Gourmet Getaways: Select Registry Serves Up Fun For Foodies Vacations

You may not cook like Julia Child, but you can wine and dine like her.

The Hartstone Inn, Camden, ME, hosted the culinary icon’s 89th birthday party, as one of her preferred summer dining destinations. Today, this celebrated seaside retreat is one of six Select RegistryTM inns offering Fun for Foodies Vacations of New England. Now in its sixth year, this unique program of gourmet getaways is available at fine lodgings throughout the region: Hartstone Inn as well as Captain Lord Mansion, Kennebunkport, ME; Stone Hill Inn, Stowe, VT; Hancock Inn, Hancock, NH; Birchwood Inn, Lenox, MA; and Historic Jacob Hill Inn, Providence, RI.

Select Registry’s Fun For Foodies Vacations is a mix of awarding-winning inns, picturesque settings and culinary adventures with local flair. Food enthusiasts share Julia Child’s delight in food – not just the eating of it, but the preparing of it too – with hands-on experiences like these:

Artisan Cheese Maker for a Day – Make farmstead cheeses at a Vermont sheep dairy. Meet the animals, prepare a batch of cheese and package the product for market. A wheel of the cheese you helped create will be shipped to you after ripening.

Chocolatier For A Day – Master the art of chocolate making in a candy shop during a day of hand-dipping and cooking. Or, travel to the heart of the Berkshires for a private tasting with an acclaimed chocolatier, ranked by Saveur magazine among the nation’s Top Ten.

Canoe Trip and Winery Tour – Take in the lush Green Mountains, while canoeing down a gentle river. Then discover the joys of winemaking at the Boyden Valley Winery, part of a fourth-generation farm producing more than a dozen award-winning, international wines.

With the new feature film “Julie & Julia” and a proliferation of television shows like “Top Chef,” “The Next Food Network Star,” and Jamie Oliver’s upcoming reality show on ABC, America’s interest in cooking as entertainment is clearly high. Select Registry innkeepers are finding consumers’ appetite for elite culinary experiences is also on the rise.

“Participation in Fun For Foodies Vacations has quadrupled in the past few years,” says Michael Palmer, executive director, Select Registry. Today’s culinary travelers are a more discerning group, according to Palmer. “It’s no longer enough to take a cooking class or do a wine tasting with a sommelier,” he notes. “People want authentic travel experiences, and many of those experiences are related to food.”

Palmer says Fun For Foodie Vacations are popular with food-loving couples and multigenerational groups. Guests roll up their sleeves, choosing from a selection of culinary outings or customizing their own. Among the Fun for Foodies activities: lobstering, foraging for mushroom, harvesting fruits and vegetables, baking artisan bread and pastries, and brewing beer. Guests tour local farmers’ markets and wineries; pick apples and berries; tap syrup from maple trees; cook multi-course feasts; and savor the fruits of their labor. There are private sessions with renowned chefs and sommeliers, and special guest instructors, from butchers to beekeepers, coffee roasters to chocolatiers.

Six Select Registry inns in New England offer these elite epicurean escapes. Each inn will stamp your Fun for Foodies Trail Map. Guests who visit at least three participating inns receive a free insulated wine bag, while those who visit all six get a Select Registry gift certificate for $150 to use at any Select Registry inn. To learn more, visit http://www.selectregistry.com/funforfoodies.

Select Registry innkeepers share their passion for food at premier inns, luxury B&Bs and boutique hotels across North America. Member lodgings include AAA-Four Diamond properties and recipients of top honors from established travel guides, including Fodor’s, Frommer’s and Zagat, as well as awards of excellence from Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and Wine Spectator Magazine, among others. In addition to reaping culinary kudos, Select Registry members rank high on Top Ten lists of all types, from Leading Inns of North America and Most Romantic Hideaways to Best Places to Kiss, Best Places to Watch Bird Migrations, Best Porches in America and more.

About Select Registry
Select Registry: Distinguished Inns of North America represents more than 400 of the finest country inns, luxury B&Bs, and boutique hotels from California to Nova Scotia. Of the 30,000 inns and B&Bs in North America, only 400 have met the exceptional standards required for Select Registry membership. For more than 35 years, this association has searched the continent for the best inns and B&Bs. Independent inspectors with years of experience in the hospitality industry arrive unidentified at each property, spend the night and conduct an evaluation based on a detailed point system, which translates into a pass/fail grade. Inns applying for membership are inspected, as are existing members on a periodic basis. No other organization of innkeepers has a comparable inspection program, establishing Select Registry as the benchmark for quality. Select Registry has a strong referral program. More than 400,000 copies of the organization’s new guidebook are available now as gifts to guests at member inns, making the guidebook the largest publication of its kind in the travel industry. For more information, visit http://www.selectregistry.com.

Source: Ypartnership 

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".