The delicious taste food and drink when travelling

Prime climes mean that wine is the star of the show this time of year with New Zealand, Australia and Argentina beckoning with delicious bevvies aplenty, but we’d be remiss not to mention balmy Singapore and it’s burgeoning Michelin-starred eateries. There’s never been a better time to loosen that waistbelt and indulge…

February is a New Zealand sweet spot. It’s one of the hottest months (20-30°C; 68-86°F), yet Kiwi families have taken the kids back to school. This makes it a good month for popular, weather-sensitive places, such as Abel Tasman National Park – far better to walk, kayak and camp amid the golden sands and forested headlands here when it’s sunny and quieter. While you’re in northern South Island, tag on the Marlborough region too. It’s home to more than 150 wineries, which will be thickening with grapes, before the March-May harvest; utilise February’s good weather to tour between cellar doors by bike. And February is when the Marlborough Food and Wine Festival (in Blenheim) showcases the region’s best produce: cherries, strawberries, apricots; Kaikoura cheese and Cloudy Bay clams; blue cod and green-lipped mussels from the Marlborough Sounds. There’s also good eating at vineyard restaurants and chances to take seafood cruises to catch your own.

  • Trip plan: Combine activities in Abel Tasman with arty Nelson, Marlborough wine-tasting and whale-watching in Kaikoura.
  • Need to know: The ferry from the North Island docks at Picton, 62 miles (100 km) east of Nelson, 19 miles (30 km) north of Blenheim.
  • Other months: Dec-Feb – warmest, busiest; Mar-May – cooler, foodie, quiet; Jun-Aug – cold, wet; Sep-Nov – warming.