Some people think food is great. Others worship earth’s edibles. We call these people foodies. The first thing they think of when they wake up is tucking into something tasty. They probably even plan their days specifically around meals.
If this sounds like you, and travelling also ticks another box, I have a treat for you. Feed that wonderful obsession of yours by discovering five magnificent mini breaks that will satisfy your taste bud’s aspirations in glorious ways.
Even if you’re not a foodie, your appetite for travel and food will grow from reading this list. You have been warned.
1. Burgundy, France
France is the epitome of sophisticated wining and dining. Food plays a huge cultural role, used as a cornerstone of social gatherings, dinners here can often feature up to six courses. And if you want to experience French cuisine at its finest, Burgundy should be your first point of call.
Epoisses, a cheese distinguished by it’s nutty and citrus flavours, is sourced from the region's distinctive cream-coloured Charolais cows; a local delicacy not to be missed. Burgundy is also famed for its succulent beef bourguignon. You can enjoy this famous dish in the city’s many stylish restaurants. For exceptional French gastronomy, you may want to visit Relais Bernard Loiseau: a Michelin three-star restaurant named after its celebrity owner. You won’t regret a single mouthful from their menu.
2. Zurich, Switzerland
A spectacularly beautiful country, Switzerland is notorious for its otherworldly landscapes, with storybook towns surrounded by snowy peaked mountains and crystal clear lakes. Add heavenly confectionery into the mix and things get really special. Switzerland is the epicentre for Lindt chocolate... and it’s magic. The way the outer casing melts to reveal a cool and delicate fondant centre is a marvel we can’t explain.
What we can tell you is that Zurich is a chocolate lover’s paradise. It’s a city teeming with enough chocolateries to put you in a permanent sugar stupor. But if you’re more inclined to savoury delicacies, tuck into Switzerland's most famous dish, Zürcher Geschnetzeltes. It’s a creamy medley of earthy mushrooms, sauteed veal, and crispy potato rosti; pure gluttonous heaven.
3. New York, America
New York has earned its right to be in the top five places to visit on almost everyone’s list. And while it’s cosmopolitan attractions are what make the city so magnetising, the food on offer here is also a hot topic.
New York is a fast-food mecca combining cultures from around the world. If Mexican cuisine is your passion, chow down on some grilled corn layered in mayonnaise and Cotija cheese. Or pick up a fried chicken sandwich served on a buttermilk biscuit. Weirder, you say? Finish on a sweet note with Schmackary’s maple bacon cookies… yes, bacon cookies (only in America, right?).
4. Naples, Italy
If you spell Naples backward, it won’t say pizza... but it definitely should. Travel to Italy’s bustling city and be hypnotised by the smell of freshly stone baked pizzas around every street corner. And you don’t have to empty your pockets for a first-rate meal. Even the best pizzerias, such as La Pizzeria Sorbillo owned by Gino Sorbillo, offer this iconic meal at reasonable prices.
Simplicity, not sophistication, is the secret ingredient to the city's gastronomy; Naples prides itself on using fresh ingredients from the region (you won’t ever find pineapple on your pizza here). Choose to stay here for a mini break and spend your time adventuring up Mount Vesuvius and exploring the ancient city of Pompeii. Finish your day with the tastiest pizza you’ll probably ever eat.
5. Northern Ireland, Belfast
Encompassed by rough seas and wild landscapes, it’s easy to see from where Northern Ireland sources the hearty, fresh food that puts a smile on many a traveller’s face. And the best place to sample such divine dishes? Belfast. This dynamic, vibrantly cultural city is full of restaurants offering succulent seafood, meat cooked to perfection, hand-picked fruit and organic vegetables.
Choose to dine here and experience menus inspired by the land. Feast on Mountain Lamb and lobster at the Michelin-starred Ox. Or head over to Deanes (owned by top chef Michael Deane) for a tender fillet of Fermanagh beef with braised ox cheek, complemented with triple cooked chips and bordelaise sauce. And don’t forget to leave without trying the famous Ulster Fry, best sampled at a local B&B where home cooking is a given.
Eat, travel, and be merry
Turn your mini break into a food filled weekend away, experimenting with both classic and modern dishes that’ll make your holiday a talking point for weeks. Here are the destinations we discussed, and the fare these holiday hotspots are famed for:
- Burgandy, France - Wine, Beef, Cheese
- Zurich, Switzerland - Chocolate, Veal
- America, New York - Fast Food (the good kind)
- Naples, Italy - Pizza
- Northern Ireland - Ulster Fry, Seafood, Mountain Lamb