CULINARY EXPERIENCES

CULINARY EXPERIENCES

Are you looking for an experience that excites your sense of adventure as well as your taste buds? A number of our tours are peppered with culinary encounters that allow you to see, feel and savour the true atmosphere of your surroundings.

 

The Back-Roads philosophy is just as much about discovery as it is about destination. This is an ethos that extends to our culinary tours: they are designed to enable you to connect with the entire food process, from soil to serving and from grape to glass. Our expert tour guides, who are all culinary connoisseurs themselves, will invite you to unlock the secrets of your destination through its local cuisine, from the souks of Morocco to the docks of Cornwall.

 

When it comes to unforgettable experiences, educational opportunities and delicious dinners, we think that our trips offer something for everyone, whatever your taste.


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The Pudding Club - England

The Pudding Club was founded at the Three Ways House Hotel in 1985 to prevent the demise of the great British Pudding, at a time when restaurants seemed to offer only tiny portions of Frozen Cheesecake and tasteless Gateaux. Enjoy dinner at the world famous Pudding Club on our Highlights of Britain tour.

Rick Stein's Seafood - England

Rick Stein is famous enough  to need no introduction. The  UK-born chef has won scores  of prestigious awards over the  years and his many publications  and TV series have made him a  household name across the globe.  Enjoy lunch with Back-Roads  Touring at Rick Stein’s famous  Seafood Restaurant in Padstow  and taste for yourself the chef’s  unique influence on rich local  stocks of seafood caught in the  cold waters of the Celtic Sea.

Whisky Distilleries - Scotland

Discover the secrets behind Scotland’s famous whisky with unique behind-the-scenes tours of some of the country’s fascinating distilleries.

The Victorian Kitchen - Wales

Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at Cefn Park, where the owners of this country estate will tell us the fascinating story of how they unearthed and restored the original Victorian kitchen.

Bodnant Cookery School - Wales

Discover fresh skills in the Bodnant Cookery School with personal guidance from leading Welsh culinary experts. 

Vineyard Lunch - France

France is renowned for some of the best food and wine anywhere in the world. Discover why as we enjoy an unbeatable culinary experience at a private vineyard in the village of Seguret, near Orange in the Provence region of southern France.

Wine Tasting - France

Explore the delights of Burgundy, one of the most famous and influential wine growing regions in the world. Accompanied by our local wine expert, we will explore the Route des Vins de Bourgogne, learn about the history of this celebrated wine region and enjoy wine tasting at a local vineyard.

Cooking Class - France

Enjoy a tour of Chateau de la Bourdaisière’s gardens including its dahlia garden and tomato conservatory, which houses no less than 600 heirloom varieties. We then learn the art of French cooking with one of the chateau’s chefs before sitting down to enjoy the lunch we have cooked.

Calvados Tasting - France

In a typically Augeron setting, visit a small-scale family cellar, which has produced cider and calvados since 1865. For generations Pierre HUET Calvados has taken the greatest of care to produce cider and to mature quality Calvados. Tour the manor and estate before sampling the award winning cider and calvados.

Cheese Tasting - France

The cheese dairy E. Graindorge is an independent family firm located in the heart of the Pays d’Auge. 

Sherry Tasting with Picasso - Spain

The renowned sherry region of  Jerez de la Frontera is home to  Bodegas Tradicion, a tiny winery  which uses only traditional methods  of ageing and maturation. It is one  of the oldest family-owned wineries  in Jerez, with over 350 years of  history. 

Tapas Cooking Class - Spain

During your stay in Southern Spain, enjoy authentic Spanish tapas and learn more about this age-old Iberian tradition.

Slow Food Cheese Tasting - Italy

The Slow Food movement strives  to reconnect people with where  their food comes from and how it  is produced so that traditional and  regional cuisine is preserved and  local producers supported. Visit  Masseria Ferri at Ostuni, where we  learn about Apulian cheeses and  taste the delicious Caciocavallo.

Cooking Class - Italy

Roll up your sleeves and don your apron because, this lunchtime, you are the chef! Against the backdrop of the dramatic Tuscan Hills, meet a skilled local chef who will teach you the art of making the perfect pasta.

Cooking Class & Traditional Lunch - Italy

Learn the art of traditional  Campania cooking at Tenuta  Seliano – the farm-inn of  Baronessa Cecilia Bellelli Bartta.  Using produce from the immediate  local area, including Tenuta  Seliano itself, ingredients will  include buffalo mozzarella, ricotta,  fruits and vegetables, goat and  buffalo meat, and, naturally, pasta. 

Bibich Winery - Croatia

Bibich Winery is located in the hills of Skradin, east of the idyllic port city of Šibenik along Croatia’s island speckled coast. Enjoy wine tasting and tapas at this family-run winery while learning about the history of the region and how their exceptional wines are produced.

Bringing Together Passionate People

 

Our tours unite fervent foodies. One of the things that guests love about our culinary trips is the chance to meet fellow gastronomists with a similar appetite for culture and cuisine. Like all of our holidays, a small, intimate group size – generally no more than 18 people – ensures that you get to know your fellow travellers as friends.

 

We believe that experiences are better when they’re shared. Sharing a table and a menu – whether at a sumptuous three-course Scottish banquet in the Highlands or in the elegant environs of Rick Stein’s ‘The Seafood Restaurant’ in Padstowe – allows you to make memories and relationships that we hope will last for years to come.

 

Slow Down the Back-Roads Way

 

We are firm believers in the Slow Food concept: that everyone should be able to access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it, and good for the planet. Our tours allow you to soak up the passion of local producers and chefs who are proud and willing to share their traditional expertise with you.

 

A number of our holidays involve trips to local farms and producers where you can taste for yourself the heart and soul that goes into producing regional delicacies. When you visit the serene vineyards of Azienda Castel di Salve, you will see that their passion for nurturing local Salento grape varieties infuses their delicious wine. A trip to a crustacean farm in Oualidia, a pearl in the oyster of Morocco, will open your eyes to the importance of the seafood trade in this charming coastal community. Putting a local face to a regional delicacy is part of the unique charm of the culinary experiences we offer.

 

Learning from the Masters

 

When you join us on one of our culinary tours you can expect not just a tasting experience but a gastronomic education. We are lucky enough to have found a collection of top chefs in countries all over Europe who are happy to impart culinary expertise that has been handed down through generations of authentic family cooking. Learn the careful craft of perfect Italian pasta and bread from a local Tuscan chef, and visit the state-of-the-art school at the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre for a lesson in wonderfully Welsh cooking. From Chianti to Cymru, the cookery workshops on our holidays offer unique experiences for the keen culinarian.

 

Drinking in the Sights

 

All Back-Roads Tours are conducted at a comfortable, leisurely pace that allows you to soak up the atmosphere around you. ‘Fast’ in not our style, in terms of food or transport. We love winding, cobbled streets and rustic routes that lead to restaurants which ooze back-road charm.

 

We handpick our hotels to make sure that they encapsulate the character of the place you’re exploring. On our culinary tours, the delightful accommodation – whether a Tuscan villa, Scottish castle or Moroccan riad – will provide a perfect place from which to taste the treats of the area. Sometimes the two combine in an unforgettable experience; on our Highlights of Britain holiday you will stay at the Three Ways House Hotel in the Cotswolds - home of the world-famous Pudding Club. After a feast of delicious desserts you get the luxury of rolling straight into bed without any fuss.

 

A Gateway to Culture

 

It is our belief that cuisine is the gateway to culture: food can be an experience that helps you to understand more about the history and atmosphere of the country you are visiting. We offer a number of culinary experiences on our tours which allow you to see and taste delicacies with cultural significance.

 

For example, mint tea is a welcome refreshment in the hot souks of Morocco, but the only way to understand its importance in Moroccan culture is to take part in a traditional tea ceremony. We offer this experience in an Immam House on our Majestic Morocco tour. From one tea culture to another, we give the opportunity to visit the ancient estate of Tregothnan, the only tea-growing site in Britain, on our Corners of Cornwall holiday.