For epicurean travellers, sampling a brand new cuisine is one of the most exciting elements of visiting a new country. Whether it’s fresh pasta and creamy gelato in Italy that holds the most appeal or the flavoursome cheeses and rustic breads on offer in France, discovering a destination through a succession of specialty dishes can be a one-way ticket to food heaven. But if the way to your heart is through your stomach, why not truly get to grips with the cuisine of the country and try your hand at creating the dishes yourself?
Cooking holidays are a great way to meet like-minded people as well as learn or develop a skill. Some trips incorporate visits to markets where you can educate yourself on the ingredients you’ll be using. Plus, you get to sample the local specialities and taste the fruits of your efforts. For the passionate foodie, holidays don’t really get much better…
Fortunately for the food-obsessed, escorted food and drink holidays are very on trend at the moment – it’s a sector that’s growing fast. Whether you’re looking for daily residential cooking classes delivered by talented chefs or tours of a region to educate yourself on ingredients, there are options enough for all. Here are some of our favourite cooking holiday destinations for over 50s. Which one gets your taste-buds tingling?
The country with the most Michelin stars in the world surely has to come at the top of this list. Where better to experience the very best in farm-fresh French cuisine (and learn how to cook it too) than in beautiful Provence at a veteran chef’s residential cooking course? Hostellerie Bérard is a hotel with Michelin-starred restaurant, based in La Cadière-d’Azur, established by veteran chef René Bérard. Take advantage of his wealth of experience and book one of his cooking courses where market visits and vineyard outings are enjoyed alongside cooking tutorials in all manner of French delights.
If you’re keen to get acquainted with the cuisine of sunny Spain, why not head south, to beautiful Andalusia? Chapters Experience Holidays has recently launched a new portfolio of small-group escorted tours with a seven-night Insight to the High Alpujarras tour that includes a stay in a rustic, Andalusian farmhouse, an outdoor paella cooking demonstration, visits to local markets and an assortment of tastings at artisan producers of Sierra ham, cheese, wine and olive oil.
For the adventurer keen to fly further afield in pursuit of their passion for food, Vietnam makes an ideal destination for a small-group culinary experience. Exodus offers a 12-day Vietnam Food Adventure which takes travellers on a trip that takes in the ethereal beauty of Ha Long Bay and the colourful culture of the Mekong Delta. Foodies can expect to encounter plenty of authentic street food and exotic markets that will allow them to brush up their haggling skills. Local beer parlours and tea houses will quench any thirst whilst the cooking schools that you visit are amongst some of the best in the world.
Italy boasts one of the world’s most popular cuisines with its sumptuous pastas, irresistible pizzas and colourful, farm-fresh produce. Book a stay in Umbria, the country’s green heart where medieval towns, verdant forests and captivating countryside typify the landscape and try your hand at foraging for truffles or spend some downtime sipping the glorious wines of the region. Tasting Places is one of the longest-running organisations offering Italian cookery classes and the school offers tailor-made courses in Umbria at a charming family country estate. With recipes including handmade pasta in spicy tomato sauce and crostini with black truffle, you can be sure you’re in for an authentic Italian treat.
Enjoy a substantial side helping of culture with a tour through some of the top foodie states of India, taking in the sights, smells and tastes of this fascinating country. Responsible Travel offers a 15-day Small Group Food Adventure that guides travellers through Delhi, Agra and Jaipur before journeying by train to Mumbai and finally ending up on the golden beaches of Goa. Expect a trip filled with traditional thalis, sensational street food and the bustling spice markets India is famous for. Plus, plenty of cooking demonstrations and tastings to experience along the way.
Wherever your foodie footsteps lead you, don’t forget to purchase the right travel insurance for your trip. Medical Travel Compared can help you find the best deal for your specific Try out our online comparison tool and receive a quote today.