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Gastronomy

Boating holidays for food lovers

Our top boating recommendations for tasting delicious local delicacies

It’s hard to find a region in our cruising grounds without a gastronomic specialty.  Enjoying the delicious cuisine of a new country or region will be the highlight of your holiday! You can taste cassoulet in Castelnaudary, sample fresh salmon in Scotland, or enjoy a simple dish made with local ingredients in Venice. Even shopping at the local markets—like the famous Louhans poultry market—and cooking aboard can be a way to immerse yourself in the gastronomic culture.  

Burgundy: Franche-Comté, France

The Bresse region to the south west of this cruising area is famed for its Bresse Chicken - highly valued for their gamey depth of flavour, yet with fine, tender flesh and delicious, clean-flowing fat. Bresse is fiercely proud of its chickens and famous British gastronomist Heston Blumenthal pronounced them a clear winner in terms of taste and texture for his BBC series 'In Search Of Perfection.' This area also produces fine beef, cheese and not forgetting the iconic mustard in nearby Dijon.

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Aquitaine, France

People come to Aquitaine to discover the perfect ingredients of gourmet cruising. Delicious local delicacies include Fois Gras, a rich, buttery, and delicate pate made from fattened duck or goose liver. Wild mushrooms and truffles are also worth sampling here. Agen is famed for its prunes or Pruneaux d'Agen and can’t be avoided here. In fact, we challenge you not to be lured by the prune during your visit. If you’re not sure, try them smothered in chocolate – delicious!

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Caledonian Canal, Scotland

The national dish of Scotland is Haggis, a ‘meaty pudding’ flavoured with onion and spices and traditionally served with ‘neeps and tatties’ (turnip and potato) at dinner or with eggs, bacon and black pudding for a Full Scottish Breakfast! Scotland is also home to an abundance of Salmon farms - so be sure to order from local menus for the freshest-tasting catch! And finish off with a glass of fine Highland Malt Whiskey. You can take a tour around the Ben Nevis whiskey distillery for an unforgettable treat.

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The Canal du Midi, France

Castelnaudary is the birthplace of Cassoulet, a rich, slow-cooked casserole containing meat (typically pork sausages, goose, duck and sometimes mutton), and white haricot beans. The dish is celebrated once a year at the Fete du Cassoulet, a time to eat, drink, dance and be merry. Also, don’t miss Toulouse, home to the Toulouse sausage made from fresh pork, salt and pepper. It’s a must try, but the genuine article can only be found here. Look for the prestigious red label! Also local to this region is Black Pig and Margret Duck.

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Rideau Canal, Canada

The Rideau Canal is jam-packed with relaxed and friendly restaurants where you’ll be able to enjoy local delicacies of Poutine and dishes flavoured with Canadian produced maple syrup. However, it is in the major cities of Ottawa and Kingston that bookend either end of the canal you’ll find the absolute best of Canada’s thriving culinary scene. Kingston has the most restaurants per capita of any city in Canada and is the perfect place to go on a food tour, whilst Ottawa’s food landscape has boomed in recent years and has all world-class restaurants one would expect of a nation’s capital.

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Alsace Lorraine, France

The German influences in this area are prominent in the regions local dishes and specialities. Try the Baeckoffe while in Strasbourg. Traditionally cooked in the backer’s oven, this stew harmoniously combines three kinds of meat – pork, beef and lamb – which are left to cook for several hours in a tasty Alsatian white wine, potatoes and onions. Another delicacy is Choucroute garnie, a famous Alsacian recipe for preparing sauerkraut with sausages and other salted meats, charcuterie, and often potatoes.

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Brittany, France

Brittany’s outstanding waters give oysters all they need for healthy growth and, in the pretty port of La Roche Bernard, you can try delicious Breton Oysters at one of the town’s excellent seafood restaurants. The Kerisac cider factory at Guenrouet is also worth a visit to learn all there is to know about this historic tipple. And finally, wherever you cruise to in this region, order crepes – Brittany serves the best in France.

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Venice & Friuli, Italy

Italy is renown for its fresh pasta – wherever you choose to dine, combine this with fresh fish or seafood and you’re got gastronomic heaven. The Adriatic coast is littered with fishing villages so the local restaurants serve the freshest and tastiest catches. Don’t forget to wash down with a sparkling glass of fine Italian Prosecco.

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Burgundy: Nivernais & Loire, France

Cruise to the culinary capital of Burgundy, Roanne – home to one of the world’s best restaurants, La Maison Troisgros. This extremely upmarket restaurant carry a hefty price-tag, but people travel for miles to dine here.

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