Experiencing the world, one bite and one cocktail at a time!

My name is Nelia.

I grew up in a strictly Portuguese home where fish stew with eyeballs, and stuffing morcela, and eating alcatra was pretty commonplace.

In case you don’t know what Morcela is, it’s Portuguese blood sausage. And this is me (and my cousin Margarida) stuffing it before we actually knew what it was.

When I hit my mid-teen years,  I was all about “Americanized” food like burgers and Taco Bell.

In college, while everyone else was complaining about the cafeteria food, I was loving just being IN the cafeteria.  Not only did I get food that I liked, I quickly learned that the cafeteria (along with the on-campus cafe) was where people hung out.  Both places were hubs of laughter and conversation.  It wasn’t a coincidence that both places serve food and drink.  Conversation, gathering, and friendships happen around food and drink.  

Fast forward to now.  My family loves a variety of food.  My 14 and 10-year-old daughters love sushi, Thai, Mexican, Vietnamese.  We aren’t a chicken-sticks and mac-and-cheese sort of family (although I love a good old mac and cheese and pub-style food, too!). 

I love the European culture, where people take time to enjoy a meal, vs eating it “quickly at their desks”. People are seen outside at cafes during the day, leisurely eating and drinking.  It’s not taboo to enjoy a glass of wine at lunch.

I love experiencing culture through drinks, bars, and pubs.  Nothing makes me happier than sidling up to a bar in a new place and ordering a drink, in the knowledge that I am about to embark on an experience.

In 2021 I took over this blog from an amazing professional culinary travel professional, and you’ll see a lot of her influence on her site.

And now, you’ll also see posts from me. I am a mom of 2 who travels a lot for work (I work in the event/conference/tradeshow industry and own Blue Plaza Events and Nelia Nunes LLC. One of my beautiful girls has a severe developmental disability and epilepsy. I grew up and currently live in Northern California.

I love cocktails, happy hours, side hustles, trips with my girlfriends, and coffee. Thank you for being a part of my little corner of the world.

in Praia de Vitoria on the island of Terceira, Azores with my 2 girls
with my favorite travel girlfriends in Nashville
having a drink at The Ritz Hotel in Paris
out on the town with a local friend that I met in Paris
out in the middle of windstorm in New Orleans for a work trip


I love your blog. The content, layout, recipes and travel articles are beautiful and useful. You have a way of sifting through information and offering the most essential culinary travel tips. Your site is useful and fun to read. I am looking forward to going on one of your self-guided food tours soon. 

~ Dina


I took the Rome food tour in October 2017. So glad I did! I visited places that I would never have known about. The pasticceria was a highlight (I love tiramisu), as was the rooftop bar. The tour instructions were very clear, and I liked how I was able to go at my own pace, and not be rushed. I timed it so that I ended up at the rooftop bar for a spectacular sunset. . 

~ Deborah


Great review, thanks! And loved the breakdown so we know what to expect on our visit there in June. Managed to get a booking thanks to the tips as well. 

~ Taryn

more of my favorite food travel experiences...