Spice Up Your Life - A gastronomic sojourn through southern India

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Highlights

  • Hosted by Christine Manfield
  • Exquisite regional produce & spices galore
  • Sumptuous feasts
  • India's tropical, tranquil south
  • Cosmopolitan Bombay
  • Small group of like-minded ladies

Key Facts

  •   India

  •   Great for foodies

  •   12 days

  •   Escorted by Christine Manfield

 

Astounding in its diversity of people, landscapes, religions, architecture and textiles, India is a sumptuous treat for the culinary queens!

Travelling with renowned Australian chef Christine Manfield, author of acclaimed ‘Tasting India’, we will delight in the cultural riches of India’s south. We will meet local growers, artisans and chefs, explore colourful markets and participate in inspiring cooking classes where we will discover the scents of cumin and coriander, the tang of tamarind and mustard, the fragrance of turmeric and saffron - and all with the benefit of Christine’s unique insight as she interprets the sights, smells, sounds and tastes along the way.

Beginning our journey in Chennai we’ll discover the city’s cosmopolitan scene and savour authentic South Indian delicacies before heading to Pondicherry, known for its chic French colonial style, fusion cuisine and up-and-coming design scene. Winging our way west to the Arabian Sea we explore the ancient trading port of Fort Cochin, discovering its spice filled markets and bazaars, dining with a leading local chef and participating in a private cooking class with an authority on Keralan cooking. Travelling to Alleppey we will be enchanted by the tranquil backwaters and will savour the delectable flavours of the south with a home-cooked meal. On the shores of Lake Vembanad we’ll discover the slow pace of backwater village life, sample delicately spiced Indian fish dishes and luxuriate in one of the area's effortlessly stylish boutique hotels where we can indulge in an Ayurvedic massage...or two! Our journey comes to a close in Mumbai, India's most cosmopolitan and dynamic city. On our curated walking tour we will sample authentic Indian street food and will see how both Indian and foreign settlers have stamped their style on this pulsating city.

Travelling with Christine on this bespoke culinary safari will awaken our palates to the flavours of India’s ubiquitous cultural heritage and open our hearts to the soul of this captivating country.

 

Itinerary Details

Day 1 - 2 | Chennai | 2 nights                

Welcome to India. Beginning our journey in Chennai we will browse Koyambedu market (Asia’s largest market for fruit, vegetables and flowers which brims with colour and exotic produce), take part in a 'feeding the gods' ceremony and enjoy a hosted dinner at an award winning restaurant.

We'll stay in an exquisite colonial hotel which, built in 1854 with later additions by legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa, is the only heritage hotel in Chennai.

Days 3 - 4 | Pondicherry | 2 nights              

En route to Pondicherry we will enjoy a private guided tour of Mahabalipuram on the Coramandel coast to explore complex stone temples then sample home made dosas - a type of pancake made from rice and black gram beans. During our time in Pondicherry we'll take to the streets for a walking tour of the colonial French quarter, ride in rickshaws, learn to cook local dishes in a cooking class and enjoy a rooftop dinner with stunning views of the city and breezes off the Bay of Bengal. 

An excursion to the cash-free and non-religious town of Auroville, which hosts an international community dedicated to peace, sustainability and 'divine consciousness', will leave you inspired!

Days 5 - 6 | Cochin | 2 nights

Cochin presents us with opportunity to take a walking street food tour, enjoy sunset drinks as we gaze out across the famous fishing nets and dine priavtely with a renowned Keralan chef - a Secret Women's Series exclusive!

During our time here we will stay in a luxury boutique hotel widely regarded as the best in southern India.

Days 7 - 8 | Alleppey | 2 nights

Heading into the tranquil Keralan backwaters we'll meet the lady who heads up a local heritage preservation group and enjoy lunch in her home. You will have the option to take part in yoga sessions, indulge in an Ayurvedic massage or two and we'll sample and learn to cook the banana leaf food and delicately fragrant fish dishes for which this region is famous. We'll explore the limpid channels, coconut groves and lush rice paddies from aboard a houseboat, soaking up the slow pace of rural life in this watery paradise. 

Days 9 - 11 | Mumbai | 3 nights

Mumbai is the final stop on our journey where well re-enter the hustle and bustle of city life and experience the grit and glamour of this pulsating metropolis. We'll sample street food, be awe-inspired by the people of Dharavi slum, shop for treasures to take home and of course sample the city's finest culinary delights in a selection of India's trendiest and most highly internationally acclaimed restaurants.

Day 12 | End of itinerary                

On our final morning we'll rise early to watch the city wake, taking in fragrant flower markets, fishermen's fresh catches and the mind boggling work of the tiffin wallahs before heading to the airport to begin our journey home.

Namaste and thank you for joining us on this tantalising journey.

About Christine Manfield

With India’s reputation as one of the most exotic gastronomic destinations of the world, The Classic Safari Company is delighted to have Christine Manfield host an expertly crafted journey through its beautiful southern region, known for its serene waterways, delicate fish dishes and fragrant spices.

Christine Manfield is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs. Curious in her endeavours and unparalleled in her culinary executions, she draws on impressive tastes and flavours from her travels around the globe. A renowned chef, Manfield is also a food and travel writer, food manufacturer, presenter, teacher and gastronomic traveller.

As an award‐winning author, her books – A Personal Guide to India & Bhutan, Dessert Divas, Tasting India, Fire, Spice, Stir, Paramount Cooking and Paramount Desserts are testament to her ability to bring innovation and excitement into the lives of eager cooks everywhere.

Manfield was a restaurateur with three highly successful restaurants: Paramount in Sydney 1993 to 2000, East@West in London 2003 to 2005 and Universal 2007 to 2013.

Her diverse work portfolio includes mentoring and collaborating with chefs and industry colleagues, hosting pop‐up events in Australia and overseas, working as a national judge for the Delicious Produce Awards and the Electrolux Appetite for Excellence Young Restaurateur Awards and Brand Ambassador for Byron Bay Cookies – developing new flavours to broaden their range and profile. She is also Food Director at Pearl Catering in Sydney.

A constant adventurer, Christine continues to broaden her global interests with custom gastronomic tours to alluring destinations including India, Africa, Bhutan, France, SE Asia, Italy, South America and Tasmania. With the grace, humour and experience that Christine brings, this delicious safari promises nothing less than exceptional gastronomical adventures in one of the most delicious parts of the world.

For more information, please head to www.christinemanfield.com

 


 

Key Facts

  • Escorted by chef Christine Manfield
  • 12 days
  • 26 November to 7 December 2019
  • Begins: Chennai | Ends: Mumbai
  • A$9,990 per person twin share. Excludes international flights.
  • For further details and a full itinerary please contact us
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