Back Roads are Now Blue Roads
Blue Roads Touring Co* offers a distinctly different type of small group touring experience than most small group tours. It seems that the small group tour genre is largely populated by active, adventure, and nature type tours while Blue Roads are small groups that are paced nicely, stay in lovely accommodations, use smaller vehicles with a maximum of 18 people. They explore the back roads of a variety of destinations from northern Scotland to the South of France and Italy. Private barge canal cruises in France, Slow Food tours in Puglia, Battlefield Tours in Normandy. They have lately add a small select group of tours in Asia.
The accommodation, whether old country estate, exotic hotel resort or traditional villa, is carefully selected to reflect the character and charm of each Blue-Roads destination. Some properties are situated in a stunning setting or have interesting historical and architectural heritage, while others may have been chosen for their owner-hosted welcome or excellent food.
Character is not a substitute for quality, however, which is why all accommodation throughout Europe and Asia comes complete with ensuite facilities, comfortable furnishings and delicious food. We offer a choice of twin, double or single rooms – and while room sizes in older buildings may vary, each room will have its own unique style and character.
Bringing Together Passionate People
Our tours unite fervent foodies. One of the things that guests love about our culinary trips is the chance to meet fellow gastronomists with a similar appetite for culture and cuisine. Like all of our holidays, a small, intimate group size – generally no more than 18 people – ensures that you get to know your fellow travellers as friends.
We believe that experiences are better when they’re shared. Sharing a table and a menu – whether at a sumptuous three-course Scottish banquet in the Highlands or in the lush surrounds of the Tha Om Garden House in Vietnam – allows you to make memories and relationships that we hope will last for years to come.
Slow Down the Blue-Roads Way
We are firm believers in the Slow Food concept: that everyone should be able to access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it, and good for the planet. Our tours allow you to soak up the passion of local producers and chefs who are proud and willing to share their traditional expertise with you.
A number of our holidays involve trips to local farms and producers where you can taste for yourself the heart and soul that goes into producing regional delicacies. When you visit the serene vineyards of Azienda Castel di Salve, you will see that their passion for nurturing local Salento grape varieties infuses their delicious wine. A trip to a crustacean farm in Oualidia, a pearl in the oyster of Morocco, will open your eyes to the importance of the seafood trade in this charming coastal community. Putting a local face to a regional delicacy is part of the unique charm of the culinary experiences we offer.
Learning from the Masters
When you join us on one of our culinary tours you can expect not just a tasting experience but a gastronomic education. We are lucky enough to have found a collection of top chefs in countries all over Europe and Asia who are happy to impart culinary expertise that has been handed down through generations of authentic family cooking. Learn the careful craft of perfect Italian pasta and bread from a local Tuscan chef, and visit one of Siem Reap’s best-known cooking schools for a lesson in wonderfully exotic cuisine From Chianti to Khmer, the cookery workshops on our holidays offer unique experiences for the keen culinarian.
Drinking in the Sights
All Blue-Roads Tours are conducted at a comfortable, leisurely pace that allows you to soak up the atmosphere around you. ‘Fast’ is not our style, in terms of food and transport. We love winding, cobbled streets and rustic routes that lead to restaurants which ooze back-road charm.
We handpick our hotels to make sure that they encapsulate the character of the place you’re exploring. On our culinary tours, the delightful accommodation – whether a Tuscan villa, Scottish castle or Tonkinese-style garden resort – will provide a perfect place from which to taste the treats of the area. Sometimes the two combine in an unforgettable experience; on our Highlights of Britain holiday you will stay at the Three Ways House Hotel in the Cotswolds – home of the world-famous Pudding Club. After a feast of delicious desserts you get the luxury of rolling straight into bed without any fuss.
A Gateway to Culture
It is our belief that cuisine is the gateway to culture: food can be an experience that helps you to understand more about the history and atmosphere of the country you are visiting. We offer a number of culinary experiences on our tours which allow you to see and taste delicacies with cultural significance.
For example, mint tea is a welcome refreshment in the hot souks of Morocco, but the only way to understand its importance in Moroccan culture is to take part in a traditional tea ceremony. We offer this experience in an Immam House on our Majestic Morocco tour. From one tea culture to another, we give the opportunity to visit the ancient estate of Tregothnan, the only tea-growing site in Britain, on our Corners of Cornwall holiday.
(*As of Dec 2018, Blue Roads Touring Co is the North American operating name for Back Roads Touring Co of the UK.)