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Helen Hokin's Autumn Picks

Travelling to a different part of the world usually means sampling the local cuisine, but if you’re headed somewhere as uninhabited and challenging as the Antarctic, then you only get to eat what you bring with you. Just over 100 years ago, in March 1912, Captain Scott led his men to the South Pole; the story has been many times told - hunger and exhaustion meant they never returned. This month, British polar explorer Ben Saunders, intrepidly follows in his footsteps. Find out what, besides 1000 calories for breakfast, he will be eating to survive -25°, ice caps and biting wind. Read more here.
Less intrepidly, when I embarked Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam for a Gourmet Mediterranean cruise a couple of weeks ago, it was still gloriously late summer in the Mediterranean. It wasn’t just a few last-of-the-year rays I was after though, but the chance to sample, on a whistle stop tour of six destinations in a week, the culinary diversity that goes with them. I wasn't disappointed. Read more here.
Still on the subject of weather – it’s that time to cosy up again and indulge in long, lazy weekend brunches. We went east and west to bring you six of London’s hottest brunch spots and our favourites include Raoul’s new Mediterranean-inspired deli brunch in Notting Hill, The Breakfast Club’s unequalled huevos rancheros in Spitalfields and for a touch of glam, there’s the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge where beautifully presented antipasti such as aubergine caviar, Bresaola, sea bass carpaccio and pizzetta offer a true taste of the dolce vita. More here
World Travel Market is just around the corner, and for me, a crucial time to get together with industry friends to speculate on what food tourism trends are emerging right now and in the months to come. A trip to Ecuador earlier this year  - driving from Quito through the Andes eventually arriving in the tropical warmth of Guayaquil - got me excited about what chefs and producers are doing there as they play catch up with their Peruvian neighbours. Quito Tourism has now launched the project "Quito, Culinary Destination of the Americas" where in 20 restaurants, travellers get to taste about 80 typical dishes, drinks and bakery delicacies of the city. All this traditional gastronomy is based around Pre-Hispanic, Colonial, Republican and Contemporary Cuisine. As a result of my trip and now this, my money is on Ecuador emerging as the food-lover’s destination of choice in 2014. Watch this space.
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1 November 2013
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