Thursday, July 30, 2009

Must Eats

CNN features a weekly collection of snaps through iReport, a user-submitted collection of the week's best foods from around the globe. From the creamy to the sweet to the salty to the tempting, you'll be able to access an interesting group of amateur snaps that will make you want to go on vacation as soon as next week. What's stopping you from booking a trip filled with culinary exploration?

If you're a foodie into generous portions, Spain's the place to be. At many a restaurant and bar, you'll find that you get served plenty to go around (and to be paired with beer or wine). Seafood is a fantastic choice and the base of many a Spanish meal, so look for specialties like cod pil-pil, shellfish, casseroles, bream and squid, baby eels, bean soup, and paella, of course! Try tapas, munch on bread with tomato and oil additions, and sausage cooked up with beans. Sample as much wine as you care to, because variety is king in Spain, and you can experiment with sparkling wines, table wines, Burgundy-type wines, unbottled house wine, and sherry, as well as interesting sweet brandies and great mineral water.

Where to Stay: The Sofitel Madrid Plaza de Espana is an elegant stop to enjoy Spanish cuisine without tossing and turning at night afterwards. With a French air accompanied by Spanish fundamentals, this location provides comfortable and luxurious rooms kitted out with cutting-edge technology. If you're looking to experiment with Spanish food on a business trip, this is an ideal location, but don't rule this place out if you're seeking a leisurely stay in Madrid. The location is utterly convenient, with spots like the Royal Palace and the Golden Art Triangle close by, and—of course—the service is impeccable. If Barcelona is more your thing (or another stop on your Spain tour), the Hotel Arts Barcelona is located right on the beach. Foodies will relish the wine cellar, which offers 400 wines and a skilled sommelier to help you pair your choice with the delicious Mediterranean cuisine. If you'd like to head to a more informal spot, there's a bar and restaurant called Arola, which features cuisine styling of Chef Sergi Arola. When you need to take a break from snacking, the Six Senses Spa awaits for your massage and mask.

If you go to France and don't indulge, you are missing out. Not only do the French gather around the table for hours enjoying quality food, but they provide it paired with wonderful wine. The French eat more cheese than any other country in the world, totaling about 45 lbs. per person. With a soft Camembert and a fantastic red, you could pass the time quite comfortably, but you certainly don't have to. Much like in Spain, the traditional foods of France can vary quite a lot between regions, from Confit de Canard to Cotriade, a fish stew from Brittany. French salads are made with the freshest of ingredients, and are extremely tempting on their own, but you'll have to leave some room for the nut tart and other pastries that can grace the table post-dinner.

Where to Stay: When you've got so much to do and so little time to see it all, you need to stay somewhere with an advantageous location. Restaurants need to be tried, cafes need to be sat in, and wineries must be explored: don't let your hotel drag you down! The Four Seasons Hotel George V has a royal-studded past and opened in 1928 in honor of George V of England, the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth. After a two-year renovation following its acquisition by Saudi Prince Al Waleed, the hotel was opened as a Four Seasons location, providing guests with an incomparable level of service. Relax in your room while digesting your tasty meal, and take in all the well-upholstered comfort: it's amazing. In Nice, the Hotel La Perouse is a fine choice, with breathtaking views of the Baie des Anges and a welcoming ambiance. With a provincial décor and comfortable furnishings, you'll find that your travel-weary self just melts away.

Make that list of must-eats and get ready to travel!

No comments:

Post a Comment