P&O Azura 14 Night Mediterranean Cruise – Day 10: Sea Day

Today was a much needed sea day following yesterday’s long trip to Rome. As with any other, it started out with the gym and then breakfast before a well-earned laze on the sundeck reading my book with occasional dip in the pool to cool off.

Nothing else of any consequence happened until, you guessed it, dinner time! Tonight was our third formal night and I had booked a table as a surprise for the 3 of us in the Epicurean restaurant which is the ship’s fine dining venue. Following a pre-dinner drink in the Planet bar, we began our 2 hour gastronomic meal.

First, a bread basket was brought out with three different types of bread: beetroot, mustard and wholemeal. These were served with 2 types of butter: unsalted and Marmite. Now, I’m not a fan of Marmite but of course, I had to try it and I was pleasantly surprised. The saltiness of the Marmite went well with the creaminess of the butter and wasn’t overpowering. Another thing to recreate at home perhaps…

We were then presented with a frozen Bloody Mary lollipop with celery salt. This was really tomatoey and refreshing.

Next up came the starters. I opted for the Tiger Prawn and Octopus Cocktail with Avocado Mousse which was creamy yet light. Mr FFF chose a pulled duck dish which was tasty but not particularly photogenic and he felt the brioche it was served on was too thick for a starter. MIL ‘won’ the starters with her ‘Textures of Tomato’ dish which was served with a white gazpacho which was incredibly fresh and full of flavour.

Onto the mains and we all chose steaks with Mr FFF & MIL going for th sirloin whilst I plumped for the fillet which was served with ox cheek. We were also able to order sides although the sirloin steaks didn’t really need them. I ordered asparagus and was impressed that when the waiter noticed I’d polished it off pretty quickly, he asked if I wanted more. Which of course I did!

We then had a little break before our ‘pre-desserts’ which were a take on a G&T with tonic jelly, lemon sorbet and a squirt of gin over the top. I love a good G&T and so this was a really fun, palette cleansing course for me.

Finally, it was dessert time. It was really hard to choose between the different options. I went for a Banana & Peanut Butter dish (I’m a sucker for that flavour combo) which was served with a fabulous muscovado sugar ice-cream. MIL went for ‘Textures of Summer Trifle’ which came with a custard fritter which I might just have to have go at making at some point. And Mr FFF was in his element as his favourite dessert, crème brulee, was on the menu which is the first time we’ve spotted it on this cruise. It was finished table side which added a nice bit of theatre. Mr FFF reported that it was a really tasty brulee but that it didn’t need all the ‘other stuff’ that came with it on the plate – he doesn’t like his classic desserts messed with!

Stuffed to the gills, we waddled around the promenade deck before grabbing a Kahlua for me and heading back to our cabin where we sat listening to the waves before rolling into bed.

It’s our penultimate port stop tomorrow and we’ll be in Cartagena, Spain, where I’m looking forward to some proper tapas. Yes mother, if you’re still reading this, it’s still all about the food!

Thanks for reading,

FFF

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