It may be a time to hunker down with a glass of merlot or a wee dram. And, how better to enjoy time at home than curled up on the sofa with some great TV to spark future travel inspiration? From action-packed classics like Skyfall, set in the Scottish Highlands, to the critically-acclaimed Chocolat, set in a chocolate box village in Burgundy – here’s a selection of film and TV recommendations, that can be visited on our cruises…
10 Movies & Binge-Worthy Shows to Spark Future Travel Inspiration
Strasbourg | Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Directed by Guy Ritchie, starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law to name just two of the all-star line-up, this comedy crime drama features the French city of Strasbourg’s Place de la Cathédral. A particularly brief appearance, the cathedral makes its debut when an anarchist’s bomb explodes right outside.
Glen Coe | Skyfall
A destination that will definitely spark future travel inspiration, is the secluded Scottish Highlands. And, no trip here is complete without a visit to the spectacular Glen Coe. A world-renowned landmark with rugged mountain peaks and waterfalls, you’ll likely recognise it from one of the early scenes in James Bond’s Skyfall, where 007 pulls up in his Aston Martin DB5, to the entrance of his family home with M in tow. Those in search of the house itself, won’t find it here – It’s actually located in the English county of Surrey, at Hankley Common.
Paris | Amélie
An early noughties hit, Amélie brings modern day Paris to life in this charming tale of a waitress in search of life’s true meaning. Her place of work, ‘Le Café des 2 Moulins’ is a real bistro in Montmartre that fans can dine and imagine themselves in her fictional universe, surrounded by its distinctive red and gold décor. Keep your eyes peeled for the film poster within the bistro, with Amélie (Audrey Tatou)’s famous gaze brightening up the room.
Ireland | Neven’s Irish Food Trails
Fans in Ireland and in the United States may have seen the elegant Shannon Princess make her appearance on Irish cooking show, Neven’s Irish Food Trails. Featuring Irish TV chef, Neven Maguire, watch as he explores the length of the Republic of Ireland in search of great food through the counties, from Cavan all the way to Cork, aboard the luxury hotel barge. On the way, Neven meets a host of chefs, craftsmen and food producers. Let us spark some future travel inspiration with a clip from the show…
Neven's Irish Food Trails
Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val | The Hundred-Foot Journey
This feel-good movie directed by Lasse Hallström introduces a master chef and his family, who fled political violence in India and settled in Southwest France. In a bid to find the perfect location to re-open his once-thriving family restaurant, the chef (Manish Dayal) chooses the village that we know as Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val. What the family did not realise, was that Madame Mallory (Dame Helen Mirren) is the owner of a Michelin-starred restaurant, and isn’t happy with her sudden competition…
Glenfinnan Viaduct | The Harry Potter Collection
First making an appearance in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002 as the coveted route to Hogwarts, the Glenfinnan Viaduct is an astounding structure set in the Scottish Highlands. Most who visit will experience the regular diesel service on the West Highland line between Fort William and Mallaig, but if you’re a Potter fan – why not go all out on the Hogwart’s Express-style locomotive between May-October.
Flavigny-sur-Ozerain | Chocolat
Another hit for director Lasse Hallström, was the enchanting Chocolat, starring, Juliette Binoche, Alfred Molina, Dame Judy Dench and Johnny Depp in which a mother and daughter cause a ruckus in a sleepy French town by opening up a chocolaterie during Lent. The fictional village of Lansquenet is actually the pretty village of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain in Burgundy. A picture-perfect setting, the only difference between the village itself and the village in the film was the addition of the solemn statue of the local mayor. If you can’t visit the village in real life just yet, those in the UK may visit the setting of the riverside scenes led by Roux (Johnny Depp) which is filmed on the Fonthill Lake near Salisbury in Wiltshire.
Grand Canal | Casino Royale
Our second Bond favourite takes us to Italy in a very brief scene on Venice’s Grand Canal, where 007 sails his yacht. It’s here that the conservatory of Venice’s home (which is actually a hotel named the Pisani Palace) collapses in a dramatic scene…
Highclere Castle | Downton Abbey
A mere television series to be shown on British terrestrial television has, over the years, become a global phenomenon with fans in the United States, Australasia and beyond! Whilst filming locations are peppered across the United Kingdom, the most famous is the exterior of Downton Abbey itself – Highclere Castle. Nested on the outskirts of the market town of Newbury in Berkshire, Highclere Castle is frequented by visitors in the summer months, as the Earl and Countess offer a selection of Downton-inspired events.
Bordeaux and the Midi | French Odyssey
Back in the summer of 2005, British TV chef and restaurateur, Rick Stein, embarked on a culinary journey through the South of France – along the Canal du Midi and on to Bordeaux and surrounds aboard two of our luxury hotel barges: Anjodi and Rosa. In this 10-part series, Stein cruises from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean via the Canal du Midi and the Canal de Garonne in Bordeaux, in search of authentic French culinary traditions. Spark some future travel inspiration to Southern France, with this binge-worthy series.