Celebrity Cruises recently got in touch and have asked me to take part in their Taste of Travel competition and, as they so very kindly took me to see Ed Sheeran recently, I obliged of course! It also means that I’m now in with a chance of winning a 7-day cruise … and you could be too.
To take part, you must simply share your most favourite ever three-course travel menu in a blog post, exploring every one of your most cherished food memories … starter, main course and dessert.
Now I don’t profess to have travelled the globe, but there have been occasions, moments in time, when I’ve eaten something that still provokes memories years later … and that’s what Celebrity Cruises want to hear about.
So here we go …
When I was 19-years-old, I was lucky enough to go on one last family holiday with my parents and brother to … Australia! It was amazing. Honestly, I can’t think of a more exciting holiday. We travelled from London to Sydney (via a brief stop in Singapore), and then also flew to Melbourne and Perth during our stay. I remember going to a hotel in Perth to meet up with some friends who had recently emigrated and dinner was a smorgasbord affair … you could pretty much have whatever you wanted. Now we love seafood as a family, but had always made do with frozen prawns from Tesco. In Australia, however, OH … MY … GOD. The prawns, or yabbies as they called them, were not only massive, but delicious! You’d have to de-shell them yourself, which was part of the fun, but the meat was so sweet … like nothing I’d ever tasted. It’s funny, but whenever I see prawns in the shops, I’m instantly transported back to that hotel in Perth.
As I said, I haven’t travelled the globe (yet!) but I remember this place vividly and … it’s in the UK! I was going out with a guy who liked to take me away for the occasional romantic weekend (oh how I miss those days .. although not the ex!), and this particular time he’d booked for us to go to Edinburgh. I’d never been before, and was excited to go to Edinburgh Castle and wander around the town. However, I completely underestimated the weather and just how cold Scotland can get so I remember having to buy a warmer coat whilst I was up there! We tried out a few posh restaurants, which were all lovely, but I just remember going to a pub that was a little way out of town, and we had the most wonderful fish and chips I’ve ever had! Seriously … I’ve had my fair share of fish and chips in my time, but everything was just so perfect in this pub. The batter was the crispiest, golden batter I’d ever eaten and went perfectly with the ‘crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside’ chips. We topped it all off with tartare sauce and a pint (or two) and I just remember thinking what a perfect moment it was. It’s completely spoiled me for future fish and chips mind you and nothing has ever measured up to that meal in Edinburgh 15 years ago.
Now this is a tricky one because if I HAD to choose one thing from a menu, dessert would always, ALWAYS win. I’ve had some amazing desserts in my time, but they don’t tend to hang around so they’re hard to remember! But one I do remember, which isn’t technically a dessert, but IS sweet … was the time I went to Rome with my ex. Dexter was only a baby, still in a buggy, and the locals just adored him. We’d pushed the boat out and managed to get a great deal on a luxury hotel for the weekend (I think they filmed Ocean’s 11 there!) … it even had a rooftop infinity pool. Just gorgeous. Well this one afternoon we decided to go for a stroll. It was hot. REALLY hot. Dexter was cranky. We needed a sweet and sugary intervention STAT! The timing was perfect as just at that moment, we passed a gelato vendor. We didn’t buy Dexter an ice cream so that he could hold it, that’s just asking for trouble … but we stopped in the shade for ten minutes and I fed him my lemon gelato. It did the trick. It was cold and refreshing and perfect for a teething toddler. He was immediately back to happy Dexter, and for me, that means it was the perfect dessert!
If you’d like to join in with Celebrity Cruise’s Taste of Travel competition, check out their blog and join in – I’d love to hear about your favourite meals.
Between the 6th October and 12th January 2015, Celebrity Cruises will be accepting blog entries; these will then be passed on to two top Great British Chefs and Deputy Editor of Food and Travel Magazine, Mark Sansom, to be judged. The winner will be awarded a seven-night European cruise and one £150 voucher to one of the Great British Chef’s restaurants. Celebrity Cruises are also offering £75 meal vouchers to each of the three fabulously foodie runners up.