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A culinary adventure through Europe's cities

12 August 2020

There's nothing quite like food to get you to the cultural heart of a city. From humble street food offerings to must-try restaurant dishes, get to know the unique flavours of a destination, and you're halfway to living like a local. But what to try? We put it to the experts, our very own Tour Managers, to find out the traditional foods you shouldn't miss on your next European city break.

Berlin, Germany

Germany's trendy capital showcases its unique history and culture through a captivating blend of old and new; historic landmarks, lively nightlife, and irresistible street food come together to create one of Europe's most exciting modern cities. If you find yourself peckish while exploring, take it from the professionals and treat yourself to a traditional German sausage.

"Whenever I am with a group in Germany, I encourage the guests to sample a traditional German sausage from one of the many cafés or street vendors. For me, sitting outdoors enjoying a juicy currywurst with crusty bread and an ice-cold beer is one of life's greatest simple pleasures!"

- Stephen Pritchard, Tour Manager

Currywurst is a simple but iconic Berlin fast food made of sliced German pork sausage topped with spiced curry ketchup and typically served with French fries or a bread roll. Take Stephen's advice and order a refreshing beer to perfect your culinary experience - it's no secret that the beers here are among the best in the world.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland; famed for its historic castles, fabled history, Loch Ness monster, bagpipes and the poetry of Robert Burns, not to mention some of Europe's most striking scenery. It's also famous for haggis, the perfect dish to order in one of Edinburgh's traditional pubs.

"A must try when visiting Scotland is the haggis. Traditionally, if served at dinner, it is always best with tatties and neeps and a Drambuie Sauce."
- Simone Hetherington, Tour Manager

Haggis can be a little divisive, and while it's perhaps a daunting prospect for the uninitiated, this famous Scottish dish is one worth trying for yourself. Haggis is made with ground sheep pluck (heart, liver and lungs) combined with oats, onions, and plenty of herbs and spices. The result is rich, peppery, and ideally washed down with a dram of your favourite single malt. Trust us, it's delicious - so much so that Burns himself penned 'Address to a Haggis' to immortalise his love for the dish.

Nice, France

France exudes charm and sophistication, from its romantic cities with their elegant pavement cafés and iconic landmarks, to the sparkling French Riviera with its bustling coastal resorts and sun-soaked sands. There's also excellent cuisine; freshly baked baguettes and croissants, world-class cheese and wine, and refined restaurant classics like beef bourguignon and coq au vin. Our must-try, though, should you find yourself in glamorous Nice, is a French crêpe.

"In France, everyone should try a delicious, traditional French crêpe. Enjoy this thin pancake, hot from a street stall, oozing with lovely salted butter and just a sprinkling of sugar."
- Jane Kotz, Tour Manager

The wonderful thing about crêpes is the range of enticing toppings you can choose from. Chocolate lover? Ask for your crêpe to come slathered with Nutella. Fancy something a little lighter? Opt for banana or strawberry. And, if you find yourself in a café or restaurant, things can head in a more refined direction - dark chocolate and poached pear or salted caramel, anyone?

If you don't have a sweet tooth, try a savoury crêpe, known in France as a galette. Popular fillings include cheese and ham, eggs, mushrooms, and even ratatouille - a tasty Provençal vegetable stew.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

There's more to Amsterdam than the crooked, gabled buildings that line its labyrinthine canals, though they certainly paint an enduring image of the city. Look a little further though, and you'll realise this is truly a modern city, with remarkable museums and galleries, stylish bistros, and excellent shopping. There's a lot of tempting foods on offer here, but for those in-the-know, a must-try is fresh herring.

"Dutch New Herring would be my suggestion here. They are a very typical Dutch delicacy that are really popular in Holland, but nowhere else particularly. They are just salted and filleted, held by the tail and eaten whole. They are actually much tastier than they sound!"
Martyn King, Tour Manager

You won't have to stroll far before stumbling upon a haringhandels (herring cart) serving up this unique speciality. Dutch herring is generally served on its own, usually with onions and pickles, but order a broodje haring or herring sandwich if you'd rather enjoy it in a crusty bread roll.

Lucerne, Switzerland

Despite being one of Switzerland's most popular cities, Lucerne almost has the feel of an overgrown village; all crooked medieval architecture, narrow lanes and picturesque lakeside walks, set against an idyllic Alpine backdrop. There's plenty here to occupy you though, not least the fabulous waterfront cafés and tucked-away restaurants offering up delicious Swiss fare, including potato rösti.

"Whenever I'm in Switzerland I always make a point of trying a typical Swiss dish of rösti. It's a fairly simple combination of fried eggs, potatoes and onions plus a scattering of whatever that particular restaurant decide to add - delicious! Although I've tried it back in the UK, like wine it doesn't seem to travel well; you have to enjoy it in its home environment to get maximum enjoyment."
- Gillian Williams, Tour Manager

Similar in style to a hash brown, rösti are fritters made with grated potato, often served with eggs, onions, spinach, smoked salmon or sausage. Originally, rösti was eaten as a breakfast dish by farmers in the canton of Bern, but it's now popular all over Switzerland - and recognised around the world as one of the county's tastiest national dishes.