Franschhoek is a gorgeous village in South Africa’s Cape Winelands, just an hour from Cape Town. Despite its tiny size, it’s a foodie town with a remarkable number of fine dining restaurants in the village and on nearby wine estates. Most Franschhoek restaurants take advantage of the bountiful local produce with creative, seasonal menus.
Barolo is a small wine region in the Langhe area of Piemonte in northern Italy. Of course, people come here for the wine, but there are many more reasons to visit including the delicious food. The Slow Food movement originated nearby and this is a region that takes its food seriously. Expect to spend hours savouring multiple courses of rich dishes featuring fresh truffles, egg pasta, delicious cheeses, and local hazelnuts, all accompanied by glasses of the superb wines.
Varenna is one of the prettiest towns on Lake Como in Italy. Its colourful houses tumble down the mountainside and the streets are narrow cobbled staircases that lead to the lake. We had heard that Varenna was a quieter alternative to popular Bellagio across the lake, but on the first weekend in September, tiny Varenna was crowded with visitors during the day (the mornings and evenings are quieter).
There’s good news and bad news for vegetarians in Vietnam. The bad news is that no Vietnamese dishes are naturally vegetarian, so hunting down street eats is a challenge if you want something more than a laughing cow cheese banh mi. The good news is that many Buddhists in Vietnam eat vegetarian food for at least two days a month. This means that there are many vegetarian restaurants, and for two days at full and new moons (30th/1st and 14th/15th days of the lunar calendar), you can even find street stalls selling meat-free dishes.