Food safety placards displayed at all Hawaii eateries

July 23, 2014 on 7:44 am | In Beachbooker, Dine Drink, Hawaiian Islands | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowFrom now on, tourists in Hawaii will be better informed on hygiene and food safety standards when dining out in the state’s resorts.

Part of the state’s new Food Safety Code that was signed into law earlier this year, new color-coded placards are required to be displayed in all restaurants and food service outlets to show diners if recent food inspections have been passed.

Hawaii State Department of Health has devised a three-color rating system.

An outlet with a green placard means it had at least one major hygiene violation at the most recent inspection and it was immediately rectified.

A yellow rating denotes a restaurant had at least one violation which was not corrected straight away.

A red placard will be displayed for the most serious health violations including overflowing sewage, a vermin problem, or other major unsanitary conditions.

Eateries with a red placard will be forced to close to the public until the health hazard is fixed, the Health Department said.

All placards will be placed on the exterior walls and clearly visible to all customers.

“Hawaii consumers will have more peace of mind about being protected from foodborne illnesses and other health hazards when eating out this summer,” said Gary Gill, deputy director of environmental health.

The new placard system has been well received by most of Hawaii’s tourism industry groups, especially the Hawaii Restaurant Association, which represents 3,500 businesses in the food service and tourism sectors.

The rules cover all of the state’s 10,000 public dining venues, including hotels, restaurants, convenience stores, lunch wagons, and private catering firms.

Sample Norwegian Cruise Line’s Enriched Dining Options

July 22, 2014 on 11:45 am | In Cruise Boats, Dine Drink | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today Show

Why it Rates: The Freestyle Cruising line is the latest to expand its onboard dining program to offer more choice and upscale offerings — think sushi, crab, prime rib, ribs and even a chocoholic night. The effort is designed to appeal to cruise passengers who, like most of America, are increasingly discriminating and selective about their food choices. — Theresa Masek, TravelPulse cruise editor

Guests setting sail with Norwegian Cruise Line this summer and beyond will have more choices and flexibility in the line’s complimentary dining venues. These new offerings are a further development of the Norwegian NEXT program, focused on bringing “new enhancements, experiences and transformations” across the fleet, with the goal of elevating the guest experience and building on the success of the line’s two newest ships: Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway.

The culinary enhancements include: the debut of multiple new menus in the ships’ main dining rooms that offer an increased variety of selections and contemporary dishes; a dedicated “Chocoholic Night” one evening per cruise, featuring specialty chocolate-based desserts in each restaurant; and the ability for guests to make main dining reservations up to 90 days in advance.

“Dining is an essential part of cruising and an experience that our guests look forward to,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO. “We want to make sure that we are exceeding our guests’ expectations with culinary delights in our complimentary dining venues. These enhancements with such a wide variety of choice along with guest favorites and of course, chocolate, are bringing our complimentary dining venues to new heights.”

The new regionally-focused complimentary dining room dinner menus vary by ship itinerary and change each evening of the sailing, ensuring that guests have a wider selection of dishes to choose from during their cruise. Featuring a sleeker design along with wine pairing recommendations and anecdotal culinary history, the new menus display several sections – starters, classic dishes, main courses, chef’s signature dish and dessert – and offer an increased variety, with up to 12 starters and up to 15 entrees per evening.

The menus have been carefully developed by Norwegian’s culinary team with a focus on balancing popular traditional dishes like prime rib, chateaubriand, rack of lamb and escargot with current dining trends and heightened guest expectations. The new offerings include increased seafood options such as grouper, barramundi, sushi and crab dishes. Contemporary dishes include mojito shrimp ceviche, seared Atlantic scallops with fennel puree, and braised beef short ribs with Cajun shrimp. Additionally, guests can enjoy new lunch menus in the main dining room.

In the popular complimentary dining venue, O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill on board Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Jewel, the company is introducing exclusive specialty dish nights, such as prime rib, all-you-can-eat baby back ribs, and chicken and waffles. These specialty dish nights give guests an alternative dinner venue in a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

One of the most popular additions to the new dining program is sure to be Norwegian’s “Chocoholic Night,” which offers a choice of up to seven signature chocolate desserts in every restaurant one evening each cruise. Ranging from the delectable warm chocolate volcano to the decadent chocolate Nutella pot de crème and the white chocolate strawberry mousse, the desserts are sure to satisfy any cruiser’s sweet-tooth.

In keeping with the line’s Freestyle Cruising, Norwegian is also making it easier than ever for guests to further customize their vacation experience by offering the ability to make reservations for complimentary dining rooms up to 90 days prior to the cruise date. With reservation times at 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m., the new system provides guests the option of selecting a dining time during any evening of their cruise, for a party size of up to 12 guests.

“After a trial on Norwegian Breakaway, the main dining reservation option has been met with overwhelming support from our guests,” said Frank Weber, vice president of product development for Norwegian Cruise Line. “The program has been extremely successful because it allows guests to select their experiences ahead of time if they wish to, or they can choose to simply walk up to the restaurant they wish to dine at once onboard. It’s another way to offer more freedom and flexibility to our guests.”

The new menus and concepts will be available on most of Norwegian’s fleet by July 31, and onboard Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Sky and Pride of America by early 2015.

For more information on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian NEXT program, visit To book a cruise, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit   Read more travel news at

Tortuga Bay Hotel Receives Five-Diamond Rating

July 21, 2014 on 12:50 pm | In Beachbooker, Caribbean, Dine Drink, Dominican Republic | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today Showin recognition of its world-class services the deluxe hotel Tortuga Bay, a member of the Puntacana Resort & Club, received for a third consecutive time a five-diamond rating, the highest category issued by the world-famous American Automobile Association (AAA).

The world-famous tour guide also included the Bamboo and La Yola Restaurants, both situated in this exclusive resort.

The restaurants received four and three-diamond ratings, respectively, for the exception service and quality of its culinary offers.

The AAA Diamond category is the most credible rating system in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Its evaluation measures the quality of food, general services, decor and ambience offered by tourism-related facilities.

The Turtle Bay, featuring 13 beachfront villas designed by world-famous designer Oscar de la Renta, is the only hotel in the Dominican Republic with a Five-Diamond rating.
Superior Customer Service

As part of the services offered, guests are greeted in a private area in Punta Cana’s International Airport and assisted through the immigration process.

Guests have access to the exclusive Bamboo Restaurant and the Six Senses Spa, as well as access to the resort’s two world-class golf courses: the Choral Golf Course, designed by Tom Fazio, and La Cana Golf Course, designed by P.B. Dye.
Bamboo Restaurant

The restaurant, situated in the Turtle Bay complex, combines modern cuisine with Mediterranean influences. The combination of the two provides guests with an innovative fusion menu and a warm environment also designed by Oscar de la Renta.
The Yola Restaurant

La Yola, situated in the resort’s beautiful marina, is inspired by a fisherman’s boat. Its menu is based on Mediterranean and seafood dishes, to be enjoyed in an elegant-casual atmosphere.

Yummy Tummy News From Wales Foodies Rule!

July 21, 2014 on 12:12 pm | In Dine Drink, Festivals, London, United Kingdom, Wales, Webbandstand | Comments Off

The Welsh, with their decades-old tradition of being locavores, have done it again. Wales is fast becoming Europe’s ‘go to’ venue for fabulous food festivals, expert cooking lessons and food and wine trails.  is your ultimate trip planning source, but here is a sampling of what is on offer.

Food festivals abound, especially in the autumn, which is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit Wales and experience not just delicious food, but magnificent scenery and millennia of history and mythology.

20th-21st September

Abergavenny Food Festival –


The Woodstock of Food Festivals and one of the biggest events on the UK foodie calendar, offers a menu of local produce, international delicacies, celebrity chefs, master classes, and tastings.

27th – 28th September

Mold Food and Drink Festival –


This event showcases outstanding local produce and celebrity chef expertise with live music to create a fabulous foodie weekend for the whole family.

11th -12th October

Anglesey Oyster & Shellfish Festival –


It started as an informal event where locals would gather to eat oysters and get merry, but now attracts thousands of visitors each year.

25th – 26th October

Gwledd Conwy Feast –


The medieval town of Conwy is transformed with a weekend festival that boasts the largest celebration of music, art and food of Wales. The quayside, the castle and the medieval streets burst with flavors, sounds and sights.

Cooking Schools

Some of Wales’ finest cooking schools are located near Food Festival venues. Many are located within farm and/or vineyard complexes and offer stunning scenery, comfortable accommodation and local delicacies from their own farm shops.

Cookery School at Bodnant Welsh Food –

Enjoy stunning views of the Conwy Estuary as you hone your culinary skills. The school offers a wide range of courses. Bodnant Welsh Food Centre is located at Furnace Farm, in the stunning surroundings of the Conwy Valley in North Wales. Originally built in the 18th century, the buildings have been lovingly restored to provide an excellent venue for their farm shop, tea room, restaurant, cookery school and farmhouse accommodation

Llanerch Vineyard –

Llanerch Vineyard, is located in the heart of the picturesque Glamorganshire countryside in south Wales, just 20 minutes from the capital city of Cardiff. Celebrity chef Angela Gray’s Cookery School is part of this splendid complex. Llanerch’s restaurant, bistro, vineyard hotel rooms and self-guided vineyard tours are popular with locals and vacationers alike.

The Culinary Cottage Cookery School –

Located near Abergavenny, in the beautiful Black Mountains, whatever your skill, whatever your taste, the Culinary Cottage Cookery School has something just for you. Years of travelling the globe, cooking for dignitaries, celebrities and royalty, including a private dinner party for HM The Queen, have equipped Chef Penny Lewis with extensive knowledge, expertise and a love of cooking that resonates in the delectable dishes she creates with her students.

The Chef’s Room Fish and Cookery School –

Located in the south eastern part of Wales, near the town and World Heritage site of Blaenavon, the school was a British Cookery Awards 2013 Winner; it was named the Best Cookery School in Wales.

The Rhug Estate and Shop

Rhug Farm Shop first opened in 2003; in December 2011 the new expanded shop opened in a purpose-built oak and cedar building that offers a wonderful shopping experience: the new deli offers over 70 varieties of cheese, homemade pies and cured meats, Rhug’s butcher sells the estate’s organically produced meats; takeaway options include home produced organic burgers. Michelin Star trained Executive Chef Chris Harrod heads “The Bison Grill” that produces all its meals from scratch using Rhug’s award winning meat.

Wine Trail Wales

Did you know?

The Romans and French monks are said to have introduced wine to Britain, but Lord Bute, a wealthy and enthusiastic Scottish industrialist, is credited with planting Wales’ first commercial vineyard at Castell Coch, north of Cardiff in 1875.

Welsh vineyards are a good place to get close to rare and unusual wildlife – walk with llamas through Glyndwr Vineyard in the Vale of Glamorgan or feed red kites at Jabajak Vineyard in Carmarthenshire.

Ancre Hill Estates is one of only two biodynamic vineyards in the UK and the only one to grow Albarino grapes, which are more commonly found in Galicia, Northern Spain.

Welsh wines are world-beaters – Ancre Hill Estates’ 2008 vintage was voted best sparkling wine in the world at the Bollicine del Mondo International Competition in Italy in 2012.

Glyndwr Vineyard wines have graced European State banquets and are served in the House of Lords’ restaurant. Parva was served at the European Summit meeting when Britain held the Presidency.

More than 20 different grape varieties are grown in vineyards across Wales.

The Clwydian Range Food Trail

Is a new way to discover the gastronomic delights of the scenic Clwydian Range, an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. The trail will take you through some of the most spectacular views in the Clwydian Range from Loggerheads through the picturesque market towns of Ruthin, Denbigh and beyond. Along the way you can explore award winning producers of delicious foods, handmade bread, pies and pastries, meat from traditional Welsh breeds, cheese, yogurt and cider

Food Trail South & Mid Wales

Day 1

Visit The Blaenafon Cheddar Company in Blaenavon, a World Heritage Site. Here you will find a selection of handmade Cheddar and goat’s cheese made with quality local ingredients – one of which is matured underground at the neighboring Big Pit Mining Museum. Take this opportunity to pop down to Big Pit. The underground tour takes you 300 feet underground with a real miner.

Your next stop is the Welsh Whisky Company, situated in the small village of Penderyn, within the Brecon Beacons National Park. It’s the only distillery left in Wales and one of the smallest in the world. Not only does it produce the finest quality single malt whisky but also a range of Welsh spirits such as Merlyn liqueur, Brecon Vodka and Brecon Gin. Visitors can experience the distilling, bottling process and the history of whisky making in Wales. And of course you’ll get to sample the spirits.

Approx. distance: 50 miles

Approx. travelling time: 1hr 10 mins

Overnight suggestion: Swansea

Food Trail South & Mid Wales (continued)

Day 2

Head to Swansea Market. You can try a range of Welsh delicacies including cockles from the tidal Penclawdd Sands and laverbread, edible seaweed. Fresh fish here is especially good, as are locally reared lamb and beef, Gower vegetables and local cheeses. Follow the aroma in the market to sample freshly baked Welsh cakes.

Head further west to Llandeilo. At Heavenly you can indulge in luxurious chocolates, ice cream and deserts. They have a reputation for creating unique ice cream flavors – all made using Welsh organic milk and cream. Three of these are made from ingredients grown at nearby Aberglasney Gardens.

Visit Aberglasney House and Gardens, just a short journey from Llandeilo. The Garden Lost in Time features a Cloister Garden, Pool Garden, Stream Garden, an 18th century Yew Tunnel and an award-winning ‘Ninfarium’, an indoor garden with exotic plants from around the world.

Approx. distance: 26 miles

Approx. travelling time: 40 mins

Overnight suggestion: Swansea / Llanelli

Day 3

Next stop: St Davids, the smallest city in Britain, in the heart of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Known more for its cathedral and stunning scenery, St Davids has rocketed on to the British culinary map and has become a top foodie destination, boasting more eateries per head of population than anywhere else in the UK.

You may want to wander around St Davids before going on to Caerfai Farm. It’s an organic dairy farm which uses various forms of alternative energy. You can buy delicacies in the farm shop but note it’s only open in the summer. If you’ve got time take a stroll to Caerfai Bay, it’s just a five minute walk.

Approx. distance: Swansea to St Davids via Pembertons: 78 miles / 65 miles from Llanelli

Approx. travelling time: 2 hours 15 min from Swansea / 2 hours from Llanelli

Overnight suggestion: St Davids, or Haverfordwest

Day 4

Visit Caws Cenarth Visitor Centre where you can learn about the organic cheese-making process. You may get to see Thelma cutting the delicate curd.

A few miles from New Quay you will find New Quay Honey Farm with a shop, tea-room and exhibition. They produce honey then use it to make mead, a sweet alcoholic drink made since the Middle Ages.

At nearby Aberaeron, Hive on the Quay specializes in locally caught fish, organic food and honey ice-cream. Fish on the Quay sells locally caught fish. It has been recognized in Rick Stein’s “Food Heroes Guide’. Allow time to take a stroll around Aberaeron. Many of its independent shops sell crafts and local produce.

Approx. distance: 65 miles from St Davids / 56 miles from Haverfordwest.

Approx. travelling time: 2 hours from St Davids / 1 hour 50 mins from Haverfordwest.

Organic Coffee Festival 2014

July 21, 2014 on 7:27 am | In Beachbooker, Caribbean, Dine Drink, Dominican Republic, Festivals, Webbandstand | Comments Off

The 10th annual Organic Coffee Festival (FESTICAFE) will be held from August 1-3 in the town of Polo, on the country’s southwest region.

The festival has turned into an innovative and socio-cultural event in the Dominican Republic. This year, the festival will be dedicated to the renewal of the coffee industry and protection of the environment.

The town of Polo is situated in Barahona Province, in the country’s scenic southwest region.

The fair provides local farmers, artists, companies and related institutions with the space they need to promote their products.

Also, the fair also includes exhibits, conferences, coffee tastings, as well as cultural presentations.

The town of Polo, on the country’s southwest region and situated 740 meters above sea level, is known for its scenic mountains and cool climate, the perfect combination to grow world-class coffee.


The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Hosts a Celebration of Ceviche in September

July 21, 2014 on 7:12 am | In Beachbooker, California, Dine Drink, Los Angeles, San Diego | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowChef de Cuisine Steve Wan presents an a la carte Ceviche Tasting Menu at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel from September 1 through September 30, 2014. Drawing inspiration from the rich and flavorful regions of Mexico, Peru and Asia, his tasting menu features tuna, rock shrimp, sea bass and scallops, and highlights such ingredients as coconut, sweet chili, candied yam and crispy jicama. The Ceviche Tasting Menu is offered in RAYA, Bar Raya and 180blu, the resort’s outdoor oceanfront lounge.

The a la carte tasting menu includes:

Asian-style Ahi Tuna Ceviche
Raya’s Pan-Latin Rock Shrimp Ceviche
Mixto Ceviche, a Peruvian classic
Central American-style Sea Bass Ceviche
Mexican-style Baja Scallop Ceviche

In Peru, ceviche has been declared to be part of Peru’s national heritage and has even had a holiday declared in its honor. In Mexico and some parts Central America, ceviche is served either in cocktail cups with tostadas, salted crackers, or as a tostada topping and taco filling. Shrimp, octopus, squid, tuna, and mackerel are popular bases for Mexican ceviche. Typically, the marinade ingredients include salt, lime, onion, chili peppers, and avocado. Ceviche usually features Latin American flavors, but Chef Wan has created an Asian-style ceviche by adding a few Asian ingredients such as yuzu, white soy and ponzu.

The resort’s resident mixologist, Erin Snider, created several signature cocktails to complement Chef Wan’s ceviche selections. The hand-crafted cocktails include:

Saki Cocktail – a perfect combination of refreshing flavors of mint and ginger, with lingering flavors of the Sake and pear
Caipirinha – a back-to-basics cocktail made with Cachaca (a distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice) the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil
Pisco Mule – light and refreshing with a hint of spice
Yuzu Sour – featuring hints of orange, fresh cilantro and a hint of Yuzu juice
Piloncillo Margarita – the Reposado tequila provides a smoky flavor that is balanced by the piloncillo (unrefined Mexican sugar)

RAYA, a restaurant concept by acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval, showcases Pan-Latin Coastal Cuisine prepared with sustainable seafood, local produce, natural and organic meats, and Chef Richard Sandoval’s signature Latin flavors. Raya’s menu is prepared exclusively with fresh, local produce and sustainable seafood. Hawaiian Ahi Tuna and Lobster Tacos are amongst the signature small plates. Latin-inspired large plates include Achiote Salmon, Piloncillo Prawns and Miso Alaskan Black Cod.

About The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel sits on a 150-foot bluff with panoramic white-water views of the Pacific Ocean and two-miles of sandy beach. The resort is a re-imagined surfside retreat that awakens guests’ senses with its unique ocean-front setting and remarkable service heritage. As the premiere destination for travelers who desire a playful approach to Southern California luxury, the resort has been the recipient of many awards over the years, but is proud to boast earning AAA Five Diamond status for the 29th year, the longest in California. For more information or reservations call 800-241-3333, the resort directly at 949-240-2000, a travel professional or visit

About The Ritz-Carlton,
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 86 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, an award that originated in 1987. Its purpose is to promote the awareness of quality excellence, recognize quality achievements of companies and publicize successful quality strategies. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company won the award in 1992 and 1999. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company web site at  The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc.

The Los Angeles Oktoberfest

July 21, 2014 on 7:09 am | In California, Dine Drink, Festivals, Los Angeles, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowLos Angeles Oktoberfest, invites you for a fun-filled day of German food, beer and live entertainment, Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5. This event will be held at the Lot located at Beverly Hills Country Club 3084 Motor Ave. Los Angeles, Ca 90064.

Los Angeles Oktoberfest will offer lively sing-alongs of old time drinking songs with Bavarian dancers, and a fine assortment of German and local beers.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for 2 PM with city officials welcoming everyone with the traditional Tapping of the Keg. This Bavarian custom will officially tap the first keg of German beer by hammering a wooden mallet with a bronze spout into the keg — then the fun begins.

Silent Auction will feature some of the sought after items such as dinners with celebrities to Dodgers and Lakers tickets.

Tickets are available in advance through

For more information on the Los Angeles Oktoberfest 2014, call 213-915-8003.

An authentic recreation of the Munich Oktoberfest featuring German entertainers in authentic costumes perform traditional Bavarian folk dances, schuhplattling, oompah music, sing-a-longs, yodels and more. The best of German beers are served along with several types of German sausage, sauerkraut, strudel, giant pretzels and more.

Taste of Thailand Food Tours Launches Unique Culinary Experiences in Bangkok

July 19, 2014 on 12:16 pm | In Asia, Dine Drink, Thailand | Comments Off

Taste of Thailand Food Tours, Bangkok’s leading food tour operator launches a unique experience for tourists all ‘templed out’ in the nation’s capital. At a price point less than the cost of trying separate, full-sized portions, the company’s new “Bites and Sites in the Village of Love” food tour allows intimate groups of participants to sample an array of local foods and beverages at select tasting locations within 3.5 hours.

With approximately 30% of tourist expenditures going towards food, food tours are quickly emerging from a niche market into a major tourism area. Such tours leverage the skills of a local ‘food sherpa’ to guide individuals to multiple locations and taste a variety of unique foods to learn the stories behind them. According to the World Food Travel Association, the culinary tourism market already generates over $150 billion annually worldwide and specific countries like the United States have already seen a 300% increase in food tours since 2008.

Asia is equally experiencing an influx in food-seeking tourists according to Jacob Holder, co-Founder of Taste of Thailand Food Tours. Since the company’s inception in January 2014, Taste of Thailand Food Tours has quickly emerged as the city’s fastest growing food tour experience.

With over 15 million arrivals in 2013, Bangkok edges out others as the most visited city in the world. This translates into a massive opportunity for Taste of Thailand Food Tours to offer visitors interesting experiences designed around the city’s exotic, unique and historic foods.

“With food becoming the new ‘black’ in mass media, television personalities and social media are inciting explorers to find their next thrill through food. In a country synonymous with it’s globally recognized cuisine, Bangkok is poised more than any other city in the world to leverage the ‘fruits of its labour’,” says Holder. “The city is a mecca for new and exciting culinary treasures and we are fortunate to have discovered some of the its delicious hidden gems to share with intimate groups of travellers.”

It was partly a stark realization upon arrival to Bangkok that Holder had a lot to learn about authentic Thai cuisine that led to the development of the company’s food tour portfolio in an effort to provide educational and entertaining experiences for equally curious food-loving travelers.

However, its not just for visitors adds Taste of Thailand Food Tours co-Founder, Jittima Lapwisutthisaroj. “Thais and native Bangkokians, like myself, also love learning about the history of our food and people. There are few things as emotional as eating your way through a culture. We provide an intimate window to Thai culture, history and people with each bite that is enjoyable for all participants, regardless of their background.”

Taste of Thailand offers daily walking food tours in Bangkok each week. More information can be found at  or by contacting

About Taste of Thailand Food Tours
Taste of Thailand Food Tours is a community-led effort to serve Thai culture through its rich cuisine and exotic foods. The company’s mission draws upon a passion to discover culinary gems and share them with visitors and residents alike. From royal cuisine to street vendors, Taste of Thailand Food Tours shares authentic neighborhood tastes and experiences – so that participants have the knowledge to explore and eat with confidence, or rather “like a local”. Taste of Thailand Food Tours supports local businesses and the community in which it works.

Jacob Holder
Taste of Thailand Food Tours
+66 915717701

Anna Power
Taste of Thailand Food Tours

since: 11/2013
Taste of Thailand Food Tours
since: 09/2013
Taste of Thailand Food Tours (Taste Adventures Ltd)
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Jetstreams for Travel Discounts

Insider access to gastronomy in Tokyo‏

July 19, 2014 on 12:12 pm | In Asia, Dine Drink, Japan | Comments Off

Palace Hotel Tokyo Plates Gastronomic Getaway for Foodies

TOKYO, Japan (July 15, 2014) – One of the world’s most renowned and refined culinary traditions is the focus of a new, food-centric experience, Savoring Tokyo, debuting in the Japanese capital this summer.

Following UNESCO’s inscription of washoku on its roster of Intangible Cultural Heritage assets last December, Palace Hotel Tokyo is serving up a three-night experience that reveals Japan’s multi-faceted culinary culture with some of the capital’s most knowledgeable personalities.

As part of its commitment to showcase the best of Japan for its guests, Palace Hotel Tokyo has partnered with three noted aficionados to host in-depth explorations of the city’s culinary riches:

· John Gauntner. The world’s foremost non-Japanese authority on sake, this ‘Sake Evangelist’ is a certified Master of Sake Taster and has been instrumental in sake’s introduction outside of Japan.

Steve Trautlein. American foodie, journalist and editor based in Tokyo for over 15 years, Trautlein reports on the nation’s culinary landscape for The Japan Times, among others.

· Yukari Sakamoto. Chef, sommelier and shochu advisor, Sakamoto is the author of Food Sake Tokyo, an indispensible guide to Japanese food and Tokyo’s culinary scene.

Each experience will be entirely customized, with the intent to illuminate Japan’s fascinating relationship with food and drink and satisfy travelers’ interests, whether they extend to all-Michelin-star stops, Japan’s more casual fare, or classic eateries famed for perfecting a single dish over the decades.

The highlight is the opportunity to savor Tokyo’s good eats in the company of the foodie personality of your choice. Touring lively Tsukiji Fish Market and an epicurean depachika food hall with Yukari Sakamoto, exploring Japan’s b-kyu gurume (‘b-grade gourmet’) with Steve Trautlein, and tippling sake while izakaya-hopping with John Gauntner are just some of the experiences to be had.

The newest addition to the hotel’s Palatial Pursuits series, each a bespoke foray into Tokyo’s arts and culture, Savoring Tokyo includes three nights of accommodation in a Deluxe Room with Balcony together with daily buffet breakfast at Grand Kitchen, best enjoyed on the moat-side terrace looking out on to the Imperial Palace gardens.

Club Deluxe Room and Executive Suites bookings come with the perks that accompany Club Lounge access and privileges, including:

Private check-in & check-out
Dedicated concierge service
Daily buffet breakfast
Daily afternoon tea service
Daily evening cocktails & canapés

Also on the menu is a choice of a prix-fixe lunch or dinner at one of the signature Japanese dining venues within Palace Hotel Tokyo – kaiseki at Wadakura, tempura at Tatsumi or teppanyaki at GO.

Package rates start at JPY 174,000 for Deluxe Rooms and JPY 336,000 for Executive Suites, not inclusive of the guided experiences. All excursions are customized. Fees vary.

Hotel guests need not book the Savoring Tokyo stay experience to avail themselves of the ‘insider access’. The excursions are also available to book (in advance) à la carte via the concierge desk.

To book Savoring Tokyo, please visit

About Palace Hotel Tokyo

Opened in May 2012, Palace Hotel Tokyo commands some of the city’s most exclusive real estate and stands as heir to a legacy going back more than half a century as one of the city’s most iconic hotels.

As the anchor to a USD 1.2 billion mixed-use development – built entirely from the ground-up – the hotel features 290 rooms & suites, 10 restaurants & bars, an evian SPA and incomparable views of the city’s most rarified green space – the Imperial Palace gardens.

Drawing deeply from the country’s history, culture and art, the much talked-about new addition to Tokyo’s hotel scene has redefined luxury in Japan with grace, elegance and authenticity.

Located at 1-1-1 Marunouchi, the hotel is a 10-minute walk from landmark Tokyo Station and mere steps away from Marunouchi Naka Dori, one of Tokyo’s most upscale shopping and dining destinations.

For more information, please visit

Historic London pub scoops beer award – with female appeal

July 18, 2014 on 8:03 am | In Dine Drink, London, United Kingdom | Comments Off

The newly refurbished Dispensary Pub&Dinning Room at Aldgate East has been named CAMRA’s (Campaign for Real Ale) East London Pub of the Year, largely because of its appeal to female beer drinkers – despite its links with “Jack the Ripper”.

With period features dating back to when it was the ‘Eastern Dispensary’ hospital for poor East Enders in the 1870s, now updated with contemporary furnishings and subtle shades of Farrow&Ball paintwork, The Dispensary is especially popular with a loyal female clientele. A cast iron spiral stair case leads to a gallery seating area overlooking the main bar.

Original artworks in the pub were painted by the pub’s patisserie chef, Charly Webber, whose other hobbies include “partying” and supporting Arsenal FC.

The pub’s appeal to female drinkers endures, despite its historic links with “Jack the Ripper”. One of the prime suspects in the unsolved serial killings was Queen Victoria’s surgeon, Sir John Williams, who practiced medicine in the building located a few hundred yards from where most of the murders took place.

Eschewing the more usual spritzers, insipid Pinot Griggios and bland Chardonnays consumed by many female drinkers in other City and East End watering holes, The Dispensary serves a high proportion female real ale drinkers attracted by its welcoming ambience and wide selection of craft beers.

“Despite the clichéd image of pot bellied, bearded real ale drinkers dressed in duffle coats and bad shoes, ale has numerous health benefits over drinking wines, spirits and even many soft drinks – when consumed in moderation,” said landlady Annie Smith, who co owns the pub with partner David Cambridge, with whom she restored and opened The Dispensary in 2006.

Glass for glass, beer is less calorific than wine, with a half pint of beer with 90 calories in a pint of compared to around 160 calories in 250ml glass of red (150 calories for white wine).


For three days in October, real ale drinkers of both sexes will be able to sample an extensive array of Paulanier beers when the pub hosts to its own Oktoberfest. The Dispensary will be transformed into a Bavarian ‘bierstube’, complete with the ‘Bavarian Strollers’ oompah band and traditional German food. Tickets are £15.

Chef David Cambridge is the former personal chef to some of the UK’s most discerning people, including Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.

“I’ve been privileged in my career and learnt a lot from people who expect nothing but the best, but after 20 years of cooking for grand occasions, I craved a fresh challenge – creating a more convivial atmosphere with an unfussy menu focused on fresh produce sourced daily by Cambridge from the local Smithfield and Billingsgate markets,” he said.

New Menu

David’s new menu features Carpaccio of beef “Harry’s bar” style; Escalope of chicken cordon bleu served with boulangere potatoes; and Homemade ground steak burger with relish and Dispensary hand cut chips.

Desserts include Mars bar cheesecake and Coconut pannacotta chocolate shot.

History: Founded in by a group of philanthropic minded doctors with the Duke of Wellington in 1782 e Eastern Dispensary was one of the first attempts to provide medical treatment to the poor of the area. The Dispensary relied on charitable donations and the inscription voluntary contributions still remains on the present building which dates back to 1858. Queen Victoria’s surgeon Sir John William – a prime suspect in the “Jack the Ripper” murders in 1888 – practised medicine here.

The Dispensary closed in 1940 during wartime bombing raids and was converted into a public house in 1998. The original features such as the staircase made from Portland stone have been repaired sympathetically – the Victorian tiled floor in the entrance has been renovated to its formal glory.

Nutritional benefits of drinking beer: Although drinking alcohol to excess is dehydrating, a single pint of beer is more effective at rehydrating the body than the same volume of water according to scientific studies. Apart from replacing sugars and salt, beer contains potassium which helps the body to rehydrate after exercise. Fat free real ale is also rich in iron, antioxidants, pro boticbacteria and B vitamins – particularly riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyroxidine (B6), folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12)containing far more nutrients than any other alcoholic beverage.

East London Pub Of The Year The Dispensary was awarded Pub of the Year in 2009 and 2014 by the East London and City (ELAC) Branch of the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA).

Private Dining: The pub has a chef’s table which seats up to 7 diners and the Wellington Room offers an luxurious dining space for larger functions, seating for up to 40 diners or catering for 60 guests at stand up receptions.

Open: Monday to Friday 11.30am – 11.00pm

The Dispensary Pub&Dining Room, 19a Leman Street, London E1 8EN
T: 020 7977 0486 Tw: @dispensarypub
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