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Thursday, 12 September 2019 15:57

Food and Culture: The Taste of History

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When did you last hear that the ‘journey is more important than the destination’? It’s especially true in the case of going on holiday, when the eventual destination is invariably going home again. Have you ever had a sense of belonging when miles away from where you started out? How can you drift past a door and smell a home-cooked meal without necessarily recognising any of the ingredients? Immersive travelling beyond the iconic is an approach that celebrates the culture and stories of a destination that gift you a greater understanding of its place in the world. And as you immerse yourself in a country, you become part of its stories and that is where memories are made.

Smelling the ‘Coffeebeans’

It is understood all over the world that going for a coffee is a chance to share stories. Coffeebeans Routes are so-called because they are led by this narrative and tourism is the canvas on which these stories weave their way into culture. Founder Iain Harris is a kindred spirit in his belief that travel has the potential to truly connect people and since we first met him a little over a year ago, he has become a colleague and friend and his experience-led encounters with music, fashion, food, art and architecture allow our clients to dive into their destination to make it more than just a holiday.
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Starting in South Africa over a decade ago, Coffeebeans has been recognised by winning an African Responsible Tourism Award and the Skal International Sustainable Tourism Award in 2015 and has since taken great strides to grow sustainable and immersive tourism, branching into Kenya and Rwanda to discover the stories of these places and to share them with the world.

The Taste of History and Culture

Recently we were introduced to Abigail Mbalo, a South African Masterchef finalist, which was impressive in itself but more so when we found out that she was a self-taught cook. Her passion for culture and invention have led to an infusion of traditional recipes from the township where she grew up, with a luxury twist which has the international culinary community salivating and queuing outside her restaurant in Khayelitsha.
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4Roomed eKasi Culture is a lifestyle concept based on the four-roomed homes found in the oldest townships of South Africa. It brings an authentic sense of nostalgia while providing an immersive and inclusive hub for all who live and visit. Speaking to Abigail, it is immediately apparent that her love of home is only surpassed by her desire to share it with visitors and to celebrate the cultures and memories that she grew up with. Now famed for her innovation and authenticity, her recipes conjure nostalgia through the smells, sounds and stories of her local community and she welcomes visitors from everywhere to get a homecooked meal from the other side of the world.
Culture and heritage represent a cornerstone of our approach to travelling beyond the iconic. And it’s in this spirit that both Iain and Abigail have offered a joint culinary experience as a special prize for our event this Sunday. Take in the sounds and smells of your holiday destination as you set your sights on a deeper understanding of the stories and cultures that are all around you. Savour the full experience in order to make memories at every turn and return home enriched with a connection to people and cultures from around the world.
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