Mouth-watering food and local delicacies can really make or break a holiday. From the tantalising aromas of spices and meat to fresh fruits and frying crepes, a good meal will stay with us long after the holiday has ended. So whether you love street food and a passion for haute cuisine, here are our top five destinations for foodies to enjoy – the world on a plate.
1) Hue, Vietnam
Vietnamese food is becoming every bit as popular as Thai dishes in Britain – and for good reason. Although both cuisines use similar ingredients, the taste is very different. In Vietnam’s Hue, the pace of life is pleasantly slow, and gives you the perfect chance to sample the delicacies of the nation. For just a few pence, you can enjoy freshly caught fish dinners, or sample the delicious bun bo Hue – a spicy beef noodle soup. Try the Ancient Hue restaurant for a truly regal spread.
If you love comfort food, then you’ll fall head over heels for Brussels. From the moment you step into one of the city’s medieval squares, prepare yourself to be overwhelmed by the smell of frying waffles, pancakes and some of Europe’s most delicious – yes – chips! (Buy them from a street vendor, topped with peanut sauce or mayonnaise – not great on the calorie front but they’ll keep you going well into late evening). Restaurant food is also delicious here, particularly the seafood – think French cuisine, but without the pomp.
Widely-regarded as one of the world’s greatest foodie destinations, eating out is a huge part of Catalan life. Take a stroll through the city and pick from one of the many inviting bars to sample the tapas, or visit one of Barca’s famed experimental restaurants, such as Manairo. Meanwhile, shop with the local foodies at the Mercat de la Boqueria and sample some of Spain’s tastiest dishes among the many market stalls.
4) Piedmont, Italy
From pizza to pasta and its world famous gelatos, Italy is arguably home to everyone’s favourite cuisine. Piedmont, in the North West of Italy, is known as the country’s “food capital”, so you can be sure of a treat or two when you’re there. Here, sample the very best in traditional Italian food, all while you’re relaxing and unwinding in the lush, rolling hills and snowy mountains. And we’ll let you into a bit of a foodie secret…did you know that chocolate made in Piedmont is among the best in the world?
5) Paris, France
Gloriously delicious and unashamedly rich, the French love their food – and they know how to cook like no one else. Wander through the cobbled streets of Paris and delight in the sights and smells of the fresh pastries, tempting boulangeries and myriad of food markets specialising in everything from France’s famous cheeses (from all regions) to deli items and cured meats. It’s almost impossible to eat badly in France, even if your budget limits you to the cheapest menus, and with more city break timeshare apartments opening up in the French capital, there’s no better excuse to book a gourmet winter break in the City of Love…