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JAN-FEB 2017

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Page 48 of 51 49 J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7 e Kitchen in Colum- bus' German Village off ers interactive experiences for groups as well. " ey break groups up into pods," Dudley said. "One might make a salad while the others make entrees or desserts. ey provide recipes and give everyone an apron. In some groups, people just want to have a glass of wine and watch, and others want to get their hands on." 4) BOOK GREAT RESTAURANTS. e people who sign up for a food- focused trip are likely to want to experi- ence some of the best restaurants in the places they're visiting. And although it can be diffi cult to get a full group into the hottest spots in every city, the local CVB can often recom- mend high-end establishments that also accommodate groups. "In downtown we have Hubbard Grille, which is a wonderful restaurant," said Columbus' Dudley. " ey have a specialty din- ing space on the second fl oor. We also have M, one of Cameron Mitchell's high-end restaurants. A lot of groups like to end their visit with a nice meal there. It's a steak-and-seafood restaurant that overlooks the riverfront and the Columbus skyline." In New Orleans, Arnaud's is an iconic restaurant with tuxe- do-clad servers and a fl air for dramatic presentation. It is also perfectly equipped to handle large groups. "It's a huge building, almost a whole city block," Sonnier said. " ey have lots of rooms that can be opened up to accom- modate a lot of people." 5) ENLIST EXPERTS FOR CREATIVE IDEAS. If you're looking for exclusive experiences or other VIP perks on a food tour, working with the experts at the local CVB can help take your trips to the next level. "Give us a call and let us help," Dudley said. "We have some options with restaurants that we can get people into or that will work with us to open a private dining space that they don't normally do for groups." In New Orleans, the CVB can help connect travel groups with chefs and venues for memorable, customized events. " ere are a lot of communal spaces around the city that lend themselves to groups that want to have a celebrity chef come in and teach them," Sonnier said. "Chefs here are used to doing unconventional things in places like warehouses or park pavilions. ey can provide excellent dining experiences in various settings." Top: New Orleans fi ne dining, courtesy New Orleans CVB Bottom: A local pretzel bakery named Brezel, courtesy Experience Columbus

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