Fine Dining, Gin, Wine and Cookery Classes
P & O Britannia’s Maiden Voyage
As we drove into the port of Cadiz, I saw a sleek and elegant ship glimmering in the spring sun; fully dressed in her “Union Jack” livery and with two distinctive Royal blue funnels, she beckoned me with the prospect of “at sea” activities, relaxing spa sessions, sundowners in the bar, creative cooking master classes with celebrity chefs and fine dining……..this was my first glimpse of the latest P & O Cruise Liner, Britannia, and it was love at first sight. After making my way on-board, and after being checked in to “sail”, I discovered the beautiful and elegantly understated interior gave the ship an air of modernity but with an “ocean liner” feeling of nostalgia, tasteful art adorns every corner of this beautiful cruise liner and is sympathetic placed.
I was part of a small group of press and photographers who were reviewing and covering Britannia’s maiden voyage around the Mediterranean. After a rude awakening and very early start to the day, leaving Heathrow at 06:30 to Madrid with an onward flight to Jerez, I was keen to check into my cabin to unpack and chillax for a few hours before Britannia left Cadiz. My balcony cabin did not disappoint, with its large luggage and dressing area, en-suite shower and WC as well as a flat-screen television, tea and coffee-making facilities and a large desk, ample enough to take all my computing paraphernalia, it was comfortable and large enough for two people . The bathroom was well stocked with fluffy white towels and The White Company toiletries, and there was even bespoke stationery for those who like to write home, snail mail style.
The centrepiece of the ship is the magnificent Starburst lighting feature in the Atrium; cascading down from the centre of the ceiling, it presides over the comfortable seating area which boasts multi-level bars, restaurants and the Market Café with its tempting choice of French style patisserie by Eric Lanlard, charcuterie and specially selected artisan cheeses. I had occasion to relax there on day two of my voyage and enjoy a platter of cheeses served with assorted pickles and chutney, various savoury biscuits and freshly baked bread. Whilst I tucked into my cheese platter, my companion enjoyed a tempting cake from the vast selection of offer alongside a cup of excellent freshly brewed coffee.
Over the next three nights, I was treated to a meal in Atul Kachar’s restaurant Sindhu, a hosted meal by Eric Lanlard in The Cookery Club and a seafood feast in the Epicurean restaurant. In addition to all of this fine dining, I enjoyed a wine tasting class in The Glass House, a cookery class with Eric Lanlard in the Cookery Club, several spa treatments in the Oasis Spa, numerous Gin and Tonics in The Crows Nest, entertainment in the Live Lounge and impromptu snacks and breakfast in the other dining areas and on-deck snack bars. There is plenty to choose from on board Britannia, from casual deck dining to black tie gala evenings; there are quiet places to sit and contemplate, fun entertainment, bars with a view, swimming pools and a wonderful library.
So, please join me over the next week as I share my experiences on board Britannia – I’ll be cooking up a storm in The Cookery Club, plus sharing recipes of what I made there; teasing you with details of my spa day as well as my wine tasting class. Then I’ll be sharing my unique dining experiences on board, as well as my gin tasting notes from The Crow’s Nest Bar – it was a busy three days, but someone has to do it! I was sad to leave the Britannia last Saturday, but she’s now wowing and seducing her next cruise passengers as she sails towards the Canary Islands and the rest of the Mediterranean. See you soon with more “ocean waves” stories and tales, Karen
Disclaimer: I was the guest of P and O Cruises who paid for my travel to Cadiz, a three-day cruise, cookery and wine classes and all my food whilst on board Britannia; all views are my own and are not representative of P and O Cruises, any of their employees or third-party agents.