Have you ever wished that it was easier to meet local people when you travel? Or that you could eat home cooked food rather than searching for yet another restaurant? If so, welcome to BonAppetour, a scheme that lets you dine in private homes throughout the world. I tried it for the first time on my recent visit to Stockholm. Read on to learn more about my experience, and to find out how you can get a discount when you try it for yourself.
Vidhatri’s Green and Spicy
This meal was Vidhatri’s Green and Spicy, vegetarian Indian food. Yes, that’s right, we were going for a home cooked dinner with an Indian family in Sweden! But Indian food is one of my favourites, and it was the first time I’d had the chance to try it in a home rather than in a restaurant.
We were made very welcome. Vidhatri met us at the metro station and took us to her apartment, where we were greeted by her husband Bala and his ninety-year old mother, who looked splendid in a colourful sari. We were soon deep in conversation, talking about anything and everything, from the Hindu festival of Shradh to the difficulty of learning Swedish in a country where everyone seems to speak perfect English!
A Vegetarian Indian Meal
Ourldinner began with a probiotic buttermilk drink – to aid the digestion – and then Vidhatri brought out a plate of freshly cooked pakoras. These were filled with panir and courgette, and were much lighter than the ones you get in restaurants. Then it was on to the main meal, a feast of chickpeas, aubergines and vegetable pilau. And piles of puri (Indian bread) fresh from the pan, as well as raita and homemade mango pickle.
We had the opportunity before we arrived of saying how hot we liked our food, and whether we had any dislikes or preferences (another advantage of home cooking over a restaurant). It was all very informal, and we chatted about Indian cooking, the best sort of poppadoms and Vidhatri’s secret ingredient in the chickpea dish. We were even treated to an impromptu lesson on how to make the perfect puri.
There was one local element to the meal. We finished with a Princess torte, a Swedish confection of cream and marzipan. It came with a curious legend, which Vidhatri explained to us as we cut big slices for ourselves.
It was all delicious, and far more than we could eat… By the end of the evening we had eaten lots of good authentic Indian home cooking, as well as a Swedish cake. And we had learnt a bit about Hindu culture, living in Sweden and biculturalism.
Get a Discount on Your Next BonAppetour Meal
BonAppetour is available in more than 80 cities across the world, including Rome, Barcelona, and Tokyo, and more people are joining the network all the time. If I’ve tempted you to try it yourself, you can claim a 10% discount on your first meal by using the discount code WWW10. Have a look at the site – as well as home dining you can enjoy cocktails, cookery classes and more.
If you like to cook you can take part even when you are not travelling, by becoming a host yourself. You can share your love of food and your local knowledge with visitors to your city. And learn about your guests and their own culture – a bit like travelling without leaving home!
We enjoyed our Green and Spicy meal as guests of BonAppetour – thanks to Vidhatri and BonAppetour for the experience.