Sometimes, it pays to get out of the kitchen. Especially when that means diving into new sights, sounds and flavours. But what exactly is on the menu this year? From the newest Michelin-star dining to foraging for truffles, here are some of the most exciting (and conscious) foodie experiences on offer for 2020 – and the best places to discover them first-hand.
Connecting more closely with where your food has come from is definitely high on the agenda. The thinking behind it is simple: when you’re part of the process of creating what’s on your plate, the experience is so much richer. But farm-to-table fun doesn’t necessarily mean throwing on a pair of muddy wellington boots. It could mean hunting for rare white truffles in the autumnal hills around Piedmont, Italy – and seeing your prize delicately shaved over fresh pasta for dinner at Villa La Madonna.
Or learning how the world’s favourite aphrodisiac is cultivated with a private boat trip to an oyster farm, courtesy of beachside hideaway La Sultana Oualida in Morocco.
Plenty of boutique hotels are championing locally-grown produce – and encouraging you to be part of the action. Dig up root vegetables on the organic farm at Castle Hot Springs in Arizona before watching them roast on an open fire. Or, at elegant Les Sources de Caudalie, pair your own dish with a local Pessac-Léognan wine in a private cooking class.
If you’re more gastronome than green-fingered, you’re in luck: Michelin-star dining will never go out of style. At The Dylan, contemporary French dishes are presented like miniature works of art. Perfect for whipping up your appetite, Amsterdam’s ultra-chic shopping streets are also just around the corner. Then there’s Hotel Único in Madrid, where you can go on an epic culinary voyage made up of multiple “moments.” Its award-winning restaurant also offers a “Petit Menu” at lunch if you’re itching to explore the city’s Golden Mile.
Swap city vibes for stunning lakeside views at Hotel RIVA, Germany, where two Michelin-starred delights are matched by the hotel’s sleek rooftop pool – perfect for a pre-lunch swim.
A trend that looks to become a way of life, plant-based eating is becoming easier to take on your travels. Trendy in Sydney is blazing a trail with Australia’s first fully plant-based hotel restaurant, Alibi Bar + Kitchen. While in San Sebastián, Arima Hotel’s Misura restaurant gives you the option of customizing your veggie plates with different treats from the kitchen garden.
Green and ethical tourism go hand in hand – and ticking both boxes is Keemala in Thailand. The resort celebrates Phuket’s 9-day Vegetarian Festival in October, offering guests a low-calorie, ‘healthy living’ menu bursting with Thai flavours year-round. It also adopts a firm position on animal rights, and houses two rescued water buffalo who help keep the hotel’s grass in order.