Restaurants & Nightlife

Unexpected global destinations for eating and drinking

Words by Keven Amfo

22 June 2020

For most, enjoying local food and drink are an integral part of the travel experience. But instead of simply eating and drinking wherever you go, why not plan an entire trip around enjoying a local specialty?

Kakheti Georgia

Kakheti, Georgia

Instead of Tuscany, take a trip to the oldest winemaking region in the world. This beautiful and ancient part of Eastern Europe—the local cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dates back to the 11th century—grows many rare grape varietals, and is a wine aficionados dream. Aged in Qvevris, traditional earthenware amphoras that are buried deep in the earth, the wine takes on intense, unexpected aromatic flavours. Specialising in orange wines, tastings are unique and offer explorations into rare wines not found elsewhere in the world.

Make Babaneuris Marani your base. The boutique hotel is set within a vineyard and winery at the foothills of the Greater Caucasus mountains. The simple rooms offer views over the vineyards, and the acclaimed restaurant has a menu spotlighting organic, locally-sourced produce. Nearby Alaverdi Monastery, a must-see, has been growing 104 grape varietals for more than 1,000 years. Then, eat (and drink) at Pheasant's Tears, a delicious restaurant and winery that has perfected the pairings of their cuisine and wine that has been made on site.

Nova Scotia Canada

Nova Scotia, Canada

A trip to Nova Scotia is a must-do for any lobster lover. Offering an abundance of fresh, buttery crustacean, this area of eastern Canada is a great place for a food-focused trip. Stay at Trout Point Lodge—the beautiful and luxurious eco-lodge is worth a trip in and of itself. Completely secluded, there is no cell service, ensuring you maximise your relaxation and truly unwind. An excellent wine list and experiences such as Forest Bathing allow for a memorable getaway.

From Trout Point, venture to the harbour to join a lobster fishing expedition. Catch your own lobster, then prepare over an open fire on the beach to eat immediately—it will be the freshest and sweetest lobster you'll ever taste. Don't miss a meal at Capt. Kat's Lobster Shack, a favourite of both locals and visitors. The menu features many iterations of classic lobster dishes—try the Causeway Creamed Lobster, served over toast, to enjoy the crustacean as the locals do—and is owned by a mother who lost her son to the sea whilst on a lobster fishing expedition. Pick up some lobster-flavoured crisps for the trip home.

Skafto Sweden

Skaftö, Sweden

The ultracold, clean waters of the North Atlantic off Sweden's western coast are prime for inhabiting plump and delicious shellfish, allowing them to mature to the maximum level. The tiny, picturesque towns dotting the coast are not only quaint and lovely to visit, and the ideal place to enjoy that shellfish as soon as it's been caught or harvested. To make the most of your time, book a 'seafood safari' from Grebbestad, where you can join a fishing boat and harvest your own oysters.

The Slipens Hotell is a unique boutique property on the island of Skaftö. Each room is dedicated to a different early inhabitant or explorer or the region who first made the island their home. With an excellent restaurant, and a glass-fronted floating spa—yes, the spa is floating atop the water—it encapsulates the energy and atmosphere of the area. From there, explore the car-free Koster islands, which have rocky granite beaches. Also, it's worth spending a day in Marstrand visiting Carlsten's Fortress and indulging in a Swedish-style seafood dinner, along with fine wine, at Johans Krog.

Southern Ethiopia

Yirgalem Town, Ethiopia

Take your love of coffee to the next level with a trip to the coffee plantations of Ethiopia. Run by a Greek-Ethiopian family, Aregash Lodge is nestled between coffee fields and avocado trees in Yirgalem Town in Southern Ethiopia. The property is a series of local Sidama-style huts, crafted in bamboo with thatched roofs. Inside, the cosy bungalows have vibrant locally-made furnishings. The onsite restaurant features delicious local specialties and Italian cuisine, and the staff can help arrange explorations of the nearby forest, coffee plantation, and natural hot springs.

In between sampling different types of local coffee, make sure to visit nearby Lake Abiatta, which is frequented by thousands of flamingos. Sidama Village is an excellent place to experience everyday village life and pick up locally-made souvenirs to bring home. With no TV and little wifi or cell service, a few days here is a way to relax and unwind truly.

Santiago Chile

Santiago, Chile

Discover the indigenous cuisine that preempted Spanish food in this beautiful part of Chile. The cuisine of the country's native peoples, the Mapuche, Aymará, and Rapa Nui, features original ingredients native to Chile. Choose The Singular Santiago as your base. The family-owned boutique hotel is ideally located in the center of the city, making for easy exploring. In addition to spacious and comfortable rooms, the award-winning onsite restaurant uses French techniques to prepare primarily local products, resulting in a unique and delicious fusion.

The celebrated restaurant, Peumayen—which is equally a cultural project—maximises what is available locally. On any given night, up to five varietals of potatoes may be available, each from a different area of Chile. Breads, inspired by different geographic regions, provide an idea of the complexity and variety of cuisine from across the country. Meanwhile, Boragó is an upscale restaurant that partners with neighbouring farmers, butchers, and fishers for an entirely local menu—perfectly paired with excellent Chilean wines. The cuisine is experimental and utilises ancestral techniques, and the tasting menus reflect the availability of each season.

Enlist the help of Quintessentially Travel to curate a luxury tailor-made itinerary around one of the above experiences.

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