Do you know what I love most about food?
(If you know me, you know there’s a lot - but there is one reason that stands out.)
You could go out for dinner and order spaghetti bolognese every single night, for five nights, at five different restaurants - and you’ll have a different experience, every time.
Because eating food, while your travelling away from home, is not just about the ingredients you’re being served.
It’s about the way it ties in with the culture of the place you’re visiting. It’s about the scenery you’re looking at while you dine. It’s about the language the waiter who serves you is speaking. And it’s about the new friends you’ve made over dinner.
Food is what brings all the things I love about travelling together, into one beautiful package.
So we have decided to put together our five favourite feeds, picked from our tours, to give you a ‘taste’ of what we have to offer.
See what I did there?
#5 - Hangi – New Zealand
Coming in at number five (so still in the top five, which is very impressive, considering we eat a lot of food) is Hangi - what we like to call, a Maori twist on meat and veggies.
All the food is cooked underground, in a pit. Traditional Hangi included fish, chicken and root vegetables like kumara. But today you’ll find a huge variety that also includes lamb, pork, potato, pumpkin, cabbage and stuffing.
The food is wrapped in leaves and put in baskets which are placed on hot stones at the bottom of the hole. It’s then covered with wet cloth and a mound of earth that traps in the heat and cooked for about four hours.
We love Hangi not just because the end result is juicy, off-the-bone meat and delicious vegetables, all infused with a smoky, earthy fragrance.
It’s also because it embodies everything food should be. It’s linked very closely to Maori culture, who believed the earth was the giver of all life - from the soil came food and that same food was cooked beneath the earth.
It is also a true experience. The tradition behind Hangi is that everyone comes together to prepare and cook the food - it is a social occasion for family and friends.
Now that’s the kinda tradition I can embrace!
Our New Zealand Highlights Tour takes off in October - have a look at the itinerary if you think you might like to experience it first hand.
#4 - Brown Brothers Degustation Lunch - Victoria
The degustation lunch at the Brown Brothers Winery in Milawa, Victoria is one of the most well rounded, innovative meals you’ll ever eat - and you can enjoy it on our Stay Put in Albury Tour.
Enjoy a two or three course meal of dishes that have been created with local produce and designed to complement Brown Brothers wines.
This is another example of a ‘food experience’ - it really is something you need to experience, at least once in your life.
The restaurant, Patricia’s Table, has been awarded a Chef Hat by Fairfax’s Good Food Guide. This means the food has been evaluated and found to have performed exceptionally in six areas - ingredients, taste, presentation, technique, value and consistency.
To achieve a Chef Hat, you need to achieve the perfect balance of flavour, show true creative mastery and a demonstrated consistency, so the reviewer knows you can repeat your extraordinary meal, time and time again.
Each course is guaranteed to impress. Not to mention, specific Brown Brothers wines are expertly paired with each dish, to complete the experience.
You’ll be delighted, surprised and extremely satisfied.
#3 - The Feral Feast - The Prairie Hotel, South Australia
Does it get any more Australian than a meal that includes kangaroo mettwurst, emu pate, goats cheese, camel and bush tomato chilli jam?
The ‘Feral Feast’, from the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna has it all - and it’s listed as one of the top 100 Gourmet experiences in Australia. We visit this sensational place on selected Outback Tours.
Look, to be honest, you might hear some of the animals included and wonder - but do I really want to eat that?
We say to you - how do you know until you try?
Sitting before this meal, with its clever presentation (which includes tiny road signs to identify each animal) is one of those sensational moments where you think - well, when in Rome...
And isn’t that what travel is all about?
#2 - Scallop Pies - Tasmania
I have dreams about these pies.
The memory of them is a strong driving force in my desire to go back to Tassie - often.
These scallop pies (generally) come in two variations: curry and mornay.
They are the perfect combination of decadence and simplicity. Succulent, fresh scallops - in pastry. It doesn’t get better than that.
Many bakeries on the island have curried scallop pies.
The mornay style ones are a bit more difficult to find. But that’s ok, because we know where to go. You’ll have to come on our Tasmania Tour to find these little gems - we can’t give away all our secrets.
#1 Fish fry – Norfolk Island
My daughter Sarah doesn’t love seafood. (I know, can you believe we’re related?)
But she can’t resist the Fish Fry on Norfolk Island.
Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine...
A feast of local dishes, salads, homemade bread...
Alongside mouth-watering fried fish that has been caught that very day...
Overlooking breathtaking coastal scenery as the sun sets…
With live music in the background…
Amongst great friends.
The dishes include pilhi (savoury banana Slice,) a special sweet potato mash with local herbs, coconut bread and delicious coconut pie and cream for dessert.
This delicious food, combined with the location, the entertainment and the company - makes it our number one favourite food experience.
Come dine with us!
Food is one of the reasons we love to explore.
But it’s also something you can take home with you - a piece of culture you can learn from and enjoy in your own home, for years to come.
Each of our tours are distinctly different, and each destination has unique qualities. Their cuisine is like a stamp on their identity, it forms part of their story.
We invite you to come and join us on one of these tours. We can promise you - you will not go home hungry!