What can open the home and hearts of people to something beyond token secularism? Food festivals, says modern economics, are going to be the next big issue where policies can be put to test. Will you allow yourself a gastronomic sense and experience delight when you taste food from different parts of the world?
Unique is the opposite of well known. It is something you have to look hard to find. Everyone wants to experience it, but unfortunately, few people actually do. Blinded by the allures of the (equally beautiful) tourist trails that exist around the world, our travels often lack the authenticity we so crave.
Fortuitously, it was mostly thanks to my geographical location that my whimsical flirtation became transformed into a more solid 'marriage' and I was finally restored to terra firma, even if it meant descending from Botticelli and Caravaggio to that less glamorous level of my fellow mortals where gunfire has raged and soldiers once fell for the highest stakes.
For centuries dating as far back as 3000 BC, India would've been regarded as not so much a country, but more a collection of evolving kingdoms and sprawling empires. Each with their own ruling dynasties, customs, culture, cuisine and fashion. The nation may be unified as one nowadays, but the remnants of this land's rich and diverse heritage still lives on.
Porto's historic city centre has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and for good reason. Undoubtedly, one of the best things you can get up to during a stay in Porto is simply to wander and wonder; to engage in the well-established art of flânerie - to walk around idly and aimlessly. Here are some things to look out for on your strolls around the city.
I made Limoges my base for the trip, with its long and rich history there is enough to hold any visitor's attention and there are plenty of restaurants to satisfy the most avid gourmet. Also, despite the fact that our own Black Prince massacred the city's population in 1370, I got a warm and friendly welcome.
Everyone knows Porto, and its most famous product, Port Wine, but that is extent of their culinary knowledge about the region of Central Portugal. Travel south from Porto, across the River Douro, and you have got an undiscovered mix of sea and mountains that have been shaping the cuisine of the area for 1000 years.
All over the UK, there have been a series of festivals hotly anticipated by the food-loving community in the know. Those uninitiated (and there are many) only hear hushed whispers of this Michelin-starred chef's new dish or that new wine tasting. I've taken a risk breaking the foodie code of silence to tell you about this festival... Well, not really but it does feel that way!