I’m a big fan of brunch, later than breakfast and before lunch; it seems to me it’s the perfect way to ease into the day when you have time or you are on holiday. And that’s just what I did on numerous occasions whilst sailing around Asia on board Viking Orion.
For all those lucky people who are on a cruise of 12 days or longer, Viking put on a very special brunch. Set around the main pool and Wintergarden; this is a must for brunch connoisseurs, with everything from steamed dumplings, eggs benedict, sweet pastries and cakes to seafood, freshly baked bread with cheese, and grilled meat kebabs.
My particular favourite was the cheese and bread station. There were giant plaited loaves coated with toasted sesame seeds, boules, sourdough, flutes and baguettes with crisp, golden crusts. There was also a fabulous bready arrangement of palm trees, and coloured breads made with vegetables.
Alongside the freshly baked bread were crackers, bread sticks and cheese. As someone who has a “savoury tooth”, and who is a bit of a “cheeseaholic”, the sight of so many cheeses, and from all over the world, was very enticing.
There was a cake and gateaux station to rival any Viennese or French patisserie, with cheesecakes, macarons, chocolate gateau and squidgy tray bakes topped with buttercream and cherries that would not have looked out of place as part of an elegant afternoon tea.
As a seafood lover, the seafood, sashimi and sushi that were on offer were exceptional. With snow crab, langoustine and prawns, not forgetting some rather delicious carpaccio of scallops. This was fine dining at its very best, but all served in a relaxed and comfortable environment.
There was a special section dedicated to pastries with pain au chocolat, cinnamon raisin buns, assorted sticky breakfast buns and some rather enticing fresh waffles and pancakes being cooked to order too. And between all of these treats were exquisitely carved fruit displays, the icing on the cake when it came to brunching in style.
I have travelled all over the world to many different places, but this was truly a magnificent brunch, beautifully set out and arranged with thought, passion and expertise.
By Karen Burns-Booth
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