You can visit any country and leave never feeling like you’ve really visited the place, especially if you don’t get to interact with the locals.
In New Caledonia, they’ve introduced a program that addresses this travel dilemma to give their visitors a more authentic and immersive experience. Called table d’hotes, the concept involves a network of farming families offering a stay in their homes, a tour of their farm, and a seat at their dinner tables.
Travellers can experience the Caledonian farm life, and then come home to meals prepared with local recipes and ingredients, which include venison, wild pig, snails, crayfish, coconut crab, fish, and tropical fruit.
Halfway between the cities of Koumac and Kone, one of the most popular of these table d’hotes is the Deer Refuge. This rustic home is run by owners Chantal and Stephan, who will spoil you with their home-cooked meals – including venison, salads, and desserts – and a selection of rums. That’s right, rum.
And did I mention they also have a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding plains and lagoon? It’s phenomenal.
Other popular table d’hotes include the Mamie Fogliani (in Farino), The Loyalty Islands, and Meeting.