Cultural Experience | France

20 Stops on a Journey of European Cuisine

Eating and Drinking Your Way Through Europe

Europe is filled with impeccable scenery, expansive history and titillating cuisine. During my four-month stay on this fascinating continent, I was fortunate enough to visit seven countries and countless cities, and was also able to experience some of the best bars, pubs, storehouses and restaurants and taste some of the most incredible food and drinks I have ever had. Some of these places are very well known to tourists around the world, while others are local delights or simply meals that satisfied my hunger whilst stuck overnight at an airport or after a late night out. Dining tends to be the epicenter of conversation, meetings, dating and is a fundamental staple of life. Why not make it interesting? Through my travels I have learned that drinking is a universal language, and a great meal can be paired with a special moment that leaves a lasting memory forever.

1. The first drink bought abroad

The school I was attending in Grantham, England had a little bar in the basement called “The Bistro.”  My friends and I, of course, spent our first night there and legally bought a local cider called Strongbow that would soon become a staple for the rest of our trip.


2. Lunch, complete with wine, at Balls Brothers in London

Balls Brothers is a wine bar and restaurant that is the perfect escape for a midday meal when exploring the busy streets of London.

bals bros

3. Tea time

What would studying abroad in England be without an afternoon of high tea?

tea time

Teat time with girlfriends

4. Pub crawl

What would studying in England also be without a weekend exploring pub culture? A spur of the moment trip to Nottingham gave us the local experience.


Glitterbomb and Strongbow

drink me

5. Airport dining

Sometimes, as a college tourist, you and your friends will decide it is a good idea to spend the night in the airport rather than try and wake up early in hopes of making your flight on time.  On such an occasion, food and sleep will be your two yearnings, and while sleep may be hard to come by, eating is always a great way to pass the time.

airport feast

Sandwiches, shrimp, wine and dessert

6. Spanish pub crawls

England isn’t the only country that is famous for its pub culture.  Malaga, Spain offers several pub crawls that go into the early morning and there truly is nothing like partying in Spain. Free champagne and flaming shots were only half of the exciting night we shared with other tourists and locals alike.


Pub crawl friends

7. Drunk food

There’s nothing quite like a 5 euro falafel after a late night out in Malaga.


Late night food

8. Hostel life

Now while some hostels are nicer than others, lots of good things can be said about our stay at The Melting Pot in Malaga. Our host welcomed us with a free bottle of champagne on the patio of the hostel overlooking the beach.

Champagne toast

Champagne toast

9. One word: Guinness

Guinness is practically a food group in Ireland and one of the first things I did when arriving in Dublin was head to the Guinness Storehouse.  Upon visiting the Storehouse you can see how the famous beer is made, learn how to properly taste it, and enjoy a free pint in the Storehouse’s sky bar. Luckily, my friend and I arrived as the sun was setting and got the most beautiful view of Dublin as we enjoyed our pint.

tastung bettr

The Tasting Rooms at the Guinness Storehouse

guinness rooftop

10. Supermac’s

Supermac’s is a fast-food joint in Ireland that is perhaps more interesting for its people-watching than its food. After enjoying expensive drinks in Galway, my friends and I headed to Supermac’s for a much needed meal and were surprised to see well-dressed men and girls in 6-inch heels ordering hamburgers and pizza after all of the clubs had closed.


11. Healthy in Camdentown 

Another weekend in London was spent exploring the district of Camden where I had one of the best meals of my life. An avid fan of organic and healthy foods, I was very pleased to find a small restaurant at the back end of one of the markets selling homemade dishes.  Lunch included a quinoa salad with beetroot, lettuce and goat cheese, followed by a mouthwatering Guinness chocolate cake.

quinoa beetrot goat cheese lettuce

12. Day drinking

Enough said.


13. Dutch dining

Amsterdam has some great food and the local beer is definitely worth a try.

amsterdam beer

amsterdam lunch2

14. Caffeine

Sometimes, Red Bull or coffee is a necessity in getting through long travel days on little sleep.

amst redbull

15. The Original Bloody Mary

Paris is a city of many wonders, and the Bloody Mary is one of them.  Harry’s New York Bar is a little hole in the wall bar located in a side street of Paris that is home of the famous drink.  For 13 euros you can have the best Bloody Mary in the world, and I promise its worth it.



Original Bloody Mary

16. Bottle service in Barcelona

Barcelona is the city to party in. Opium is one of the most famous clubs for dancing the night away and is even better with VIP bottle service.


17. Brunch in Barcelona

My favorite meal of the day.  After a night out in Spain, the best recovery (besides a Bloody Mary in Paris of course) is brunch, mimosas and a day on the beach.

barcelona brunch

18. Butterbeer

An avid Harry Potter fan for life, I had to take a trip to the Harry Potter Studio Experience and taste butterbeer for myself.


19. Brunch round two

After another weekend in London, Sunday brunch at the Mayfair is the perfect way to end the weekend and take advantage of room service.

london brunch

20. When in Rome, do as the Romans do

My four months abroad concluded with a magical week in Rome. A week of gelato, pizza, pasta, prosciutto, cheese and wine. My favorite meal in Rome was a delicious dinner right by the Trevi Fountain complete with wine and beautiful piano music.


Alexandra Schulte

Western Kentucky University | 6 stories

I am a rising junior in the Honors College at Western Kentucky University where I am double majoring in Film and International Affairs. I recently came back from a semester abroad at Harlaxton College in Grantham, England where I was able to explore the UK and also travel around Europe. This summer I will be reflecting on my adventures and writing about my summer living in Kentucky and traveling around the US!

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