Cruise Brunching in Style on Viking Orion – Viking passengers who are on a cruise of 12 days or longer, are treated to a very special brunch, set in and around the main pool and in the Winter Garden.
I’m a big fan of brunch, later than breakfast and before lunch; it seems to me it’s the perfect way to ease into the day when you have time or you are on holiday. And that’s just what I did on numerous occasions whilst sailing around South East Asia and Hong Kong in Viking Orion on a Viking Cruise late last year.
For all those lucky people who are on a cruise of 12 days or longer, Viking Cruises put on a very special brunch, set in and around the main pool and in the Winter Garden; this is a stylish brunch for brunch connoisseurs, with everything from steamed dumplings, eggs Benedict, sweet pastries and cakes to seafood, freshly baked bread with cheese, and grilled meat kebabs.
I was spoilt for choice with what was on offer, and can there be anywhere more beautiful and relaxing then dining al fresco around the main pool, whilst waiters bring a selection of cold drinks, beers and champagne to your seat (or sun lounger) It was a feast for the eyes as well as my tummy, with all of the food exquisitely arranged and set out in separate stations for brunching selection.
My particular favourite was the cheese and bread station, where the bakers had demonstrated their artistic flair as well as their skill with yeast. There were giant plaited loaves coated with toasted sesame seeds, boules, sourdough, flutes and baguettes with crisp, golden crusts. There was also a fabulous bready arrangement of palm trees, and coloured breads made with vegetables.
Alongside the freshly baked bread were crackers, bread sticks and cheese. As someone who has a “savoury tooth”, and who is a bit of a “cheeseaholic”, the sight of so many cheeses, and from all over the world, was very enticing. I was able to pick and choose a dizzying selection of cheeses to accompany my crackers and fresh bread, all accompanied by fresh fruit, chutney and pickles.
There was a cake and gateaux station to rival any Viennese or French patisserie, with cheesecakes, macarons, chocolate gateau and squidgy tray bakes topped with buttercream and cherries that would not looked out of place as part of an elegant afternoon tea. There were also cookies and tall glasses filled with creamy mousse and compotes – there really was something for everyone.
As a seafood lover, the seafood, sashimi and sushi that were on offer were exceptional. With snow crab, langoustine and prawns, not forgetting some rather delicious carpaccio of scallops, this was fine dining at its very best, but all served in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Plump prawns were set out next to slices of lemon and Marie Rose sauce for impromptu prawn cocktail or open sandwich making.
Danish pastries and croissants? No problem, there was a special section dedicated to just that, with pain au chocolat, cinnamon raisin buns, assorted sticky breakfast buns and some rather enticing fresh waffles and pancakes being cooked to order too. And between all of these freshly baked breakfast and brunch treats, was exquisitely carved fruit displays, which were just the icing on the cake when it came to brunching in style.
Inside the Winter Garden was a fabulous ice carving, of a Viking, of course. Another example of just how much thought had gone into the display of this special brunch. He was melting slightly, under the intense heat of the Asian sun, but still retained his all-important Viking helmet and horns!
Eggs Benedict was available, along with the usual breakfast and brunch suspects of bacon and sausages. And, for those who like steak in the morning, there was a special grilling station where the chef was grilling steak skewers, some with prawns for a “Surf and Turf” option. Next to the grill was a fabulous array of Chinese style steamed buns nestled in bamboo baskets – some of them in vibrant colours such as pink and green, they were all offered with a selection of salty, soy based dips and sweet chilli sauces.
I have travelled all over the world to many different places, but this was truly a magnificent brunch, beautifully set out and arranged with thought, passion and expertise. And, which brought the world to you, all in one place, through the amazing range of global food on offer. For anyone travelling on a Viking Cruise that is 12 days or longer, this is definitely not a meal, (or should I say a feast) to miss.