Great food can happen anywhere, and obviously certain places are known for it—Italian food in Rome, spicy kimchi and barbecue in Seoul, wine and California produce in Napa Valley, and so forth. But if you and your better half prefer to be on the cutting edge of things, you’re probably on the lookout for a romantic getaway that’s ahead of the curve. Here, you’ll find a selection of unexpected honeymoon spots that offer top-notch hotels, romantic scenery, perhaps a good spa or two, and above all—exceptional eats.
Tofino, British Columbia
Located on the remote western shore of Vancouver Island, this sleepy surfer enclave has become a haven for nature lovers of all sorts, as well as an unofficial capital of Canadian cuisine. Wolf in the Fog is credited with putting Tofino on foodies’ maps, using seasonal and foraged ingredients for its many instant classics: apple, truffle, and potato-crusted oysters; Pacific octopus with lentils and harissa; and house-made pastas which change daily. The Wickaninnish Inn offers comfort and luxury so you can experience all the raw power of Tofino’s untamed beauty—make sure to ask for a room facing the ocean, that way you two can watch storms roll in as you enjoy a snuggle by the in-room fireplaces.
Uco Valley, Argentina
Argentina’s winemaking capital city Mendoza has been a hit with travelers for a while, but insiders know that the real food and beverage happenings are just a bit further south in Valle de Uco. It’s a little more undeveloped, a little more wild, but the food and wine experiences are out of this world. Splurge on a stay at either Casa de Uco or The Vines Resort and Spa, which offers horseback vineyard tours during the day and multi course tasting menus with wine pairings at night. And while you absolutely have to enjoy the region’s iconic asado beef with a big glass of Malbec, you can stay ahead of the curve by sampling all the amazing white wines that are starting to come out of this region, including Torrontés, Pedro Ximinez and Semillon.
Fogo Island, Newfoundland
If getting away from it all is what you want, there are few places more remote than this rugged, windswept island off the eastern coast of Newfoundland. It originally landed on in-the-know travellers’ maps in 2004 with the opening of the Fogo Island Inn, a twenty-nine room luxury lodge outfitted with local furniture, local bedding and, best of all, two Newfoundland Retrievers that will greet you with a sloppy kiss. Lay in bed and look out your floor-to-ceiling windows as icebergs float past your room (locals chip iceberg ice for their evening cocktails). And when it comes to food, the inn uses seasonal, ethically-sourced maritime ingredients. Be sure to try Fogo Island cod—because of the especially cold, salty waters, it’s some of the best fish you’ll ever have.
Mornington Peninsula, Australia
When flying all the way to Melbourne, the last thing you’ll want to do is drive an hour further, but trust us—this seaside paradise is an intoxicating holiday spot for well-heeled Aussies and foodies. Drop your bags at the posh, ultramodern Jackalope Hotel and make your way through the area’s foodie hotspots. There are countless wineries and farm-to-table restaurants to try: the extraordinary lunch at family-owned Montalato; pinot gris at Yabby Lake; artisan cheeses at Main Ridge Dairy; local oils and vinegars at Cellar & Pantry; otherworldly architecture and a killer dinner menu at Port Phillip Estate. And if you need some time off to digest it all, go for a good soak at Peninsula Hot Springs, a geothermal Scandinavian-style outdoor spa.
As an island that was colonized successively by the Dutch, British and French, the collision of cultures—and cuisines—on Mauritius is unlike anywhere else on earth. The best place to stay is hands-down the iconic One&Only Le Saint Géran, which has long been a decadent hideaway for the jet set, but if it’s food you’re after, be sure to head into Port Luis to wander the fruit stalls and search for street food. You can find proper Chinese bao dumplings, Indian medhu vada doughnuts, as well as vindaye, a traditional Mauritian fish stew made with pickled fish, ginger, garlic and spices.
While this sprawling city might not be the most charming or scenic for a honeymoon destination, it serves as a great home base as you explore the more rugged and romantic parts of Peru. Here in town, you can sample exceptional restaurants like the out-of-this-world Peruvian ingredients at Central and mind-melding Japanese-Peruvian fusion at Maido. Then once you’ve had your fill, go spend a couple days hiking at Macchu Picchu before coming back into the city, where you can stretch your legs at the elegant Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel and recharge with some fresh ceviche.