The latest news from The Active Gourmet Travel
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October 2016

Hi <<First Name>>,

Spring greetings from The Active Gourmet Travel.  Heaven knows where the year has gone!

It is time to think about putting your airline bookings in place for next year's travelling because this is the period when the airlines have their specials out, for a short time only. Don't miss out. Most end either this Friday (28 October) or 02 November.
Do enjoy The Active Gourmet Travel's Spring 2016 e-newsletter.

Gail, Hubert and the team

Sicily for Cooks and Friends 

In April/May 2016, we made the inaugural voyage to Sicily for Cooks and Friends, including cyclists, drivers and walkers, would-be chefs and enthusiastic consumers of food and wine. Sicily is a brilliant, complex place to visit, so good we are taking bookings for a 2nd trip starting there on 01 May, 2017. Check these pictures below and come and join us!

Contact us NOW on 021 630 559 or or click here to go to the information page on our website.

Loire 2016 tour excitement

The cycling group in the central Loire at the start of the northern summer were faced by the biggest floods in the region's history – even the huge A10 motorway was closed for the first time ever. Somehow, where we went, the sun continued to shine, but the Loire is one mean river. It is evident why it is known as the 'last wild river in Europe'. See the picture below.

The Active Gourmet independent travellers

Our independent travellers, armed with cunningly designed itineraries crafted by The Active Gourmet have been everywhere in the last 12 months – Prague, Provence, Cornwall and Hamburg, Positano and Portugal.  Send us an email with a rough outline of where you are thinking of going and we will create a unique itinerary which will save you precious time (and frustration!)

Sad news

Since the last newsletter, two people who have been very involved with The Active Gourmet Travel for many years, have passed away.

Brian Blackman first travelled with us to Brittany. There, in the town of Dinan, we shared the horror the Twin Towers strike. In other years, Brian and Annette, ever adventurous, explored Puglia and Sicily, Piedmont, Provence and Paris, Prague, Vienna and Budapest. We miss you Brian, but the trout of Tongariro are secretly relieved!
Annette, you are one strong ginga. Continue to celebrate the world and all it has to offer.
Those of you who have travelled to the Gironde will no doubt have met Chips (real name Rupert Fretwell, but you would not know that!). Chips, a restoration architect, spent countless years restoring a wrecked watermill on the River Dropt near the bastide town of Monsegur. His hospitality is legendary, as was his love for rugby – his blood flowed with the (mixed!) colours of the Harlequins. Together with wife Dawn, Chips created a wonderful oasis from a pile of rocks and we as the Cycling Sybarites and The Active Gourmet were privileged to share it.
Dawn is taking the B&B to new levels, so if you are thinking to travel in this area about one hour inland from Bordeaux, contact us and we will guarantee you will have a great time.  If you feel like getting married again, Dawn can organise everything to the highest standard for you right here in rural France.
To the Thai people who have looked after me so well for so many years as I have flown with your national airline – sincere condolences on the death of your beloved monarch. As a primary school child in Timaru, I recall the royal visit of King Bhumipol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. We all had to learn to curtsey, a skill that has not been particularly useful!
Bits and pieces
  • A technique that reduces the chances of cyclists being hit by opening doors – it is law in the Netherlands to open your car door with your far hand (left hand in NZ). Called the Dutch Reach, you automatically swivel your head and shoulders so you are looking behind. Why can't we adopt something so simple to save a few lives??? 
  • Singapore Airlines has joined Emirates in flying directly out of Christchurch to their hub airports.
  • If you are on an aeroplane, take the chance to watch Inferno, the latest adaption of the Dan Brown novels. While not rated by critics, the film has wonderful scenes of Florence, Venice and Istanbul.
    Some of you will have had the amazing experience of visiting the Vasari Corridor in Florence. Sadly, it is no longer possible to visit it, supposedly because of issues of public safety, but the corridor is a major feature in the movie.
  • Gold Card holders – don't hesitate to enquire whether discounts apply when using shops and services. You will be pleasantly surprised.
  • Passchendaele 2017 – the 100th anniversary of this horrendous battle in which 840 New Zealanders died in a single day occurs on 12 October. Design practice Boffa Miskell is building a special memorial garden in the town of Zonnebeke in commemoration. The garden beds are built from vertical red planks in the shape of poppies and planted with flaxes and other appropriate plants.
    Think about including a visit to Ypres (Ieper) and Passchendaele, Amiens and the Somme battlefields or the NZ tunnels at Arras. Contact us for details.


Two pallets of 'our' wines from Bordeaux are heading towards Auckland Harbour. If you are a member of Hubert's Wine Circle, you will be receiving your order forms in the next couple of weeks. Delivery will be early December, in plenty of time for Xmas holiday consumption.
If you want to know more, drop an email to
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Shelly Beach Rd
Waiheke Island, Auckland 1081
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