18 November 2018Last updated


5 of the best foodie breaks

Embark on an epicurean adventure and sample some of the world’s finest cuisines on one of these fabulous food-focused getaways

By Olivia Cuthbert
11 Nov 2014 | 02:42 pm
  • A record 4 million overseas visited the UK in July, the first month to ever break through the four million mark, and up 6% on the same month last year.

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  • Aromatic Thai food.

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  • Traditional Emirati food.

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  • Moroccon delicacies.

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  • Delhi bites.

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London’s street-food scene

The street has become one of the best places to eat in London. From the rustic rolls of Borough Market and the fragrant curries of Camden Lock, to the less-established pop-up markets such as Kerb and Urban Food Fest, there’s an ever-more eclectic street-eats scene in the capital. If grub-on-the-go isn’t your thing then the menu at Lanes of London, a sophisticated dining venue on Park Lane, fuses famed street food from various parts of the city – Brick Lane (Indian), Edgware Road (Middle East), Portobello Road (British) and Kingsland Road (Vietnamese) – creating a quirky dining experience bursting with different flavours.

Need to know
JW Marriott County Hall on South Bank is ideally situated for exploring London’s food markets and other major attractions. From Dh2,120 per room, download the JW Marriot app and enjoy seamless check-in

A taste of Thailand

One of the world’s best-loved cuisines, Thai food is well known for its fresh, zingy flavours and delicious, aromatic dishes. Amateur chefs looking to master the art of Thailand’s many fragrant curries, punchy rice bowls and delicately spiced fish dishes will find it all covered on Thai Cooking holidays. Available in both Bangkok and Chiang Mai, these week-long courses include five days of intensive cookery classes that cover the likes of curry paste preparation and identifying the best ingredients at the local market, in addition to working through a lengthy list of classic Thai recipes. It’s not all hard work though, with relaxing on the beach and boat trips down the Mekong River among the other activities available.

Need to know
An eight-day cooking package with Thai Cooking Holidays starts from Dh1,160 per person sharing a double room in a 2/3-star hotel. Price includes transfers, hotels, breakfasts, taxes, the cooking course with lunches and internal flight to Chiang Mai. Call 0066 2 644 5992 or visit:

Emirati eats

You might live in the UAE but how often have you tried traditional Emirati food? Give yourself a scrumptious staycation with a foodie tour of the country trying traditional dishes such as machoos (rice spiced with cloves, cardamom, raisins and lentils served alongside meat or fish) or dungaw (chickpeas boiled with spices and hot chilli), which make for an interesting variation on the typical Arabic fare of salads, mezzes and meat. It’s a fascinating cuisine that hails from the UAE’s Bedouin days and is well worth exploring at the growing number of Dubai restaurants specialising in it, including Al Fanar at Dubai Festival City Mall, Beit Al Bahar in Umm Suqeim and Al Hadheera at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. Or take a food tour of the city with Frying Pan Adventures and taste a different side of Dubai that incorporates Emirati food alongside the many different cultures that mingle in this city.

Need to know
Al Hadheera, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa: 04 809 6194; Al-Fanar, Dubai Festival City Mall: 04 232 9966; Beit Al Bahar, Umm Suqeim: 04 394 4441; and Frying Pan Adventures:

Morsels in Morocco

The western Moroccan city of Essaouira is known for its beautiful scenery and its mouth-watering cuisine. This holiday is designed to maximise your experience of both, with parallel classes in cookery and photography run over the course of one magical week, incorporating trips to local food markets and picturesque fishing ports as you learn to take atmospheric pictures while mastering the art of Moroccan cuisine.

Need to know
A seven-day photography/cooking holiday in Morocco with Naima & Darren is Dh4,692, including accommodation, workshops and some meals. See

Delicious delights in Delhi

Immerse yourself in the cacophony of sights, sounds and smells of India’s colourful capital during a flying visit that focuses on the culinary heritage of this eclectic city. The Delhi Bite-size Break begins with a hands-on cooking experience in the home of a local host, followed by a trip to the Old Town’s marketplace for an exploration of the herbs, spices and other ingredients that make up Indian food. Sample fragrant biryanis and creamy curries at food stalls before bargaining with vendors for your chosen ingredients.

Need to know
A three-day Bite-size Break with Delhi Intrepid Travel starts at Dh1,083 per person, including accommodation, meals, cookery classes and tours. Visit: or call 0091 510 2850 604.

Travel News

Family flying
Thomson Airways has revealed a plan to enable families to sit together in a social seating area on its planes, with three seats either side of a table, while child-free holidaymakers will enjoy a romantic duo-seating arrangement. Here’s hoping more airlines follow suit.


Chinese rebrand for Britain
With an eye on the big prize of Chinese tourism, the UK government plans to ask Mandarin speakers to create new names for the country’s major attractions in their native tongue. Stonehenge and Glastonbury Tor are among the destinations that will be renamed for Chinese visitors via a social media campaign.

By Olivia Cuthbert

By Olivia Cuthbert