And she's spilling them all on her Tasting India with Christine Manfield tour this upcoming February.
This renowned Australian author and chef is leading an intimate group of up to 10 intrepid travellers on a journey through the captivating regions of Central and West India, including the vibrant Rajasthan and serving up a fusion of culinary hedonism and cultural immersion along the way.
And who better to lead this tour than a person who has enjoyed a passionate love affair with the country (for 20 years in fact!), is well connected and respected for her craft in India and who is the author of the multiple award-winning book, Tasting India.
“I've now designed and led seven culinary journeys to India with Epicurious Travel, with the 2015 one being my eighth. These tours are a fantastic way to be introduced to or re-acquainted with India – to her cultural sights, to her friendly people and her culinary masterpieces, without compromising on luxury,” she says.
Christine's little black book of secret addresses are what set this sojourn apart from the rest. She's handpicked the best experiences and is serving them up on a silver platter just for your pleasure.
Her long-standing friendships with chefs at India's most illustrious restaurants will see you dining at these fine establishments and swapping recipes with the esteemed chefs there. You'll feast on menus specially crafted for you by the collaborative culinary venture between Christine and the chefs.
Included restaurants are the eminent Masala Library in Mumbai, who fuse traditional Indian food with progressive molecular gastronomy, the seductive Pali Bhavan, the award-winning Swati Snacks and the premier threesixty at the Oberoi.
In Mumbai she'll accompany you through the plush suburb of Bandra, guiding you through the chic stores, quaint cafes and Bollywood mansions. As the heady aromatic spices lace and waft through the air in Ahmedabad, her keen sense of smell will direct you to the very best street food.
At the picturesque site of Mandu, she'll stand with you in awe at the impressive Afghan architecture and revel at the greatness that is the World Heritage Listed Kumbhalgarh fort, labelled the second largest wall in the world after The Great Wall of China.
“No matter how many times I visit these sites, I'm always blown away by their majesty. There's a spirit at these places that is very life affirming,” she says of the historical sites visited on the tour.
She'll track leopards with you on two wilderness game drives in Jawai. Then you'll luxuriate in opulent tents in the untrammelled wilderness of Rajasthan.
She'll share with you the locations of the last remaining families in Patan still practicing the ancient art of weaving the Patola – the double ikat sari.
As Christine is a proponent of giving back to local communities, she'll also take you to the REHWA Society and the Women Weave Charitable Trust, both of which produce exquisite handcrafted accessories and textiles that you can take back to loved ones. Travel need not be destructive.
“India isn't a country you can simply see, it's a country you feel. It clings to your clothes, your skin and your heart. Once it's in your blood, you're hooked for life. I invite foodies and anyone interested in India to come join me on this journey of discovery. The extraordinary is waiting. Let's explore the possibilities together.”
For further information or to book, please visit www.epicurioustravel.com.au or contact Epicurious Travel on firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 9486 5409/ 0407 261 510
Cost per person twin share is $US 15,980 / Single supplement US$ 3,175