Dining with strangers: How food brings people together from all walks of life

The sharing of food has brought people together since the beginning of time. It’s how we make friends, nurture relationships, celebrate milestones, mend conflicts and feel gratitude for life. At Trafalgar, food is a central part of the entire travel experience. From meeting our Be My Guest hosts to cooking classes and wine tastings, food brings our guests together and takes them from strangers to friends. Here’s how dining with strangers can be one of the most enriching experiences of your travels.

It gives us a deeper insight into people’s lives

two women at their restaurant in France dining with strangers

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.”

Cesar Chavez

Think about your favourite foods. Perhaps it’s your dad’s home-cooked roast, or your grandma’s secret-recipe brownies. Maybe it’s that strawberry gelato you had on your trip to Italy, or that amazing grilled cheese sandwich your wife makes. 

Chances are, your favourite food is connected to someone, somewhere – because good food is the one thing that never fails to bring people together. It doesn’t matter where you come from, how you grew up or what you have access to. The emotions that come from sharing food are universal. Food connects every human from the stomach, and it conquers all, from language barriers to cultural differences. 

four friends enjoying alfresco dining

“What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?”

Lin Yutang

So when you’re dining with strangers and sharing their favourite foods, you’re getting a very real insight into their life. You’re getting a glimpse into their passions, their history and their culture. And as you embrace their story and connect over food, chances are, you’re sharing a very authentic part of yourself too. 

How you can go dining with strangers with Trafalgar

woman learning how to make pasta Trafalgar food experience

“We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.”

Epicurus

As well as filling your trip with the classic ‘bucket-list’ attractions, our incredible Be My Guest experiences give you the chance to get to the heart and soul of the places you visit. You’ll be invited into a local’s home where you’ll share a lovingly-prepared meal of traditional dishes, all while swapping stories and getting a first-hand look into their lives. In return, your visit will make a difference by contributing to their community and livelihood.

When we began these unique food and wine experiences over 10 years ago, it was a revolutionary concept. Over a decade later, we’ve had the privilege of watching thousands of strangers dine together and make that soulful human connection over good food. It really is a culinary experience that will change you in the most special ways.

RELATED CONTENT: Why Trafalgar’s Be My Guest experiences are breaking the mould in guided travel

It allows us to share our cultures

women of Demercidere with Trafalgar guests dining with strangers

“Laughter is brightest in the place where food is.”

Irish proverb

Food is the foundation of many cultures. When you eat the traditional dishes of someone’s culture, you get a unique insight into their heritage. With our Be My Guest experiences, you could share a meal with an Irish family on their rural farm, or with a family of winemakers in their Tuscan castle, tasting recipes that have been passed down through the generations. 

You could dine in a French châteaux, a Japanese ryokan, or a Moroccan Berber desert camp, and get a glimpse into their unique food customs and rituals. You could break fry bread with Native Americans in the USA, or learn how to find ‘bush tucker’ with Indigenous Australians. You could even enjoy the traditional wine of Georgia, made with the oldest wine-making method in the world, dating back 8,000 years.

Trafalgar guests with a Be My Guest host

As you share these unique dining experiences with strangers, you’ll encounter much more than new flavours. You’ll make a difference by contributing to their community and you’ll get an invaluable insight into their culture, with a piece of history, a fascinating food ritual, or even a new cooking method. Put simply, when you go dining with strangers, you’re enriching and expanding your whole world. 

It encourages us to open up

group people dining outdoors dining with strangers

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

Virginia Woolf

Few things are more calming than enjoying a meal with friends and family. There’s just something about indulging in comfort food, or sharing a home-cooked meal that really allows us to relax. It’s the same when you’re dining with strangers. As the food and wine flows, you’ll find that people open up, sharing stories of their life, from their joys and successes to their fears and failures. 

As the food nourishes your body, so does the conversation nourish your soul. It really is such an intimate act to share a meal with a stranger – and you never know who you will connect with or what stories you’ll hear with Trafalgar’s unique dining experiences.

NOW READ: 8 food and wine tours you can take with Trafalgar that celebrate gastronomy

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