Connections to people to people and places is what makes travelling so meaningful, which is why our Be My Guest experiences continue to be one of the highlights of our guests’ holidays. As a company, we are thrilled to be able to give them the opportunity to truly connect to the people in the destinations they visit and learn about their cultures, traditions and individual stories.
One of the greatest successes of these local encounters has been the profound effect they have had on the hosts themselves. Many of them run small-scale farms, vineyards, or handicraft operations and almost all are outside the city centres, away from the crowds, in places not often explored by travellers.
Our visits that are dispersed outside the tourist track help provide valuable income that enables these hosts to continue pursuing their passion, maintain their properties and make a living doing what they love most. The greatest thing of all is that our visits help them keep traditions alive, preserve customs, protect the places they call home, and share their passion for what they do with the world.
With over 100 Be My Guest experiences enriching the lives of guests and hosts across the globe, here are just a few of the people whose lives you change through choosing Trafalgar.
Join passionate Oonagh on our Irish Experience trip for an educational walk through the Irish countryside as you forage the wild ingredients for a delicious lunch overlooking the tranquil Liscannor Bay at Barrtra Seafood restaurant owned by her long-time friends the O’Briens.
Join Angie, and her husband Stan, on the shores of Lake Tekapo, New Zealand on the Southern Spectacular for a Kiwi barbecue and slice (or two) of Angie’s famous Pavlova, New Zealand’s national dessert. They’ll show you their home and reveal stories of what it’s like to live the rural life in the island’s interior.
The Elms has been passed on from woman to woman in Esther’s family for 130 years. After a successful career as a chef, Esther decided to embrace her birth right and restore this stunning southern mansion to its original early 19thcentury splendour. Learn more about the history of The Elms, and discover the journey that brought her back to her childhood home, on our Tastes & Sounds of the South trip. And get ready for a 3-course southern feast.
Esther’s long-time neighbour and childhood friend (and former New York concert pianist) Joe is the other half of this southern Be My Guest experience. Joe will show you around his family home, a former billiard hall that was once part of The Elms’ estate, and treat you to a private piano performance to set the mood for your evening of southern hospitality.
Meet Giada, head of the Landi family that has lived in Villa il Leccio, a gorgeous estate in the Chianti wine region in Tuscany, since the late 19thcentury. On the Italian Holiday trip, you’ll tour the villa and hear about her family history during a meal featuring Tuscan delicacies made by Giada herself, using ingredients fresh from the estate’s vegetable garden, accompanied by a glass of their delicious Chianti.
Rafaelle has lived in the picturesque Tuscan farmhouse Borgo della Limonaia his entire life. So, who better to show you around the estate and give you a proper introduction to the local wines and olive oils? Join him on the Rome & Tuscan Highlights trip for a delectable Be My Guest experience complete with lunch made with organic produce from the garden.
Join Remy and his wife Lydia, the owners of the stunning Chateau d’Eporce in the Sarthe region of France, for a tour of their impeccably preserved 17th century mansion surrounded by a park full of wild hyacinth and cyclamen on the Treasures of France followed by a lavish cocktail lunch.
Visit Sister Monika and the other Sisters of the Precious Blood in their castle-turned-monastery, which is also a working farm. On the Switzerland and Austria trip, you’ll join the Sisters for a traditional Corinthian meal and learn about life at the convent and their work to uplift members of marginal communities.
Join the Lenzi family at Fattoria di Petroio, the wine estate owned by the Pallini-Lenzi family since the 1800s, to learn how they produce some of the region’s best Chianti on the 15-hectare vineyard on the Wonders of Italy trip. Daughter Diana is a trained chef, so the food will be as much the star of this Be My Guest experience as the wine.
Read more about how your next Trafalgar holiday helps make a difference in the lives of our hosts. And, to find out more about Be My Guest and on which trips you can experience it for yourself, visit our website.