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British Culture and Cuisine
The cuisine of Great Britain is often labelled as uninteresting, but nothing is less true!
The local food scene is peppered with interesting flavours from both locally sourced produce and those brought to Britain over the centuries by immigrants and returning world explorers. As we travel the highways and byways, we find ourselves on regional food trails where we will sample local cuisine; visit a vineyard and cider producer in some of Britain’s most scenic areas; prepare our own British themed lunch; delight in a Vintage Tea Party and so much more! Combine all of this with historic and heritage attractions and picture postcard countryside, and you will be left with a most memorable taste of Britain!
We will spend 2 nights in the university town of Cambridge, 3 nights in the heart of the Peak District of Derby, 3 nights in Ross-on-Wye – the picturesque market town in the Wye Valley, 3 nights in the capital of Wales – Cardiff and 2 nights in the Oxfordshire town of Witney.
***Those joining our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.
Day 1: Depart
We depart for London.
Day 2: Cambridge
We arrive in London and transfer to our hotel located just outside of Cambridge.
Day 3: Cambridge
We begin in the historic centre of Cambridge with a walking tour filled with delicious local and international food and interesting stories about the food scene and the city. We will enjoy 10 samplings, including British cheeses and the best Scotch egg you will ever taste! Then, no trip to Cambidge would be complete without a ‘punt’ along the river Cam, offering incredible views of the famous college.
Day 4: Burghley House / Derby
We visit Burghley House. This palatial Elizabethan prodigy house is still a family home, and we will explore its historic collection of art. The gardens are one of the finest architectural achievements of England’s most famous gardener, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Included is a delicious lunch served in the conservatory.
Day 5: Haddon Hall / Derby
Sitting like a jewel in its Elizabethan gardens, overlooking the River Wye, is the 12th century Haddon Hall. On our guided tour we learn why Haddon Hall is considered one of Britain’s most romantic houses. We continue to the Peacock Inn - a 200-year-old pub where we are served a scrumptious lunch, as well as the local specialty - Bakewell Pudding. Our last visit is the Ultimate Gin Experience - a tour of a working distillery and a taste of the wares.
Day 6: Nottingham
We begin with a tour of Nottingham’s award-winning Castle Rock Brewery, followed by a sample of their famous brews. We then enjoy lunch and a tour of the Jerusalem Pub - England's oldest pub dating back to 1189 AD. This ancient pub was built into stone caves and has a charming, “wonky” interior and extensive cellars. All day in Nottingham we will be guided by none other than, Robin Hood!
Day 7: Catton Hall / Ross on Wye
Catton Hall is a glorious private Estate, owned by the same family for over 600 years, and the home of Seasoned Cookery School. We will team up to create a typical British lunch, and enjoy the fruits of our labour.
Day 8: Ludlow
This town is full of historic buildings, and at the heart is Ludlow Castle. The castle was built as a Norman Fortress, grew into a Royal residence and then a seat of parliament. Tudor Lady Caroline gives us a guided tour of this magnificent stronghold. Then we tour The Ludlow Food Centre - a unique food shopping experience where farming, food production and retailing fuse together to create a special environment. We will sample some of the local products.
Day 9: Herefordshire
The Black & White Village Trail is a route through some of the prettiest Herefordshire villages and England’s most beautiful landscape. The ancient towns feature centuries old black and white timbered buildings. We end the day learning about the traditional and very English art of cider making at Weston’s Cider Mill, with its historic oak vats - some nearly 200 years old. A delicious dinner will be served here.
Day 10: Caerphilly / Cardiff
We first stop in Caerphilly, which dates back to Roman times. Here we visit the huge 800-year- old castle - Britain’s 2nd largest castle. The castle boasts a tower that leans at a greater angle than its more famous counterpart in Pisa, and also an impressive moat. We then visit a local farm famous for its delectable ice cream, before proceeding to Cardiff.
Day 11: Cardiff Castles and Cuisine
We begin with a visit to the fairy tale castle of Castell Coch, built as a country residence by one of the wealthiest men of his times. Lunch will be at the Kings Arms in Pentyrch - a 16th century Welsh longhouse pub serving delicious food, using the best of Welsh produce. The afternoon visit is St. Fagan’s National History Museum - one of Europe’s leading open air museums standing in the grounds of the magnificent St. Fagans Castle - a 16th century manor house donated to the people of Wales.
Day 12: Welsh Food Safari
We begin at Hendrewennol Soft Fruit Farm, where we enjoy a farm tour and tasting of the farm’s produce. Our day continues at the Barn Restaurant - a unique building set on the cliffs of the South Wales heritage coast with exceptional views and food. Our Welsh lunch will be followed by a Welshcake cooking demonstration, ending with a tour and glass of ‘Gwin y Fro’ (wine of the Vale) at the Meadow View family run vineyard. A wonderful finish to a fabulous day!
Day 13: Tintern / Cotswolds
The Cistercian Abbey of Tintern is one of Wales greatest ruins. Our tour here offers insight into the monastic way of life in medieval times. We continue to the small Cotwolds village of North Cerney, and in the village hall we step back in time with a Vintage Tea Party - a unique way to spend our afternoon as we learn to create tea time treats! After the cooking is done, sit down and enjoy Afternoon Tea displayed on perfectly decorated vintage crockery. Later we arrive in the town of Witney, for our last 2 nights.
Day 14: Oxford / Chipping Campden
On our walking tour through the heart of the historic city of Oxford we learn about the history, traditions and architecture of the city and its University, and follow the footsteps of the city's celebrated TV detective Morse and his successors Lewis and Hathaway. There will be free time in the city before heading to Chipping Campden for our special ‘Pudding Club’ Farewell Dinner.
Day 15: Home
We fly home from London
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