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Flavours of Southern England. 6 Day British Cuisine Tour

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Flavours of Southern England. 6 Day British Cuisine Tour

PORTSMOUTH, ISLE OF WIGHT, NEW FOREST & DORSET -Traditionally only ever recognised for its full English breakfast, fish and chips and the Sunday roast, British cuisine is gaining international esteem as world class innovative chefs put a modern twist on traditional dishes and flavours. The result is a complete turnaround in the global perception of the food of this age-old country. On this tour you will have the opportunity to taste many of the flavours of southern England including local cheeses and breads, locally caught fish, homemade clotted cream ice cream, traditional fine ales, cider and wine.

Tour Inclusions:

  • 5 nights charming hotel accommodation
  • Driver/guide companion
  • Mercedes mini-coach transportation throughout
  • Full English breakfast daily
  • 3 x local evening meals
  • 4 x lunches
  • Traditional ale & wine tasting
  • Isle of Wight ferry
  • The ‘Jubilee’ narrow boat experience

Day 1: London – Portsmouth – Isle of Wight

This morning our journey takes us to Portsmouth, noted for being the UK’s only island city. A significant naval port for many centuries, Portsmouth is home to the world's oldest dry dock as well as some famous ships, including the Tudor carrack Mary Rose and Lord Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory. You will have plenty of time to explore Portsmouth’s historical dockyard and for lunch you may like to visit Gunwharf Quays, which houses 27 restaurants including Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie Blanc and Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian. Later today we board the ferry for our crossing to the Isle of Wight. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner that features fresh seasonal and local produce. (D)

Day 2: Isle of Wight

We spend today exploring the delights of the Isle of Wight. One of the places we visit today is Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s royal seaside palace, where she spent such happy times with Prince Albert and their nine children. Filled with original furnishings and priceless works of art, we glimpse into the private life of the royal family, and admire the delightful gardens. Lunch today will be at Priory Bay, a luxury country house hotel, set within a 70-acre estate. Before we sit down to a sumptuous 3-course lunch, we will enjoy a 45 minute culinary experience with either the Head sommelier or the Head chef. During the day we will also visit one of the oldest vineyards in Britain, where it is believed that Roman Gentry drank wine grown here over 2,000 years ago. (B,L)

Day 3: Isle of Wight – New Forest

This morning we visit Carisbrooke Castle, where King Charles I was famously imprisoned prior to his execution. Although over 800 years old, the castle is beautifully preserved and the views from the battlements are superb. We will then embark on a scenic drive to Yarmouth, a busy little town built by Henry VIII to protect England from invading forces. This afternoon we take the ferry back to the mainland and make our way to Buckler’s Hard, which played such an important part in Britain’s shipbuilding history. An 18th century maritime village, Nelson’s vessels were once built here, and it is fascinating to wander around this unique attraction and learn about its history. This evening we will dine in the restaurant of our New Forest hotel, which has been awarded a rosette award for its culinary cuisine. (B,D)

Day 4: New Forest – River Cottage – Sidmouth

Our first stop today is Palmers Old Brewery, where we go behind the scenes to see the brewing process that creates the distinctive taste of Palmers five fine draught ales. Lunch today will be at the award-winning River Cottage Canteen and Deli, whose famous ethos is creating amazing food using only the finest seasonal produce from local suppliers. This afternoon we visit a family-run farm shop to meet some local characters and then we head to Honiton once famous for its lace making. Whilst there we highly recommend a visit to the Honiton Ice Cream Shop, which makes 48 flavours of handmade clotted ice cream on the premises. Our tour today ends in Sidmouth, our base for the next two nights. (B,L)

Day 5: Sidmouth – Lyme Regis – Sidmouth

From Sidmouth we wind our way through the back roads of Devon through the picturesque village of Branscombe to Beer, a small fishing village that developed around a smugglers' cove where contraband goods were once stored. We then continue to Lyme Regis, the ‘Pearl of Dorset’, which has a great local reputation for its food and drink. Lunch today is at the restaurant of Lyme’s very own ‘celebrity chef’ Mark Hix – the Hix Oyster & Fish House. This restaurant, with stunning panoramic views across the Jurassic coast, is easily one of the most picturesque spots to enjoy fresh British seafood. Later today we return to Sidmouth where we will enjoy a farewell dinner together. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Sidmouth – London

Today we travel to Berkshire, briefly stopping en route in a Shaftesbury, a small market town with a history that goes back to medieval times and hill-top forts. Lunch today will be at Marco Pierre White’s award-winning Wheelers Inn at the Carnarvon Arms. After lunch we enjoy a traditional narrow boat experience on the Kennet and Avon canal before returning to London where the tour ends. (B,L)

Entrance Fees Included:

  • Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard
  • Osborne House
  • Carisbrooke Castle
  • Buckler’s Hard

Why Small Groups:

AUTHENTIC LOCAL EXPERIENCES We take you to places away from the standard tourist trails. Go beyond the tourist façade to learn more about local food, crafts, history and culture.

BACK ROADS, NOT FREEWAYS Unlike large coaches, our mini-coaches can go anywhere a car can. Travel to the smallest town squares, along hedge-rimmed country lanes and access tiny, medieval villages full of stories and character.CULINARY ENCOUNTERS  Many of our itineraries have an included lunch or dinner at one of the region's local restaurants. We call these 'Culinary Encounters'. You'll find some of our destinations' restaurants have been selected because they offer regional specialities. Others are chosen because they are popular with the locals or have a historical story. NO EARLY MORNING STARTS  The good news is that our tours never leave our accommodation prior to 8.30am. In fact, many departures are after 9am. After all you are on holiday! CHARMING LOCAL ACCOMMODATION We use quality local accommodation that reflects the character of your destination (we never stay at large chain hotels).




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