Meet the Expert: Find the Flavours with Headwater Holidays
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Meet the Expert: Find the Flavours with Headwater Holidays

Heather Godbert is Senior Product Manager at Headwater Holidays. She is an expert in crafting our gastronomic holidays, packed with unforgettable experiences from which you’ll make lasting memories.

We asked Heather to tell us what she loves most about a Headwater foodie trip, and her expert tips on getting the most from your holiday.

What’s been your best foodie experience on a Headwater trip?

Eating a platter of fresh sea food in a wonderful coastal restaurant in Sicily. The fish had literally been caught that morning!

What sets Headwater apart?

On our holidays, you’ll enjoy authentic experiences that take you off the beaten track and discover local restaurants and specialities so you can really eat like a local.

Which is your favourite Headwater foodie trip?

Gastronomic Barolo Cycling in Piedmont. The region has been Italy’s best kept secret for years.

Why do you love this trip the most?

Restaurants in Piedmont are of the very highest quality – superb local ingredients made into dishes that are just bursting with flavours and beautifully presented. We include 4 outstanding evening meals in local restaurants on our Barolo cycling holiday, including a 6 course gourmet tasting menu on your last night – it’s a brilliant finale to your trip.

You’ll enjoy UNESCO recognised scenery, historic castles and sun-drenched wine villages, stay in luxury hotels, most with panoramic pools and dine in gourmet restaurants, with arguably the best wine in Italy.

Are there choices for vegetarians or vegans?

As you can imagine, pasta is ubiquitous in Italy and makes for some superb vegetarian and vegan friendly options. Vegetarians will be spoilt by the best of Italy’s regional cheeses while the growth in veganism is seeing more and more delicious adaptations of traditional dishes being showcased on restaurant menus.

Will there be any wine tasting opportunities?

Many of our trips feature routes that take you past the local wine producers so wine tasting is absolutely on the itinerary. There are also options for wine tasting in the towns and villages where you stay overnight – or even at the hotel itself.

The Hotel la Casa dei Conti dei Mirafiore on the Piedmont and Barolo trips is set within the highly respected wine estate of Fontanafredda and guided visits of the hotel’s historic royal wine cellars are an absolute must while staying at this hotel.  

What is the typical food and drink?

Obviously, Italy is renowned for its excellent cuisine and superb wines. Traditionally, pasta – or risotto – is a primo or first course, followed by a secondo, which is meat, fish or cheese, usually accompanied by a contorno or side dish of vegetables. Polish off the meal with a dolce or dessert.

Each region in Italy has its own particular pasta. Little ear orecchiette in Puglia and Pici – a kind of chunky spaghetti is popular in Umbria. Then there’s short, twisted trofie, which accompany the delicious pesto sauce in Liguria.

Wine lovers are spoilt for choice in Italy, but I’d recommend Umbria. Our trips include an overnight in celebrated wine villages of Montefalco and Torgiano – and Piedmont for Barolo, for lovers of hearty reds.

Why choose Italy for a foodie holiday?

Italy just offers so much variety of scenery – mountains, coast, art cities, unspoilt countryside – plus amazing food, superb wines and great accessibility from the UK whether flying, driving or taking the train. And of course Italians love tourists – you’re guaranteed a warm welcome wherever you go!

What is your top tip for taking an Italian foodie holiday?

Head to the village or town centre in the early evening. Italians love ‘la passeggiata’, where the locals all take their evening stroll together.  Everyone is chatting and drinking aperitivi and the atmosphere is amazing!

Another tip is to only order a caffé macchiato or espresso after dinner. A cappuccino or a latte is too heavy, and Italians avoid them in the evening.

Discover all our gastronomic holidays here.