Our Favourite Foodie Destinations Perfect for a Long Weekend

For most of us at Rocket, the last few months have been a frenzy of incredible parties and events as we’ve been in the throes of our busiest season. With August on the horizon and our calendar (somewhat) quieting down, we’re embracing the chance to recharge and reset, which of course, always involves delicious food. Nothing planned? Fret not – the team around Rocket has compiled their favourite foodie destinations and top tips for the perfect weekend getaway.

Noto, Sicily - Celeste Good, Senior Marketing Manager

With flights from London just under three hours, you could be eating caponata and arancini on the Sicilian coast by the time you say arrivederci England. Fly into Catania and rent a car for easy access to the Baroque city of Noto, a serious culinary hotspot in southern Sicily within driving distance of beaches that rival some of the Caribbean’s finest. The food is so good it’s almost impossible to have a bad meal (we ate the best fritto misto I’ve ever had from a nondescript beach bar in nearby San Lorenzo) but there are also some musts. Caffè Sicilia was made famous by the Netflix series Chef’s Table but it’s just as popular with the locals as it is with the tourists. Do as the Sicilians do and start your morning with a light and airy brioche and an almond granita – who can’t fall in love with a culture that has such a sweet start to the day? For an afternoon pick me up, don’t miss their pistachio gelato, made with Bronte pistachios, a Sicilian-grown variety with a sweeter and richer flavour than normal pistachios, and probably the best you’ll ever experience. 

You are spoiled for choice when it comes to aperitivo hour…in our house, it would be sacrilegious to visit Italy without having a negroni, but be sure to also try a glass of Murgo Brut Rosé, a delicious sparkling wine made in Sicily. Book an outside table at Manna, a trendy restaurant in the heart of Noto where the seafood specials are as delightful as the people watching, or for a more traditional Sicilian meal, Dammusco is a family-run restaurant with the best pasta alla norma, a rite of passage for every trip to Sicily.

St Mawes, Cornwall - Charlie Grant Peterkin, Director

Many drive the A303 and turn right towards the Atlantic coast, with holiday hot spots such as Newquay, Polzeath and St Ives in their sights. However, if you turn left and veer towards the south you will find the rather special Roseland peninsular and the small coastal town of St Mawes, which is excellent for boutique hotels, local eating, sandy beaches, a thriving art scene, and coastal walks set within an estuary landscape.

In St Mawes are two exceptional hotels – the chic and stylish Tresanton, with breath-taking views over the estuary, and the Idle Rocks, with fine dining and even finer sundowners. A small boat crossing of the estuary, a coastal walk via the art galleries of Portscatho, and you will arrive at the not-so-Hidden Hut. It is still as good as it has ever been but be prepared to queue (it is worth it). There are good sleeping and eating options this side of the estuary too – the Rosevine, with its lush gardens leading down to the beach, is the perfect child-friendly hotel, (but be aware of feral children, particularly when we’re staying). For a bit of peace and quiet then look no further than the Driftwood and dine in the 1-star Michelin restaurant. Gastronomy and Egyptian cotton aside, you just can’t beat takeaway fish ‘n’ chips at the Watch House, and the best seat in the town, dangling legs off the port wall.

Taghazout, Morocco - Mathieu Defrasne, Senior Head Chef

Fly into Agadir and drive 30 minutes north to Taghazout, an idyllic town on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. Famous among surfers for its beautiful beaches and perenially great weather, there is also a passion for food that reverberates throughout this fishing village. Don’t miss Moroccan specialities like berber tagine, cous cous, and chicken bastilla, though at most local restaurants, you’ll be spoiled for choice with an abundance of seafood coming fresh off the boats daily. We loved the traditional mint tea, which Moroccans have perfected into an art form. Make sure you head to the market in town where you can find glorious mounds of colourful, fragrant spices, like cardamom, turmeric, saffron and cumin and beautiful terracotta platters and bowls to bring home and transport you back to your travels (they also make fantastic gifts!)

North Norfolk, Michael Symonds, Co-Founder and Director

For me, the ultimate weekend getaway is all about making use of fantastic local ingredients and there’s no better place to do this than the beautiful coastline of North Norfolk. 

As you arrive, make a brief detour to Gurney’s fishmonger in Burnham Market.  Your shopping list should read: Gurney’s fishcakes, dressed Cromer crabs,  smoked shell-on prawns, a whole locally caught sea trout, samphire, eggs, and cherry tomatoes on the vine. Then head upstairs to Humble Pie and procure some baps, wicked chocolate biscuit cake and any other goodies that take your fancy.

For a no-fuss Friday night supper, pan-fry the fishcakes and serve with a tomato salad (I melt a small knob of butter on the top of each hot fishcake).

The next morning, use the eggs to make a batch of homemade mayo. Take some of the mayo and mix it up with the Cromer crab and a squeeze of lemon, then fill some buttered baps. Put the baps in cold bag, with some chocolate biscuit cake and a bottle of rose. Now stride out across the saltmarsh and find yourself a dune above a vast, empty beach. Sit in the dune, look out to sea, sip your chilled glass of rose and enjoy your crab bap. Now go for a bracing swim, or have a nap on your dune. Then walk home in the late afternoon sun.

When the time has come to prepare supper, poach the trout while you open the best bottle of Chablis you can lay your hands on and eat the smoked prawns dipped in mayo.  Serve the fish with steamed samphire, hot-buttered Jersey royals and of course, a dollop of mayo.

The next morning, use the leftover sea trout with the last of the homemade mayo to fill the remaining baps. Add slices of cucumber if you have them. Now head for a different dune above another vast, empty beach and repeat the procedure of the previous day.

Edinburgh, Scotland – Erika Batty, Social Media & Content Manager

When it comes to delicious food and spectacular sights, trust there will be no shortage of it in Edinburgh. Starting at Archipelago Bakery, located in trendy New Town, grab some coffee and a bag of freshly baked, buttery pastries to fuel you until lunchtime. If you only have the stamina for one tourist spot, skip the castle and go straight to Calton Hill for its breath-taking 360-degree view of the Scottish city. 

Come noon, make your way to Thistle Street, a quaint cobblestone alley lined with unique independent shops and eateries. A lunch reservation at Noto is a must, which boasts excellent seasonal small plates and a wine list exclusively from small domaine producers. For afternoon drinks, Bon Vivant next door is an award-winning cocktail bar with a laid-back atmosphere and quality food to go alongside (the haggis bonbon with whiskey mayo is unmissable). 

Leith, Edinburgh’s waterfront, makes for the best sunset views and the buzzing port district is home to a number of Edinburgh’s fine-dining cult favourites, too. Book a table at Kitchin, where chef-owner Tom Kitchin’s nature-to-plate philosophy and classical French training mix with Scottish flair, or Heron for a seafood-forward tasting menu showcasing local wild scallops, oysters and trout. Cap off the evening with a dram of whiskey – you’re in Scotland after all! 

Celeste Good
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