Category - Foodie Corner

We want to give you the low-down on the best restaurants, bars and nightlife in destinations all over the world so you have the best holiday possible – PurpleTravel.co.uk

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Purple Tips: 16 Holiday Facts About Spain
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Purple Tips: Best Afternoon Tea Ever
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Foodie Corner: The Best Christmas Food
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Wines and Regions: An Introduction to the Cotes du Rhône
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Foodie Corner: Healthy Holiday Foods
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Foodie Corner: What to eat in Corfu
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Cocktail Holidays
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In Pictures: 6 Reasons To Love The Fourth of July
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Purple Tips: Best Summer Cocktails
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Super-stretchy Turkish Ice-Cream

Purple Tips: 16 Holiday Facts About Spain

Ever wondered where the word ‘Spain’ comes from? Or how about how many  miles of beaches there are in Spain? Let us help you out with our 16 excellent holiday facts about Spain.

#1 Let’s start with one of our favourite facts about Spain. It is the most popular holiday destination for Brits, (it was in 2013) with Majorca, Malaga, Tenerife and Costa del Sol holidays ranking highly. Purple Travel’s most popular Spain holidays included Ibiza, Alicante and Palma de Mallorca as well as city breaks in Barcelona.

Malaga from Purple Travel

#2. Some of the most famous names in the world hail from Spanish shores. Actors Javier Bardem (Gran Canaria),Penelope Cruz (Madrid) and Antonio Banderas (Malaga) and sports stars like tennis player Rafael Nadal (Majorca), Andres Iniesta (Castilla-La Mancha) and Fernando Torres (Madrid) are just a selection of the famous faces hailing from Spanish shores.

#3. The word for ‘Spain’ is said to come from ‘Hispania’, which roughly translates to Island of Rabbits. So if you see some bunnies, don’t be too surprised.

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Purple Tips: Best Afternoon Tea Ever

Some friends and I have a regular afternoon tea session. It’s a lovely way of catching up and enjoying a little luxury, but when I saw this, I thought: “I have to have that!” Jasmine Afternoon Tea at the Jumeirah Hotel in Dubai.

Served in a 17th century Chinoiserie style, it’s been created by master patissier Eric Lanlard and the word magnificent is the only one that can do it justice! it combines high fashion with the historic beauty of ancient China. It’s a true ying and yang experience! For more, visit the Jumeirah website here, assuming you can stop drooling over these pictures of course!
Afternoon tea Dubai 1 Afternoon tea Dubai 2 Afternoon tea Dubai 3 Afternoon tea Dubai 4

Foodie Corner: The Best Christmas Food

Christmas time around the world is celebrated according to local traditions and every family has their own little quirks. For many though, what makes it really special is the Christmas Food! When families take their seats for Christmas dinner, they feast their eyes on a variety of mouthwatering favourites. In our house it includes Spiced beef! Every house is different though, so we’ve taken a look at some Christmas food favourites from all over the world… Share yours in comments below!

germany

1. Germany – Roast goose with red cabbage. Simple, but carefully arranged (as always!) the Christmas table in Germany combines the meat with vegetables and of course potatoes, a Germans’ favourite!

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Wines and Regions: An Introduction to the Cotes du Rhône

red wine

 

Image via @ Ralphunden

You’re probably familiar with Bordeaux, or at least aware that it makes very famous wines. And you may already know all about Shiraz, it being a staple of every supermarket wine shelf. But how much do you know about the French region of Côtes du Rhône? Well, we can start by telling you there’s plenty to know. The area is very diverse in terms of both climate and grape variety, so it goes without saying that it produces many different bottles that vary in price and style. But this doesn’t do much to help the everyday consumer when they’ve got a particular vinous request in mind, so what is going to help you differentiate between those old-fashioned looking labels? Well, let’s start from the beginning… with an introduction to the Cotes du Rhone.

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Foodie Corner: Healthy Holiday Foods

Planning your vacation means organizing activities and researching the amenities available at the hotel or villas you’ll be staying in. Whether you’ll have access to a kitchen where you can prepare your own meals or will be going out to eat often, there are a few tips to keep in mind that will keep you healthy on holiday so you can make the most of what the destination has to offer.

Eat a Healthy Filling Breakfast

Chances are you’ll be tempted to indulge in the croissants, Belgian waffles and sugary Danishes offered by the hotel. However, go for healthier options like yogurt, fresh fruit and whole grain bread for breakfast. Even when you’re on holiday, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you’ll need plenty of energy to enjoy all your holiday destination has to offer.

Yogurt is filled with probiotics which protect the digestive tract; this comes in handy when you’re travelling to an area where you’re not especially accustomed to the food. And of course, fruit is a significant source of fibre, as is whole grain toast, so you’ll feel full but not weighed down. You can even add a little peanut butter or cream cheese to your toast or whole grain bagel to give your breakfast a protein boost.

Healthy holiday foods Oct 29

Go With a Grilled Lunch

Choose lunch items that taste delicious grilled to reduce the fried foods you eat when you’re away. This will keep you from feeling sluggish and lethargic, and your meals will be much lower in fat. For instance, when you compare the calories in baked chicken as opposed to those in fried chicken, the grilled version will save you more than 150 calories!

If you’re able to cook yourself, use your vacation destination as cooking inspiration. For instance, if you’re in Hawaii, add grilled pineapples and papaya to grilled chicken breasts, or jerk seasoning can be used to flavour grilled fish or turkey if you’re away in the Caribbean.

Try a Vegetarian Dinner

If you and your family want to visit a local restaurant to try out the fare, opt for a vegetarian meal to keep your meal free of excess fat and cholesterol.

Veggie burgers are becoming increasingly popular; according to the Two Foods website, the average veggie burger has about 100 less calories than a beef hamburger. The comparison also shows that veggie burgers have about 6.30 grams of fat while beef burgers have a fat content of a whopping 18.74 grams.

You can also stick with your “no fried foods” rule by ordering a baked potato with your burger, or a salad that features fruits and vegetables native to the place where you’re holidaying. If you want to indulge a little for dessert, frozen yogurt topped with fresh tropical fruit and nuts is much lower in carbs than a dessert that includes baked goods.

Healthy holiday foods

Veggie burgers are a tasty and low-fat alternative to hamburgers, making them an ideal vacation meal.

These tips will keep you feeling your best while you’re out of town, and may even introduce you to a new way of eating that you can incorporate into your diet at home too. Here’s to your health-and to an enjoyable holiday!

Tamiya King is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including health, beauty, fashion, marketing, cooking, and business accounting software. Her passion is writing articles that get shared online.

Foodie Corner: What to eat in Corfu

corfu-fortress

Image via @Andrew Real

Not just a pretty face, the Greek Island of Corfu offers mouthwatering hotels Mediterranean cuisine, with a Venetian twist. After a long day soaking up the sunshine, what better way to spend an evening, than enjoying a home cooked meal of fresh fish, delicious vegetables and maybe a little tipple of local wine. Come find out more in our Corfu food guide.

pastitsada

Image via @ Lino Santagata

What to eat in Corfu

This is the most popular of local Corfu dishes. Made of shanks of veal stuffed with chopped garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, and is also seasoned with a spicy red sauce.

Purple Tip: The locals say that the sauce is successful only if it can stand on a man’s moustache.

sofrito

Image via @ Peter Streng

Sofrito

Thin slices of fried beef with a white sauce made of chopped garlic, parsley, white pepper, white wine, salt and vinegar. You can eat it either with rice and baked or mashed potatoes.

Purple Tip: Keep the necessary distances or you might knock someone over with garlic breath!

mpourdeto

Image via @ bit.ly/1aHFD1N

Bourdeto

This one goes to fish eaters. Cod fish is stewed with a red chilli sauce made of paprika and a whole red hot pepper, quenched with fresh lemon juice.

Purple Tip: Keep a glass of milk nearby to cool down a bit.

almonds

Image via @ Islaborg

Mandoles

And for those of you who have a sweet tooth….delicious roasted and caramelized almonds which you can find in every pastry shop around the island.

Purple Tip: Watch it with your teeth, because sometimes they are a bit too crunchy!

kumquat

Image via @ tiapicco

Kumquat liqueur

Kumquat is a citrus fruit which can be enjoyed in a variety of forms. The nicest and a Purple Travel team favourite, is as part of a mix of fine liqueur made with the fruit and peel of the kimquat.

Purple Tip: Have it as a digestif after a sumptuous meal or as a relaxing drink at your hotel’s terrace.

Book the best value cheap holidays in Corfu now with the Purple Travel expert team and save.

Cocktail Holidays

Why not book cocktail holidays for you and your other half, your bunch of girlfriends or a stag or hen party. From Cuba to Paris, in spirit (!) of cocktail holidays, Purple Travel discovers some of the world’ most famous cocktails and where they came from…

cocktail pics

The Mojito, Cuba

Traditionally made using white rum, sugar, lime, carbonated water and mint muddled together, the Mojito is generally believed to be the world’s first cocktail. Thought to have been drunk as early as the 16th century by pirates and sailors, its origins can be traced back to 16th century Cuba, where the drink was called the “El Draque”, in honour of explorer and sailor, Sir Francis Drake.

The legend goes that the drink was first created as a way of disguising the taste of tafia/aguardiente – a primitive form of rum. The modern name for the drink comes from a Cuban sauce called mojo, made from garlic, olive oil and citrus juice; the drink became known as a cocktail with “a little mojo” or, in Spanish, a “Mojito.”

The Singapore Sling, Singapore

The Singapore Sling was first concocted in – you guessed it – Singapore, made from a mixture of gin, cherry brandy and Benedictine, in equal parts, with a dash of bitters and Cointreau, finished off with pineapple, lime juice and grenadine. While the exact year it was created is not clear, most agree that the cocktail was first produced by a Hainanese-Chinese bartender named Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon at the Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar sometime between 1910 and 1915.

Today, the drink is served on all Singapore Airlines flights. You may have also seen it mentioned in many films and books, including Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, in which Raoul Duke talks about drinking “Singapore Slings with mescal on the side.” You can also order an original Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar, where icons like Rudyard Kipling and others would once sip this famous, fruity cocktail.

The Sidecar, Paris

This classic cocktail that dates back around 100 years is a mix of equal parts brandy or Cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice. The Sidecar is believed to have been first created in Paris sometime during WWI. Harry’s Bar in Paris is the “little bistro” credited as the birthplace of this sweet, yet tangy cocktail, named after the motorcycle sidecar that supposedly carried an American captain to the bar one evening. The captain asked a French bartender for a pre-dinner cocktail that would help ease the chill he had caught outside. The bartender knew brandy would be the best liqueur to take off the chill, but he also refused to serve the traditional after dinner drink alone as a pre-dinner cocktail. The result was the bartender mixed the brandy with Cointreau and added fresh lemon juice to make an appropriate pre-dinner cocktail so the Sidecar was born.

The Pisco Sour, Peru or possibly Chile

The Pisco Sour is made from Pisco (a regional brandy from South America), lemon juice, bitters and egg whites. Many debate whether the origin of this drink is Peruvian or Chilean: In Peru, the creation of the Pisco Sour is attributed to American expatriate Victor “Gringo” Morris at the Morris Bar in Lima; in Chile, it is attributed to the English steward of a sailing ship, which was stopped at the then Peruvian and now Chilean port city of Iquique in 1872.

Whatever the origins of this famous drink, the Pisco Sour has become an iconic cocktail in both countries. In fact, there are even two National Pisco Sour Days (Peru’s in the first Saturday of February and Chile’s is celebrated May 15th) to celebrate this famous cocktail!

White Russian, California

Named for the vodka used in the recipe, rather than the origin, White Russians combine equal parts of cream, vodka and Kahula. In 1961, the Diner’s Club Drink Book, gave a recipe for a “Black Russian” without cream, implying that the same cocktail with cream would therefore be named a White Russian. Today White Russians have inspired a drinking game, in which party-goers try to keep up with The Dude from The Big Lebowski (whose favourtie drink was a White Russian) in their consumption of the cocktail while watching the film itself.

The Manhattan, New York

Known as both “King of Cocktails” and the “Drinking Man’s Cocktail,” The Manhattan is a very potent mix of whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters, garnished most often with a maraschino cherry.

Regarded as one of the best cocktails ever created, the Manhattan was supposedly first invented at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s. Legend has it that the drink was invented for a banquet hosted by Lady Randolph Churchill (Winston Churchill’s mother) in honour of presidential candidate, Samuel J. Tilden. The success of the banquet prompted many people to request the drink by referring to the name of the club where it originated, calling it “the Manhattan cocktail.”

The Mai Tai, California

The tropical Mai Tai is made of a mixture of white and gold rum, pineapple juice, orange and/or lime juice and is of American origin despite its Polynesian name. First created by Victor Buergon, better known as “Trader Vic”, it was called Mai Tai as it was invented in the Polynesian-style restaurant in Oakland, California that bore his name.

Buergon created the first Mai Tai in honour of some friends who were visiting from Tahiti in 1944. As he served the new cocktail to his friends, they cried out, “Maitai roa!” (meaning “very good”), and the cocktail was born.

Tom Collins, New York

While many people assume the drink was named after a real person, there is much debate whether Tom Collins ever actually existed and whether he should be credited to this cocktail of gin, lemon and lime juice and soda water. One popular account involves a hoax that took over New York City in 1874.

A friend would tell you that he had just overheard someone named Tom Collins at a bar nearby saying terrible things about you. You would then race to that bar to confront him, only to be told that Tom Collins had just left for a bar a little further away. When you get there, the mysterious Collins would have decamped yet again for another joint across town. You would then chase him all over the city while your friends are in stictches laughing at you. According to Wall Street Journal columnist and cocktail historian Eric Felten, “It doesn’t take much to imagine how Tom Collins came to be a drink. How many times does someone have to barge into a saloon demanding a Tom Collins before the bartender takes the opportunity to offer him a cocktail so-named?”

Bloody Mary, California

Like the mixture itself, the history behind the Bloody Mary is a bit cloudy. One legend says that the original Bloody Mary, which was made using equal parts tomato juice and vodka and used as a hangover cure, was invented by comedian, songwriter and film producer George Jessel. Jessel claimed he created the drink one morning in Palm Beach during the 50s, as a way to recover from a night spent on the booze. He went as far as to appear in Smirnoff vodka ads declaring, “I, George Jessel invented the Bloody Mary.”

However, Eric Felten writes, “Given Jessel’s knack for self-promotion, many doubted his claim.” Many skeptics favoured a legend involving the head bartender at the St. Regis Hotel in New York named Fernand “Peter” Petriot. Petriot was supposedly serving up Blood Marys under the alias of “Red Snappers” at the hotel’s King Cole Bar from the ‘40s. In reality, the Bloody Mary popular today is in fact a combination of the two men’s creations; Petriot admitted that “George Jessel said he created it, but it was really nothing but vodka and tomato juice when I took it over.” While credit for the original drink goes to Jessel, Petriot wasthe one who added salt, pepper, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce to the concoction, creating the modern Bloody Mary.

 The Martini, California

The first Martini was poured sometime between 1862 and 1871 and was called a Martinez, a name to honour the town of Martinez, California, where it was supposedly first dreamed up by bartender Julio Richelieu, proprietor of the eponymous Julio Richelieu Saloon. Today, Martini has become more of a class of drinks than one drink in particular – with variations like Appletinis, Vodka martinis and others becoming popular over the years.

Although the origins of the first Martinez date back to the 1860s, the modern Martini first rose in popularity starting in 1900s during the prohibition period. The Martini then became the drink of choice (or no choice as the case was at the time!) in speakeasies across the country due to the quick accessibility of gin. The modern Vodka Martini, which James Bond enjoys shaken, not stirred, was not created until much later.

In Pictures: 6 Reasons To Love The Fourth of July

Arguably the biggest holiday of the US calendar, July 4th is a celebration of the Founding Fathers, the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Here’s why you should get in the swing and celebrate Independence Day!

Because…  New York City’s Fourth of July celebration fireworks show uses 22 tonnes alone. That’s pretty cool to us

fireworks

Image via @ Matthew Straubmuller

Because… Parades look like this

Parade

Parade image via @ chumlee

Because… Food competitions and it’s big brother, food fighting

Food fight

Food fight image via @ usaghumphreys

Because… Pool party, beach party, picnic party

Pool party

Image via @ Yotut

Because… Katy Perry gets dressed up like this

Katy Perry USA dress

Because… Eat a burger, cake, beer or cocktail. As many as you like. It’s a holiday

Mosaic picture

Purple Tips: Best Summer Cocktails

If there’s a beach bar or cocktail that you’ve been raving about, share it with us in the comments section below! Enjoy our tips for the best summer cocktails and where you can enjoy them.

1. Tiki Beach Cocktail & Music Bar, Benidorm Busy AND fantastic and slap, bang on the boulevard of the Levante Beach in Benidorm. Have a cool and sophisticated Sangria on its sunny terrace and soak up as much Spanish sunshine as you can.

Sangria

Image via @ Bastien

2. Azul Lounge, Tulum, Mexico Tequila, lime and a beautiful view. Where else to enjoy this lovely summer drink than in Riviera Maya’s own Azul Lounge in Tulum.

Margarita

 

Margarita via @ mnapoleon

3. Daiquiri Palace, Magaluf Enjoy a delicious Daiquiri in a variety of flavours in the Daiquiri Palace in legendary Magaluf to get ahead for a brilliant night out in some of its famous clubs.

daiquiri

Image via @ The Hungry Australian

4. Blue MarlinIbiza This could just be the best Mojito of your life, (apart from actually visiting Cuba) on this amazing beach bar on Cala Jonda. It comes with a pretty decent sunset too.

Mojito

Image via @ Wikicommons

5. Little Ochie, Manchester, Jamaica Perfect if you fancy indulging in some great seafood, this ramshackle little bar offers a true taste of local life, with plenty of great fish on the side. Enjoy some epic food with a Big Bamboo or a Dirty Banana.

Dirty Banana

Image via @ David Berkowitz 

6. Cavalieri Hotel, Corfu Climb up to the top floor of this town-house styled hotel and get a look in at the exceptional roof garden, where delicious cocktails are served. Try a sophisticated Barbecue Bourbon Bloody Mary with a view of the Old Fortress.

Bloody Mary

Image via @ kthread

7. Lighthouse Beach Bar, Paphos Situated along Lighthouse Beach in Paphos, the Lighthouse Beach Bar is the best place to chill out with a mouthwatering Zombie cocktail.

Cocktail in the sun

Image via @ Stewart

8. Hula Hula Beach Bar, Hvar, Croatia Enjoy a pina colada in the footsteps of Beyonce and Jay-Z, apparently they’ve been seen stopping at the Hula Hula Bar and indulging in a drink or two. If it’s good enough for them…

Pina ColadaPina Colada via @ Advencap

Super-stretchy Turkish Ice-Cream

Ice-cream is the ultimate summer treat, perfect for young and old and anyone with a sweet tooth (and not so sweet.) Impossible to improve I hear you say -well, not quite. We’re here to introduce you to the mysterious ice-cream of Turkey, the dondurma which is ice cold, squidgy, elasticy and stretchy. Sold on nearly every street corner in the resorts throughout Turkey, it’s a magic trick for kids and a feast for the eyes for mum and dad, as the ice cream is on steel poles and doesn’t seem to melt.

dondurmas

Image via @ The Black Azar

Traditionally made with milk, sugar, and masticha, it’s the salep flour that makes it thicken and is behind the mind-boggling stretchiness of the ice cold treat.This great streetside treat is not only delicious, but it doesn’t melt very fast giving the vendors the chance to tease their customers.

turkish ice-cream 1

Image via @ FlickSoul

turkish icecream 2

Image via @ Zlatko Unger

While indulging in a great summer holiday in Turkey in resorts like Marmaris, Gumbet, Icmeler and many more, you will certainly come across street vendors wielding the long metal pole and carving shapes of super stretchy, super fun ice-cream.

Image via @ t.ohashi 

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