All Nippon Airways Partners with Patina Restaurant on New In-Flight Menu‏

October 23, 2014 on 4:08 pm | In Asia, California, Dine Drink, Japan, Los Angeles | Comments Off

Master Chef Joachim Splichal crafts exclusive in-flight menu for ANA passengers

All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s leading airline, today announced that it has partnered with the legendary, fine dining Los Angeles restaurant, Patina, to develop an in-flight menu exclusively for ANA business-class passengers flying out of LAX starting December 1. The collaboration mirrors programs with world-class chefs that were simultaneously announced in Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Thailand today.

The collaboration between ANA and Patina will be marked on Monday, 3 November with a media lunch and ANA VIP customer evening event at the restaurant itself. Attendees to the lunch will get to enjoy a four course meal from the new inflight menu.

“ANA strives to always provide our passengers with the finest flying experience and it’s our pleasurable challenge to find ways to continually surprise and delight them,” said Mr. Yuji Hirako, Senior Vice President of The Americas for ANA. “This partnership with Patina is one that complements our brands’ strengths; Master Chef Splichal is renowned for his daring take on modern dining, crafting works of culinary art that stimulate the senses – and this attention to every detail, this by design, captures our ethos at ANA perfectly. Everything we do is designed with the comfort, convenience and style of our passengers in mind.”

ANA will update its inflight dishes every season over the course of the year-long collaboration with Patina. The initial menu includes a breakfast of organic scrambled eggs on toasted brioche with California Hass avocados, applewood smoked bacon and crispy breakfast potatoes. For lunch and/or dinner customers can choose between a fish option of Grouper with almond pistou, cranberry beans and confit tomatoes or a fillet of beef with potato and black chanterelle mushrooms. This selection will last until the end of February.

Patina, long loved by both critics and the public, is the flagship restaurant from Chef Splichal’s Patina Restaurant Group and has received numerous awards including a prestigious Michelin star, a rare four-star review from the Los Angeles Times, and Wine Spectator’s Grand Award every year since 1994. Located in the spectacular Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles, Patina expresses the highest culinary ideals of Chef and Founder Joachim Splichal.

“At Patina, we pride ourselves in providing our guests with the ultimate fine dining adventure, and through this partnership with ANA, I’m able to recreate a part of that experience 30,000 feet up in the air,” said Master Chef Splichal. “I’ve always respected ANA for leading the charge in providing excellent dining options for their passengers, so it’s been an honor collaborating with them to create a menu that highlight’s Patina’s contemporary and seasonal take on ‘western-style’ dishes to complement ANA’s superb culinary offerings.”

ANA has collaborated with chefs and restaurants around the world to provide their passengers a taste of the best that the departing city has to offer. In Singapore, ANA has teamed up with Regent Singapore, in Thailand the Four Seasons Hotel and in China the Shangri-La in Beijing, Dalian, Shenyang, Hangzhou and Hong Kong. This international inflight meal partnership program reflects both the great diversity of tastes ANA caters to and its impressive network across Asia.

For more information on ANA, visit:

For more information on Patina, visit:

Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Resorts Launches Taste of Waldorf Astoria‏

October 23, 2014 on 4:05 pm | In Dine Drink, Hotels | Comments Off

Partnership with the James Beard Foundation

Five Rising Star Chefs Travel to Berlin, Rome, Edinburgh, La Quinta, and Shanghai to Collaborate with Waldorf Astoria Master Chefs on Next Iconic Dish

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts announced the launch of a global gastronomy-focused programme in partnership with the world’s foremost culinary arts organisation, the James Beard Foundation (JBF). Taste of Waldorf Astoria pairs young, emerging JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist chefs with prominent Michelin-starred Waldorf Astoria chefs in Rome, Berlin, Edinburgh, Shanghai, and La Quinta, California. The programme is designed to reinforce Waldorf Astoria’s commitment to culinary excellence and create a platform for rising star chefs to showcase and develop their talent.

Waldorf Astoria New York is the birthplace of iconic classics such as eggs benedict, red velvet cake, Thousand Island dressing, and the eponymous Waldorf salad. Drawing on the heritage of the brand as a culinary innovator, the chef duos have been tasked to create the next iconic Waldorf Astoria dish. The winning Taste will be decided by a panel of culinary influencers at an unforgettable event in February 2015 at Waldorf Astoria New York.

“Waldorf Astoria serves global luxury travellers unique culinary experiences at each of the brand’s more than 140 world-class bars, lounges, and specialty restaurants worldwide,” said John T.A. Vanderslice, global head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. “The historic James Beard Foundation shares our mission to celebrate, nurture, and honour culinary heritage.”

Taste of Waldorf Astoria will host five chef experiences at the following properties:

Waldorf Astoria Berlin

October 18 – 23, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Pierre Gagnaire

James Beard Foundation Chef: Christopher Kajioka of Vintage Cave (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowMichelin Star Chef Pierre Gagnaire is at the helm of 11 lauded restaurants in Europe and beyond, including the Michelin-starred Modern French restaurant Les Solistes at Waldorf Astoria Berlin. Chris Kajioka, an alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America and Per Se in New York, just left the Executive Chef position at Vintage Cave in Honolulu to open his own project. His new restaurant is slated to open in 2015 and will emphasize his style of contemporary French cuisine paired with Japanese flavors featuring local and seasonal ingredients from Hawaii.

Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

October 20 – 24, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Heinz Beck

James Beard Foundation Chef: David Posey of Blackbird (Chicago, Illinois)

Since 1994, Heinz Beck has served as head chef at Rome Cavalieri’s La Pergola, Rome’s only restaurant with three Michelin Stars. Heinz Beck is the recipient of numerous awards for outstanding achievements throughout a long and prestigious career – La Pergola’s menu is his greatest achievement to date. David Posey is a star chef in Chicago, formerly the Chef de Cuisine at Blackbird and now embarking on a new chapter opening his own restaurant next year.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian

November 17 – 21, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chefs: Chris and Jeff Galvin, Craig Sandle

James Beard Foundation Chef: Cara Stadler of Tao Yuan (Brunswick, Maine)

Michelin-starred chef brothers, Chris and Jeff Galvin reinvigorated the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh’s dining programme, making The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie De Luxe two of the finest restaurants in Scotland and the UK. Executive Chef Craig Sandle leads day-to-day operations. Cara Stadler, who has been recognized by Food & Wine as one of America’s best new chefs, is the owner and head chef at the celebrated Asian Fusion restaurant Tao Yuan in Brunswick, Maine.

La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

November 18 – 23, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Jimmy Schmidt

James Beard Foundation Chef: Eduardo Ruiz of Picnik and Corazón y Miel (Bell, CA)

An innovative pioneer in America’s culinary movement towards sustainable cooking and farm-to-table dining, La Quinta Resort’s Chef Jimmy Schmidt is a three-time James Beard Award winner and one of the original members of the James Beard Foundation. Recently named one of Zagat’s 30 Under 30, Eduardo Ruiz is the Executive Chef and owner of the newly opened PICNIK Restaurant in Pasadena, California and the acclaimed CORAZON Y MIEL in Bell, California.

Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund

November 30 – December 7, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Jan van Dyk

James Beard Foundation Chef: Marjorie Meek Bradley of Ripple and Roofer’s Union (Washington, D.C.)

Jan van Dyk is the Executive Chef Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, offering modern French cuisine infused with gastronomy classics perfected over 20 years’ of gourmet experience in some of the world’s most exclusive restaurants and private clubs. Marjorie Meek-Bradley oversees the kitchens as Executive Chef at both Ripple and Roofers Union in Washington, DC. Marjorie has served a variety of cuisines in many top-rated restaurants and her impressive pedigree includes having worked for renowned chef, Thomas Keller, at Per Se in NYC and Bouchon in Yountville, CA, a One Michelin Star restaurant.

Each JBF Chef will visit their selected property for one week, spending time with the Waldorf Astoria Master Chef inside and outside the kitchen, visiting local markets and producers, restaurants or off-the-beaten-path locations for inspiration. At the end of the week, each chef pairing will have devised a unique and innovative recipe.

In February 2015, each participating chef will bring their knives to Waldorf Astoria New York to prepare their recipes for a panel of culinary luminaries, who will ultimately decide the reigning recipe. The final Taste will be included on the menus of Waldorf Astoria’s 28 hotels and resorts worldwide.

Foodies and Waldorf Astoria guests can track each chef’s on-property journey and dish creation by following the brand’s social channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Five influential bloggers and Instagram photographers from around the world will likewise be documenting their unforgettable experiences with Waldorf Astoria and JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist chefs at participating properties.

For more information about Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, please visit

Explore Cape Town’s Winelands for an unmatched wine tasting experience

October 23, 2014 on 9:24 am | In Adventure Travel, Africa, Dine Drink, South Africa | Comments Off COUPON 10% OFF all ordersGLENDALE, Cali. – If you think Cape Town only offers city tours, fresh seafood and exciting nightlife, think again. Recently, South Africa’s wine renaissance has gained international attention; vintners are using modern winemaking techniques in conjunction with viticulture traditions, creating some of the world’s finest wine. Great Safaris offers guests the opportunity to visit Paarl and Stellenbosch, two breathtaking wine districts less than an hour from Cape Town, to explore a wine-producing region that is bridging the gap between the Old World and New World of wine.

Visit Fairview Estate in Paarl, for a wine and cheese tasting experience, one of the most popular stops for Wineland visitors. And rightly so. The Fairview tasting room comprises a number of tasting pods with a dedicated host to guide guests through a tasting selection of six different wines. With your glass in hand, wander over to the deli where you can pair the wine with a selection of cheeses made from Fairview’s own Jersey Cow milk and goat milk. Don’t forget to visit the Estate’s goat tower, home to the does (female goats) that supply milk to the Vineyard Cheesery each day. If you’re there during kidding season, you may get to see the adorable newborn goats!

After your tasting, you will head south to Stellenbosch, established in 1679 and recognized as the oldest town in the country. Visit Cheetah Outreach to experience a personal encounter with a beautiful cheetah and learn about the facility’s mission to raise awareness about this majestic wild animal and its survival. After this priceless interaction, you will get a unique wine tasting experience at Waterford Estate, a 120-hectacre property nestled between ancient citrus groves and fragrant lavender beds in the Blaauwklippen Valley.

Visit  or contact a safari expert at 800-409-7755 to find out about Great Safaris’ exclusive itineraries.


October 22, 2014 on 2:08 pm | In Dine Drink, Gaming Resorts, Las Vegas | Comments Off

LAS VEGAS – October 20, 2014 – French foodie fans can-can mark their calendars for what’s sure to be a memorable weekend with Chef Daniel Boulud at his award-winning db Brasserie at Venetian Las Vegas. Chef Boulud will be at the helm of the kitchen Nov. 14-16, alongside Executive Chef David Middleton, as they serve up a weekend of events inspired by the spirit of the French!

Friday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m. – Chapoutier Wine Dinner

Join db Brasserie’s Head Sommelier Devin Zendel and special guest Christophe Grenaille for an exclusive dinner featuring the wines of Chapoutier, a top producer in France’s Rhône Valley with the largest vineyard on the prestigious hill of Hermitage. Chefs Daniel Boulud and David Middleton will prepare a five-course menu enjoyed with eight outstanding wines from 2004 – 2012 vintages. Cost for the Chapoutier Wine Dinner is $150 per person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations must be made in advance by calling Heidi Voskuil at 702-287-5922.

Saturday, Nov. 15, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Happy Hour & Book Signing with Daniel Boulud

Head to db Brasserie for cocktails, champagne and charcuterie with Chef Daniel Boulud! From 3-6PM the French chef will sign copies of his cookbooks while serving canapés and spinning some of his favorite tunes. For $25 per person guests can indulge in a spread of cheese and charcuterie, and enjoy happy hour cocktails (prices a la carte). Reservations are not needed for the cocktail party.

Sunday, Nov. 16, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Big Brasserie Brunch

What better way to start Sunday than with a brunch bash, complete with burlesque girls and French fanfare? – we only ask that patrons refrain from can-canning on the white tablecloths (this rule does not apply to Chef Boulud). While a DJ plays, guests can order from db Brasserie’s brand new brunch menu.

A Bloody Mary Bar will offer four signature bloodys: the db Bloody Mary, Bloody Cowboy with a Kick, Bloody Caesar, and Bloody Maria Maria. For $25 per person add unlimited mimosas and bellinis! Reservations can be made by calling 702-430-1235 or by visiting


db Brasserie, from acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud, features a selection of brasserie favorites with Boulud’s signature French-American flair. With a menu created in collaboration with Executive Chef David Middleton, flavors from around the globe give an inspired and unique flavor to dishes with a menu that changes seasonally. The spacious restaurant seats 280 diners, including two private dining rooms, as well as a casual bar and lounge. Designed by Jeffrey Beers International (JBI), the group took inspiration from classic brasseries in France to create a welcoming and convivial atmosphere.

Located at the start of Restaurant Row, just off the casino floor, db Brasserie is accessible from both The Venetian and The Palazzo, with easy access from The Palazzo parking garage. db Brasserie is open 7 days a week for lunch, happy hour and dinner beginning at 11:30 a.m. and weekend brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are recommended 702-430-1235. Follow db Brasserie on Twitter and Instagram at @dbBrasserie.


October 22, 2014 on 2:05 pm | In Dine Drink, Gaming Resorts, Las Vegas | Comments Off

Epicurean Charitable Foundation of Las Vegas (ECF) hosted its 13th annual M.E.N.U.S. (Mentoring and Educating Nevada’s Upcoming Students) event on Friday night at MGM Grand, with an exclusive poolside dine-around and entrance to a concert by the Zac Brown Band at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

ECF supporters enjoyed more than 30 participating restaurants including: CRUSH eat, drink, love from MGM Grand serving grilled Chilean sea bass and tuna tostada; Giada from The Cromwell serving orzo meatballs and chocolate peanut butter cookies; Aureole from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino serving grilled hanger steak; and Zenshin Asian Restaurant from South Point Hotel Casino & Spa serving mini malassadas and ahi poke tacos; among others.

The dine-around was followed by a rocking performance by three-time Grammy Award-winning country sensation, Zac Brown Band. Notable guests at M.E.N.U.S. included: Jason Shkorupa, president of ECF and vice president of food and beverage for MGM Grand; Ana Marie Mormando, ECF vice president and vice president of hotel operations for Bellagio; Larry Ruvo, vice president of Southern Wine & Spirits; Lincoln Spoor, owner of Feel Good Brands; and Stowe Shoemaker, dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at University of Nevada, Las Vegas; among others. Local entertainers also participated in ECF’s ‘purple carpet’ such as Carrot Top, Jabbawockeez, FANTASY and Thunder from Down Under.

M.E.N.U.S. is an annual event that raises money to support ECF’s primary charitable endeavor of providing full-ride scholarships to deserving local students interested in pursuing careers in hospitality or the culinary arts. Since 2001, ECF has donated more than $1 million to Clark County students.

About Epicurean Charitable Foundation Las Vegas

Comprised of 25 of Las Vegas’ top food and beverage and hospitality executives, Epicurean Charitable Foundation of Las Vegas is dedicated to ensuring scholarships and unique mentorship opportunities to financially-underprivileged Clark County students passionate about pursuing a career in a related field. To support the mission,

ECF holds a grand annual fundraiser, known as M.E.N.U.S. (Mentoring and Educating Nevada’s Upcoming Students), featuring an exclusive dine-around, live entertainment and elaborate amenities. More information may be found by calling 702.932.5098,


or following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @EpicureanLV.

Taste Portugal London November Events Unveiled‏

October 22, 2014 on 6:40 am | In Dine Drink, London, Portugal, United Kingdom | Comments Off

Argos Travel Insurance 100x50Angela Hartnett & Nigel Haworth announced in the line-up

October 2014…/ Taste Portugal London is delighted to announce its exciting November programme. Packed full of Michelin-starred chefs including Angela Hartnett and Nigel Haworth, food and wine lovers can now head to London’s most exciting gastronomic destinations, including 28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen and Murano for an unforgettable experience of Portuguese fare.

Taste Portugal London is a brand new series of luxury gourmet pop-ups bringing Portuguese gastronomy to London. The events are showcased by Michelin-starred chefs presenting the excellent standard of Portuguese food, wine and cuisine to the UK as part of an unmissable Iberian epicurean extravaganza. The November pop-ups will offer up Portuguese recipes such as gambas and Portuguese suckling pig paired with harmonised wine selections from Portugal’s leading wineries, selected by Wines of Portugal.

The November schedule starts on Monday 3rd November at World Travel Market

with cooking demonstrations featuring Portuguese chefs Vasco Lello, Rui Paula and Henrique Sa Pessoa. The demos will be taking place from 3pm – 4pm on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th November at the VisitPortugal stand EM1010 in the North Pavilion of the Excel Exhibition Centre.

7pm, 6th November 2014 – Exclusive Portuguese Wine Tasting at 28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen, Maddox Street, London

In the heart of Mayfair, Ben Mellor, the Executive Head Chef of 28° – 50°, one of London’s finest wine establishments, will be preparing a special six course degustation menu to accompany an extensive list of Portuguese wines from Portugal’s innovative and exciting wine scene for an informal evening of gourmet delights. The wines will be presented by Taste Portugal’s chief sommelier Arnaud Vallet and 28° – 50°’s head sommelier, Caroline Brangé.

Price for stand-up reception with wine pairing, £55. Email  to book tickets.

Jetstreams for Travel Discounts

Top Restaurants in NYC and LA Go “Hungry for Tokyo” in November to promote Tokyo’s Food Scene‏

October 21, 2014 on 3:57 pm | In California, Dine Drink, Los Angeles, New York City | Comments Off

“Hungry for Tokyo,” a first-ever Japanese restaurant promotion in Los Angeles and New York will be showcasing some of the best and under-the-radar restaurants in their respective cities. Below, I have outlined some standout facts regarding this wonderful campaign and of course would be more than happy to provide you with any additional details for your coverage consideration.

The 40+ Japanese and non-Japanese restaurant participants will be featuring delicious Tokyo-themed dishes on their menus for the month of November.

Would you also be interested in interviewing the chefs from these restaurants about their special Tokyo-themed dishes?

Top Japanese Restaurants in NYC and LA Go “Hungry for Tokyo” in November to promote Tokyo’s Food Scene

More than 40 Japanese and non-Japanese restaurants in NYC and LA to feature special Tokyo-themed dishes throughout November

New York, NY – A delectable array of Japanese and Tokyo-inspired cuisine will be featured throughout November 2014 via a “Hungry for Tokyo: the ultimate foodie destination” restaurant promotion. The promotion includes more than 40 restaurants in Los Angeles and New York City where each will spotlight a Tokyo-themed menu for the entire month of November.

In Los Angeles, featured dishes will include the “Uni Scallop Tiradito” served at Picca; the “Tokyo Kanpachi” at Asanebo; “Shabu Suki with Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef from Kagoshima at Shunji restaurant; “K-ZO Vegetable Tokyo Tower” (with layered smoked vegetable with special beets dressing) at K-ZO; the “Tokyo Bowl” at Yellow Fever; and the “Crispy Tuna Rice” Katsu-ya Northridge.

In New York, creative offerings such as the “En Chirashi” by En Brasserie; the “Tokyo Style Teriyaki Burger” by Bohemian; the “Clam Ramen” by Hide-chan Ramen; and the “Silken Mozzarella, Smoked Kabocha Squash Grilled Scallion, Dashi Broth, Pumpkin and Sesame Seeds” at Speedy Romeo is just a snapshot out of many Tokyo-themed dishes that will be featured.

Upon ordering one of these dishes from this special menu, a customer will receive a copy of the “Tokyo Gourmet Guide: the Expert Edition,” a dedicated booklet containing insider information on the best foodie-destinations in Tokyo.

In Los Angeles, featured restaurants include:

· Izakaya Hachi
· Sushi Roku
· Hirozen
· Sotto
· Picca
· Superba and many more

Participating New York restaurants will include acclaimed spots such as (a full list of participating restaurants in NY will be announced on October 27th):

· EN Japanese Brasserie
· Sushi Nakazawa
· Ivan Ramen
· Sushi Zen
· Yakitori Totto
· Speedy Romeo – many more restaurants to be announced shortly

The “Hungry for Tokyo” campaign is an initiative by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government intended to highlight Tokyo as a world-class culinary destination, which boasts more Michelin stars than any other city or destination in the world. A new dedicated “Hungry for Tokyo” campaign website has also been launched to promote culinary tourism to Tokyo. For more information about the “Hungry for Tokyo” city promotion campaign, visit


Jetstreams for Travel Discounts

Italian twist to traditional holiday fare at Buddy V’s Ristorante‏

October 21, 2014 on 3:51 pm | In Dine Drink, Gaming Resorts, Las Vegas | Comments Off

LAS VEGAS  – Buddy V’s Ristorante inside Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian|Palazzo will present two specialty menus this holiday season to bring the spirit of a home cooked Italian dinner to the Las Vegas Strip. Dinner service begins daily at 5 p.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 702-607-2355.

Thursday, Nov. 27 – Thanksgiving Day:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup – spiced apples, pepitas, panna dolce $9; Thanksgiving Dinner – slow roasted turkey breast, Italian “dark meat” turkey sausage, pancetta-herb stuffing, roasted vegetables, whipped potatoes, cranberry relish and classic gravy $28 per person (parties of four or more will be served family-style), $14.95 kids under 10. Pumpkin Bundt Cake – maple cream cheese center & roasted pumpkin pecan compote $9.

Wednesday, Dec. 24 Christmas Eve and Thursday, Dec. 25 Christmas Day:

Baby Beet Salad – arugula, pomegranate, gorgonzola dolce, spiced pistachios $12; Roasted Prime Rib – whipped potatoes, creminis, braised greens, onions fritto, chianti jus, horseradish cream $32, $14.95 kids under 10; Panettone Bread Pudding – eggnog glaze & butter pecan gelato $9.

Buddy V’s Ristorante is located inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian|Palazzo at 3327 Las Vegas Blvd. South #2812. Convenient and complimentary valet parking is available at Barneys New York, as well as ample self-parking at Palazzo.


Renowned baker Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro has opened his first restaurant inside Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian|Palazzo partnering with veteran restaurateurs Elizabeth Blau and Chef Kim Canteenwalla to bring a taste of Valastro’s family gatherings and beloved heirloom recipes to The Las Vegas Strip. Offering new twists on Italian-American classics and family favorites, the Buddy V’s menu will also stay true to Buddy’s baking roots with timeless treats.

Europe’s Hidden Christmas Markets With Grape Escapes

October 21, 2014 on 8:40 am | In Denmark, Dine Drink, France, Germany, Hungary, London, Shopping, Slovakia, Switzerland, United Kingdom | Comments Off

Argos Travel Insurance 100x50Christmas markets around Europe provide a great opportunity for a relaxing winter weekend break. By planning a trip away with Grape Escapes to France, Italy, Portugal and Spain you could avoid dashing to the shops on Christmas Eve for last minute presents or to stock up on quality wines for the festivities and get ahead of the Christmas rush for a great price. Prices start at £180 per person.

Champagne is more than just Christmas bubbles – it’s a region to enjoy leading up to Christmas too! Join Grape Escapes’ Champagne Tasting in Epernay- taste 24 Champagnes in 24 hours to sample an array of world class champagne whilst taking in Epernay’s fabulous annual Christmas festival and markets as it explodes in a riot of lights, colours and flavours. Most of the festivities centre around the famous and elegant villas in the ‘Avenue de Champagne’, housing the world’s most prestigious champagne producers. Price of the tour starts from £299 per person.

It is a British tradition at Christmas to serve the fortified wine, Port. The wine comes from the spectacular terraced hillsides of the Douro valley in Portugal and takes its name from Oporto which lies at the mouth of the Douro River. The bustling suburb of Vila Nova de Gaia lies opposite Oporto on the steep south bank of the river and is the true home of Port. The Flexible Porto two Nights Tour visits two port lodges and includes tasting approximately 14 different wines. By the end of which guests will be well informed on the processes put into making the produce and how to judge its quality, visitors can even bring back some of the local port to enjoy with your minced pies. The price of the tour starts from £253 per person.

22 December to 5 January the town of Logroño in Rioja opens its’ Christmas stalls in the Plaza del Mercado where visitors can find plenty of crafts, unique gifts, delicious food and mulled wine. The Flexible Two Night Rioja Wine Tour explores two Rioja bodegas, tasting up to eleven appellations in the medieval town where the gastronomy is hearty and full bodied much like the Riojas paired with the meal. Bilbao is a short distance away with an easily accessible airport and is a great city where culture-vultures can soak up the dynamic architecture of the Guggenheim museum designed by Frank Gehry. Prices from £464 per person.

The Two Night Flexible Florence Wine Tour can be teamed with visiting the Christmas Market 30 November – 18 December. Several squares in Florence host Christmas markets, starting with the traditional 500 year old annual Christmas market known as the Heidelberger Weihnachtsmarkt in Piazza Santa Croce. Enjoy a festive atmosphere and a chance to buy authentic handmade gifts, such as woolens, ornaments or toys. There will be plenty of food, sweets and of course mulled wine! Enjoy a day of wine tasting in the world-renowned Chianti Classico region, each estate offers guests a variety of the Château’s wines to taste, including their Grand Reserves. The tour starts from £399 per person.

For more information call +44 (0) 1763 273 373 or visit

Grape Escapes is a specialist wine tour operator, offering wine tours to France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Grape Escapes offer a broad range of wine tasting tours and trips to vineyards in Ribera del Duero and Rioja in Spain, Tuscany in Italy, Porto in Portugal and the main French wine regions: Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, The Rhône, The Loire and Provence. Grape Escapes run numerous wine tasting trips for individuals, groups (social groups, hen weekends, wine clubs, car clubs, and birthday trips among others) as well as wine tasting trips for corporate clients.

Prices Include

All prices are based on two people travelling together and sharing a twin / double room.

A £25 per person early bird discount applies to bookings confirmed and paid over 60 days before travel.

Single supplements are available upon request.

Prices Exclude:

Given the wide range of travel options, the package price does not include travel.

Why book with Grape Escapes:

Personal Service: At Grape Escapes, we believe that there is no substitute for individual knowledge and experience which enables us to deliver a truly personal service to all our customers.

Quaility: We believe that our customers deserve the best value and service, irrespective of whether they are spending £200 or £20,000 on a trip.
Lowest Price Guarantee: We are so confident that not only do we offer high quality tours, but that we offer the best value on all of our packages that we guarantee that you will not find a comparable tour package priced cheaper anywhere on the internet. If you do, we will refund you 100% of the difference.

Financial Protection: All tours booked with Grape Escapes are protected by either ATOL or ABTA.

Flexibility: We offer a very flexible range of holidays within each of the regions that we visit. The flexibility offered by Grape Escapes isn’t just limited to the tour dates, but also includes the type of accommodation and travel method you prefer.

A Taste Of Authentic Macanese Cuisine In London

October 21, 2014 on 8:35 am | In Dine Drink, London, Scotland, United Kingdom | Comments Off

Argos Travel Insurance 100x50From 17th to 29th November Londoners will have a chance to discover the culinary delights of Macau with the introduction of a Macanese tasting menu at A. Wong in London Victoria, which recently gained a Bib Gourmand in the 2014 Michelin guide. One of the world’s first fusion foods, Macanese cuisine reflects the unique history of this exciting gastronomic paradise (located only 40 miles from Hong Kong), blending Portuguese and Chinese flavours and drawing on influences from South America, Africa, India and Malaysia.

Restaurant owner and Head Chef, Andrew Wong will be collaborating with and working alongside guest chef Florita Alves, a specialist in Macanese cuisine from Macau, to create a beautifully crafted 8-course tasting menu. The selection of dishes will be inspired by the exploration and travel of the Portuguese who arrived in Macau in the 1500s, combining flavours and cooking techniques from their home country with spices and ingredients from their expansive trading routes.

Sue Whitehead, Macau Government Tourist Board UK representative, explains, “One of the best ways to appreciate Macau’s great history and cultural mix is to experience Macanese cuisine and, with the rave reviews it has received for its modern exploration of regional Chinese cuisine, A.Wong is the perfect place to introduce a taste of Macau to Londoners and visitors to the capital. We hope that this collaboration will inspire foodies to travel to this fascinating destination.”

The dishes will be presented in beautiful tapas-style portions, in keeping with A. Wong’s grazing menu and dining concept, whilst the preparation of ingredients, flavour combinations and cooking methods will remain entirely true to those employed in Macanese cooking. Priced at £45 per person, dishes on the 8-course menu will include Bolinhos de bacalhau (salt cod fishcakes), African Chicken (roasted and spiced chicken), Tacho chau chau pele (a meat and vegetable casserole with Chinese sausage) and Pasteis de nata (Portuguese-style egg custard tarts). The dishes can also be ordered individually.

As well as the A.Wong team being on hand to explain the dishes, specially designed menus will provide information on each course as well as a prize draw giving diners the chance to win a luxury trip of a lifetime to Macau.

Macau is a paradise for food-lovers and, in addition to the local Macanese cuisine, visitors can enjoy Chinese, Portuguese and international dishes here, from dim sum to Portuguese sweets and from noodle stalls to Michelin starred restaurants. There are a total of 74 Macau establishments featured in the MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2014, including two boasting three prestigious stars.

Macau is also one Asia’s fastest growing and most exciting destinations, perfect for those wishing to broaden their experience of this part of the world and a particularly good two or three night addition to a Far East holiday or stopover en route “Down Under”. One of its greatest treasures is the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage listed “Historic Centre of Macau”, made up of over 20 buildings and monuments of both Portuguese and Chinese origin – including Taoist temples, baroque churches, a theatre, fortress and even a lighthouse. Taking pride of place are the iconic Ruins of St Paul’s and elegant Senado Square.

With over half of Macau’s accommodation rated five-star and new hotel openings between 2015 and 2017 including the world’s largest J W Marriot, Ritz-Carlton’s first ever all-suite hotel, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Palazzo Versace and the world’s first Karl Lagerfeld hotel – there has never been such a good time to discover the cultural delights of Macau.

For the Macanese tasting menu, available from 17th – 29th November 2014, booking is required:

70 Wilton Rd, Victoria, London, SW1V 1DE
Tel: 020 7828 8931

For information on the destination please visit

Jetstreams for Travel Discounts

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