My mother is a vegetarian, and as such I eat more vegetarian food that I suspect most carnivores do. Although I love meat if I had to go vegetarian I can honestly say it wouldn't bother me overly. I think growing up with a vegetarian mother opened my eyes to foods I would never have eaten had she herself eaten meat. So many people are of the illusion that being a vegetarian means taking the meat off a roast and just being left with the trimmings. For all of these people I recommend you go to a vegetarian restaurant and see what it's all about. A staggering 31% of people from Indian are vegetarian!
It often shocks me when I'm out how little is available in terms of vegetarian food. My pet hate is when you have one option for a starter and one for a main course they both contain goats cheese. What if you don't like goats cheese? No very much imagination gone in here really.
As such whenever I am on a cruise I always peruse the vegetarian items, to see whether the cruise lines offerings are up to scratch. And I have to say compared to their rival land based restaurants, cruise ships are streaks ahead in their offerings. In fact on a number of cruises I have photographed menus and shown the details to my mother (still trying to convince her to cruise). Below are an example of dishes you could expect to be served:
Roasted Mediterranean Tart, Goats Cheese Bavarois, Basil Cream
Mediterranean Vegetable Tempura in a Filo Basket
with olive dressing and fried rice
Orecchiette Pasta Tossed in Roma Tomato Foam with Baby Mozzarella and Pesto
Eggplant Cannelloni Parmigiano
Marinara-roasted eggplant rolls filled with creamy pesto cream cheese, nestled on a savory mushroom risotto
Madras Vegetable Curry
Aromatic Basmati Rice, Mango Chutney, Pappadam
Salad of Grilled Mushrooms with Mustard-Shallot Vinaigrette and Avocado Crostini
Cappuccino of Fresh Cauliflower with Chervil
Pumpkin Savarin - On a Savory Couscous and Dried Fruit Waffle, Drizzled with Truffle Honey
All in all there is a wide selection using different ingredients in different ways.
Thursday, 23 May 2013
In true Virgin style, Mr Branson launched Virgins new airline service Little Red with a headline grabbing launch.
Little Red will see Virgin offering its first domestic flights within the UK, linking up London with Manchester, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Historically these routes have been catered for by BA. It has been a long period of time since Virgin first expressed their interest in offering an alternative domestic service. For customer this can only mean good things. As when competition arrives, prices usually become more competitive. So with this in mind I have complied a bit of market research. So which is the cheapest way to get to Manchester from London on say….the 23rd of August? The results are in:
Virgin, Little Red - £66.30 (any time of day)
BA – from £68 – £185 (depending on the time of day)
Well, well. It would appear that Virgin have the upper hand. However it is early days and Virgin have to attract passengers away from BA to them. Therefore their introductory fares were bound to be lower than BA. Time will tell to see whether the balance stays this way. I’m still not personally convinced there is much of a need (in my opinion) for a Manchester to London Service. I can see the reasoning if you are getting a connecting flight as will cut out so much hassle. But if I was travelling from Manchester because I was visiting London, I think I would prefer to get the train!
Sunday, 12 May 2013
I recently returned from a short stay in Gran Canaria and my second visit to the island. Unlike my first visit I stayed well away from the tourist hub in the south, which made for a completely different experience. It was without a doubt the better of the two stays. It really felt that we got a sense of the real Gran Canaria as opposed to the purpose built tourist resorts that offer nothing authentic or unique. We stayed in a part of the island called San Bartolomé in the fantastic resort of Rural Paradise Las Tirajanas. This was the view I woke up to each morning:
Thursday, 25 April 2013
I am heading to Gran Canaria at the beginning of next month for a short stay. This will be my second trip to Gran Canaria, having visited last year. Last year I stayed in the very touristy resort of Playa del Ingles. I wouldn’t stay in Playa del Ingles again because it didn’t suit my tastes; it was perfectly nice and can see why people go there, but it just wasn’t for me. In its defence the real plus point of Playa del Ingles is its proximity to the sand dunes of Maspalomas. A fantastic area: great for long walks, swimming, water sports and relaxing. This time I will be staying in the more rural San Bartolomé at the Rural Paradise Las Tirajanas. After scouring through all the rural hotels I choose this one for its fantastic views, rural location and charm.
Thursday, 18 April 2013
I have just returned from a week off, which was spent celebrating my sisters 30th birthday. The celebrations consisted of lots of eating and drinking! On her birthday itself I took her to The FeatheredNest Inn. Located in the Cotswolds the pub is far from a regular pub, serving up food that wouldn’t seem out of place in a top London Restaurant:
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
This time last year the sun was shining, shorts were on and BBQs were in full swing. Fast forward a year and winter coats and scarfs are still the attire needed. So with that in mind it really is time for some winter (should be spring) sunshine. Thankfully this time of year you don’t need to travel to far in search of warmer climates. So how does are weather stack up compared to are European neighbours? Well today tells are varied story
Friday, 22 March 2013
As part of being a cruise consultant we try our best to match people with a cruise line that will suit their requirements. For instance a customer who has cruised year on year with Fred Olsen who enquiries about the Oasis of the Seas, it is our duty to inform them that their cruise experience will be somewhat different to what they are used to. This is where our customers really benefit from our knowledge, as an independent agency we deal with all the major cruise lines. Of course when you call an individual cruise line they will say their product is great for you but we can take an independent view point and work out what will really suits you, by getting to know your likes and dislikes.
Where does our knowledge come from? Well our company and the cruise lines are kind to us and often invite us to the launches of new ships as well as to have the opportunity to sample actually cruises. I myself am a keen cruiser and last summer took my annual holiday with Holland America.
Of course we can’t have been on every ship out there. No doubt there will be someone in our office who has been on a ship we need to know about so we can find out any specific details that you require. On top of this we regularly carry out product training so we can be up to date with any changes in the cruise world. You can see all my credentials here.
Therefore if you are a new cruiser in need of some advice or a season cruiser looking to try something new, give us a call and we can provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision on what’s right for you.