Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ORIENT-EXPRESS AND FINE CUISINE

KEE@FSWMAG.COM

I HAVE BEEN ON THE ORIENT-EXPRESS TWICE, ONCE ON A DAY TRIP IN ENGLAND AND ANOTHER FROM PRAGUE TO VIENNA, AUSTRIA FOR AN OMEGA JUNKET. I ENJOYED BOTH JOURNEYS TREMENDOUSLY AND CAN VOUCH ON MY ANCESTORS' SOULS BURIED IN FORBIDDEN CITY THAT ORIENT EXPRESS IS THE WORLD'S BEST TRAIN!

AS A TRAIN CANNOT BE COMPARED TO A CRUISE SHIP WHICH IS INFINITELY BIGGER WITH MORE ATTRACTIONS, IT MUST COMPENSATE WITH SUPERLATIVE CUISINE.

Food is one of the main lures onboard an Orient-Express trip and now it has reached new heights for the Christmas and New Year season. So hop onboard for a culinary feast as you chug along in total luxury!


NEW AUTHENTIC CULINARY EXPERIENCES

FROM ORIENT-EXPRESS HOTELS




Whether you are a serious gourmand or just enjoy discovering the local cuisine and culture, Orient-Express has a range of culinary experiences to suit every taste. From the vibrant and eclectic flavours of Burmese cuisine at The Governor’s Residence to the evolution of Peruvian dishes at Hotel Monasterio and the secrets of rice farming at La Résidence Phou Vao in Laos, Orient-Express is sharing its in-depth, insider’s gastronomic and cultural knowledge with guests.

TGR - Restaurant 4.jpg

Guests staying at The Governor’s Residence in Yangon, Burma, can now learn about the national cuisine on a Blue Taxi Market Tour followed by a cookery demonstration. Led by the hotel’s Executive Chef, Iain Murray, guests are taken in a traditional 1970’s Blue Mazda Taxi to one of the nearby bustling markets. Here Iain will explain the many different varieties of fruit and vegetables on offer, including south-east Asian favourites such as jackfruit, rambutan, mango and pickled-tea.

Returning to the hotel, guests embark on a cookery demonstration learning how to create three traditional Burmese salads, using products that have been hand selected at the market that morning. The tea-leaf salad (pickled green tea-leaf with butterbeans, peanuts, sesame, dry shrimps and chilli) is always created during the demonstration. An authentic dish to Burma, it enables guests to delight in a new culinary experience. Having sampled their newly prepared dishes, guests are treated to a delicious buffet lunch accompanied by local wines - the perfect way to conclude a genuine Burmese culinary experience!

The Blue Taxi Market Tour and cookery demonstration costs US$60 per person including market tour, cookery class and lunch. Nightly rates at The Governor’s Residence start from US$205 based on two sharing a Deluxe Room with breakfast.


TGR - Restaurant 4.jpg

A city famed for its blend of Spanish and Inca cultures, Cuzco in Peru has long been the inspiration for many an artist and chef. Hotel Monasterio is no exception, a former monastery and national monument dating from 1592; the property has recently launched a new art and culinary experience aimed at guests keen to learn more about the hotel’s exquisite art collection and Peru’s gastronomic evolution.

Baroque in style with beautiful gold plated picture frames, Hotel Monasterio features an enviable art collection by some of the very best painters from the Cusquenian Art School, an artistic tradition that prevailed in the 16th to 18th Centuries. Hotel Monasterio’s tour guide, an expert in religious art and the history of Cuzco, will accompany guests around the hotel explaining the significance behind the many impressive paintings. Through the tour they will bring to life the history of the property when it was founded as the Seminary of San Antonio Abad.

Following the art tour, a lively talk will ensue on Peru’s culinary journey from the colonial and republic period to the 18th Century. Guests can see how different dishes are created using products that were favoured by the first colonies in Peru. After the demonstration, each guest is given an apron with Hotel Monasterio’s logo and a printed copy of the recipe taught that day.

The Historic Art Tour and Cookery Demonstration costs US$20 per person. Nightly rates at Hotel Monasterio start from US$520 based on two sharing a Deluxe King Room with breakfast.


TGR - Restaurant 4.jpg

La Résidence Phou Vao in Luang Prabang, Laos has introduced a novel experience for guests to become absorbed in Laotian life and learn the tools of the rice trade, the chief crop grown in Laos and an important part of the local diet. Guests can now spend a half day with farmers on the nearby Living Land Farm, discovering the 13 stages of rice growing, with the opportunity to take part in the rice harvest itself. Living Land Farm was established as an organic farm by three Laotians concerned about the overuse of chemicals in agriculture. Here guests will learn firsthand how to till the rice paddies and plant seeds in the fields, before being treated to a rice tasting. Guests will leave with a greatly enhanced knowledge and understanding about the working life of Asian farmers.

The ‘Living Land’ Organic Rice Farm experience costs US$50 per person and includes transfers, entrance fees, and a guided tour through the farm. Nightly rates at La Résidence Phou Vao start from US$470 based on two sharing a Garden View Junior Suite with breakfast.

For reservations, please call the Orient-Express reservations team on +44 845 077 2222.


About Orient-Express

Orient-Express, (NYSE: OEH, www.orient-express.com) the name behind an elite collection of travel experiences, first came into being in 1883 as one of the world’s most exciting and indulgent train journeys. Today that evocative name also embraces hotels, cruises and other luxury rail adventures in 24 countries, across five continents. The Company has offered exceptional luxury travel experiences since 1976, when it first purchased Hotel Cipriani in Venice and then shortly afterwards, recreated the celebrated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, linking London, Paris and Venice, along with other European cities. Today, the company owns or part-owns and manages 49 businesses, 40 of which are highly acclaimed hotels, each unique in style, from the Mount Nelson in Cape Town and Rio’s Copacabana Palace, to the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg and Maroma Resort & Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. There are six luxury tourist trains, two river cruise operations and ‘21’, one of New York’s most iconic restaurants.