olive travels: where to visit in November
From coffee festivals in the north of England, to chestnut festivals in Portugal and mountain culinary trails in Jamaica, here's our pick of where to travel this month
Looking for ideas on where to go on holiday in November? We've selected our pick of destinations for a food lover's break: Manchester's coffee festival, Lisbon's harvest feasts to celebrate St Martin's Day, and Jamaica's culinary trails through the atmospheric Blue Mountains. This is just a small selection of our UK, European and global travel guides; check out our pick of the best UK culinary escapes and Europe's top food trips for 2022.
Coffee-fuelled weekends in Manchester
Manchester has become a thriving hub of independent coffee culture in the UK with a strong reputation for nurturing new brands. As a result, it’s a go-to for finding both inspiration and innovation for feeding this particular bean-fuelled passion. On 12-13 November, the annual Manchester Coffee Festival brings together the best and the new from all corners of the industry. There’s a packed programme of activities, sampling, panel discussions and more for coffee enthusiasts to get stuck into, with topics including sustainability in coffee with Alex Shaw and the story of how coffee came to the Caribbean with Georgina Jarrett. There’ll also be live music, a street food hall and local makers market.
Factor in time to take a caffeine-fuelled tour of the city’s speciality coffee shops. Takk is an ode to the Nordic region, offering the house Nordic-style espresso (roasted by Clifton Coffee in Bristol), cosy hygge vibes and trendy baristas. The Ancoats Coffee Co team roasts its speciality blends on site in what was a former cotton warehouse at Royal Mill. The space’s traditional red brick and large arching windows is a rich reminder of the city’s industrial heritage. Or, for a bite of something sweet or savoury to accompany espresso from constantly rotating roasteries, Idle Hands, located on Dale Street in the city centre, is renowned for its sweet pies and vegan versions of the classics, including cherry, pecan and chocolate cream pie.
Check out our guide to eating and drinking in Manchester here.
Autumnal chestnut feasts in Lisbon
Early November boasts mild temperatures and plenty of sunny days in the south of Portugal. Sweet aromas of roast chestnuts fill the air, along with the cries of 'quentes e boas' (get them hot) as street vendors hand out these seasonal treats. Take part in the Lisboan ritual and enjoy as a warm snack in paper cones while crunching through fallen leaves, or try them on menus at the local tavernas. Chestnuts are enjoyed with sweet wine to celebrate the harvest and maturation of the year’s wine vintage on St Martin’s Day (11 November). Locals gather around fires for Magusto feasts and wine tastings, while many restaurants offer special menus and fun events. While you’re in the city, warm up over a bica (Portuguese espresso) and a pastéis de nata at A Manteigaria, tuck into a juicy suckling pig sandwich at casual canteen Nova Pombalina, and join locals and tourists alike in shotting the iconic cherry liqueur at hole-in-the-wall bar A Ginjinha.
We have visited Lisbon to discover the best bars, cafés and restaurants here.
Culinary trails in Jamaica
As well as offering warm temperatures to escape to in November, there's plenty of produce in prime season on the island, including ackee, the national fruit of Jamaica, and avocados (known more commonly in Jamaica as pears). Plus, there’s an abundance of citrus, including the unique orange-tangerine hybrid, ortanique.
Discover the seasonal produce on a self-guided foodie trail through the island’s spectacular eastern mountain range. The Blue Mountain Culinary Trail strings together cafés and coffee growers such as EITS Café, where homegrown ingredients are worked into European-Jamaican dishes. Or Café Blue in Irish Town, offering world-famous Blue Mountain coffee in signature serves such as nutmeg- and cinnamon-infused Blueccino, coffee laden with rum cream or chocolate mocha smoothies made using Jamaican cocoa. Take a tour through the tranquil gardens and orchards of Belcour Lodge followed by afternoon tea, or treat yourself to Sunday brunch at Strawberry Hill, a luxury hotel perched on the mountainside.
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Jamaican Restaurant Week (11-20 November) is a nine-day celebration of the island’s restaurants. Expect next-level good vibes, special discounted menus and bespoke dishes, including rum cakes, Jamexican prawn bowls, ackee wontons and West Indian-style bouillabaisse brimming with lobster, prawns, snapper and more.