Best of the Basque Country

Hola Gastronomades

I am ensconced in the heat and sunshine of Uzès, and rocked up to Johnny Hallyday's concert in Nimes last night. At the end he sang Jacques Brel's 'Quand on n'a Que L'Amour' (When We Only Have Love) in tribute to the people of Nice. When he finished, the audience rose as one and sang the Marseillais. Very emotional. The Uzès cooking workshops are in full swing in the new kitchen in the new house and my new dream recipe is Tarte Soleil – a tapenade tart made in the shape of the sun with rays... quite Louise X1V actually.

I jumped into my zippy Peugeot 308 from Peugeot Eurolease in Auckland and drove to San Sebastian to meet up with my Basque gastronomads. They distinguished themselves by singing and telling immature jokes for a whole week, eating everything that was put before them and being generally wonderful in every way. San Sebastian has the best tapas in Spain (pintxos) and the most three-star restaurants in the world so it is my most foodie tour. Our outrageous guide Eli was back with us this year... having a baby seems not to have tamed her. Over in St Jean de Luz on the French side we ate lots of ham and fish, bought armloads of striped Basque fabric, learned how to make chocolates and talked our lovely guide Gabrielle into singing for us in Basque. We somehow got through a one-star degustation final night dinner in the countryside, sang to the whole restaurant and fell into bed, full of foie gras and truffles. There are already bookings for 2017 so start planning for foodie heaven now!

I'll be hitting the road in November to bring you my brand new show, in association with Farmers. Themed around my latest book (a memoir of sorts) titled Never Put All your Eggs in One Bastard. Naturally, it's not for the faint hearted... but it'll be a great night out with bubbles complements of Arrogant Frog, the agony aunt couch, singing, giveaways and all sort of shenanigans. Quite literally, anything can happen. Tickets are on sale NOW... dates and destinations below. See you there!!
Paraparaumu – Friday 18 November – TicketDirect
Auckland – Saturday 19 November – Ticketek
Dunedin – Friday 25 November – TicketDirect
Christchurch – Saturday 26 November – TicketDirect

Next year's dates and destinations are below.... places are still available on most tours but we're down to the last few spots for India in October 2017.
South India / Tamil Nadu – 14-25 January
Vietnam – 1-11 April
Marrakech – 21-28 May
Basque Country – 24 June-1 July
Puglia – 3-10 September
India – 21-31 October