What Do You Get
When You Combine
A Love of Food
with 52 Countries
and Multiply by Four?

One hell of an international foodie team.

AKA: Epicure Travel Group

It’s about more than just a list of addresses, bucket lists and popular pics. Travel can change you – for the better and forever… if you do it right.

Do you want your trip to enrich you? To bring out all the colours and flavours of you? To make you the more nuanced, polished person you know you can be?

That kind of travel requires a unique philosophy.

And after 60 years we think we’ve nailed it. It’s taken the love of our guests and village-fulls of locals –
our biggest fans – but we did it.

So go ahead and pour yourself a (generous) glass and settle in comfortably. Because we’re about to embark on an adventure together.

“Give me books, french wine, fruit, fine weather and music played out of doors by someone I do not know.”

– John Keats

First – let’s bust the myth.

Your parents, heritage, culture, Instagram wall, age, love-worn passport etc aren’t pre-requisites for being a top foodie and traveller.

For example, we (my family and I) are what’s been called a cultural Picasso.

Lizzie (mum) is Polish, Martyn (dad) is “oy’ll ‘ave yer finest paynt o’ Guinness” Irish, Alex and Edward (that’s me) are both Australian made and grown.

The Bell family - Martyn, Lizzie, Alex, and Edward - the original Epicure Travel Group

3/4 of the original epicure travel group: Martyn, Alex, Lizzie and Edward. Edward’s probably off getting another round of vino. Hey, someone has to do it!

We live in Sydney, Australia. Famous for worldwide broadcasts of New Year’s Eve fireworks, iconic architecture, sweet blue waters and beaches that make strong men whimper, it’s a dream destination for even seasoned travellers.

Australia is also home to some of the world’s finest produce: seasonal, local and heritage.

Yes, we grew up with sunday sausage sizzles, sweaty Christmases and passports in hand.

And we sometimes eat kangaroo. Tastes like steak, if you’re wondering.

We’re a land girt by sea, which means no driving across the border (plane only). No quick holidays in neighbouring countries. And every excuse to travel… no matter how far or wide.

We are VERY lucky to live in a country that gave us a taste for good food, great people and big adventures.

We were raised with incomparable soil quality, award-winning wines and farm feasts your gran would wolf-whistle. (Apart from Captain Bird’s-Eye frozen fish finger Wednesday. No one wants to cook on humpday).

I’d tell you a big ol’ story about how we became such foodies and travellers, but the truth is, it’s what we’ve always done.

Much more gracious folks than us have said this means we have 60+ years of experience. (We humbly accept :))

In these, it doesn’t matter where you grew up or how many awards you have.

Whether you’re a born traveller, stumbled into it or got bitten by the travel bug at 73, it’s your passion for food and travel today that matters most.

It’s how we recognise true epicures. It’s what sets us true epicures apart from your average tourist.

Passion is why every true epicure itches to see and taste the world even more every day.

1He’ll do the accent for you too, if you ask nicely!

“The universe is my playground, the world is my home, every country is another room in the house and every city is another story waiting for me to devour it.”

Did We Really Stumble Into The Food World’s Next Big Thing?

Honestly, it chose us.

Before we became a family, dad served in the Royal Australian Navy. He captained 4 ships. He led on 6-month missions. He travelled, under his own sails, across the Indian Ocean and South East Asia.

You’ll have to ask him yourself whether he sampled any fried insects!

When I was 6, in 1995, the navy chose dad to represent Australia as part of the Naval Command College program in the USA.

Remember the days when you could smoke in the plane cabin or visit the pilot in the cockpit?

Ahhh, sweet memories.

So we moved as a family to dreamy Newport, Rhode Island. Every week another international family would host a dinner party, celebrating their national cuisine. As Martyn W Bell says you haven’t lived until you can’t remember which country you’re eating in tomorrow.

Honestly, as kids it wasn’t that exciting. Today though? Oh, the things I wouldn’t do to re-live those dinners now…

18 months later, my grandma (Lizzie’s mum) Helen became seriously ill. Every week mum drove 2 hours north to Newcastle to visit her and family road trips became our ‘thing’.

In hindsight, every trip wrote another page in our family recipe book.

If you ever want to try a typical polish beetroot barszcz soup, the best dill pickles you’ll ever eat, or ‘dribbly’ pasta (aka lane kluski), you know who to come to.

Sadly, babcia (polish for grandma) has passed on. The doctors never figured out what was wrong. But we keep her close every time we eat a dill pickle. Which is more often than you’d think.

In 2008 I moved to France. Why? I don’t know really. I guess because it felt right. And there’s no better feeling than the rush of making great decisions fast.

I lived with a real French Bretonne, Francoise, who is to this day family by heart more than blood. She taught me the staples of french cooking: 3-ingredient vinaigrette, salmon en papillote, traditional crêpes and how to properly shop for groceries.

If it weren’t for her, I’d be living off frozen fish fingers and green peas.

Then, with one of the most enjoyable cover letters I’ve ever read, my sister Alex landed a position at Sydney’s prime butcher, Victor Churchill in 2011.

She made her way around the gourmet food retail scene with luxury brands like Simon Johnson.

But you couldn’t keep her from the open road. Like any true epicure, she set off to explore the flavours – and often bizarre – cooking tricks of the world. On the 870km long Camino De Santiago, she found herself and her calling. She became a chef.

After working under Matt Moran of Masterchef fame in Chiswick Restaurant, she’s now the queen of the kitchen, in our eyes. Trust us – once you’ve tried her bombe alaska, you’ll have meringue-shaped dreams for days.

Looking Back You Realise It Was Always Meant To Be, And…

None of us actively sought this life in the beginning.

But call it what you will: our gift, our calling, even good grace. Whatever it is, when something important like this calls, you say ‘yes’. Loud.

We’ve found ‘yes’ is the most important word in travel. Yes to new experiences, to unforgettable trips and most importantly to meeting new people. People you’ll call on your trip anniversary so you can bring the memory back to life. Every trip breathes new life into you.

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.”

-Cesar Chavez

So Yes, Incredible Experiences
but the key is…

Who you experience it with matters.

Food and travel, like life, don’t mean as much unless you share them with people you love (or at least like).

We’ve all travelled solo. And yes, it’s been a mind-opening experience. It’s brought us more in touch with ourselves. But sometimes it’s lonely, too.

That’s how Epicure Travel Group began and probably why you’re here. Every great traveller wants to look back and laugh with friends…

“Do you remember that time when…?”

Others may fill their Instagram feeds with elaborate or even homely plates of food but nothing compares to a warm memory you can almost taste.

Besides, the experience may not be ‘once in a lifetime’ but we find it definitely lasts a lifetime.

If you asked us, our ‘Top 20 Greatest Travel Hits’ would all have three things in common:

  • Authentic, local food
  • Family
  • Friends to share it all with

There’s nothing else we’d rather do than find the best of what the world has to offer… and share it with people who love food and travel as much as we do; true epicures.

If this is like a friendly tap on the shoulder for you, we’d be honoured for you to rifle through our upcoming trips and perhaps even settle on your first (or next!) with us.

We can’t wait to meet you, wherever, however, whenever we do (soon, please!)

Edward, Alex, Martyn and Lizzie x

Where To Next, Traveller?

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