Acendas Vacations

Personal Culinary Travel Highlights from Acendas Travel Agents

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by Sara Jane Crane  —

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There are many reasons to travel. Business. Adventure. Relaxation. Family time. Romance. Exploring other lands and cultures.

Indulging in the delights of the culinary offerings of other lands creates particularly special memories for many travelers. Often we can return to a meal or other food experience in our mind and vividly relive the sights, the sounds, the smells and of course, the tastes.

We thought it would be fun to invite our Travel Advisors to share some of their favorite food or wine experiences from their travels. For many of them, it was very difficult to choose their top favorite, having had their taste buds tantalized by so many diverse culinary events.

Here are just a few of their top memories and recommendations.

[su_quote cite=”Carol Nichols, Acendas Travel Advisor”]For a wonderful dining experience try the Sigilgaida Ristorante in the Hotel Rufolo in Ravello, Italy. This restaurant sits high up on the Amalfi coast.It is an outdoor restaurant with excellent food and breathtaking views. It was the highlight of our trip![/su_quote]

[su_quote cite=”Cynthia Riggins, Director of Vendor Relations and Acendas Travel Advisor”]I once traveled to France and organized the entire itinerary around a restaurant recommendation. We started in Paris and drove to Angers to have dinner in a fabulous restaurant called La Salamdre. Dinner was served in courses with white gloves, we had the Maitre’d choose our menu, and it was excellent. A memory for my lifetime.[/su_quote]

[su_quote cite=”JoAnne Weeks, Vacations Sales Manager and Travel Advisor”]My favorite travel food memory is of a trip to Positano, Italy on the Amalfi coast of Italy. We chose a charming local restaurant to have lunch. We began our meal by being served a delicious Greek salad served family style. The feta was in an entire brick form laid on a plate in front of us to share, with the olives and tomatoes so fresh! The olives were grown locally, and the biggest I had ever seen! The next course was a large, delicious, plate of handmade manicotti. The ricotta, pasta, and sauce were all made right there. It was the best I had ever had! The main dish was made with locally caught seafood and was served with Limoncello, a liquor made with locally grown lemons. This coastline is some of the most beautiful I have ever seen, and it amazes me how they live on the side of these mountains, and use every stitch of land to cultivate the lemons, olives and local grapes. What an amazing place, and a very special experience. [/su_quote]

[su_quote cite=”Ken Milans, Acendas Travel Advisor”]I was in Hong Kong recently with two friends. One night, we decided to visit a “real” Chinese restaurant to see what the food was like. We were seated in the very middle of the restaurant and appeared to be the only tourists there. The menu was in Mandarin and no one working at the restaurant spoke English. Fortunately, there were some pictures of food on the menu, so we all pointed at things we thought we recognized and ordered that way. As this was an authentic Chinese restaurant, there were only chopsticks for utensils. My friends were adept at using them and I figured I could stab enough with them to avoid starving. When the food was brought to the table, one dish had a pile of white rice with an enormous oblong brown thing on top. I was convinced it was some kind of animal. It turned out to be a really large mushroom. Trying new things is one of the great joys of traveling for me.[/su_quote]

[su_quote cite=”Ellie Noyes, Director, Vacation Division and Acendas Travel Advisor”]Perfect for those that want wine tasting within Barcelona, creatively coupled with sampling the varied, wonderful cuisine of Spain, this all-inclusive, 4-5 hour wine and food tour is the answer. A guide leads you through the four main districts of l’Eixample, El Raval, Gothic and Born to local hot spots for great gourmet tapas and a wide variety of wines from around Spain and Catalunya. Wine and food connoisseurs, as well as those who simply enjoy wine, are assured a fun, informative gastronomic experience with plenty of great wine and food, as well as plenty of information from an English-speaking, personable guide about wine, food, culture and the history of the city and region. This is a walking affair with about 15 minutes between each of the four destination restaurants. The tour is about good food, good drink and good laughs for all. The tour collaborates with only fun, non-touristy establishments which are genuinely interested in keeping the experience unique, fun and memorable. [/su_quote]

[su_quote cite=”Sara Jane Crane, Acendas Vacations Marketing Manager”]After experiencing the wonders of seeing the famous Terracotta Army in Xi’an China, our group went to the world famous De Fa Chang dumpling restaurant where we were served an 18-course menu of freshly made dumplings. The waiters brought basket after basket of diverse flavors and textures to our roundtables. We would all dive in with our chopsticks to grab the newest arrivals. It was an experience I will never forget! [/su_quote]