When you’re away on holiday, food makes up a large part of the experience. Aboard the Imagery II on the christening cruise, the food was an absolute highlight.
Sometimes after a holiday, you feel like much more of you comes home after all the eating and drinking. The chefs aboard the Imagery II made sure there was a huge variety of dishes to choose from, with plenty of healthy options and regional specialties.
The meal times were held over a two hour period, with express options available – an early riser’s breakfast sitting at 6am for example, if you couldn’t wait for the buffet option at 7.30.
I love breakfast, and a breakfast buffet ticks absolutely all the boxes. Whether you are a coffee and toast kind of a person, or appreciate all the trimmings, a good buffet sets you up for the day. Along with all the usual choices, it was nice to see extras like bowls of chia seeds, amaranth, basil seeds and linseed to sprinkle on cereal, fruit or yoghurt. The fresh fruit was plentiful and varied (cape gooseberries look so pretty and are an unusual addition to a fruit plate, as is starfruit, along with familiar favourites like fresh berries, melons, citrus and pineapple).
The Europeans are renowned for their bread, and there certainly was a vast selection to choose from – the toaster was very busy! Other than spread, you could add salmon, cold meats, cheeses and of course, eggs.
In terms of a hot breakfast, the egg chef did a sterling job, scrambling, poaching, frying and flipping omelettes to order. he bacon was utterly scrumptious, with the option of crispy or soft, depending on your tastes.
The specials changed each morning, but there was absolutely no way you could start the day hungry!
Lunch was also a buffet affair, with a light option available upstairs in the lounge, or a full meal in the restaurant, with the menu changing daily – from roast turkey with all the trimmings to veal or gnocchi, with a vast array of salad, soup and vegetables, it was absolutely a meal to look forward to!
We were busy both morning and afternoon, so a good meal set us up with plenty of energy. None of the food was too heavy – for those who weren’t sure about the buffet selection, there was also an a la carte menu to order more traditional fate – a great steak or chicken dish is always in style. There was an option to have fries as a side dish on the a la carte menu, but otherwise, there wasn’t a chip in sight all week – hurrah for variety!
The real culinary highlights came in the evening. Everyone made a bit more effort in terms of dress, and the kitchen staff certainly took things up a notch – it was a foodie’s delight!
An hour or so before dinner, there were drinks and nibbles served in the lounge – a great opportunity for everyone to gather and compare the experiences they had had during the day.
From the Christening Night Gala Dinner, an evening with comedy waiters, a tapas-style, selection, traditional German to a wine and food match including frog’s legs, we were so well looked after!
The great luxury (from one who usually does the cooking), was the ability to simply sit back and enjoy the creativity of a a group who clearly love preparing great food.
One night a group of us decided to have dinner on shore, which led us to a wee restaurant which served raclette. It was a fascinating and delicious experience, but involved so much investigation and discussion to get agreement between the group! When you are operating in an unfamiliar language and location, it was simply a treat to know that there was a huge variety of tasty, healthy and interesting food available on board every day!
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