Whether you’re looking for a fine wine-tasting getaway in Burgundy or fancy sampling the modern craft ales of Prague, we’ve got a great list of places where you can enjoy sipping the best of local beverages, paired with some equally delectable cuisine. So sit back, relax and raise a glass of your favourite drink to a great holiday…
Prague, Czech Republic
Best for… craft beers & budget-pleasing menus
How to do it: Bed down in a brewery at the venerable U Medvídků, founded in 1466, where doubles cost from £67 a night.
Best for… venerable Spanish vintages & cool contemporary food
How to do it: Doubles at Echaurren Hotel Gastronómico from £160 per night. The closest airport, Bilbao, is a 90-minute drive.
Ashdown Forest, Sussex
Best for… medal-winning English wines & fairy-tale forest
Review by Fiona Forman
Best for… sunny South of France eats & treats
How to do it: Fly to Marseille with Ryanair from £50 return. The train from Marseille to Cassis costs £5.40 each way. Airbnb has some great accommodation options starting at £37 per night for an entire apartment.
Best for… dram drinkers & spectacular seafood
How to do it: For a luxurious foodie option, stay at the Isle of Eriska Hotel, a 20-minute drive from the centre of Oban, for £350 per night.
Best for… big French wines & hearty food
How to do it: Food & Wine Weekends at Domaine De Cromey cost £1,150 per person (four days/three nights), full-board, including tastings, excursions and transfers to the local station. Return rail fare from London to Le Creusot from £95 (including Eurostar).
Surrounded by vineyards, Domaine de Cromey, a converted farmhouse in the heart of Burgundy, is the ideal base for a culinary break. A stay at this luxury manor house, owned by couple Dennis and Ellie, includes meals cooked by chef Ellie, accompanied by a fabulous range of Burgundian wines. Learn where they come from at vineyards in the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits areas. Visits include tastings among the vines, and Domaine guests also have the option of private cellar tastings.A short drive away, the town of Beaune, wine capital of Burgundy, is a must-visit, particularly on market days (Wednesdays and Saturdays), where you’ll find great local produce. There’s wine aplenty in Beaune’s shops and cellars, but be sure to stop at Alain Hess Fromagerie (7 Place Carnot) for a staggering array of local cheeses.
Best for… bubbles and classic menusHow to do it: Travel from Dover to Calais with DFDS ferries from £39 each way. Crossings take 90 minutes.Home to many of France’s largest champagne houses, the pretty medieval city of Reims is an ideal base for a fizz-fuelled visit to the Champagne-Ardenne region. Tour the vast network of chalk cellars at the famous Taittinger champagne house and the small family-run Champagne Godme Sabine in Verzenay.
It’s a short drive from Reims (stop on the way to admire the Windmill of Verzenay) and sip champagne six metres above the ground at The Perching Bar in a treehouse in the forest of Verzy. To soak up all that bubbly, head to Brasserie Excelsior in Reims city centre. The menu features classic brasserie dishes, including oysters, steak-frites, beef tartare and crème brûlée. Set dinner menus start at £24.60 for two courses.
Review by Anna Lawson
Best for… prosecco and sweet treatsHow to do it: For a speedy city break, book a room at Relais San Nicolò, based in Treviso’s historic centre. For a luxurious country break, book yourself into the Villa Luppis, with double rooms for around £104 per night.At the heart of Italy’s sparkling wine region, Treviso is the perfect starting point for a trip down ‘prosecco road’ – a scenic stretch of wineries, hotels and B&Bs. First explore the town, with its stunning mix of elaborate Venetian gothic and Romanesque architecture. For a hearty lunch, stop off at Osteria Muscoli opposite the daily fish market for a golden plate of ‘frittura mista’. Later, treat yourself to a plate of spaghetti alla chitarra with a rich guinea fowl ragu at Le Beccherie. While debate rages about who invented tiramisu, it’s widely acknowledged that Le Beccherie was one of the first purveyors.
Take a trip to 47 Anno Domini for a stunning range of wines and fruity prosecco – pair your fizz with the local meats and cheeses, like the creamy casatella. Continue your tasting at the tiny family-run vineyard of Le Celline. For a filling plate of fresh pasta, hop across the road to Trattoria Da Vanda (+39 0432 900029) for a Bolognese to fuel you through the day.Review by Georgina Kiely
Isle of Harris, Scotland
Best for… freshly caught crab and local ginHow to do it: A minimum three-night stay at Sound of Harris costs from £323 in The Other House, or from £460 in The Big House.There aren’t many self-catering cottages with owners who go fishing so there’s just-caught pollack in the fridge for your breakfast. Or dress the crab you’ve brought with you because you can’t face it yourself. Or race after your car because you’ve left all your smart clothes in the wardrobe and they don’t want you to miss the ferry back. Sound of Harris is no ordinary holiday rental, designed and decorated by Carol and Rob, an English couple who fell in love with the beaches of this beautiful island in the Outer Hebrides and built two cottages here, right on the sea. The style is mid-century modern, with Ercol and Habitat originals and geometric artworks and ceramics along with the Borrisdale tweed they weave and sell in their tiny on-site shop. The Big House is designed around the fully-equipped kitchen, a cook’s dream, so bring supplies with you – Just Hooked near the ferry from Skye (sailing time 1.5 hours) can sort you out with local lobster, crab, langoustine and monkfish.
While Harris is a Deliveroo-free zone, you can still enjoy hearty, restaurant-quality food. Island caterers Croft 36 will drop off sustainably caught fish, seafood, game and meat (rabbit stew, fish curry or moules marinière) to Harris’s visitors and residents. When you want to explore, pack a picnic – the white-sand beaches, especially Luskentyre, are uncrowded and unspoilt. Harris’s main foodie attraction is the gin distillery in Tarbert, producing a smooth, world-class gin with a distinct flavour courtesy of sea kelp, in a beautiful bottle you’ll keep forever.Review by Christine Hayes
Best for… beer & harbour viewsHow to do it: Stay at The St Moritz Hotel near Rock and Padstow. Twin rooms £160 a night per person.You’ll find vineyards, distilleries and breweries, as well as places to eat, around the sheltered bay. Daily catches supply eateries, including Prawn on the Lawn. Try a plate piled high with Porthilly mussels and clams or a whole red mullet.
Visit the cosy Harbour Inn for a glass of delicate Camel Valley Pilsner, the brainchild of two Cornish drinks giants: Camel Valley wines and Sharp’s Brewery. Or try Seven Souls ale, a perfect balance of bitter and sweet. Indulge in dry-aged rib-eye and roasted pumpkin with plump burrata and romesco sauce at Nathan Outlaw’s The Mariners, and end with Crackler cheddar alongside fruitcake infused with Doom Bar – an almost porty beer.
Review by Georgina Kiely
Best for… sun-ripened veg and idyllic simplicity
How to do it: Don Tuto, located in the small town of San Cassiano, is nothing short of idyllic. Rooms are available from £176 a night and include breakfast and an aperitif in the evening.
Situated in the heel of the ‘boot’ of Italy, Puglia’s veg-centric dishes show a special appreciation for the produce, whereby even the simplest of ingredients are elevated, like courgettes marinated and lightly seasoned in a light and perfectly balanced salad, and cima di rapa combined with garlic and anchovy to form the most flavoursome pasta sauce. Take a tour of this area and you will eat very well.
At La Farmacia dei Sani in Ruffano, Valentina Rizza, the head chef, cooks a pasta dish with anchovies and pistachios that is an absolute delight. Head to La Bersagliera, in Surano (+39 345 795 3080) where Raffaele Fabcullio serves plates of food based on the produce that surrounds him. He also runs private cooking classes for guests staying in the nearby Don Totu hotel. La Puritate in Gallipoli (+39 0833 264205) specialises in fish – try the salt-crusted red shrimps. And for a truly hyperlocal meal, visit Le Stanzie in Supersano with its underground olive presses. They make their own ricotta, pasta and bread and grow their own veg.
Review by Elena Silcock
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All recommendations have been reviewed and approved as of July 2018 and will be checked and updated annually. If you think there is any incorrect or out-of-date information in this guide, please email us at email@example.com.
Travellers are advised to read the FCO travel advice for the country they are travelling to.
Assistance for this feature was provided by: therectoryhotel.com, sharpsbrewery.co.uk, prosecco.wine, dfdsseaways.co.uk, soundofharris.co.uk, czechtourism.com, dontotu.it