The Journey


Epic foodie conquest of Europe – help needed!

Given I’m a banker (ahem, quiet at the back please!) it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that within the not too distant future I might find myself with a significant amount of time on my hands, with which I may ‘consider my options at length’.

With this potential future free-time in mind, and in the intended spirit of this blog, I was hoping that you good people out there would be able to help my education by constructing the ultimate European foodie trip based on your knowledge and experiences.

I’m to looking to build a reasonably coherent trip that would last about 2-3 months and take in the best and most interesting that be seen/tasted in France, Spain and Italy. The best suggestions will get added to the map below. Please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section below.

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To tip us on the way, I’ve added Pierre Gagnaire as an appropriate starting point…

13 Responses to “The Journey”

  1. Ben says:

    I was sent a link to your blog by my sister who works, I believe, with your mother. What a waist expanding challenge you have set yourself. Living in Burgundy I could recomend many eateries, wineries and places to stay in france. But one unmissable experience for you to both stay and eat in the area is Regis Marcon. His food is regional, his location is amazing and you will not be dissapointed. Bonne appatite!

  2. thefatbanker says:

    Hi Ben, thanks very much for the suggestion – this is exactly the sort of ‘local knowlegde’ I am after. The location and experience look incredible and I would never have found it without your input. I will add it into the itinerary as soon as I work out how!

    (p.s. not sure about your sister working with my mum, as at last check she wasnt working, but thanks anyway!)

  3. thefatbanker says:

    Ben – I’ve added your suggestion to The Journey map, thanks again. (btw it is my Dad that works with your sister, not my Mum)

  4. Food Snob says:

    I second Regis Marcon – I have heard some great things about it. If you love mushrooms, this place is a must.

  5. Adam says:

    For a bit of an ‘El Bulli’ experience you should try ‘Dassa Bassa’ in Madrid ( and the Mas de Candille in Mougins (apparently the Moulin de Mougins is the ultimate, but we never made it there).

  6. Nick says:

    If you are tripping through France, my highlight would be a visit to Claret country… Stay in St Emilion ( Hostellerie de Plaisance ) and dont leave for several days. You can walk to some of the finest vineyards, stroll through the cobbled streets stopping off to sample whatever the chap has open that day. Eats? well, the hotel itself has a Mich star restaurant, but we also explored a small restaurant recommended by the hotel – we ate in the wine cellar… no menu, the food was outstanding – and very reasonable. Contrary to myth, the owner was very friendly to Brits (subject to us behaving and sinking some serious reds). We were the last to leave.

  7. Anna says:

    Zermatt done properly is surely foodie skier heaven. Zum See for lunch (enough snow dependent) and Le Gourmet for supper – or any of the other 17 michelin star restaurants in this paradise of appetite indulgence. If it all gets too much, pop over to Cervinia for some delicate Italian moutain food and tottie watching at L’Etoile (tottie for everyone so your gorgeous date will be equally well entertained). In fact, forget the European trip, just spend your 2-3 months here.

  8. Wyso says:

    Surely a trip to Bologna, the heart of Italian cuisine, has to be considered.

    Best ham in the world, and I like ham.

  9. thefatbanker says:

    Thanks to Mark at The Cooking Experience who suggested I add the Rungis Market and Fauchon, Paris. Both have been added to The Journey!

  10. Doss says:

    You also have to go to Ma Cuisine in Beaune, Burgundy (Passage St-Hélène, Beaune; 33-3-80-22-30-22). One of, if not the cheapest and best wine lists that I have seen. La Miotte is also a good, rustic experience for a lunch. If you do La Miotte, look out for the extremely cheap Coche-Dury whites on their list (4 rue de la Miotte, Ladoix-Serrigny; 33-3-80-26-40-75). In Bordeaux, La Tupina is a fantastic experience for lunch/dinner –

  11. thefatbanker says:

    @Anna, @ Doss,
    Dream food trip has been updated to include your suggestions – thanks very much!

  12. Olivia says:

    Hi !

    I’ve have been following your blog for a while now, and I think you may be interested in the Team Wholegrain recipe-making competition; the prize for the best recipe is a fabulous weekend trip for two to Lesley Waters’ cooking school in Dorset.

    The details of the competition are as follows:
    1. Create a recipe including a whole grain cereal from Nestle. Options include Cheerios, Shredded Wheat, Shreddies and Oats & More. A full list can be found at the Team Whole Grain website at
    2. Write up the recipe and email it to
    3. The deadline for entering the competition is the 31st of July.

    We really hope you enter! Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions



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