As a lover of eating, cooking, and anything food related, I’m always on the look out for fun foodie experiences that I can report back on. I’ve started a new section here on Foodinburgh for exactly this sort of thing, and first up we’re going big with a foodies cruise! Food is always a big part of any holiday for me, but on this cruise it would be the main focus.
Britannia is the newest of P&O’s ships, taking its inaugural just last year. I was delighted to be joining my friend and fellow foodie Becky from Englishmum, and our challenge was to eat in all the restaurants onboard (more on those in future posts). In between all that eating, our cruise would port in La Rochelle, Bilbao, La Coruna, and Guernsey.
We met at Southampton and boarded Britannia with minimum fuss.
As you can see, our cabin was a twin room and really quite spacious, we also had a balcony which for me is a must when cruising. I like a bit of my own space to retreat to. The bottle of Veuve Clicquot in our room offered us the opportunity for a toast on the balcony and we relaxed and had a long catch up, Becky and I have been friends for years and we had plenty of chatting to do.
After a day at sea we arrived in the port of La Rochelle in France. Our shore excursion took us to Ile de Ré, a small island off the west coast of France, not far from La Rochelle. Having never explored France beyond the confines of Disneyland Paris, I immediately fell in love.
The harbour and cobbled streets provided the perfect place for wandering, and eating (there’s always eating!)
First we explored the shops and French patisseries, the type which Eric Lanlard would tell us about later in the cruise (he’s one of P&O’s Food Heroes and onboard selected Britannia cruises).
After working up (walking up?) an appetite we carefully selected a cafe beside the harbour, the one with the perfect amount of sun and the best view for people watching.
I was quite proud of myself, I managed to resist the lure of Nutella and whipped cream and ordered a chic looking crepe served with butter sauce. It was delicious in its simplicity. A truly perfect ‘French’ moment.
We boarded the bus and drove a short way through farmland and vineyards, before we reached an authentic French market.
The colours were so vibrant, and all the produce looked so perfect.
It was a shame in some ways that we’d already eaten, I found myself imagining picnicking on the juicy rotisserie chickens…
…and creating fresh tomato salads with one of the flavoured artisan salts.
It was a lovely day that was over all too quickly, however it did provide me with a taster and I have already made plans to return. That’s one of my favourite things about cruising, you can have lots of experiences, and choose which regions and countries you’d like to explore further.
Next time we’ll be in the Spanish city of Bilbao…
If you would like to discover more about our cruise on Britannia and how to book, read Becky’s post here.