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  • Eat your way around Europe

    Italian Pizza

    ©dickuhne/flickr

    For food lovers, holidays are an exciting chance to try some new cuisine. While you may have your favourite restaurants at home, nothing is quite the same as trying traditional pizza in Italy, Borsch soup in Russia, or freshly baked bread from France.

    So when deciding where to go, the food that’ll be available there can be a very important factor in making your final decision. You may be staying in budget hotels or trying to save money in other ways, but food is definitely a worthwhile expense whilst on holiday so we will try to help you eat your way around Europe.

    Italy

    Italian food, Tonnarelli, pasta, goat cheese

    ©dags1974/flickr

    For carb lovers, the ultimate destination has to be Italy. This pasta paradise has plenty of fine food and wine to keep you going, while the traditional cookery techniques will certainly leave your mouth watering. Naples is the first choice for pizza fans; not only is it the birthplace of the pizza, but the locals take the dish extremely seriously.

    Head to Brandi restaurant to visit the place where the margarita was invented by Raffaele Esposito in the late 1880s, or try one of the many street vendors for a cheap and flavourful experience.

    For Italy’s other great export, nothing can beat a delicious pasta dinner overlooking one of Rome’s huge piazzas, preferably with plenty of garlic bread on stand-by. Try the local Tonnarelli for an authentic experience and look out for goat’s cheese dishes on the menu. If you’re hoping to save a little money on your trip, Italy has plenty of budget hotels that are not only wallet-friendly, but also extremely welcoming.

    Russia

    Famous Russian Borscht soup

    ©adactio/flickr

    If you’re looking for hearty meals with plenty of history behind them, Russia can’t be beaten in terms of choice and flavour. The famous Borsch soup, seasoned with a little sour cream, is a great way to warm up on the colder days. Russian main courses tend to be heavy on meat and extremely rich: try Pelmeny (small mince balls covered in pastry) for an enjoyable yet light main course.

    Vegetarians needn’t despair either, as there are plenty of Russian meals that rely on potatoes and other vegetables. Draniki is an old recipe from the north of the country that involves fried potatoes in a deliciously rich sauce, while pickled cabbage is a mainstay on the Russian menu and is deceptively tasty.

    France

    French cheese and wine shop

    ©Travelin’ John/flickr

    For lovers of fine cuisine (and plenty of wine), Paris has to be the first choice. Set the alarm and get up early for a trip to the baker’s one morning, to stock up on freshly baked bread and plenty of pastries hot from the oven. Grab some cheeses and cold meats from the deli on your way back, and you’ve got possibly the best breakfast you’ll ever have.

    For a more upmarket dining experience, the glamorous Le Maurice is perfect for haute cuisine, fine wine and fabulous surroundings: try the ravioli starter with a side of escargots, or the spit-roasted red wine pigeon for a more hearty option. For those on a budget, the Chartier restaurant offers similarly fashionable surroundings for a fraction of the price: sides begin at just two Euros each.

    Wherever you choose to go on holiday, Europe’s rich and exciting cuisine will mean that food lovers will certainly be kept happy. From pasta and pizza in Italy to something a little less familiar in Bulgaria, the choice is endless, with something to suit every taste. For the more adventurous, venture north to Russia and you won’t be disappointed.

    If you’re worried about finances, websites such as Travel Republic can be invaluable in comparing room and flight prices, as well as booking a bargain break quickly and easily. This of course leaves more money in the budget to spend on restaurants and sampling the cuisine on offer: so be prepared to let the diet go during your break!

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