A Culinary Adventure
Product Manager and food enthusiast, Helen Nelson, shares her secrets on where and what to eat (and drink!).
“Food and drink are the main ingredients for any holiday, whether it’s a three course meal matched with the finest wine or a rustic dish washed down with the local tipple, it’s an opportunity to experience a true taste of a destination.
And nothing tastes quite as good as sampling the cuisine of a country in which it originates. Sit down to a plate of freshly caught seafood in Portugal or tuck into an alfresco lunch of Parma ham, olives and warm, crusty bread in Italy. Breathe in the rich, full-bodied favours that are synonymous with a glass of Red Alentejo or enjoy a refreshing long, fruity drink of Sangria.
Combine this with plentiful sunshine, ever changing landscapes, hillside villages and seductive cities; and you have all you could possibly want for a very special escape. It's time to feed your sense of wanderlust.”
Most of our holidays are half board because we know how much you can work up an appetite on a walking holiday! Mealtimes are relaxed and sociable occasions, providing the opportunity to discuss the day’s events, tomorrow’s schedule and to swap stories of travel and life. On holidays where all meals are not included, our tour leader will be able to make suggestions as to where to eat and we won’t leave you to fend for yourself.
In many destinations, mealtimes are seen more as social than purely functional occasions and consequently the service may be less brisk that you may be used to in restaurants at home.
Different countries may also serve meals in the local style, such as with meat and vegetable courses served separately, as different courses or in unexpected combinations. In some cases, a local speciality or staple dish may appear at every possible opportunity. Remember, one of the reasons you’ve probably gone on holiday in the first place is to experience something different!
Drinks, including tea and coffee are usually not included but may often be ordered at additional charge. In some destinations it is not uncommon for hotels not to serve tap water, even when perfectly drinkable, and to charge for bottled water.
Half board includes breakfasts (usually continental) and evening meals (or occasionally lunch). These are either at the hotel or in a local restaurant and consist of two or more courses. When a holiday states ‘all meals’, lunch is usually a packed lunch. Check individual holiday descriptions for specific meal arrangements.
Our Reservations Team will be able to advise you further according to your destination, so please call them to discuss your needs before booking.
Special Dietary Requests
We often have special requests relating to particular dietary needs such as for vegetarian, high-fibre or other diets.
Please advise us of any special dietary requests. We will pass this information on to the airline you will be travelling with, the hotels you will be staying in and to our tour leaders. Some destinations and local service providers may be better than others in accommodating your requests.
Should your dietary requirements be restrictive, you may wish to consider bringing some personal supplies to supplement locally provided meals. If you have any particular concerns, please contact us.
Please also note that in many countries vegetarian eating is not widespread and some tolerance or patience may be needed at meal times.
Where group meals are included in the holiday charge, your tour leader will generally handle any tipping requirements on the group’s behalf. When meals are not included and the group eats independently, your leader will be able to provide advice on tipping expectations.
In most countries, in restaurants where a service charge is not included, a 10% tip is considered acceptable. In some parts of the world such as the USA and the Caribbean a 15-20% tip is commonly expected for standard levels of service. A disinclination to tip may have an impact on the meals service and your enjoyment of this aspect of your holiday.