GREAT INTERNATIONAL GOURMET ESCAPES
French fancies: Jam-makers Lisa O’Connor and Richard Hauptmann, of Jam Lady Jam in Healesville, Victoria, will host two eight-day food tours to France’s Loire Valley in September and October. Participants will source produce from markets and growers, learn to cook classic regional dishes (charcuterie, confit, pastries) and explore the area’s culinary history. Tours are limited to eight and include seven nights’ accommodation in a historic property, food and wine, recipes and ground transfers. Departures September 13-20 and September 27-October 4; $4000 a person, twin or double share: More: jamladyjam.com.au. Save in Sicily: Chef and food writer Dominique Rizzo has launched new Pure Food and Wine Cooking Tours of Sicily, Greece, Germany, Puglia and the Aeolian Islands. Book your fully escorted tour before July 31 and get one night’s accommodation free. From $4556 a person, twin-share, including ground transfers, wine and food tastings, all meals, beverages, cooking classes and scheduled activities. More: purefoodcookingtours.com.au. Just the tonic: Healthy holidaying is the theme of Bali-based SALT retreats. All- inclusive week- long packages include organic menus created by My Kitchen Rules j udge and chef Pete Evans — think the likes of Balinese
GREG SCULLIN beef salad, satay chicken, smoothies and juices — daily surfing, yoga and spa treatments. From $1795 a person. More: saltretreats.com. Irish ayes: Culinary luminaries including Claudia Roden, Madhur Jaffrey and Stephanie Alexander helped make the inaugural Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine a success in May. The second festival, to be hosted by cook and author Darina Allen at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, Cork, will be held on May 16-18 next year. More: litfest.ie. Culinary credits: Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa is offering a $FJ1000 ($570) wine, dine and spa credit for use at its restaurants, bars and spa for sevennight stays booked before August 31. The deal includes a cruise to South Sea Island for a barbecue lunch plus a fullday voyage to another island for a smorgasbord meal. From $1690 a person twin-share from Sydney/Brisbane; $1790 ex Melbourne; $2190 ex Adelaide or $2340 ex Perth. More: 1300 003 454, myholidaycentre.com.au/fiji. Royal treatment: Take tea at London’s Athenaeum Hotel while perusing an exhibition of rarely seen royal photos. The Mayfair-based hotel will display more than 40 photographs of the royal family’s children, from Victorian times to the present day — including a strik- ing image of the four-year-old Elizabeth making sandcastles in Sussex — in its The Royal Child exhibition. The Royal Summer afternoon tea, available each weekend until the end of August, will feature sandwiches, orange blossom scones with Devonshire clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam, and more, for £60 ($99.50) a person. More: athenaeumhotel.com. Vine times: Sample some of the world’s best wines with media personality Ita Buttrose on a Rhone River cruise through French vineyard country. The 10-day cruise on ms Swiss Emerald, departing May 11, 2014, includes two nights in Paris, travel by high-speed TGV to Lyon, seven-night voyage, meals, unlimited beverages on board, and transfers. From $6402 a person twin-share; book before August 31 for one free hotel night. More: 13 13 98; travelscene.net.au.
Jam Lady Jam’s O’Connor and Hauptmann