YspeopleExplore tab



Review: Food Trails, by Lonely Planet

Visit my web site

About Sheryl

Feeding my curiosity among people who get me.

Blogging about being fifty-something: the good, the bad and the brilliant. Grateful for the brilliance.

You can almost smell the foodie magic unfurling in this brand new Lonely Planet guide.

Being fifty-something, I’m all for the road less travelled. Give me a quiet, uncrowded journey where the magic unfolds at my pace. If that magic is punctuated by new food experiences, all the better.

In Food Trails, Lonely Planet unpacks 52 short breaks embracing the road less travelled through a cherry-picked collection of the world’s most awesome food (and drink) experiences. Win. Win.

The subtitle sums it up: Plan 52 Perfect Weekends in the World’s Tastiest Destinations.

If you’re thinking that means a lightweight recount of a year’s worth of popular foodie destinations, think again. This book layers one experience on another, on another.

A food vendor walks past a traditional Chinese shopfront.

A food vendor walks past a traditional Chinese shopfront. Pic: Lonely Planet

It dives into new culinary territory such as “Fjordland Foods & Arctic Bounty” in Iceland. Here, you’re urged to seek out mineral water that is “practically a delicacy – the most naturally rich potable fluid on the planet”, or to pull off the main road toward a white house where “two fishermen’s wives make a mean homemade fish soup (from their husbands’ daily catch) with notes of curry and tomato”.

In Spain's northern Basque country, Food Trails exalts the “Pintxos and Michelin Stars in San Sebastian”. Suggestions include a laidback breakfast at Botanika, taking a Pintxo Masterclass at San Sebastian Food and rounding out your day with a sublime tarta de queso (cheesecake) from La Viña.

The trails tread through Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia and beyond, exploring the lesser-known culinary underbelly of usual suspects such as Italy, France and the USA, while breaking fresh foodie ground in Oman, Jamaica and Slovakia.

Bari fisherman Maurizio with his freshly opened sea urchins.

Bari fisherman Maurizio with his freshly opened sea urchins. Pic: Lonely Planet

The detail for each trail is extraordinary. Inclusions span orientation maps, expert reviews, web links, phone s, opening hours and an Essential Info edit for each destination, with entries under Where to Stay, What to do and Celebrations.

The copy is engaging, lively and clever. It brims with whisper-in-your-ear local gems and the quirky back stories that get you connected and knowing a place long before you seriously think about visiting.

The images are the real heroes – full-bleed, many full-page and all full-colour. The production values elevate this book from travel guide to coffee table tome. It’s a delight to simply pick up and fall into a page spread of possibilities, and then another. Like an endless buffet, you can scoop up an old favourite and know it in a fresh way, or discover a completely new-to-you experience and wonder where it’s been all your life.

My local stomping ground is covered under “Mod-Oz in Melbourne –Melbourne’s famed gastronomic allure has spread way beyond the big city, into country farms and coastal villages around the Great Ocean Road and Bellarine Peninsula.” True to formula, it covers some favourites such as Jack Rabbit, Bar Americano and Timboon Railway and Distillery Shed, alongside a couple new to me, including Charcoal Lane, a non-profit organisation employing indigenous staff and cooks, and assisting local Aboriginal communities.

A woman makes orecchietti pasta.

A woman makes orecchietti pasta. Pic: Lonely Planet

It’s that level of detail that hooks you in – a story, a moment, a dish or a conversation that intrigues. Food Trails organises all those micro-experiences into well-padded two or three-day breaks.

As a hardback of 304 pages, Food Trails is no pack-it-along pocket guide. It’s definitely a pre-travel planning tool or, even if you have no journey on your immediate horizon, an inspirational foodie fantasy read.

From the intro: “Ingredients evoke landscapes, recipes recall history and certain dishes can unlock the very essence of a place and its people.”

And from there unfolds the magic.

Published October 5, 2016 / 304pp / RRP: AU$34.99

Note: Lonely Planet provided review copy.

Images: Courtesy of Lonely Planet (not to be reproduced elsewhere).

Banner 1
| Your rating
1 members rated this article

Related stories

Cows enjoying the breeze from fans.

Wind turbines keeping cows cool, and other tales

My wife has a habit of putting her foot in it and it can be so funny, I have to share.

Domestic Travel Relationships Community Australia
About 1 year ago
This one isn't for the faint-hearted (image uploaded to Reddit by u/JLD58).

Stunning travel photos from around the world

This best-of-the-web travel photo collection got my feet itchy.

International Travel Photography
Over 1 year ago
View From Mt.

Tasmania turns it on for these grey nomads

Dave and Ellen Smith get familiar with some stunning historic architecture, a new house sit, dodgy drivers and a frozen bum.

Domestic Travel Relationships Ageing Australia Health
Over 1 year ago
You want to ensure your medications are well-managed while overseas.

How to manage your medication while travelling

Follow these 13 handy tips to ensure you have no medication hiccups while overseas.

International Travel Ageing Health
Over 1 year ago
Caravan, camper or motorhome? This is probably the most important choice you'll make.

How to plan for your big caravan adventure

Part two in the series on how to plan for a grey nomad lifestyle.

Auto Domestic Travel Retirement Australia
Over 1 year ago
The Road Awaits You, So Dream.

How to plan for a future travelling on the road

So you want to explore the grey nomad lifestyle? Here's what to consider before selling up.

Property Auto Domestic Travel Australia
Over 1 year ago
The rivers of Gangtok, India (Image uploaded to Reddit by u/evolvedsloth).

Photos guaranteed to give you itchy feet

The sheer beauty of these travel destinations is sure to spark your wanderlust.

International Travel Photography History
Over 1 year ago
The House on the Hill.

The police are on the way

I turned my back on my wife for a minute and she was gone in a flash, causing goodness knows what mischief for us.

Auto Domestic Travel Relationships Australia
Over 1 year ago
House Sitting with pets.

How to house sit your way around Australia

Did you know you can save lots of money while caravanning by setting up a house-sit side venture?

Money Property Auto Domestic Travel
Over 1 year ago
Scallop Pie.

The tale of my missus and the stinky pie


Ever eaten a dodgy pie, or something even worse, on the road? You'll chuckle at what happened to these grey nomads.

Travel Auto Relationships Humour
Over 1 year ago

Message board

Derek, about 1 year ago:
I am great
George, about 1 year ago:
What's up Thomas?
George, about 1 year ago:
Messages are now updated in real time on other browsers.
Thomas, about 1 year ago:
Thomas, about 1 year ago:
DJC, about 1 year ago:
George, about 1 year ago:
Message board active from June 2018

Have your say!

Your Great Australians

Trending stories
The views alone are worth visiting Laputa for.

Perth's Laputa will not do a buffet as you know it

New player Laputa will...

(Epicure) Over 2 years ago
When it comes to great bloggers you can connect with, this list has you covered.

20 mature bloggers worth following

Looking for Australian...

(Entertainment & Culture) Over 2 years ago
They may be hideous, but geez, some toby jugs are valuable.

Is your toby jug worth a fortune?

Did you know that some of...

(Nostalgia) About 1 year ago
The amount of unnecessary waste that comes from supermarket packaging is deplorable.

A pile of rubbish in my shopping

The packaging in your...

(Headlines) About 2 years ago

Ripper dad jokes get a laugh

Here's my pick of some of...

(Love & Relationships) Almost 3 years ago
Weekly Poll
Photographic memories
It's 35 years since the Ash Wednesday bushfires in South Australia and Victoria claimed 75 lives and more than 2500 buildings.