The Captain’s table: foodie favourites from around the world
"During our pause in operations, I’ve been thinking a lot about the little moments that make a great cruise and the simple experiences and places that make for wonderful memories. There are so many to choose from but here are a few of my favourites."
Nothing inspires memories of travel more than the recollection of a particularly great meal – and our captains have had their fair share on their travels with P&O Cruises. Here, Captain Derek Gray shares his favourite foodie experiences in destinations dear to his heart
A Greek treat
I love the Greek island of Santorini. It sits in the caldera of a volcano and offers breathtaking views. The white and blue buildings add to the magic. It is truly stunning. Archaeological, seismological, and vulcanological evidence has been presented linking the Atlantis myth to Santorini. Reconstructions of the island's pre-eruption shape and landscape frescos located under the volcanic ash both strongly resemble classical Greek scholar Plato's description. There is nothing finer than sitting in these idyllic surroundings enjoying a chicken souvlaki with a fresh Greek salad.
The perfect Italian pizza in Naples
Naples is one of my favourite Italian ports as it’s so easy to get off the ship and walk into town. Also, Naples is where pizza comes from. My two favourite places to enjoy a pizza are Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba, which is believed to be the oldest pizzeria in the world, and also Pizzeria Brandi. This is where the Margherita pizza was born. Created to honour the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, pizza maker Raffaele Esposito created the ‘Pizza Margherita’, a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil to represent the national colours of Italy. These two restaurants still take the making of pizza very seriously: they only use San Marzano tomatoes, grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, and when drizzling the olive oil and adding the tomato topping, they only do so in a clockwise direction.
The best of Barcelona
Talking of my favourite restaurants makes me think of Los Caracoles (The Snails) in Barcelona. It’s located in the heart of the old Gothic district. As you arrive, you walk through the kitchen and can feel the heat from the flames. You feel like you’re entering another world. They make the best Crema Catalana (a baked Catalan cream pudding) anywhere. I also like to sit on Las Ramblas at a tapas bar enjoying some Gambas al Ajillo (garlic prawns), Pulpo a la Gallega (Gallician octopus), Zamburiñas (scallops) and Papas Arrugadas (‘wrinkly’ potatoes) and just watching the world go by.
Fresh flavours in Norway
I love Norway, wandering along the waterfront in Bergen and exploring the lively open-air market. The Norwegians love their seafood and have many ways of preparing fish. Enjoying a fresh herring sandwich from one of the seafood stalls there, at an open-air table next to the boats, is an unforgettable experience. Another is taking in vistas of the fjords over a simple cup of coffee. One of the best has to be the one I enjoyed at 305m above the fjord in Olden at the top of the tramway. It was made with such care in a classically Scandinavian glass-faced café.
Pride of the fleet
Of course, there’s so much amazing food to enjoy on ship. With so many of our chefs hailing from India, it’s no surprise that we enjoy world-famous curries on our ships. Our chefs take such pride in presenting their wonderful home dishes. I always look forward to a good curry from our outstanding culinary team and can’t wait to enjoy one when we start sailing again