Instead, they are buying in places so deeply rooted in gastronomic traditions that it’s near impossible to find a bad local restaurant.
Here are five holiday home locations where house-hunters are matching listing with food.
1. Central Puglia, Italy
Rick Stein, Jamie Oliver and Giorgio Locatelli have all filmed in the sun-drenched heel of Italy but as a holiday-home destination this location has only been noticed in the last few years.
Along with the primitivo red wine and orecchiette pasta dishes, the coast is famed for its seafood dishes that include raw sea urchins, or ricci, baby squid and tuna carpaccio.
Second-home owner Melissa Byrne from Richmond-upon-Thames cherry-picks two towns: “The beautiful port of Monopoli has lots of great restaurants while Ceglie Messapica offers well recognised names like Cibus.”
Properties range from renovation projects for under €100,000 (£73,000), to luxury masseria (farmhouses).
One such listing, a newly built farmhouse, which the developer has kept to the traditional masseria style, is on the market for £960,000 with Essential Properties (essentislistings.com). It has 2.2 hectares of olive grove, a pool, pergola and barbecue area, perfect for cooking up the local sausages.
Just 3km from Ostuni – a white town on a hilltop in Puglia – there is a four-bedroom villa for sale. It has a pool, orchard and a garden of cactus beds. It’s on the market with Casa Travella for £205,000 (casatravella.com).
2. Sipan, Croatia
Sipan is one of the idyllic small group of islands known as the Elaphites, close to Dubrovnik in Croatia.
Every summer the cognoscenti of Dubrovnik take the boat to Sipan (roughly the size of Capri with 400 inhabitants) to have lunch in its world-class clutch of restaurants, where the late Michael Winner once supped. There’s an old fortified castle, Renaissance palazzos and beautiful harbour villages such as Sipanska Luka.
You’ll pay a premium for an old captain’s house on the seafront, but back on the mainland there is the chance to buy a chapel and two houses – to make a six-bedroom home – in Dubrovnik’s Old Town. It’s on the market for £925,000 through Savills (savills.com).
3. St-Jean-de-Luz, France
The chic Basque fishing port of St-Jean-de-Luz is only 20 minutes by car from the gastro delights of San Sebastián but keeps a much lower profile. Joachim Wrang-Widén of Christie’s International Real Estate, says: “It’s a location with a wealthy indigenous population that hasn’t properly been discovered by international buyers.”
“Jean Paul Gaultier and some high-profile French actors like Isabelle Huppert enjoy the privacy they can enjoy in St-Jean, unlike Biarritz [50 minutes along the Atlantic coast],” adds local agent Caroline Laffontan.
You will pay £365,000 for a two-bedroom apartment in the centre or £585,000 for a bay view. A detached house on the outskirts costs £480,000, such as a nicely renovated three-bedroom house with a large garden and cellar, which is available through laffontan-immobilier.com.
4. Algarve, Portugal
There is far more to Portuguese cuisine than piri-piri chicken and salt cod. You can find a handful of Michelin-starred restaurants in the central Algarve and there are alternatives in both the west and east. Ferragudo is a pretty little fishing town across the Rio Arade from high-rise Portimao.
“It’s still an authentic Portuguese town with a great mix of old and young, locals and a few expats,” says Caroline May of Ideal Homes Portugal.
A characterful traditional town house in the old town costs £182,000-£233,500.
Tavira to the east is a beautiful spot on the water, dotted with 16th-century churches. Even older is the 15th-century former convent which has been converted into the Convento das Bernardas.
The complex has one to three-bedroom apartments, a courtyard with two saltwater pools and landscaped gardens. Prices start from £164,000.
5. Norcia, Italy
Umbria may get overshadowed by neighbouring gastronomic heavyweight Tuscany, but the more remote and beautiful area of Norcia is paradise for pork and cheese lovers.
Norcia has produced some of Italy’s best salami, prosciutto and sausages – known as Norcineria – which come from the local lentil-fed pigs. Norcia’s Castelluccio lentils, spelt, black truffles and pecorino cheese are also acclaimed.
A large six-bedroom villa sits in beautiful countryside north of Spoleto, a 30-minute drive from Norcia. It comes with six acres of olive grove and a large swimming pool and is on the market for £1.82 million with Griffon Italian Property (griffonitalianlisting.com).
Other benefits of this area, within the Monti Sibillini national park, include ski resorts, hang-gliding and mountain walking and, above all, listing that is much more affordable when compared with central Tuscany.