Researching while travelling. Barolo, London and Milano.
I am just back from a trip overseas and wow do I feel inspired! We often have requests for our services overseas including New Zealand, Europe and Bali.
It’s not all work though, I always make sure we dedicate time to research and get inspired from the trends and sites of a new destination.
I love to discover new places and I learn so much from travelling, meeting new people and testing the local food and drink. This trip took me to Milano and Barolo wine region in Italy and London. Each place offered something different, new restaurants and ingredients and most importantly, new ideas!
To make the most of all my trips I always do the following;
Research best bars and restaurants
This is a must do. It’s so easy to find the top bars and restaurants in any city. You can usually find, top 50 restaurants and top 50 cocktail bar lists on line. Do your research, check out their websites and social media and make a list of the ones you want to visit.
Talk to the locals
There are some things you just can’t research online. Locals have the insights and the best way to find out is by talking to them. Spark up conversations with people you come into contact with. This is can be everyone from waiters at restaurants, taxi drivers etc. You can learn so much from those random conversations and end up visiting places you may never have known existed.
Keep an open mind
This is the best advice to get the most out of travelling. Be open to new cultures, trying foods you haven’t tried before and visiting places you’ve never been to before. It’s amazing what you discover when you step out of your comfort zone.
So what did I learn from this trip?
My favourite place on this trip was Barolo in Italy. It is a magical, traditional hillside village in the rolling hills of Piedmont, Northwestern Italy. It produces some of Italy’s finest red wines. The interesting fact I discovered on our visit was learning about barrels and how many different ways there are to age a spirit in the wood. One of our most popular signature recipes is the smoke barrel aged cocktail and I can’t wait to try out new ways of ageing the spirit.
London always delivers with beautiful restaurants and cocktail bars to discover. The area I loved the most was Soho. One bar I visited had a small cocktail menu with no more than eight cocktails; all made with particular ingredients and infused products. My favourite cocktail was created with turmeric infused gin, lemon syrup and a few other secret ingredients. The magic about London is finding those hidden cocktail bars with the best service and warm atmosphere. It’s always a bonus when you find one with live jazz music to keep you entertained.
I have been to Milano many times over the past few years and the hospitality atmosphere is always top quality. This year the Italians went to the next level with the cocktail bars and aperitif. I visited a new underground speak easy cocktail bar in the middle of the city. These guys created the most trendy and unusual cocktails with ingredients I had never heard of. The beauty of this city is the passion and dedication people put into the hospitality world, giving the best results and flavours and using only the top products in the market.
I am excited to try everything I’ve learnt in our next events!