A sensory experience

From Michelin-starred restaurants to local street food crawls, a Gourmet Trails holiday with custom travel specialist RevePlanner lets travellers explore a destination through its multifaceted culinary scene.

Rudyard Kipling once surmised that “the first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” Pamela Tan, founder of custom travel planner RevePlanner, would certainly agree. “Destinations deserve more than just been-there-done-that lists,” she says, stressing that her customers should be able to travel at their own pace with sufficient time to enjoy the ride. With RevePlanner’s latest offering—the Gourmet Trails holiday—Tan aims to weave a destination’s food, history and natural beauty together to create memorable experiences for travellers. Thus far, RevePlanner has covered trips to over 140 cities and towns ranging from hidden onsen villages in Japan, to Val d’Orcia, a lesser-known jewel of the Tuscan countryside. Local guides come recommended through her personal network, so guests are only entrusted in the hands of professionals who have an intimate knowledge of each destination. While charming accommodations (ranging from designer art hotels to cowboy ranches) as well as sightseeing (think sunset hikes to Machu Picchu and horseback riding in Cappadocia) remain an integral part of these trips, the food-related activities on offer are particularly extensive. Tan can arrange for cooking lessons with a real Italian mama and a special snout-to-tail lunch from celebrity butcher Dario Cecchini. A guided tour of Florence’s Mercato Centrale will have you savouring a dazzling array of cheeses, meats, and local wines.

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Fine dining aficionados will be delighted to hear that hard-to-get reservations at Michelin-starred establishments like Lima’s Astrid y Gaston can be secured in advance. Each traveller also receives a personalised booklet containing meal suggestions before every trip—a thoughtful helping hand to avoid less-than-stellar dining experiences while on the road.

Excerpt from June'13 issue of epicure