Destinations

South Beach cultural food and walking tour: Miami is a melting pot of Latin American cultures – and the South Beach is one of the best places to get a taste of its bubbling food scene. Stopping at up to seven top restaurants, this two and a half hour guided tour will introduce foodys to a range of dishes, from traditional Colombian, Argentine, Cuban, Peruvian classic and even gourmet Italian specialities, whilst your guide will also help you get to grips with the South Beach's iconic Art Deco architecture. Prices from £38 per person. Visit www.Viator.com

The Chocolate Kingdom Factory Adventure Tour is a chocolate retailer, museum and factory which explains how chocolate is made from bean to bar.

A Personal Chocolate Tour Guide joins forces with a handsome Prince and his Dragon assistant to take guests through a Cacao Tree Greenhouse, a one-of-a-kind Chocolate Museum, a Mystical River of Chocolate and a Bean-to-the-Bar Factory utilizing old world machinery.  With an opportunity to create a customized chocolate bar, Chocolate Kingdom is the most unique, interactive chocolate experience in North America. It's fun for chocoholics of all ages.

Besides offering a museum/factory tour, Chocolate Kingdom will let customers taste and try chocolate creations from all over the world. Tours last approximately 45 minutes. www.chocolatekingdom.com | www.destinationkissimmee.co.uk

After sitting dormant for years, The Barlow Apple Cannery is experiencing a re-birth as The Barlow, a food artisan marketplace and production facility.  Phase one opened in January, with tenants like Kosta Browne Winery, Taylor Maid Farms, Wolfard Glassblowing, and Aubergine Vintage Emporium.

The Barlow is the first business community in the US to connect customers with products, the people who make them, and with the production techniques.  Visitors will find local wine makers, food producers and artisans, who are creating products and selling them on the spot.  The Barlow will also feature bocce ball courts, restaurants, fire pits, and the Sebastopol Farmers Market. The Barlow, 200 Morris Street, Sebastopol, CA  95472. Tel: (707) 824-5600. www.thebarlow.net

As a store renowned for its gastronomic abundance, epicurean inspiration and celebratory spirit, Fortnum & has launched its first ever pop-up bakery.

Running until Sunday 7 April, dishes from guest celebrity bakers will be served at the Fortnum's British Bakery for a period of two weeks each; they will also host a series of masterclasses, before handing over the baking baton. Visitors can not only take-away the treats but enjoy them in a dedicated café at the Pop Up, accompanied by a choice of drinks. Located on the First Floor at Fortnum's, the British Bakery will also have a dedicated retail section offering everything from the best baking ingredients to home-wares and cook books. www.fortnumandmason.com

The Hidden Kitchen is a pop-up restaurant, designed to bring together people with a passion for good food. It takes place four times a month in a Shoreditch home. Guests sit at a communal table and are served a seven-course taster menu with accompanying wines: the cost of the full tasting menu including wine is just £40 per head.

Dates in March are 13th and 14th; the menu will include items such as a Pisco Sour cocktail, an amuse-bouche of Foie Gras served with a glass of prosecco. Starters, served with a French Sauvignon, could be Fillet Carpaccio, Causa Limena with Octopus and Salmon Tartar. Mains, served with Chateau Coulon Veredus, Corbieres reserve, are likely to be Duck Magret, Tahini Sea Bass and Mango Ceviche. Dessert – a Pear Frangipane tart.

Chef/proprietor Alvaro Bazan who comes from a family of restaurateurs based in Santiago, Chile (www.ambrosia.cl), has also made a name as an Event Planer. For full information and reservations contact Alvaro at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel 07864 527145.

Congratulations to The Ambrette Restaurants Margate and Rye for being named Best Indian Restaurant in the South East by Cobra Good Curry Guide – despite not serving curry.

Chef-patron Dev Biswal Biswal hopes that his latest accolade will encourage the next generation of Indian chefs and restaurateurs to move away from a "de facto franchise model" where almost every high street curry house offers a near identical menu. The Ambrette, 44 King Street, Margate Old Town, Kent CT9 1QE. Tel: 01843 231504; The Ambrette @ Rye, 24 High Street, Rye, East Sussex TN31 7JF. Tel: 01797 222043. www.theambrette.co.uk

2013 sees Noosa celebrating its 10th annual Food & Wine Festival, and to mark the anniversary they have lined up 10 Guest Chefs from the 2012 San Pellegrino World's Best Restaurants list.

The Queensland Virtuosi Orchestra will open the event which runs from 16 – 19 May with a line-up of over 200 leading national and international chefs, iconic winemakers and restaurateurs. www.noosafoodandwine.com.au

This new Farm Gate & Cellar Door Trail includes three suggested itineraries offering a variety of art, scenic highlights and natural delights. Kangaroo Island, renowned for products such as free range eggs, berry jams, seafood and cheeses, also has 200 hectares of vines tended by 30 growers who produce wine for 18 labels.  Cider and spirits are also made locally so indulge in the finest feast of food and wine. www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/foodandwine/trail

El Encanto – Orient Express Group

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Meticulously restored El Encanto reopens in Santa Barbara in March 2013 as part of the Orient-Express portfolio.

The early 20th-century property will recapture all the romance and glamour that made it the favoured getaway of Hollywood's elite. Nestled in seven-acres of landscaped gardens El Encanto enjoys sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. The secluded retreat will feature 92 California-style bungalows, a spa, signature restaurant featuring California coastal cuisine and a Santa Barbara dedicated wine list, outdoor infinity edge swimming pool, a window-lined ballroom with private terrace, and an array of outdoor event venues.

El Encanto will also be taking Californian cuisine to new levels by providing milk from its cow, Ellie, which is housed on a farm in central California. The milk will be used solely to make a special cheese for El Encanto. The cheese will be complemented by El Encanto's own unpasteurised beer brewed nearby and the property's own freshly roasted coffee and on-site herb and vegetable garden will further strengthen El Encanto's commitment to offering fresh locally sourced produce. www.elencanto.com or call the Orient-Express UK reservations team on 0845 077 2222.

A series of three themed Tasty Walks combining Guernsey's stunning scenery with the island's gastronomy will run throughout March and April. There will be 34 walks on offer packaged together led by an accredited walking guide and ending with a traditional Guernsey meal at a local restaurant. The restaurants have been selected for their quality and use of local produce.
For full details of Tasty Walks - A Stitch in Time - St Peter Port, A West Coast Wanderer and Uninvited Guests - The Reich, The Writer and The Royals visit: http://bit.ly/WuQzWr and for information on Guernsey www.visitguernsey.com

Continuing its tradition of offering world-class cuisine, 11 restaurants in Portugal have been recognised in the 2013 Michelin Guide Spain and Portugal. The guide names two restaurants of two Michelin star quality and a further nine restaurants of one Michelin star quality.
For more information about Portugal visit www.visitportugal.com or www.taste-portugal.com

Frankfurt's top chefs are continuing to win Michelin stars and Gault Millau points with their culinary skills. For information on Frankfurt and its fabulous restaurants visit www.frankfurt-tourismus.de

With its mild climate Gran Canaria is a great winter holiday destination.

Visitors to Las Palmas should consider taking one of the new city walking routes such as that round Vegueta/Triana, the oldest part of Las Palmas, with its gastronomic option of a tapas lunch in Bienmesabe, a family run taberna, which offers tasty tapas with local Gran Canaria flavours . Bienmesabe, translates into "tastes good to me", is a typical Canarian dessert made of honey and almonds, perfect with ice cream. Walking routes are €10 plus €10 extra for the gastronomic option. Also in Vegueta every Thursday tapa with wine/beer from €2 is on offer.  The quality of the tapa is excellent as every week there is a competition between the bars and restaurants as to the best. www.grancanaria.com

Montréal

Visitors looking for a unique dining experience should check out these highly alternative options: O.Noir is Canada's original dining-in-the-dark restaurant where the meal takes place in complete darkness, served by staff that are truly blind; Robin des Bois is a volunteer-run restaurant where locals prepare and serve gourmet food, and proceeds go to charity; Zero8 is a healthy-dining choice with the focus on allergy-free food; ChuChai, just reopened after renovation, completely reinvents vegetarian cuisine by preparing typically meat-based recipes using alternative ingredients.

Whistler

On a short vacation it can be difficult to find the best places to eat. However visitors to Whistler can try out Whistler Dining Tours. During guided walking tours, guests enjoy a multi-course Progressive Lunch, Dinner, or Dessert where each s course is provided by one of the different restaurants in Whistler. www.whistlertastingtours.com

Win a prize a day for 24 days with Bavaria's online Advent calendar competition 1 – 24 December.

Behind each door is not only the chance to win a great prize but also there will be lots of useful information about German and Bavarian Christmas traditions and glimpses into some of Bavaria's most beautiful villages, towns and regions. The prizes include f hotel vouchers, shopping and train vouchers, high quality German and Bavarian souvenirs, Bavarian beer and even a great weekend in Nuremberg.

Click on the window of the day. The new window will tell you all about the prize of the day. Just enter your email address and name to be entered into the competition. The window will only go live on the day in question. www.bavaria.by/german-advent-calendar-competition

Here's the ultimate App for anyone who loves Germany's traditional Christmas markets: get into the Christmas mood with the help of The German National Tourist Board, which has launched a new App listing 22 Christmas markets from Berlin to Bayern, which also includes travel discounts courtesy of Deutsche Bahn. There are smaller markets, just oozing Gemütlichkeit in places such as Weimar and Rothenburg ob der Tauber, to larger more sophisticated affairs in Nuremberg and Cologne.

The App is free of charge for Apple Users and available at:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/christmas-markets-germany/id575303736?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2

For Android versions (available shortly) go to www.germany.travel/facebook

From 24 November Cité Europe is transformed into a magical "Fairy tale" land with animated scenes and displays including Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio and Puss in Boots. Father Christmas will be on-hand in his Grotto, every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday from 1 December. Other Christmas festivities will be taking place too, including carol singing and face painting, plus rides around the centre every day from Saturday 8 December in the "Petit Train".

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The celebrated wine store Calais Vins on the outskirts of Calais, affiliated to the Franglais wine and beer store at Frethun, has been providing customers with a wide range of excellent wines, beers and spirits for over 10 years - some 2000 at the last count! With its good-value offers, tasting bar and English speaking staff happy to offer advice it has long been a favourite of British customers.

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An innovate scheme in Shropshire, based on 'green' and sustainable principles, is being highlighted as a guide to where locals and visitors will find the very best value-for-money in the Shropshire Hills.

The directory which maps-out where people can 'go, buy, eat, and stay' not only offers its customers the chance to support some of the most sustainable businesses in Shropshire, but to also find some of the best value-for-money.

Many of the businesses are tourism-related - including B&Bs, guest houses, holiday cottages and inns. The restaurants, cafés, tearooms and inns, meanwhile, are where it's possible to enjoy afternoon teas, pub lunches and wholesome dinners made with locally-sourced produce. The food producers themselves are where customers will find an array of food-and-drink including artisan breads, home-made sausages, jams, cheeses, honey and beer.

Most of the B&Bs, guest houses, farmhouses, cafes, restaurants, pubs, shops, food producers and activity providers display the "Buy Local - Be Sustainable" logo in their windows and front doors.

For full details about the Shropshire Hills Sustainable Business Scheme visit www.shropshirehills-buylocal.co.uk

Award-winning coffee roastery and café, Ozone Coffee Roasters on Leonard Street, Shoreditch, is hosting monthly 'cupping' events for foodys and coffee-lovers on the first Wednesday of every month. The next event is Wednesday 5 December at 6:30pm and costs £25 per person.

The leading artisan coffee company will share their extensive knowledge of the coffee journey from origin to cup, providing a detailed coffee tasting (or 'cupping'), refreshments and a full roastery tour in the 90-minute masterclass. After learning about their own personal flavour preferences during the cupping session, guests will leave the class with a bespoke bag of freshly roasted Ozone coffee beans and advice on how to continue their coffee journey at home.

Booking essential: for reservations call: 0207 490 1039. www.ozonecoffee.co.uk

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