Whether you eat to live or live to eat, there’s no doubt that when you travel, you’re doing both to the fullest. It may begin with Bloody Marys in the airport lounge before takeoff or an in-flight glass of Champagne celebrating the start of your trip. Then it’s those impossible-to-get reservations your travel advisor secured at a three-star restaurant, the local hole-in-the-wall you discover while exploring a destination, and the gourmet souvenirs you bring back. And let’s not underestimate the first meal you order upon returning home (Tex-Mex for me, always). Food is central to the travel experience.
That’s the basis of this issue of Virtuoso Life, which takes you to the best places to try regional dishes on five continents (apologies to Antarctica and Australia – maybe next time), looks at the latest twist in Lyon’s famed dining scene, and explores Ecuador’s cacao trail (did you know researchers believe chocolate originated there?). You’ll hear from a Virtuoso traveler about her family’s trip to Italy, visit Germany’s Christmas markets, hit a few wine bars in Prague, and sample Cambodia’s Kampot pepper, among other enticements.
Also in this issue: our report on what’s new in luxury experiential travel. Your travel advisor likely attended Virtuoso Travel Week, the world’s biggest luxury travel show that brings together nearly 4,500 travel advisors and industry executives. Advisors go with you in mind, as do our editors, as we seek out travel news, information, and inspiration that will help you plan your future trips.
I suppose it’s proof that I live to eat when, after meeting with representatives from hundreds of hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, and destinations, my notes are food-focused: This hotel has a new restaurant or bar; that cruise line offers cooking classes; take a chef-led market tour here; try grape-stomping there. The world’s waiting – who’s hungry?
A few fun things we picked up from our Virtuoso Week meetings.
1. andBeyond CEO Joss Kent gave me these Care bracelets, which are available at andBeyond safari lodges and benefit Africa Foundation’s conservation efforts.
2. Waldorf Astoria Park City keeps a stash of vanilla-mint lip balm for guests.
3. Page markers from Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.
4. Delta Air Line’s Business Elite amenity kit.