Shawnie Kelley Foy, travel writer and owner of Wanderlust Tours, has a talent for finding unique adventures and combining them into exciting, flawless travel tours. She shares her love of the cultural and culinary landscapes of Europe and the U.S. with her guests through small, organized tours and custom travel consulting. From the Scottish Highlands to the shores of Italy, Shawnie's extensive travel experience provides her guests with everything they're looking for. Wanderlust Tours currently has two French tours planned for 2013, as well as trips to Britain and Italy for 2014. The next trip is the Tour de Provence & the Cote d'Azur, which runs June 16 – 25 and features coastal breezes and culinary adventure.—Leah Wolf


Leah Wolf: What led you to start Wanderlust Tours?

Shawnie Kelley Foy: I lived in Europe for years and had the opportunity to travel extensively for research while studying at the University of Edinburgh and while working for Historic Scotland and English Heritage. While conducting architectural research on medieval castles, abbeys and sculpture, I often found myself trekking about remote parts of Great Britain and France. This perpetual travel led me to begin seeking out unique restaurants, markets and cultural experiences at my next destination. I wanted to discover something special, something local, something artisanal about each. I would often lead tour groups through sites, both by instinct and after research, guiding them from castle to market to pub. This was 13 years ago. Little did I know that I'd return to Columbus, start writing travel guides and teaching, and begin a "heritage"-based tour company inspired by all this research. My extensive travel experience, years of architectural and historical research, and passion for niche, cultural and culinary tourism culminated into Wanderlust Tours.


Regardless of whether you’re new to the wine scene or you’ve been a connoisseur for years, you’ll feel comfortable at House Wine thanks to owner Donnie Austin, a craft beer enthusiast and engineer turned wine aficionado. Donnie Austin’s approachability and hospitality make his shop a safe place to enjoy high quality, affordable wines produced by artisans whose passion and hard work inspire him. Stop by House Wine for advice on what wine will go best with your next event, or relax with some friends over a wine tasting. Or, for great recommendations on more than just wine, be sure to check out some of Donnie Austin’s favorite places and events around Columbus.—Leah Wolf

 

Leah Wolf: What do you love most about Columbus?

Donnie Austin: The diversity and the approachability. The food, people and neighborhoods each offer something unique to people interested in a change of pace. With the Ohio State University and a number of industries focused in Columbus, the people who have moved here make our city very vibrant and special. I also like the fact that we have large city offerings and amenities tucked into a small-city frame.

 


When he isn’t dreaming up his latest culinary masterpiece or catching up with neighborhood regulars, Basi Italia chef and co-owner John Dornback is helping others cultivate their own passion for cooking. His kind and adventurous spirit shines through in his creative dishes. For him, food isn’t just about nourishing the body, it’s about growing community and living his dream with his wife and business partner, Trish. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next Columbus adventure, start with one of John’s favorite places and see how many unexpected pleasures you encounter.—Leah Wolf

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Leah Wolf: What do you love most about Columbus?

John Dornback: The opportunity this city has given me in love, life and business.

 

LW: What’s the best place to start the day?

JD: A walk in Goodale Park.


Kevin Malhame, co-founder of Northstar Café and Third & Hollywood, considers himself lucky. We consider him inspirational. His love of family and nature is expressed in everything from the simple, natural design of his restaurants to the delicious, sustainable foods on the menu. To Kevin, choosing to be conscientious about environmental impacts is simple because “it’s just the right thing to do.” His dedication to do the right thing makes it easier (and tastier!) for the rest of us to do the same. Join us as Kevin shares some of his favorite local spots to enjoy the outdoors or relax with family and friends.

—Leah Wolf

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Leah Wolf: What do you love most about Columbus?

Kevin Malhame: All the nice people. I grew up on the East Coast where there are lots of interesting things to do and fun places to visit, but almost everyone you interact with in Columbus is generally more friendly and welcoming. And of course, we have more than our share of uncommonly friendly team members and guests. I love walking into our restaurants and seeing so many smiling faces.


If you love the culinary diversity of Columbus as much as we do, one of the people you should thank is Katharine Moore. As the executive director of Dine Originals, an organization that supports and promotes locally owned independent Columbus restaurants, Katharine Moore nurtures partnerships with organizations like Local Matters, the Wexner Center and the Columbus Library, and supports the efforts of the close-knit Dine Originals members whose restaurants make our city such a great place to live. We hope you enjoy the unique perspective of one of Columbus’ best advocates.—Leah Wolf

 

Leah Wolf: What do you love most about Columbus?

Katharine Moore: Feeling connected to the dots and having the sense that they are arranged in an interlocked design that you only see from unexpected vistas.


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