The ‘Bid for Recovery’ Auction – offering out-of-this-world experiences for food and drink lovers worldwide – is currently in full swing at 50BestforRecovery.com with less than a week until all lots are going, going, gone! Remember that all funds raised will be given back to the global hospitality industry as it emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, so head to the auction site before Sunday 12th July. Here we outline a handful of the most comprehensive travel packages on offer with accommodation included, which means you can transform a single restaurant reservation into a full-on foodie vacation
If you are thinking of building a dream trip around some truly unforgettable gastronomic moments, then why not combine it with helping boost the recovery of the restaurant sector worldwide at the same time? As the largest gastronomic auction of its kind, ‘Bid for Recovery’ features more than 160 incredible auction lots in total, provided by restaurants and bars that have featured on 50 Best’s lists as well as by generous sponsors. The selection below focuses on those trips where accommodation is part of the package, allowing you to immerse yourself in the experience from start to finish. From ultra-luxury city hotels to idyllic rural hideaways, the common factor here remains exceptional food and drink and the chance to create treasured memories…
St. Petersburg Gastronomic and Cultural Adventure with Cococo
Immerse yourself in stunning St. Petersburg with this tour of the very best the city has to offer, guided by Cococo owner and culture aficionado Matilda Shnurova. With three nights at the five-star SO Sofitel hotel, you will enjoy cultural activities including guided tours of the Russian Museum of Fine Arts and the iconic Hermitage Museum, a boat trip through the waterways of St. Petersburg and an unforgettable grand ballet performance at the Mariinsky Theatre. Your cultural tour will be peppered with the finest culinary experiences, including cocktails at Xander, a healthy modern Russian lunch at Bio My Bio, a Georgian dinner at Mindal Café and a visit to Pyshechnaya, the oldest cafe in the city, for traditional USSR-style doughnuts. The trip will be topped off by a special dinner at Cococo Bistro and a full tasting menu at the unmissable CoCoCouture.
Ultimate Camargue Nature Reserve, Flight and Relaxation Experience in South of France
Relax in the heart of the Camargue, a historic national park in the south of France. This is a place where locals lives alongside horses, birds and the water. Over three days in this magical region, you will discover unusual flora and fauna protected by the Camargue national park and nature reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will stay for two nights at the five-star Le Mas de la Fouque hotel, where food and beverages are included, as well as take a flight on an ultra-light aircraft for a spectacular view of the region, and tour a manade to see majestic indigenous white horses in their natural habitat. Then relax with massage and spa access back at the hotel.
Aponiente Fishing, Feasting, Wine and Hotel Package in Cádiz
Discover the ocean’s freshest produce on a fishing and feasting adventure with fisherman-chef Ángel León of Aponiente, one of Spain’s finest and most sustainable seafood restaurants. The experience includes a boat trip on the bay of Cadiz, tour of Aponiente’s grounds and the fascinating Fitoplancton Marino project, a sherry tasting at Bodegas Lustau and five-star accommodation for two nights at Hotel Duques de Medinaceli. Plus, of course, you will enjoy the full tasting menu experience at the renowned Aponiente itself.
A Tuscan Taste Holiday with Acqua Panna
With your base at Villa Panna, a magnificent Medici-era property opened for two nights specially for you, you’ll immerse yourself in the tastes of Tuscany. Discover traditional flavours with a private Tuscan barbecue held at Villa Panna and cooked by a Michelin-starred chef, private wine tastings and tour of a local vineyard, an exclusive visit to the source of Acqua Panna mineral water and its natural reserve. Finally, head to Florence for aperitivo on a boat, just below the famed Ponte Vecchio, before dinner at Gucci Osteria by Massimo Bottura in Florence.
Charles H Cocktail Extravaganza at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
Enjoy a luxury stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in the vibrant South Korean capital, Seoul, complete with a unique cocktail experience by Charles H, named The Best Bar in Korea at Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020. Over your three-night stay in the exclusive Sejong Suite, you’ll have a series of meals at exceptional restaurants in the city, including Boccalino, Yu Yuan and the award-winning Mingles. You will also have the opportunity to learn the art of bartending with head bartender Keith Motsi and even work a shift ‘behind the stick’ at Charles H!
Three-Day Sustainable Drinking, Dining and Surfing Safari in Portugal
Spend three incredible days in Portugal learning about sustainable cocktails, eating at some of the finest restaurants in Lisbon and honing your surfing skills. This sun-drenched lot is hosted by the team behind the acclaimed speakeasy Red Frog as well as the innovative and super-funky Monkey Mash cocktail lab and tropical bar. Your accommodation will be covered at a luxury hotel in Lisbon as well as at an eco-lodge in the coastal paradise town of Peniche, where you will also enjoy a private surf lesson and local tour. Back in Lisbon, you’ll experience a two-hour masterclass at Monkey Mash’s cocktail lab, as well as eating at the city’s acclaimed Alma restaurant.
Bespoke Miami Art Experience with Matusalem
Experience the ultimate in Miami food and culture with this bespoke, three-night stay, courtesy of Matusalem Rum. With accommodation in one of the most artistic hotels on the planet, the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, created by the world-famous Alain Faena, you will experience the best Miami has to offer, including tickets to the Art Basel fair and a guided tour with world-famous bartender Julio Cabrera at Calle 8 (during which Julio will likely inveigle you into a game of dominoes with the locals) followed by dinner and cocktails at his venue, Café La Trova.
Idyllic voyage around the Italian Island of Capri in a Luxury Sailing Yacht
Celebrate Gin Mare’s 10th Anniversary in the Mediterranean idyll of Capri with a gastronomic sailing experience around the iconic Italian island. Starting from Naples, you’ll take in La Grotta Azzurra, Monte Solaro and other essential stops, indulging in the top food experiences that only the locals know. Your three nights’ berth will be aboard a high-end yacht, complete with Gin Mare bar, of course. The perfect combination of sun, sea, great food and wonderful cocktails to reflect the taste of the Mediterranean.
Canadian Terroir, Cuisine and Country Escape with Manitoulin Island and Langdon Hall
Take a one-of-a-kind Indigenous Canadian culinary expedition hosted by award-winning chef Joseph Shawana of the Odawa Nation on his beautiful homeland Manitoulin Island, north of Toronto. Together with local adventurers and guides, you and Chef Shawana will explore the terroir by canoe, all-terrain vehicle and forage-walking, as well as meeting locals in the community and visiting art galleries, breweries and shops. Evenings will be rounded off with Chef Shawana and his family for nightly cook-ups before sleeping in log cabins and tepees. On the first night of your trip, you will be treated to dinner with wine pairings at the acclaimed Alo in Toronto. On the final night, you will slip away for a restful retreat in the Canadian countryside to experience the culinary expertise of chef Jason Bangerter with the luxurious Langdon Hall Country Escape Package, including dinner, breakfast and access to Langdon Hall’s wide-ranging facilities.
Five-Day Immersive Trip to Lima and Cusco with Virgilio Martínez and Pía León
Take the ultimate immersive Peruvian adventure in the company of Virgilio Martínez and Pía León, the talented husband-and-wife chef duo behind Central, the three-time Best Restaurant in Latin America, and newer ventures Kjolle and Mil. Starting the five-day experience in Lima, you’ll explore the chefs’ award-winning properties and sustainable projects, including full tasting menus at Central and Kjolle and tours of León’s vegetable garden and Mater Iniciativa, the incredible research project behind all three restaurants. After your time in the capital, you’ll accompany Martínez to Cusco, where you’ll be transferred to the five-star Explora Valle Sagrado for an all-inclusive luxury stay with access to a choice of exploratory trips through the majestic Sacred Valley region. You’ll round off your trip with a meal at Mil, the sky-high dining project with breath-taking views of the Moray agricultural ruins.
Head to 50BestForRecovery.com to place your bids and read all articles about the 'Bid for Recovery' Auction by clicking here. Visit the Restaurant Recovery Hub and the Bar Recovery Hub to explore useful resources during the coronavirus pandemic and read the stories of chefs and bartenders around the world. Follow 50 Best on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for the latest news on our fundraising initiatives.
Reporting by William Drew and Laura Price