I love food. I love food almost as much as I love travel. Sometimes the best travel experiences
coincide with an amazing meal or food experience. Here are five of the best that I’ve had recently.
Noma – Copenhagen
It sounds a bit pretentious to start with Noma, but if you are talking food and travel experiences
they don’t get much better than this. My friend Luke used to live in Copenhagen and he planned a
weekend trip for us and managed to secure a table at Noma – not easy to do as you can imagine.
This is not a cheap meal, but to try and compare it to what you would pay for a normal dinner isn’t
really fare – this is an experience in every sense of the word and it’s priceless. Stunning, surprising
food – a degustation menu where each course was presented personally by the chef who had
The Fat Duck – Bray
Heston Blumenthal made his name with this restaurant, turning food into theatre. Bray itself is a
charming little village, easily reached from London. I had an amazing lunch here with a couple of
my cousins. I have never oohed and aahed so much over a meal. It was like a sound and light
show as each course involved some sort of sensory trickery that had our taste buds astounded.!
Spis – Helsinki
Helsinki is a city that is full of surprises and not least of them is the tiny but breathtaking restaurant
that is Spis. This is Nordic cuisine that is reminiscent of Noma but without the showmanship.
Simple, reﬁned cooking, that expertly blends ﬂavours and textures to create really exciting food. I
ate here by myself when I was in town on a work expedition. I really wanted to share this with
someone so that after each mouthful we could stare at each other and say: “So good, right?”
Guilo Guilo – Kyoto
I was working in Kyoto and my friend Franck was passing through town. After a bit of research I
opted for Guilo Guilo – a modern take on the traditional kaiseki style of cooking that is associated
with Kyoto. Almost impossible to ﬁnd, this place is a real winner – we sat at the bar and were
entertained by the cool young chefs who served up an extraordinarily good tasting menu which we
matched with way too much shochu.
The Gherkin – London
The Swiss Re is an office building that has become one of the iconic landmarks of the London
skyline – it is affectionately known by everyone as The Gherkin (because it looks like one,
obviously). There is a restaurant at the top of The Gherkin but it operates as a private members
club, so you really have to know someone to get an invite. Thankfully, my friend David had a
Eurostar loyalty card that somehow gave him an opportunity to book a table during one of their
promotions. We were in. A table of four friends, one of the best views that you can of London, and
lots of champagne. A great night.
Good food travel experiences can be as simple as a crusty baguette and some amazing cheese,
but they can also be stunning gastronomic experiences that you treasure for ever. These are ﬁve
meals that I will always treasure.