Film and food combinations to feel like you're traveling while you're staying at home

Author Carina Klein
· 7 min read · 24 comments

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If you're looking for a cheap, easy, and achievable way to feel like you're traveling, even if you're not: combine a movie with food from the country in question – et voila!

One of our highlights over the last months was to dream ourselves on a holiday. The best way we achieved this was by watching movies, which gave us serious vacation vibes and combine them with foods and drinks from the respective countries. In this article, we show you how to dream yourself to Greece, France, Italy, Vienna, and even Tibet! - all combined with a tasty three-course menu.

Mamma Mia!

What the movie is about: Mamma Mia! is a classical musical romantic comedy. If you're into the music of ABBA, this is the movie for you! It is set on the fictional Greek island of Kalokairi, which gives you serious holiday vibes. A young woman invites three men to her wedding to find out which of them is her father. A classic rom-com plot full of surprises, humor, and romance unfolds, all laced with ABBA songs interpreted by the cast. And if you don't have enough yet there's a sequel called Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

What to eat with it: The desert is our little secret 😉

  • Starter: Greek salad
  • Main course: Metaxa gyros
  • Dessert: Greek yogurt
  • Drink: Greek wine and ouzo

I guess we all know Greek salad with cucumber, tomato, peppers, feta cheese, olives, and onion. Our recommended main course Metaxa gyros consists of gyros meat (or pork with gyros spice) in a sauce with peppers, tomato paste, sour creme, and of course Metaxa. The whole thing is gratinated in the oven with cheese. We recommend eating garlic potatoes as a side dish. For the dessert, mix Greek yogurt with powdered sugar, add red fruit jelly, and top the whole thing with crumbled shortbread or Graham Crackers - it's delicious!

Sink or Swim

What the movie is about: This French tragic comedy is about a guy with depression, who joins an all-male synchronized swimming team. He gets to know all the other team members and their problems. On a whim, the team decides to participate in the male synchronized swimming world championships. Hard training commences, and all group members get new impulses to solve the problems in their lives. All in all, this film is really heartwarming and uplifting and a great choice if you're already into french comedies (like What's In A Name?, Intouchables, Welcome To The Sticks - we can recommend them all, we just love french movies), or if you want to try something new.

What to eat with it: With this movie, we went all in.

  • Starter: Oysters
  • Main course: Coq au vin (chicken in wine)
  • Desert: French cheese and baguette
  • Drink: Champagne and red wine

All those things are super easy to cook. You only have to open the Oysters and cut the cheese. For the coq au vin, you basically cook a chicken in a bottle of red wine and you're done.

Before Sunrise

What the movie is about: In this 1995 movie, an American guy (Ethan Hawke) meets a French woman (Julie Delpy) on a train in Europe. They only know each other for a couple of minutes before he asks her to exit the train with him in Vienna (she was on her way to Paris). She does, and they spend the whole night wandering through the streets of Vienna, enjoying a Viennese café and sharing a kiss on the super romantic Ferris wheel (we can confirm the romanticality of this spot first hand). They have wonderfully deep conversations throughout this whole movie, that just feel super realistic. The whole way they experience Vienna and each other's company is immensely romantic. The film belongs to a trilogy with Before Sunset (2004) resuming the story 9 years later in Paris, and Before Midnight (2013), continuing the story another 9 years later on the Peloponnese coast, Greece. The whole trilogy is amazing! Go watch it, thank us later.

What to eat with it: We must admit, this cuisine is quite heavy.

  • Starter: Grießnockerlsuppe (Semolina dumpling soup)
  • Main course: Schnitzel and potato salad
  • Desert: Kaierschmarrn (Emperor's Mess)
  • Drink: Beer and Melange (Viennese coffee with milk and milk foam)

The soup is essentially a beef broth with Semolina dumplings. Schnitzel is breaded pork, which is super easy to make. Kaierschmarrn is basically pulled apart pancakes.

To Rome with Love

What the movie is about: This Woody Allen romantic comedy transports you to Rome in an instant. The plot features four unrelated stories taking place in Rome: the one of the American tourist Hayley, the one of the newlyweds Antonio and Milly, the one of Leopoldo, who reaches unexpected fame, and the one of John, who has lived in Rome some 30 years ago. This film is so wonderfully whimsical and funny that I'm chuckling even as I write this article. If you liked this movie you will also like other Woody Allen films like Midnight in Paris or A Rainy Day in New York.

What to eat with it: We decided to opt for the traditional Italian way and incorporate two main courses - one with Pasta, and one with meat.

  • Starter: Antipasti
  • Main course (Primo piatto): Pasta
  • Main course (Secondo piatto): Saltimbocca alla Romana
  • Desert: Tiramisu
  • Drink: Italian wine, espresso

If you can't get ready-made antipasti in your local supermarket, the easiest way to prepare them is by putting the vegetables of your choice in the oven with garlic, herbs, and loads of olive oil, until they are softened. We're sure you have a favorite pasta you can bring out for your first main course. For the second main course we recommend Saltimbocca alla Romana - it even has Rome in its name. It's basically veal, prosciutto and sage, rolled up and cooked. Tiramisu couldn't be easier to prepare: you layer ladyfingers dipped in coffee with mascarpone mixed with sugar (and raw egg, if you're sticking to the traditional recipe), and top everything up with cocoa powder. Don't forget to serve espresso with it!

Seven Years in Tibet

What the movie is about: In this 1997 war drama, the young Brad Pitt plays the Austrian Heinrich Harrer, who is mountaineering in the British Indian Himalayas in the 1930s. When World War Two begins, he is imprisoned by the British. Years later he and his companion escape and make it to Tibet, where they stay in the holy city of Lhasa. They start to build a life and even get to meet the Dalai Lama. In 1950, they leave the country because of the Chinese invasion. This movie was very touching. You witness the story of a man whose life was turned around by two major global events - and the crazy thing is, the film is based on an autobiographical travel book (Seven Years in Tibet), written by Heinrich Harrer himself.

What to eat with it: We didn't dare to cook Tibetan food so we ordered it in.

  • Starter: Thukpa (noodle soup)
  • Main course: Momos (dumplings)
  • Desert: Bhatsu Mahku (roasted barley with sugar and cheese)
  • Drink: Masala Chai (Indian milky tea)

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Tango & Rakija

06.04.2021, 21:55

Such a great idea! We love this! You caught our curiosity with the menu for 7 years in Tibet
I think we have a good plan for the weekend! Thanks for sharing this great list!

Carina | Bucketlist2Life

07.04.2021, 11:21

We hadn't seen 7 years in Tibet for years and rewatching it the movie was surprisingly great!

Jen Nilsson

06.04.2021, 20:42

Love this idea! Great pairings. Food and travel always go together, right?

Carina | Bucketlist2Life

06.04.2021, 20:43

Thank you! I don't even know if I would be traveling if I couldn't taste all the local food...

Tiffany Pence

22.02.2021, 19:11

Mama Mia is one of my favorite movies! I love how the ABBA songs fit with the story. These are fabulous suggestions for a stay-at-home Travel-the-world date night!

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

24.02.2021, 10:51

I think you coined my new favorite term: stay-at-home-travel-the-world-date-night. Love it!


22.02.2021, 17:22

Love this idea! Mamma Mia always makes me smile so maybe this time I'll add the food!

Carina | Bucketlist2Life

24.02.2021, 10:48

Mamma Mia really is such a fun movie! And Greek food is one of our favorites.


22.02.2021, 12:50

I love this idea!! Bizarrely I loved Mamma Mia at the theatre but hate the film but I’d still give it another watch if I got to enjoy all that yummy Greek food with it!

Carina | Bucketlist2Life

22.02.2021, 14:06

I feel the same about the hunchback of Notre Dame. Well the other way around. I loved the Disney movie but hated the musical!


21.02.2021, 09:40

You got me at garlic potatoes, feta, and tiramisu especially...what delicious meals! I'd eat them without watching anything tbh lol. Semolina dumplings look interesting. On my list to try.

Carina | Bucketlist2Life

21.02.2021, 09:55

I know! We have the meals more often than we watch movies with it.

Travel for a while

20.02.2021, 22:20

I didn't know about Sink or swim, I'd love to see it. Great idea to have movie nights with a themed dinner. :)

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

24.02.2021, 10:29

Thank you for your comment! Sink or swim is such a heartwarming movie.


19.02.2021, 20:57

This is a great idea!! I am going to pick one of your recommendations for this weekend and report back. I always thought that chocolate cake in Matilda looked good, even though it gets pretty gross by the end of it lol

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

24.02.2021, 09:57

Let us know how it went! Chocolate cake is always a great choice.


17.02.2021, 22:26

I'm up for this! I am definitely searching out "Before Sunrise" and "heavy" or not that food is on the menu. Not heard of the film before but reminds me of an experience many, many moons ago!

Carina | Bucketlist2Life

19.02.2021, 12:55

Thank you for your comment. I would really love to know more about your before sunrise experience. I imagine it to be very romantic.

Riana Ang-Canning

17.02.2021, 21:13

I love this idea! Such a great idea to pair foods with movies to get that great travel from home experience. Mamma Mia is such a fun one and we love Greek food!

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

19.02.2021, 12:40

Thank you so much for your feedback! Mamma Mia really is such a fun movie 🙂

Vanessa Shields

17.02.2021, 18:13

What a fun idea! I’m now very hungry for an assortment of foods! I’ve never heard of Sink or Swim but look forward to watching it. 😁

Carina | Bucketlist2Life

17.02.2021, 18:38

Thanks for your comment. Let us know how to liked the movie!

Wendy White

17.02.2021, 09:22

What a great idea and one I think we need to adopt. In fact, I haven't seen To Rome with Love and Italian food is my favourite.

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

17.02.2021, 09:31

It's Philipps favorite food too!


16.02.2021, 22:27

Such a great idea for a post. I've been reading more and watching more movies to feel like I'm traveling, and have also been eating more international cuisine for the same reason, but love this idea of pairing them like a fine wine. I think I'm off to Italy or Greece next

Carina | Bucketlist2Life

16.02.2021, 22:38

Do you have any good book recommendations?

Steven Jepson

16.02.2021, 21:21

A French comedy about synchronized swimming??!! Can't wait to watch it this weekend. I've never tried to cook Coq Au Vin but I might give it a shot. I will drink some French wine with the movie at least :)

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

16.02.2021, 22:42

Cow au vin is surprisingly easy!

John Quinn

16.02.2021, 21:03

Great idea for a blog. I’ve never seen the French movie, but I have all the rest. Not sure I could put all that Austrian food away, those schnitzels can be massive. I could barely handle the potato salad.

Carina | Bucketlist2Life

16.02.2021, 22:46

When you prepare your own Schnitzel you could just make them smaller - although I don't advise you to 😉

Lisa at Following the Rivera

16.02.2021, 18:59

What a fun post! I've never seen Sink or Swim but I love French comedies and the food, so this would be perfect for me!

Carina | Bucketlist2Life

16.02.2021, 19:02

This movie is so positive! It was such a pick me up during this second lockdown.

Charles McCool

16.02.2021, 17:37

I am a huge Amanda fan so I love Mamma Mia for that reason alone. I will have to check out those other movies.

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

16.02.2021, 17:48

Mamma Mia is such a favorite! We only realized after we wrote this blogpost. Maybe I'm biased because I wrote the article but all the other movies are great too!


16.02.2021, 16:07

This is a fun post! I loooooved before sunrise and many others listed. I have a few new movies (and meals) to check out now!

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

16.02.2021, 16:15

If you liked before sunrise, you should definitely check out before sunset and before midnight!

Bernie and Jess Watt

16.02.2021, 15:38

This is a great idea for a themed date night! This week we'll start with some German and Julie Delphy.

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

16.02.2021, 16:04

That's such a weird combination: He is American, she is French, they are in Austria and we are German :D But the movies are so great. The best trilogy we've seen in a while!


15.02.2021, 18:54

Oh my! How did I miss the sunrise trilogy! This is a must-watch film for me. As for mamma mia I've seen it a dozen times, but I'm not sure I can make it for a dozen shots of ouzo! Great article Carina, I enjoyed this. It's very creative! ;)

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

15.02.2021, 20:47

Thank you for your feedback! Great that you know and like the sunrise trilogy 🙂 our maximum is 6 shots of ouzo 😉


15.02.2021, 16:40

Mamma Mia is one of the greatest films out there! This is such a cool idea, I'm going to try it with the Italian cuisine (tiramisu is a personal fave, and I've never seen To Rome With Love)

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

15.02.2021, 17:00

Mamma Mia really is a favorite! Have you seen the second part?

Stefan (BerkeleySqB)

15.02.2021, 15:10

Momos and Tibet for me, please.

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

15.02.2021, 15:30

Great choice!

Rosie Ireland

15.02.2021, 13:56

I looove this post! Mamma Mia is my guilty pleasure, it brings me soo much joy! It reminds me of holidays and when life is back to normal, I'm going to do a girls night with lots of wine and nibbles with it on in the background!


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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

15.02.2021, 14:05

We only realized how popular Mamma Mia was after we wrote the blogpost^^ It really gives you instant holiday vibes, doesn't it? A girls night sounds like such a perfect plan!

Chalk and cheese travels

15.02.2021, 11:10

Great post although making me hungry. Going to make tiramisu now 😀 and maybe a day in front of the TV is needed in this rain
Look forward to reading more

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

15.02.2021, 11:32

Thank you so much for your comment! Do you just happen to have all the ingredients for Tiramisu at home? That sounds like a good life - rain or no rain!

Chalk and cheese travels

15.02.2021, 11:40

They could be easily got 😀