White truffle hunting in Umbria
Truffles are a prominent ingredient in Umbrian cuisine, with many restaurants choosing to simply serve them with proper Italian spaghetti to allow you to fully appreciate their distinct flavour. Whilst Umbria is famous for producing earthy black truffles, the region also produces the white version, tuber magnatum. Umbria’s Pettino village claims to have had a truffle hunter in every family for as long as they can remember, and foodies wanting to experience an authentic truffle hunt can book an expedition led by local guides with companies like Wild Foods Italy.
More travel info: CV Villas has a great selection of villas set in the serene Umbrian hills, including the stylish Ceccomoro house (pictured) which commands unbelievable views from its al fresco dining area.
Finding fresh mussels in Edinburgh
While you might associate bowls of fresh mussels with warm sunny holidays, autumn is actually the season for mussels in the UK. Nowhere in Britain quite does shellfish like Scotland and for any sea-foodies looking to sample the tastiest mussels, a break to Edinburgh will spoil you for choice. Loch Fyne is widely recognised as being the top authority on quality mussels and you can devour their finest wares at the Loch Fyne Edinburgh restaurant. If you don’t want to choose between meat or fish, head to one of Edinburgh’s Mussel and Steak Bars or, if all you are after is a simple and delicious steaming kilo of mussels, Edinburgh’s Mussel Inn serves them up cooked in a variety of mouth-watering sauces.
More travel info: Flybe and British Airways fly to Edinburgh every day of the week from London City Airport.
Five star cooking in Crete
Greek food has enjoyed a well-deserved revival over the last few years, as seen through the rising popularity of the British Kebab Awards (forget your 2am greasy doner and think more along the lines of Gordon Ramsey-esque high-welfare English veal kebabs that have been marinated for 24 hours in lemon, oregano and garlic). Foodies with a taste for Grecian dishes should head to the 5* Daios Cove Luxury Resort where guests receive a Greek cooking lesson filled with historical facts and culinary tips on making the tastiest moussaka, tzatiki and pastitsio.
More travel info: Book a stay at Daios Cove Luxury Resort and find more ways to turn a holiday in Greece into a luxury food sensation with the travel experts at Kuoni.
The three ‘P’s in Porto
Food lovers visiting Portugal’s northern coastal city of Porto will soon discover the three ‘P’s; pastries, port and polvo. A foodie-inspired city break to Porto has to include a late morning stop at one of the cafés along the River Douro to sample a selection pasteis de nata, the Portuguese take on custard tarts. Buying a ticket for the Teleférico de Gaia cable car is a great way to get an impressive birds eye view over the orange tiled port warehouses on the south side of the river (look out for Taylor’s, Sandeman and Graham’s) and the price of the ticket usually includes a free port sample. Foodies who want a truly authentic meal in Porto should try fresh grilled polvo (octopus). It’s so popular in Porto that it’s even traditionally eaten on Christmas Day!
More travel info: Porto is only an hour’s drive from the Spanish region of Galicia, a great day trip for foodies who want to eat genuine Spanish tapas on a Portuguese holiday!
Christmas traditions in Norway
Scandinavian food is becoming more fashionable, as seen with the popularity of events such as July’s midsummer Scandi Feast.
The countries’ cold climate make them a popular place for a Christmas getaway and meat-loving foodies wanting a Scandi-inspired holiday won’t go far wrong with a festive break to Norway. Christmas favourites in Norway include ribbe, rich pork belly served with sauerkraut, and pinnekjøtt, dried and salted lamb ribs which are traditionally steamed over birch branches. Don’t miss out on a good glug of gløgg, Norway’s take on mulled wine that comes served with raisins and dried almonds.
More travel info: Meet local people and embrace all of the traditional Norwegian Christmas festivities by choosing accommodation from airbnb.
Michelin to market in Paris
A foodie round-up of Europe wouldn’t be complete without a tip of the hat to Paris, after all the city has more Michelin stars than any other European city (118!). If you’re after supreme fine-dining, the most popular three star Michelin restaurants in the French capital include Pierre Gagnaire and Ledoyen, who are said to put as much effort into their lunch taster menus as they do their VIP plates. Even on a shoe-string budget Paris won’t disappoint; head to the Marché des Enfants Rouges, Paris’ oldest covered market, and choose from over 20 food stalls, offering everything from Moroccan couscous to delicious meat-free sandwiches at Le Cornet Vegetarian.
More travel info: Get the lowdown on Paris’ best restaurants and food and wine events from the excellent writers at Paris by Mouth.