Noosa’s pleasant climate, and its splendid shopping and dining scene charms everyone from around the globe. And with its extraordinary white sand beaches, national parks and waterways, it’s not difficult to see why.
Driving down from Mooloolaba and after a morning well spent surfing, kayaking, boating or bushwalking, you would certainly work up an appetite. Thomas Street Eatery might not be too elaborate but has one of the most romantic views in town. Grab a table watching the beach and enjoy a chilled beer or lemonade.
And yes, there’s also celebrity Chef Peter Kuruvita’s restaurant Noosa Beach House which is a must for every foodie. A saunter through Noosa National Park, a delightfully well-maintained strip of landscape that overlooks the sea, is highly recommended. Shop, shop, shop till you drop here because there is ample scope for shopping therapy. Noosa’s relaxed, yet ostentatious shopping strip has all your swimwear essentials with stores supplying brands such as Tiger Lily, Sunburn and Billabong.
Hokitika, New Zealand
In my expedition as a food writer, this was possibly the time to face my fears. My terror was about the mass of a insect which resembled a Kerala banana - fat and beige in colour, and I was holding it by the tail with its form wriggling in my grip. ‘Eat the head first,’ said Mike, my guide for the day. Trust me, I can eat and have eaten practically everything - reindeer meat pie in Finland, numerous parts of a pig in Spain to name a few. But I am a bit nervous about creepy insects.
That said, if abundant landscape and native food both mesmerise you, then you absolutely need to be at the Annual Wild Foods Festival held on the second Saturday in March in Hokitika on the weathered West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand. This extraordinary event is inspired by some pretty odd and wild ingredients. Then there are the stage performances, music, and of course, for all those that attend the festival in costume, and a best dressed competition.
Hven Island, Sweden
The setting is delightful in itself with the only access being a ferry. Hven is a fabulous pretty petite Swedish island, and makes for a great day trip from Copenhagen. There are ample things to do and discover here. The best way to get around is by bike and there are plenty to rent. I had travelled with my friend Mohit. We decided to be adventurous and rented a tandem bike. This was a new experience for both of us, but was great fun. There is a squelch of colour enroute with rows of houses painted in green, blue and yellow.
Near the sea is where boats add more colour and there are little outdoor cafes all around. A good idea is to walk around stopping by for a coffee before bicycling to the distillery crossing stunning views and durum wheat fields. Have a gin and tonic before heading back to the harbour. The gin is divine with strong juniper and citrusy notes. Do not leave the island without the most delicious creamy and flavourful ice creams ever… as they say, ‘One for the boat’.
Tel Aviv, Israel
A place that blends remarkable littoral backdrop with a trendy multinational culture like the flawless cocktail, Tel Aviv looks as if it's a painting come to life. The great span of sea, eateries just opening shop, a long esplanade lined with little cafes and eateries, Tel Aviv will enthrall you immediately with its exquisiteness. It trickles into your mind and makes a place there forever. Walk along the paved trails of the old quarter with the kitschy houses, and the numerous frescoes through the place, will force you to stop and appreciate them.
Read: It's Easy to Go Meat-Free in Tel Aviv
The Carmel Market has an added treasure – shops that sell all types of fresh produce and resident food stuff. You can try and buy, or not, contingent on the insight of your ethics and pocket. That said, do not miss the Lapa… it's yummy! Walking through this old market is one of the best experiences here, seeing as food is so tied up and essential to the culture.
A picturesque seaside town with an 18th-century rampart, Essaouira is perched on Morocco’s Atlantic shore, and is a roughly two-and-a-half-hour drive west of Marrakesh. Robust trade winds make it one of the world’s noticeable surf spots and the enormous sandy beach makes it a walking spot with not an iota of the stresses you find in frantic imperial cities. The idea is to take it easy: sit by the ocean, dig into some seafood and saunter in the medina.
A hustling fishing port, this windy city is something of an artist’s hub, with a thriving music and art scene. Pamper yourself with some decadent, freshly caught grilled fish and meander through the thin streets lined with French-influenced shops and cafes.