Top Host Unusual holiday spots for foodies (and drinkies!)
Food, glorious food – and we certainly are anxious to try it!
If, like us, one of your favourite things about going on holiday is the chance to sample mouth-watering dishes, irresistible local produce and exciting new tipples, check out these Host Unusual properties – each one a gastronome’s delight!
Is there anything more perfect than picking your own fresh vegetables from a kitchen garden or scrumping fruits from an orchard? Wild Meadow gives you the chance to do both while you stay in the gorgeous Meadow Cottage or Shepherd’s Hut.
Owners Jonathan and Andrea developed this Radnorshire meadow from scratch, turning a barren field into a kitchen garden and wildlife haven. Using the top soil from the cottage footings, Andrea created ten raised beds which now host mouth-watering crops of organic new potatoes, fresh peas, courgettes, chard and runner beans, among others – giving guests a veritable selection to cook either indoors or on a campfire!
Pluck ripe apples, pears and plums from the variety of fruit trees, and indulge in the sweetness of juicy summer berries. And don’t leave without savouring a taste of home-grown apple juice from Wild Meadow’s autumn harvest – sensational.
Dig into a delicious vegetarian breakfast as you step back in time at the Control Tower. Even the menu has its own vintage twist, with an adapted cover of a Ministry of Food pamphlet inviting you to choose from a selection of meat-free options.
Full cooked breakfasts, boiled eggs with ‘airmen’, drop scones with fresh fruit, and a breakfast bar stocked with granola, homemade preserves and local honey…surely there’s no better way to fill up for a day spent exploring the North Norfolk coast.
Vegans can look forward to their own dedicated menu too, while all guests can enjoy a relaxing cup of Cornwall-grown tea or freshly roasted, single estate coffee by Monmouth Coffee in their beautiful art nouveau bedrooms. Heaven!
You don’t often associate Her Majesty’s Pleasure with outstanding food and drink – but you’ve yet to discover The Old Lockup! This former magistrate’s house and police station on the edge of the Peak District not only offers wonderful historic features and a prime location – you’ll also be treated to fabulous home-cooked fare and homebrewed ales!
Everything served in the Old Lockup’s dining room is lovingly made by owner Tim, from the freshly baked bread to the hearty stews (ideal after a day’s ramble in the Peaks!). And whether you’re tucking into breakfast or a pre-ordered dinner, you’ll be treated to sensational local produce along the way.
With Derbyshire’s smallest microbrewery onsite too, your stay isn’t complete until you’ve sampled a selection of Gaol Ales. Jailbreak bitter, Jailbird pale ale, No Prisoners IPA, Strong Arm of the Law brown ale, Black Maria porter and On Parole stout – there’s a brew for every lucky prisoner!
Wine connoisseurs will be in their element at Chateau Ramšak – a glorious glamping resort in the grounds of a Slovenian vineyard! Wake up to the sight of rows of vines in this beautiful region of Styria before checking out Europe’s largest wine press and a graft of the world’s oldest grapevine.
All this is bound to get you in the mood for sampling, so enjoy an unforgettable wine tasting experience at the tasting bar. Treat your taste buds to a variety of wines from Chateau Ramšak’s extensive wine cellar, including Chardonnay, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Welschriesling, Sauvignon and Sylvaner, all beside a tranquil pond surrounded by lush greenery.
Fuzzy head the next morning? Never fear – Chateau Ramšak’s wellbeing therapists are on hand to indulge you with a massage or peel using unique grape-based cosmetics!
Another vegan’s paradise! As a wonderfully chilled, eco holiday spot in southern Spain, part of Otro Mundo‘s philosophy is that you won’t find a single animal product anywhere onsite – and that includes in the kitchen!
Every Wednesday and Saturday, guests look forward to a three-course menu of home-cooked dishes, incorporating produce from Otro Mundo’s own vegetable garden as well as local ingredients.
How does a starter of green gazpacho with spinach and avocado sound, followed by mint, pea and cucumber couscous with a courgette, chickpea and sweetcorn burger? Make sure you leave room for a slice of cashew ‘no-cheese cake’ topped with home-grown blackberry jelly! All just a taste of what you’ll be tucking into during your stay…
Torrisdale Castle Estate, Argyll
Gin lovers – here’s one for you! The idyllic Torrisdale Castle Estate on the stunning spine of Kintyre isn’t just home to a range of exquisite historic hideaways. It’s also home to the Beinn an Tuirc Distillery – purveyors of Kintyre Gin!
This carefully balanced, hand-crafted spirit uses 12 botanicals – 10 of which you’ll usually find in gin, and two unusual lichens found in abundance on the Estate (sheep sorrel and Icelandic moss), which give Kintyre Gin its distinctive earthy tones.
You can find out more on a tour of the distillery, before sampling and purchasing a bottle to enjoy in your wood-fired hot tub later on! You’ll also be pleased to know that Beinn an Tuirc Distillery puts sustainability at its core, so every G&T helps to save the earth (as if you needed an excuse…)!
Sound of Harris, Isle of Harris
If you like the sound of delectably fresh, sustainably caught Scottish seafood, you’ll love Sound of Harris. Located on the southernmost tip of the Isle of Harris, this stunning architect-designed home is ideally served by Sound of Harris Shellfish.
Throughout the season, the crew of the Valhalla return from the sea with creels of crab, lobster and langoustine to sell on Leverburgh Pier – perfect for preparing fresh salads, pastas or crabcakes. During the summer, hosts Rob and Carol can also provide you with fresh mackerel and pollock – delicious! And if you’d rather source your supper yourself, Rob can lead you on a fishing trip, or you can forage for cockles, razor clams and mussels around the island in spring and autumn.
If that all sounds too much, Croft 36 in nearby Norton is the place to go for sustainable, locally sourced dishes – including the legendary crab ravioli. Even better, there’s no washing up afterwards!