Favourite foodie haunts Aimée Smith | Posted: 29 April 2018

Finding the perfect restaurant can be the icing on the cake to a fantastic day's walking, be it because of the location, welcome or simply the food itself. Here are five of our favourites...

Self-guided walking holidays in Europe

“The whole trip was amazing. Best of the best was Carlo Zarri of the Hotel-Ristorante San Carlo acting as our personal chef and sommelier. It was one of the finest meals we have ever had.”

Mr Thompson may be reminiscing about his time among Piedmont’s Hills & Vineyards, but good food and drink are highlights of all Inntravel holidays. Whether you’re tucking into some of the world’s best seafood on Sweden’s west coast or drinking Meursault in Meursault and Montrachet in Montrachet, you can be sure of a mouthwatering culinary experience that will linger in the memory long after you return home.

Yet, an unforgettable meal is not all about the menu – the service, setting and story of a dish can be equally important ingredients in its success. A simple Bratwurst  from an outdoor stand in the beautiful Moselle Valley, for example, is sometimes just as satisfying as a multi-course dinner in an elegant restaurant. With that in mind, we bring you our top five ‘foodie haunts’, places that stand out for their character as well as their cuisine. And as all five feature on our walking holidays, by the time you reach them, you will have earned the right to indulge...

Self-guided walking holidays in Europe

An unexpected delight

It has the unenviable task of following on from one of our most gastronomic hotels – Le Pont de l’Ouysse in Lacave – but Le Petit Relais in Calès is anything but a disappointment to those lucky enough to stay there on their way to Rocamadour. Countless Inntravellers have been enchanted by bubbly Karine, who runs the front of house, and though chef Olivier is shy outside the kitchen, back in his own domain, he is a man transformed – full of passion and pride for the wonderful food he lovingly creates.

Self-guided walking holidays in Europe

Fabulously eclectic

When Jack and Andy Montgomery were researching the routes for our Contrasts of Corsica walking holiday, they spent a very enjoyable evening at L’Osteria in Olmi-Cappella, a popular bar-restaurant with bags of character and extremely friendly staff. There is an inside dining area, but most people choose to eat outside, where they can watch the sun set over the valley as they sample the traditional, hearty Corsican fare. The night Jack and Andy visited, there was a frantic search for Sacha – the restaurant's resident tortoise whose almost daily escape bids provide an unusual kind of after-dinner entertainment.

Self-guided walking holidays in Europe

A taste of the Alps

The walls may not be made of oregano, nor the duvets stuffed with parsley, but the Kräuter Hotel (‘herb hotel’) Edelweiss definitely deserves its botanical name. Located at almost 1550 metres above sea level in the small mountain village of Rigi-Kaltbad, this hotel is perhaps not the first place you’d expect to find an extensive herb garden or Michelin-starred chef, but its delicious, locally sourced dishes are perfectly in tune with their alpine surroundings. The smooth, relaxed service and extraordinary view over Lake Lucerne complete the experience.

Self-guided walking holidays in Europe

A reputation for excellence

Considering the experience of chefs Marc Preston and David Shepherd, it’s no surprise that La Fleur de Lys has two AA rosettes and a widespread reputation for fine cuisine. Marc has worked in several famous kitchens, including those of London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, whereas David has fed the world’s rich and famous everywhere from the Bahamas to Saudi Arabia. For the last 27 years, they’ve called sleepy Shaftesbury home, providing their guests with first-rate food and plenty of tips on how to make the most of their visit. A fitting finale to our gastronomic journey along The Hardy Way.

Self-guided walking holidays in Europe

Simply delicious

If ever proof were needed that sometimes simple really is best, it could be found at Al Chersogno. Set high on a hillside overlooking Piedmont’s Magical Valley, this delightful family-run agriturismo  has recently been converted into simple but stylish lodgings – the vault-ceilinged dining room is a former animal stall! The dishes served there are unassuming and delicious, based on traditional Occitan recipes and using fresh local products, many from the family’s own farm. The real highlight, however, is the homemade honey. Coming in a variety of flavours – acacia, dandelion, chestnut and mille fiori – it can be enjoyed at breakfast or together with the evening’s dessert.

Related Holidays

Contrasts of Corsica

A walking holiday in Corsica promises lots of variety: discover ancient villages, mountain hamlets and beautiful beaches – on foot and by boat.

More about our walking holidays in Corsica >

Around Lake Lucerne

With journeys by dramatic cable car and scenic railway included, this holiday allows easy access to the high mountains for far-reaching and rewarding views.

More about our walking holidays in Switzerland >

Paths to Rocamadour

If you’re looking for timeless landscapes, fairy-tale villages and rich gastronomy, the Dordogne is hard to beat.

More about our walking holidays in France >

The Hardy Way

Whether you’ve read Hardy or not, you’ll be seduced by Dorset’s idyllic landscapes, charming villages and high-quality inns.

More about our walking holidays in the UK >

Piedmont's Magical Valley

Challenging walks in an enchanting fold of the Cottian Alps close to the French border are rewarded by sweeping views and cosy mountain retreats.

More about our walking holidays in Italy >

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