Frequent Flavor Programs

Eat, drink, hike, bike: four seasons of exploratory feasting

Dec 13, 2004
Outside Magazine
culinary trips province, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore

Chang Mai, Thailand    Photo: Corel

Act out your cassoulet-and-chardonnay fantasies at Château Routas, a 17th-century family-owned winery and manor encircled by 110 acres of vineyards and 740 acres of woodlands. Adorned with the blues, yellows, and reds of classic Provence, the luxe manor house and farmhouse—rented to groups for a weeklong stay—are a stone's throw from the Riviera and the foothills of the Alps. Cooking classes cover local specialties like sea bass stuffed with wild fennel and honey-lavender crè;me brûlé;e. Hiking, scouting for truffles in the oak-choked hills, and trout fishing in the Argens River quickly soak up your free time. Rates start at $8,883 per week for up to 12 adults and four children, which works out to about $90 per person per day, with cooking classes $200 extra per session for the group. Château Routas, 011-33-498-05-25-80,

From streetside stalls in bustling markets to frenetic kitchens in small-town restaurants, you'll get a veritable tasting menu of Asian cuisines on this 19-day eating expedition stretching 1,780 miles from Singapore to Chiang Mai to Bangkok. Journey through the spice-scented countryside via taxi, boat, trishaw, and songtaew (open-air cab). In southern Malaysia, where pungent flavorings like cardamom and cloves rule, learn to make Malay specialties like dry-curry chicken kapitan. In Chiang Mai, study the intricacies of Thai produce and spices while perfecting your pad Thai. There's time for trekking in the Cameron Highlands, north of Kuala Lumpur, and visits to Buddhist temples in Thailand. Accommodations include hotels, bungalows, and one homestay. $1,397; Intrepid Travel, 866-847-8192,