The Basque Country seems to have exploded. When I first added this destination to my offerings, no-one had heard of this remarkable land, half in northern Spain, half in south-western France. Now people the world over are flocking there, mostly for the best food in Europe but also for the beauty of the mountains and the sea, the surfing and the unique Basque culture. This year I hosted two Basque Country tours and it seems this destination just makes everyone happy. In San Sebastian we got covered in blood, fish guts and squid ink in our anarchic fish cooking class at Ziaboga restaurant then sat down to eat, burst into song, drank more wine, the rest of the restaurant burst into song and we lurched home in our little boat.
On the French side in Saint-Jean-de-Luz everyone was overwhelmed by the chicness and difference in feeling from the Spanish side. We ate raw langoustines, sweetbreads and spiced chocolate and in a stylish departure from protocol, someone grabbed a guitar and we all launched into, dare I say it, a brilliant and classy rendition of Ten Guitars. We slurped down oysters and wine at the market, excelled in minibus singing and got emotional over the famous Basque striped fabric. Dates for my 2019 are 22-29 June .... it's just impossible not to love the Basque Country.
Need a faux red-head for your next event?
Want to invigorate your next event with an extremely well-dressed, opinionated, travel addict who knows about food, happiness, change and being disgraceful? Then look no further for your guest speaker. I promise to reveal why you should never put all your eggs in one bastard. Available from mid November – details on the website.
Are you tempted by Tamil Nadu?
I always start the new year with my tour to South India. Tamil Nadu is all about heart-stoppingly beautiful Dravidian Hindu temples, rich spicy cuisine, silk textiles, French influenced culture in Pondicherry and cool relaxing coffee plantations in the interior. It is a secret and ancient state, whose way of life is steeped in tradition – and it's far from the well-trodden tourist circuit. We meditate, do yoga and access our inner Bollywood dancer. Dates for next year are 20-30 January 2019 and January is the best month to visit as it's not too hot. So why not do something different this January and escape to Tamil Nadu with me ... we have 5 places left.
2019 is filling up fast...
South India / Tamil Nadu – 20 - 30 Jan 2019 – time for action ... 5 places left
Vietnam – 30 March – 9 April 2019 – half full
Marrakech – 21 – 28 April 2019 – move fast ... 3 places left!!
Basque Country – 22 – 29 June 2019 – half full
Puglia – 1 – 8 September 2019 – places available
North India – 13 – 23 October 2019 – places available
Rajasthan – 31 October - 10 November 2019 – places available
I am now back in Uzès for the summer, teaching cooking classes, drinking iced rosé in 37 degrees and trying to write my new book (assisted by said rosé). Next stop is my delectable tour in Puglia, Southern Italy. Ciao bella.