Taste of Travel: Dive into the Deep

What amazing dishes have you discovered on your travels? Which meals remind you of being on holiday? For me, food is a huge part of the travel experience and my most memorable holidays have been where I’ve tasted something unexpected in a distinctive setting. Here are three of our favourite courses encountered on our trips – a real taste of travel!

Starter: A Dive into the Deep – Villa Crespi, Italy
Yes that really is the name of this dish! It’s a unique combination of raw and cooked Mediterranean fish and it tastes even better than it looks. The prawns were incredibly fresh and were complemented by fresh mint and tarragon to give a dish bursting with flavour. Chef Antonino  Cannavaccioulo has 2 Michelin stars and it’s not hard to see why. The Villa Crespi is like nowhere else I’ve visited, a stunning Ottoman style luxury hotel and a member of Relais & Chateaux. We loved the location next to Lake Orta, one of the most beautiful parts of Piedmont.

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We were celebrating our first wedding anniversary which made the occasion even more special. I don’t think that you can go wrong when eating out in Italy, whether a local pizzeria or a gourmet restaurant, everyone takes such a pride in their cooking and wants to share it with others.
Villa Crespi
Main Course: Plentiful Picanha at Porcao – Rio, Brazil
If you’ve not heard of picanha, it’s worth getting hold of some. It’s a particular cut of beef rump cap, and pronounced “pee-con-ya”. to You can find it in many larger supermarkets and it’s great cooked with onions and cherry tomatoes. In Brazil, there are some fantastic churrascarias (steakhouses) and Porcao is one of the best in Rio. The concept is great fun, they give you a coaster with a green and a red side – if you keep the green one turned up, the waiters keep coming round until you turn it over to the red side. It’s wise not to eat beforehand as they’ll bring you chicken, sausage, sirloin, filet mignon and of course the delicious picanha. The beef is skewered and cooked over flaming charcoal in its fat which seals in the flavour, and the fat is then trimmed off before serving. The setting overlooking Sugarloaf Mountain and the sea made this a truly memorable experience. I’d also recommend if you are in Brazil, to check out the “suco” (juice) bars. They are on every street corner and you can try every exotic juice imaginable, including many that you only find in the Amazon.

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Dessert: Willy Wonka would love Wittamer – Brussels, Belgium
I’m a bit of a chocolate fiend but my Swiss husband outdoes me – everywhere we go, he makes a point of seeking out the best places for it. In Brussels we were spoilt for choice, Place du Grand Sablon is a pretty square with two of the best chocolatiers in Belgium: Pierre Marcolini and Wittamer. The latter not only has a shop but also a chocolate cafe where you can taste this unforgettable dessert. Using the very best chocolate from Madagascar, it contrasts white and dark chocolate mousse with a caramel ice cream and delicate vanilla sauce. There are some amazing places to eat and drink in Brussels.

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Brussels itself is well worth a visit for the Atomium, the infamous Mannequin Pis and of course, for fans of Tintin. Bon appetit!

  • MissLilly

    amazing dishes!!! and I love Picanha as well, delicious meat!

    • Thanks MissLilly, the pic doesn’t do it justice but that place is fantastic

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    Oooh great post! I’ve never heard of Pichanha…could it convert me to becoming a meat lover? The dessert look amazing! I didn’t know you husband was Swiss!

    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

    • Picanha is delicious, definitely recommend trying it. The dessert was amazing – yes P is Swiss though you wouldn’t know it, he sounds very British!

  • Lucy

    A lovely post the Willy Wonker Dessert looks wonderful Brussels is a wonderful city. The meat also looks beautiful if it is rump I expect that it was lovely and moist. Perfect foodie inspiration Lucy x

    • Thanks Lucy, yes the meat was amazing and as for the dessert I would love to go back and eat it again!

  • Everything about this is giving me serious gastro-envy and wanderlust! The Willy Wonker looks almost too beautiful to eat! Thank you for sharing xx

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • Thanks Jasiminne, yes it was a shame to eat the Willy Wonka but someone had to do it 🙂

  • love&limoncello

    Loving the menu Suze. I would love love the last course, it’s so my type of dessert. xx

    • Hi Zoe, yes the dessert was amazing, and Brussels was a nice surprise too

  • Thank you ever so much for the nomination, it was a pleasure to take part in the challenge! Your dessert enjoyed in Belgium’s Brussels is truly mouth-watering and the presentation is impeccable!



    • Hi Gabrielle, you’re very welcome! Loved your blog post on this too and best of luck

  • This sounds like a delicious meal and a fabulous trip!
    Good luck with the competition!

    • Thanks Elisa, loved your Venice post by the way!

      • Thank you Suze, that’s very kind 🙂

  • It was worth coming here to see that dessert alone, but all your dishes sound wonderful. I found it so hard narrowing it down to just THREE dishes!

    • Yes I know it was quite a challenge! Loved reading your blog post too Frankie, best of luck

  • Bunks and Beaches

    That is one amazing menu!! Completely agree about the churrascarias, such a great dining experience. I loved Rio so much.

    • Yes all the food in Rio was so fresh, would love to return!

  • Oh, yum! I can see why these three dishes impressed you so but that dessert looks simply divine!

    • Hi Mandy, definitely recommend Wittamer if you’re ever in Belgium

  • hahaha so happy you chose Porcão!! Churrasco is definitely what I miss the most from my home country! Oh well, on Friday I will be in Brazil so I for sure will head straight to a Churrascaria 😉
    Happy to have found your blog! I will look forward to reading your posts! 😉

    • Oh lucky you, escaping the cold here! Hope you have an amazing time in your home country

  • That soup is such a cool colour! Looks really fresh and delic – was it a cold soup?

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