/ Luxury Travel Guide
Luxury — By klynch on June 17, 2010 at 5:47 am
Filed under: cooking, featuredarticle, food, Tours, wine

Awaken your Senses with a Culinary Vacation

Some people eat to live. I, on the other hand, live to eat. Nothing is better than a vacation filled with pampering, wine tasting and a little education for your palate. For a complete sensory awakening, why not plan an excursion for your taste buds that involves learning from the region’s top chefs, learning how to make the perfect bouillabaisse and escaping at night to one of the region’s top luxury villas? You deserve the best, so why treat yourself to anything less?

Here are some of my favorites for this all-encompassing experience:

Although New Orleans has endured some hardships that would leave any other area in shambles, New Orleans has kept its head above water. One of the main reasons is because of their culinary culture. The food is what unites the community and keeps everything in tact. Whether you want to embark on a self-guided walking tour and visit the classic restaurants like Brennan’s, Antoine’s or Emeril’s or would like to partake in more formal instruction at the New Orleans Cooking Experience School , you will appreciate the rich history of Creole and Cajun recipes. For accommodations, you have many options. While you are not going to find anything quite like the Villas in France, you will find a piece of New Orleans culture in your resting place, like a historical hotel in the French Quarter or a more secluded Bed & Breakfast.

You are addicted to the Food Network, so why not bring it to life and make reservations on the first Food Network on Sea experience? Embarking from Fort Lauderdale on August 22, the 2,850 passenger Celebrity Solstice will visit the island of San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. While on board the cruise, guests will have the opportunity to meet Cat Cora, Aaron Sanchez and a variety of other TV food celebrities, participate in  cooking classes and learn to make dumplings & pot stickers or Crostini and Truffles, watch  a chef’s competition and partake in one of the ultimate culinary events of the year. Cost for the  7-day cruise start at $1,519 per person. Rooms range from a basic stateroom to a royal suite equipped with a queen-size bed, whirlpool tub, lounge seating, in-suite dining and butler service.

If you enjoy a glass of vino, there is not a better destination than the French-wine producing region of Provence. Located in southeast France, wine has been made in this region just south of the Alps for over 2,600 years. While this region has been influenced by cultures that have migrated to France including the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Gauls, they are unique in their style and Provence is lauded for their spicy, full-bodied red wines, along with their large production of rose. Five Senses Culinary Tours, among others provide culinary tours where guests can escape to the Provence countryside and take in the aroma of the lavender fields, shop in the food markets in old Nice, window shop (and taste) the sweet chocolate at Joel Durand Chocolatier and sip on a summery bottle of Rose. These trips are all planned out for you, don’t require much planning on your part and will introduce you to the best of the region. Since you’ve already traveled half-way around the world, an extended stay is almost required to take in one last admiration of the countryside. Whether this means staying in one of the luxurious Provence villas or a charming B&B, an all-encompassing trip to Provence will remain in your memory books forever.

Photo Credit: Darwin Bell @ flickr

NOTE:  This post is sponsored by Abercrombie & Kent Villas; the opinions expressed herein are those of the author.

Tags: cooking, featuredarticle, food, Tours, wine

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