All of the below Instagram accounts have adapted to the times by offering their followers a virtual (and totally free) taste of paradise. Whether it’s sipping wine with New Zealand winemakers or learning how to make cocktails with a St Lucian beach in the background, our top picks are bound to please.
Brokenwood Wines, New South Wales
9am might sound early for a live wine tasting but starting the day alongside cheery Aussie winemakers really does lift one’s spirits. Take notes as the Brokenwood team discuss everything from shiraz to chardonnay. Every tasting is posted on Brokenwood Wine’s Instagram account, so you can watch at your leisure, and buy the wines online at vinvm.co.uk.
Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Saint Lucia
Wake up in paradise with @TravelSaintLucia’s 7 Minutes in Saint Lucia series. Sure, we can’t hop on a plane right now, but the stunning scenery (white sandy beaches, rainforest-clad mountains and a bright blue sea) is so vibrant that it’s almost like the real deal, especially if you’ve got a decent phone. Highlights range from a meditation course with @YogawithJa on the beach to cooking local dishes alongside Saint Lucian chef Shorne Benjamin and a rum cocktails masterclass.
Part chef, part adventurer, Aussie Sarah Glover’s Instagram account is worth following for the scenic shots of Tasmania alone. She loves cooking al fresco, and regularly shares her top tips on everything from cooking smoky greens and eggs to making stuffed pasta shells over a camp fire, and the best way to eat hot cross buns.
Nihi Sumba, Indonesia
Another contender for #ArmchairEscapism is @NihiSumba, a luxury beach resort in Indonesia that has launched a new Instagram live series to keep everyone’s spirits up. Every Sunday, the resort’s chefs lead quick cookery masterclasses (often outside, with nothing but beaches and lush forest for company) on how to make delights such as French toast with cosmic chocolate sauce. Tune in, chill out, and pretend you’re there for real.
The Maine Brew Bus, USA
The Maine Brew Bus, which usually takes passengers on a boozy tour of Portland’s best beer producers, now offers three virtual brewery tours a day on its Instagram page. With a pint of the frothy stuff in hand, tune in to watch first-hand tours of breweries, wineries and distilleries, plus interviews with the owners.
The Wild Beer Co, UK
Head to @wildbeerco for a live tasting session with Brett and James from The Wild Beer Co. Buy your beers in advance from wildbeerco.com, then get nerdy for a full 30-minute tutorial. Afterwards, the two experts will be heading over to their personal Instagram pages (@brettjellis/@fermentmorethings) for a few more drinks with you. Ask questions, relax and remember to take a photo of you enjoying the session – sometimes the funniest snap wins a £10 Wild Beer Co gift voucher!
Tuscany Now & More, Italy
Italian villa rental specialist Tuscany Now & More has got in on the Instagram act with live cooking classes and wine tastings (all free, of course) under the hashtag #italycomestoyou. Head to @tuscanynowandmore to join in with chianti tastings, tiramisu masterclasses, and a tutorial on how to make your own pici pasta.
Alta Badia, Italy
Alta Badia ski resort (check out our foodie guide to it here) is, like us, on lockdown at the moment. But instead of going quiet, the official Alta Badia Instagram account has gone all-out with live tutorials, including lessons in the native Ladin language; photography tours of the surrounding Dolomites; and easy-to-follow South Tyrolean recipes, including schmorn da pom (a kind of hot apple pancake, usually eaten on the slopes) made with apples, rum and vanilla sugar.
Travel Curious, Dublin, Ireland
Travel Curious, a bespoke private tour and experience company, has started live streaming city tours from its Instagram page, from a mafia-themed exploration of New York (complete with eerily empty streets) to a historical walking tour of Dublin.