My husband always teases me that I am more interested in the food when I travel than the museums. I strongly deny that, but I admit that poor food on a trip really detracts from its charm for me. And it is true that I usually come home with local food specialties as souvenirs instead of posters or knickknacks.
So I was so happy to discover that the dining on board the Panorama was divine.
It always helps when the dining room itself is pretty, which this one is. Large windows which give you continuous views of the river scenery, fresh orchids and flower filled vases, a calla lily on each table, white tablecloths and good sized wine glasses – these things make dining a pleasure.
And it is clear that attention has been paid – each table, for example, has a bottle of lemon infused olive oil and a bottle of good balsamic vinegar – to use for dipping your bread or dressing your salad.
Chef Michael Zambersky is from the Czech Republic, and I have trouble visualizing how he manages to move around in the compact kitchen – he’s 6’5”. He displays a light touch in his cuisine, with delicate saucing and good portioning. I didn’t feel overly stuffed after any of his meals.
And there wasn’t a course I could turn down.
The Gala dinner, to celebrate the christening of the new ship, consisted of seven courses, including grilled lobster with a saffron sauce, a pumpkin soup topped with almost translucent slices of scallops and caviar, a flavorful palate cleanser of mango sorbet, and a chocolate trio for dessert, followed by French cheeses, nuts and fruit. The meal was accompanied by an excellent German Riesling and an Italian Amarone. Lovely!
Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style. Breakfast featured fresh fruit and cereals as well as an omelette and egg dish station that would produce eggs Benedict or Florentine on request. Lunch included good salads and toppings to create your own personal version, a daily soup, and a choice of three or four warm dishes.
And in case you felt faint in the afternoon, there was tea time at four – with little cakes and squares.
The foodie in me was happy.