Eat in Italy, Pray in India, and Love in Bali
Romantic sunsets, long walks on the beach, moments of self discovery, maybe even a dramatic dash for a plane – travelling often leaves you feeling like you’re playing the starring role in a Hollywood blockbuster, but what if the script was already written for you? Follow in the footsteps of character Liz Gilbert as you eat in Rome, pray in India and love in Bali.
Cuisine is the heart and soul of any culture, not to mention a delicious introduction to your new country. And what better place to eat than Italy, where crusty breads, powerful cheese, melt-in-your mouth pasta and fresh seafood are a way of life? Try these delectable food experiences for your tasty induction to the land that brought us pizza, pasta and prosecco – bellissimo!
Antiqua Tours: The passionate Lazio locals behind Antiqua Tours aim to immerse you completely in Roman customs and cuisine. They work with small producers and trattorias to give you an authentic taste of Italy. Enjoy their ‘Culinary Stroll’ through markets, bakeries and cheese shops before you top the day off with a gelato. Not only will you sample some of the best produce around, but you’re also guaranteed an education in the culinary history of the Eternal City, as well as tips on how to cook like a true Roman.
Vino Roma: Settle into a cosy wine studio with a thousand years of history and sample six of Italy’s finest wines on the ‘My Italians’ tasting. Expand your knowledge or simply appreciate the ruby reds and crisp whites in the private tasting room, as the sommelier guides you through the characteristics and aromas of each variety.
Imàgo Restaurant: Before you even take a bite, Imàgo’s spectacular panoramic views of the city from the 6th floor of the Hassler Hotel are sure to take your breath away. Chef Francesco Apreda serves up dish after dish of seasonal fare with flair. Design your own culinary experience from the menu, with both international flavours and thoroughly traditional options present, before topping off the experience with a dolci to die for.
InRome Cooking School: A glass of bubbly prosecco and share plates of antipasti are a welcome introduction to this cooking class that’s set in a historic apartment (with a modern kitchen!). Add fresh pasta, gelato and pizza to your cooking repertoire – from now on your dinner parties will be the hottest ticket in town. There are even special kids classes available, so it’s a great activity for the whole family.
Hotel Majestic Roma: Located on the leafy Via Veneto in the centre of Rome, the name of this opulent hotel says it all. From marble bathrooms to four-poster beds and handcrafted furniture, it’s five-star luxury fit for Hollywood royalty. And there’s no need to drag yourself away from your luxurious stay – the hotel’s impressive restaurant satisfies the fussiest palate with reinvented Roman classics, served in an ornate dining room that’s dripping with white linens and chandeliers.
Spirituality abounds in colourful India. No matter what brings you to this cultural hub or how you arrive, you’re sure to leave with a new perspective on life and your place in it. Take a yoga class or two and meditate on what life means to you at some truly remarkable temples and at the end of the day rest your enlightened head in a comfortable hotel.
Bapu Nature Cure Hospital & Yogashram: With a mission statement to deliver nature’s blessings, devotees of the alternative medicine and yogashram centre find peace of mind with naturopathy, yoga and Ayurveda treatments. Help your mind connect with your body through one of their general or custom-designed yoga courses, or try a restorative massage. There’s also six-month courses for those wishing to become yoga instructors and naturopath professionals.
Akshardham Temple: Meaning the divine abode of God, this earth-coloured, domed temple is a Hindi place of worship. You’ll be completely captivated by the grandeur of the architecture and sense of peace pervading within – there are 20,000 statues of spiritual personalities housed under the nine incredibly ornate domes. Meditate on the sheer size and intricacy of the design.
The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa New Delhi: Located in central New Delhi, this five-star hotel has been receiving awards since its inception. After a day of soul searching in the frenetic city, sink into a cloud-like bed in one of its 185 modern rooms. Find inner peace at the luxurious Ayurvedic spa, enjoy the reflective stillness in the on-site art gallery and let international chefs take your taste buds on a trip to nirvana with their culinary mastery.
Eros Hotel New Delhi Nehru Place: You’ll find it virtually impossible to leave your sun bed in the lush poolside gardens at the Eros Hotel. Each of the tasteful and stylish rooms offer sanctuary in the heart of busy New Delhi. Top chefs whip up traditional and international meals in the six on-site restaurants. Stay in an executive room so you can make the most of the complimentary breakfast, canapés and evening cocktails in the exclusive Executive Lounge.
It impossible not to fall in love with Bali. With dazzling beaches on the southern shores of the island, lush rainforests in the centre, and an abundance of luxurious resorts all over, it comes as no surprise this is a top wedding and honeymoon destination. Whether you’re looking for love or already have a special someone, romance is sure to blossom in these romantic Balinese resorts and restaurants.
Bali Pearl Restaurant and Hotel, Legian: Not your usual setting for a fine French restaurant, wine and dine your loved one with lobster bisque and frois gras terrine skilfully entwined with subtle Indonesian flavours by French chef Jeremy Blanchet. Be transported to Paris as you dip your spoon into your fondant au chocolat or crème brûlée.
CasCades Bali, Ubud: Set under a thatched pavilion looking out over the Valley of the Kings, love is waiting to blossom by the candlelight at CasCades. With stars twinkling in the background of the open air restaurant, it’s hard to imagine a more memorable place fitting for a proposal.
Samabe Bali Suites & Villas: Hideaway in your very own love nest at Samabe. With a 24-hour butler service, fine meals, spa treatments and entertainment all at your fingertips, your every desire will be taken care of. All of the luxury suites and villas have ocean views from their cliff-top location and, if that isn’t enough to woo your intended, ramp up the romance with private beach picnic in your very own pergola.
Grand Nikko Bali, Nusa Dua: This five-star enclave in the lush forests of Nusa Dua is a top pick for bridal couples looking for a dazzling destination wedding. Overlooking the serene Indian Ocean, the resort sits atop a 40-metre cliff offering panoramic views of its tropical surrounds. If you’re lucky enough to tie the knot here, your hardest decision will be choosing between the dramatic wooden gazebo, glittering glass chapel or the stunning sands of the Indian Ocean for your nuptials.