enduring and oldest palaces in the city. Perhaps more infamously as well is the Nazi era stadium for the Berlin Olympics that can also be found near to here.

Pankow

Pankow is a quickly gentrifying area that is still filled with bohemian cafes and nightclubs. This area is filled with students and locals artists and is one of the best, along with Kreuzberg, people watching locations in Berlin. A walk around this area should include two of its best streets Kastanienallee and Oderberger Strasse which are filled with great boutiques and interesting people.