The World Be­yond

Bespoke travel itin­er­ar­ies with unique food and wine ex­pe­ri­ences to boot

Philippine Tatler Traveller - - Contents - Words: San­jay Su­rana

1 A Toast to South Amer­ica Ja­cada Travel

What’s not to love about Ja­cada Travel’s bespoke pri­vate trips, which cel­e­brate the food and wine of South Amer­ica? The route takes you to Ar­gentina’s Men­doza—the most pop­u­lar wine re­gion on the con­ti­nent, with vine­yards backed by the snow-capped An­des— the rolling fields of Chile and art-fo­cused ho­tels such as Viña Vik, just out­side San­ti­ago. Spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ences in­clude a pri­vate wine-blend­ing class with Ale­jan­dro Vigil (one of Ar­gentina’s lead­ing vint­ners), VIP ac­cess to wine­mak­ers’ homes and vine­yards, and hob­nob­bing with lo­cal wine celebri­ties. ja­ca­da­travel.com

2 Tak­ing in Tas­ma­nia South­ern Cross­ings

At the fore­front of Aus­tralia’s lux­ury tourism in­dus­try, Tas­ma­nia has a wealth of prod­ucts that show­case the boun­ties of na­ture from fab­u­lous fish, cheese and berries to out­stand­ing wine, cider and whisky. A trip to ex­plore this is­land with South­ern Cross­ings might fea­ture shuck­ing oys­ters straight from the sea, a heli-tour to visit winer­ies and dis­til­leries, and a full­day pad­dock-to-plate cook­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in­clud­ing for­ag­ing, har­vest­ing, cook­ing and eat­ing Tas­ma­nian pro­duce. Ac­tive gour­mands can also em­bark on a three-day guided walk of Bruny Is­land to eat lo­cal prod­ucts (from seafood to free-range pork) di­rect from the source be­fore re­tir­ing each night to a lux­ury camp.

3 Into Napa and Sonoma But­ter­field & Robin­son

Learn to make cheese from an ar­ti­sanal pro­ducer, per­fect your shuck­ing tech­nique at an oys­ter farm, see how olive oil is pro­duced and in­fused, and en­joy the spoils of your labour—these are just a few of the ex­pe­ri­ences to look for­ward to dur­ing a hol­i­day to north­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s Napa and Sonoma with lux­ury cy­cling tour op­er­a­tor But­ter­field & Robin­son. Wine, of course, also fea­tures heav­ily in the coun­try’s most fa­mous wine-pro­duc­ing re­gion, which serves up a heart-stir­ring slice of the world with rolling land­scapes of tidy, small-scale vine­yards and wind­ing roads through tiny towns. but­ter­field.com

4 West­ern Cape Wan­der­lust A2A Jour­neys

One of the most scenic parts of the world, the West­ern Cape is also blessed with fine, fer­tile land that gen­er­ates fab­u­lous wine and pro­duce. A2A Sa­faris, which has an of­fice in Sin­ga­pore, maps out trips that bring to­gether the high­lights of the re­gion. A clas­sic so­journ cov­ers the three main wine ar­eas near Cape Town— Con­stan­tia, Fran­schhoek and Stel­len­bosch—and in­cludes prop­er­ties like the mag­nif­i­cent work­ing farm Baby­lon­storen. Trav­ellers will get the chance to blend, bot­tle, name and de­sign the la­bel for their own per­sonal wine at bou­tique vint­ners, or par­tic­i­pate in grape-pick­ing and bare­foot grape-stomp­ing dur­ing har­vest sea­son. a2sa­faris.com

5 Wine Re­gion by Rail Bel­mond Pivoine

This sum­mer, the Lon­don-based lux­ury ho­tel, train and boat com­pany Bel­mond will de­but trips be­tween Cham­pagne and Al­sace aboard the new river barge Bel­mond Pivoine. With four dou­ble en suite cab­ins fea­tur­ing full bath­tubs, the boat serves as a float­ing bou­tique ho­tel that comes with a chef, host­ess, guide and matelot. The itin­er­ary along the river Marne passes un­du­lat­ing vine-filled hills and pretty river­side vil­lages, and fea­tures pri­vate tast­ings, vis­its to cham­pagne houses and ac­cess to stately chateaux at times when they are not open to the pub­lic. bel­mond.com

6 THE Coun­try­side on Foot Walk Ja­pan

In the vein of the slow-food move­ment, Walk Ja­pan of­fers off-the-beat­en­path walk­ing tours that get to the heart of this is­land na­tion. Jour­neys in­cor­po­rate food that is lo­cally sourced, such as rain­bow trout fished from the crys­tal-clear moun­tain streams and san­sai (moun­tain veg­eta­bles) for­aged from the forests. Meals are cou­pled with ex­pe­ri­ences that con­nect to the en­vi­ron­ment and cul­ture, such as hand-pick­ing sen­cha (green tea) from or­ganic plan­ta­tions in Aichi Pre­fec­ture or learn­ing to make soba (buck­wheat noo­dles) with a master in the Kyushu coun­try­side. Ac­com­mo­da­tions are com­fort­able and, like the rest of the trip, of­fer in­sights into the tra­di­tional and re­gional ways of life. walk­japan.com

7 All Aboard In­dochina Aqua Mekong

With the ac­claimed Aus­tralian chef David Thomp­son as its Ex­ec­u­tive Chef, and fea­tur­ing Kh­mer and Viet­namese-in­flu­enced meals us­ing sus­tain­able Mekong in­gre­di­ents, the 20-suite lux­ury river­boat Aqua Mekong has be­come renowned for its ex­quis­ite food—such as grilled river prawns with peanut rel­ish—and for its gor­geous itin­er­ary be­tween Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City. The plush, spa­cious suites all face out­ward and have floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows; the boat also fea­tures a spa, fit­ness cen­tre, din­ing room and ob­ser­va­tion deck with a swim­ming pool and lounge bar. Since the boat has pri­vate ten­ders, guests can ex­plore the re­mote trib­u­taries of the river, get­ting up close and per­sonal with the lo­cal Mekong wildlife. aqua­ex­pe­di­tions.com

GUESTS CAN EX­PLORE THE RE­MOTE TRIB­U­TARIES OF THE RIVER, GET­TING UP CLOSE AND PER­SONAL WITH THE LO­CAL MEKONG WILDLIFE

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