Part-time traveller, Full-Time Brummie

Food and Travel, Forever Linked

A Brummie Home and Abroad Blog Post: Food & Travel, Forever Linked

If I were going to list my passions in life, then chances are that food and travel would be top. In either order. In this unusual time of lockdown, I’m still indulging in one, if not the other. Over-indulging, some might say. The fasteners on my jeans would definitely say.

May’s Travel Link Up theme is “travelling by plate”, which led me to think of some of my favourite meals and dining experiences, home and abroad. In no particular order, let’s delve into a menu of memories.

Old style Italian dining in Florence

Think of a country with an amazing cuisine and chances are you’ll think of Italy. Which is why it has two entries that come to mind when I think about food and travel. It was our final night in Florence, and we were trying to find the piazza where we’d eaten on our first night. After going round and round in circles, we decide to eat at one of the restaurants at Piazza di San Firenze. There seem to be no vacant tables on the terrace at Osteria De’Peccatori, but we are beckoned over by a beaming waiter who magics up a table for two out of nowhere.

I can’t remember what we ate, only that the food was excellent, the wine was even better and the hospitality couldn’t have been more warm and welcoming. Not just because all the waiters look as if they have been waiting tables for at least sixty years. Best of all, the two meals, wine, beer and limoncelli come to just 35,00 euro – a bargain.

You can find out more about our trip to Florence here!

Back Street Tapas in Tenerife

Our local resort was very much of the “full English Breakfast” and “2 cocktails for 5 euro” mould. Bingo and karaoke. Sports bars and europop. So we grabbed authentic lunches when we could when we were out and about discovering the real Tenerife. In Garachicho, after exploring the natural swimming pools that had formed off the coast, we headed through the small town.

There was little showy about the tiny Bodegon Plaza-Casa Juan restaurant on Calla Francisco Martinez de Fuentes. In fact, it felt like we were being seated in someone’s front room. We ordered five or six small dishes, a mixture of meat and seafood, with the ubiquitous patatas bravas. And it felt like the food kept on coming, and the sangria kept flowing. Definitely a hidden gem that’s worth seeking out.

Enjoying a Ben & Jerry’s at its Vermont home

On a beautiful, balmy September evening in New England, Mr Fletche and I headed from our hotel in Stowe to Lake Champlain in Burlington. It had been a restful day. For me anyway. Mr Fletche had been battling with a dodgy tummy so it had been a day of sticking close to a bathroom. After successfully keeping a late lunch inside, we decided dinner should be of the ice cream variety. And in Vermont, ice cream means Ben & Jerry’s. And Burlington is it’s home.

We get in line at the Ben & Jerry’s location on Church Street. Mr Fletche has Cherry Garcia, I opt for Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl. It takes approximately two minutes for the brown ice cream to drip all the way down my cream top. And all the way around my face. And on my hands. I look like a particularly unruly child. It’s totally worth walking around in a stained top for.

You can find out more about our trip to Vermont here!

From Field to Table in Rural Croatia

There’s little doubt that our dining options are limited as we drive into deepest darkest rural Croatia for a farmhouse stay at Agrotourism Kalpic. We’re greeted by cats, dogs and chickens, and a smiling host who explains that a home-cooked meal is available for 20 euro apiece. We gratefully take her up on the offer. And this is by far our favourite meal of our 2 week Croatian road trip. Served al fresco under a clear star-filled sky, the food is amazing. A bruschetta starter. Grilled meats and potatoes cooked under a traditional Croatian bell. A luscious white chocolate and cherry dessert.  The wine is locally produced, and we have homemade schnapps to complete the meal. We continue drinking wine long after the meal has finished.

You can find out more about Kalpic here, and you can read more about our stay after a day visiting Krka National Park.

All-Inclusive Buffet 0 Nachos On The Beach 1

Even independent travellers enjoy chilling out with a package all-inclusive holiday every once in a while. And in 2014 we headed to the Riu Tequila in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Everything was excellent, as you’d expect from a Riu, but we soon tired of the same four walls and buffet food. So one late afternoon, as it cooled down to a manageable 30°C or so after a hot and sweaty day, we strolled down to town. Spoiler alert, a 3km walk in this heat isn’t pleasant.

So it was with relief that we crashed down at the first beach bar we found. A simple table-and-chairs-on-the-sand set-up. The name escapes me, but I know that the first beer went down surprisingly quickly. So much so that we thought it only polite to order a second, with a platter of nachos on the side. Never has a plate of nachos, fully loaded with guacamole, sour cream, salsa and jalapenos ever tasted so good. Perfect fuel for the 3km walk back.

If you fancy a Mexican visit, here are my 6 Reasons to Visit Playa Del Carmen.

An Ad-Hoc Picnic Lunch in Cinque Terre

And it’s back to Italy for my final choice. We ate incredible seafood, wonderful pizzas and drank amazing local wine. But out of all our Italian meals, it is a simple picnic lunch at the Cinque Terre town of Manarola that makes me smile. After a morning clambering up the steps to Corniglia, we are ready for lunch by the time we disembark the train at Manarola.

The beautifully elegant al fresco ristorantes can’t tempt us but the delicious smell of warm focaccia coming from Pizzeria La Cambusa does. We buy two focaccia, and two of the biggest bottles of Birra Morretti I’ve ever seen. We do as the locals do, and find a place on the rocks overlooking the crystal blue waters to dine. No Michelin-starred restaurant could have provided a better meal for us that day.

Ah, food and travel – these are a few of my favourite things! If I can’t travel for the foreseeable future it’ll be fun to see how many we can recreate in our own home! Let me know your favourite food and travel memories in the comments below or over on social media – I love to hear from you!

Thank you to Adventures of a London KiwiSilverSpoon LondonBinnys Food and Travel Diaries, The Curious Pixie and Scott Can Eat  for hosting this month’s “Travelling by Plate” Travel Linkup.

Featured images from Brooke Lark and Mink Mingle on Unsplash. All other photos are my own.

A Brummie Home and Abroad Blog Post: Food & Travel, Forever Linked

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14 responses to “Food and Travel, Forever Linked”

  1. Rachael Stray says:

    Food and travel ❤️

  2. Stumbling across little restaurants and bars are the best – the nachos in Mexico will be a memory you’ll hold forever!
    Em x

    • emfletche says:

      It proves that you don’t need gourmet meals or Michelin starred experiences- nothing would beat those nachos at that time!

  3. Neha says:

    What a great selection. I love how we are finding way to travel from our homes

  4. I like the idea of the farmhouse stay in Croatia. A great way to try local food.

    • emfletche says:

      It was so lovely! We only chose it because of its proximity to Krka but I’d return in a heartbeat 💗

  5. Bejal says:

    Fantastic read, I feel so transported to these destinations. I adore picnics and the one in Cinque Terra!

  6. I am so with you on the food and travel front. What passions to have right? Florence is so high up my travel list, every time I see it I fall in love just a little more. Dining under the stars in Croatia sounds pretty special to me too!

    • emfletche says:

      Oddly we didn’t fall in love with Florence, but I think that was because we came straight from Venice which was a dream for us – Florence was busy and polluted and a little too grubby for my liking. HOWEVER, the art and food are both spectacular 😁

  7. Binny says:

    The farmhouse stay in Croatia and home cooked meals as well as the fact that she is clearly as animal mad as me sounds perfect to me!! These are all great memories and I now want to go to Vermont too!

    • emfletche says:

      We woke up to the sound of a cockerel crowing and goat bells clanging – the perfect alarm call! Would definitely recommend!

  8. Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi says:

    Travel and food are the best companions (that and the occasional glass of wine!)

  9. I totally agree that food and travel are intertwined – food’s a big part of any trip of mine and I remember the meals as well as I do the activities!

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