I know it's boring to always be banging on about how sterling my gastronomads are but once again, on my Vietnam tour, they were sterling to a person. Obedience levels were very high, interest in selflessly tasting their way through Hanoi, Hué, Hoi An and Saigon was exemplary and everyone was at one with the universe regarding the heat. They just carried on regardless. We ate fresh spring rolls, happy crepes (banh xeo), bun cha (grilled pork & noodles), pho (beef noodle soup) and lots of nuoc cham (fish sauce dip). We learned how to make rice paper, drink local hootch and eat street food in the great old city of Hanoi – three thousand years old to be precise. This gave us the strength to rise at the crack of dawn and lurch off down to the ex-imperial capitol of Vietnam, Hué, a beautiful place almost completely destroyed by bombing in the American war. What remains is very exquisite and the cooking is exceptional in its complication and refinement. Hoi An is always the most popular destination – undamaged by history, cute, good food, good shopping. Saigon is my favourite – wild, sexy, cosmopolitain, changing at the speed of light and always fun.
Bookings are now open for Vietnam 2019 and I already have enquiries so start putting those pennies in the piggy bank now.
I am now in my other life in Uzès, South of France, gorging on Spring white asparagus and cured ham, catching up with friends and darting around in my cute red Peugeot from Peugeot Eurolease. I'll be here teaching half-day classes from mid May till the end of September with absences while hosting tours. You too can get lost in the market, cook sun-drenched food and siesta the afternoon away. Sounds tough doesn't it!?
Next stop is Marrakech at the end of the month where I'll join 14 fabulous gastronomads on a foodie adventure through Moroccan cuisine with my lovely friends and colleagues in Marrakech, and catch up with my friend Rebecca (designer of my gorgeous tassel earrings – available on my website).