So, catching up with part one of our foodie cruise on board P & O Britannia, then, having eaten ourselves silly, discovered La Rochelle and L’Il de Ré, done a bit more eating, a bit of dancing and had a busy day in Bilbao, we decided to have a chilled out evening in The Glass House, the brainchild of Food Hero and frankly adorable wine expert, Olly Smith.
As well as an enormous range of wines – each with a really helpful, personal write-up from Olly – The Glass House has a menu featuring both small plates and larger dishes. Our favourites were the small plates and we ended up there on several occasions for a glass of something delicious and a few nibbles. You can pick any three small plates for a small fee, and our favourites were this particular combo: a delicious watermelon and feta salad, crisp tempura prawns and, oh my, the tasty warm quail and Cumberland sausage Scotch eggs, served with a horseradish and mustard mayo (above).
Another favourite combo was this one: those tempura prawns again, this time with crispy-coated garlicky breaded mushrooms and a tomato and mozzarella salad with red onion and balsamic dressing. Perfection.
After all this excess it was just as well that the next day we docked in La Coruña, Galicia, and Erica and I set out for our biggest challenge: a hike through the verdant Atlantic Forest. There’s a lot to be said for picking the more adventurous cruise excursions when you’re being such a massive glutton on board. Our hike was exhilarating: following the trail of the Eume River, pulling each other up sheer rocky paths, wobbling across rickety bridges, stretching over frothing waterfalls, chatting with fellow guests and cheering each other on.
There was a huge sense of achievement when we finally reached our finishing point, the Caaveiro Monastery – a beautiful 10th Century relic, high up over the forest.
Aching, muddy and pink-faced, we returned to the ship knackered and victorious, and ready for a few cocktails before dinner.
Our final culinary mission was to Atul Kochhar’s Sindhu restaurant. This was my favourite looking restaurant by far, and we started with a delicious pre-dinner cocktail called a Madras Sunset:
The whole meal was fabulous, with delicate flavours, clever spicing and wonderful presentation. My main course was a baked chicken biriyani with a traditional ‘handi’ pastry top, served with all manner of delicious chutneys, naan, chapatis and a heavenly dhal, but the highlight for me was my spiced soft shell crab, which was crisp, sweet and tender, paired with a tangy, fruity salsa:
Continuing to burn off those delicious calories, our final port of call was beautiful Guernsey, where we spent a lovely day exploring on bicycles with lovely Ant from Outdoor Guernsey. Not only did we learn loads about the fascinating history of this pretty, quirky island, but we got a great workout too. What a great way to end our cruise.
Next up, all about being on board with Eric Lanlard, including a cookery masterclass, a hosted dinner, and afternoon tea!
P&O Cruises is offering a 12 night cruise on Britannia (B631) from £829 per person for an inside cabin. Departing Oct 9, 2016, the price includes full board meals and entertainment on board. Departing from and returning to Southampton, ports of call include Gibraltar, Cartagena, Palma, Barcelona, Cadiz and Lisbon. To book, visit www.pocruises.com, call 0843 373 0111 or visit your local travel agent.
Eric’s next cruise will be in October.