Competition – Win tix to Taste of London this weekend

Jun 20, 13 Competition – Win tix to Taste of London this weekend

Posted by in All, London

As my regular readers will know, last year I went on a cruise with Celebrity Cruises and ate and drank very well indeed. This weekend, Celebrity Cruises will be at the Taste of London and I’m running a small competition to give away a pair of tickets and a Taste of London recipe book. Renowned for its culinary offerings, Celebrity Cruises is the first ever cruise line to exhibit at the Taste of London Festival (20-23 June) in Regent’s Park. Bringing its very own ‘Star Bar’ to the festival, Celebrity Cruises’ stand will offer food and drink enthusiasts the chance to taste test some of the dishes served in the cruise line’s uniquely un-ordinary restaurant, Qsine, and watch executive chefs showcase skills such as sushi lollipop making. Visitors to the stand will also be able to take part in wine tasting sessions led by sommeliers and sample some of the rare wine collections available on board Celebrity Cruises’ ships. WIN! Celebrity Cruises is offering one lucky visitor to The Wine Sleuth website the chance to win two Saturday tickets to the show, together with a Taste of London recipe book. To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic foodie-themed prize, answer the following question by What is the name of Celebrity Cruises’ uniquely unordinary speciality restaurant? a)         Cuisine b)         Qsine c)         Taste For more information about Celebrity Cruises, visit www.celebritycruises.co.uk. TO ENTER: Just drop me an email (denise@thewinesleuth.co.uk) with the correct answer and if I draw your name out of the hat, you’re on your way to Taste on Saturday. Good luck! I’ll pull a name out of the hat Friday 21st June at 3pm. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Wine cruising with Vinopolis and Celebrity Cruises

Jan 22, 13 Wine cruising with Vinopolis and Celebrity Cruises

Posted by in France, Portugal, Spain, Travel

Last Autumn, I was invited by Celebrity Cruises and Vinopolis to join their Immersive Wine Cruise. The cruise featured Oz Clarke and, from Vinopolis, their head educator, Tom Forrest.  They were on hand to not only lead masterclasses on board but also joined guests every evening for wine chats and led the vineyard tours which were offered as on-shore excursions. The cruise was a 12-day trip starting in Southampton with stops in Le Havre, Bordeaux, Bilboa, Vigo and Porto. 12 days might seem like a long time to be on a boat but the Celebrity Cruises ships really are floating luxury hotels. My cabin was spacious and full of light, complete with a small lounge and a sheltered balcony where I could sit and watch the dolphins playing as we sailed by (I saw them 3 times on the trip) or just enjoyed an evening tipple with friends before dinner. As I was in Concierge Class, we had 24 hr room service and unlike the typical “you must eat at your assigned seating” , I had the luxury of choosing my dining time and dining companions as well as my choice of where I wanted to eat. Whatever you may have thought about cruising before, there seems to be a lot of flexibility nowadays. There was plenty to do on-board besides the daily wine tasting classes that Oz and Tom gave every afternoon that we were at sea. The ship, Constellation is one of the older ships of the fleet but it still has plenty of amenities and dining venues. There was a full roster of activities from cooking to dance classes and everything in between. My favourite dining venue was the Ocean Liners Restaurant which was the formal dining restaurant on the ship. The wine list was impressive and although a bit skewed to the New World, the prices were reasonable. This may have been in part because the ship is run by an American company so all prices were in dollars. I...

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Celebrity Cruises with Vinopolis and Oz Clarke this Autumn

Aug 14, 12 Celebrity Cruises with Vinopolis and Oz Clarke this Autumn

Posted by in Food and Wine, France, Portugal, Spain

Earlier this year I was invited to learn more about Celebrity Cruises at Vinopolis and it was a surprising evening for me. Cruise ships have definitely changed from the days of shuffleboard and the blue-rinse brigade, focusing on fine dining and wine as well as having a variety of shipboard activities and themed cruises. Celebrity Cruises is going to be offering wine themed cruises in September, October and November featuring some of the premier European wine regions. The cruises will be stopping in Spain, France and Portugal and will be offering wine seminars and sessions whilst on board. A very special cruise is departing on Oct 13 with Oz Clark and resident wine expert of Vinopolis, Tom Forrest on board to lead the wine masterclasses. Departing directly from Southampton the programme includes on board activities and expert led-sessions, such as introductions to wine tasting, meet and greet sessions and wine masterclasses from the key regions visited. The cruise will be calling at Paris (Le Havre, France), Bordeaux (Le Verdon, France), Bilbao (Spain), Vigo (Spain) and Porto (Portugal) and  is only available if booked directly with Celebrity Cruises on 0844 481 7682. The Winesleuth is going to be on this cruise as well so you can be sure to follow my adventures here, both at sea and ashore. In the meantime, here is a small taste of what to expect from Tom Forrest, who will be be conducting wine seminars along with Oz Clarke. Here, Tom is talking about a few of the wines and the regions they come from… *pics and video courtesy of Celebrity Cruises Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Celebrity Cruising at Vinopolis

Mar 12, 12 Celebrity Cruising at Vinopolis

Posted by in Food and Wine

“Love. Exiciting and new. Come aboard. We’re expecting youuuuu. The Looooooooove boat….” It’s amazing but I can still remember the words to that cheesy 80’s sitcom set on a cruise ship. And much like the 80’s, cruise ships have always seemed a bit cheesy to me. That is until I was introduced to Celebrity X Cruises the other night at Vinopolis. If, like me, you’ve never bothered to find out more about a cruise experience, prepared to be surprised. Apparently, they are gigantic floating hotels/spas/world class restaurants with lux amenities. Celebrity now features fine wine and dining on all it’s ships and gone are the days of shrimp cocktails and sausage cocktails. The ships are also looking pretty flash nowadays, too. I was invited to a dinner at Vinopolis to learn about Celebrity’s new food and wine cruises that they are introducing in the Autumn. The cruises are going to be co-hosted by Oz Clarke and Vinopolis’s Tom Forrest and will feature stops in various wine regions, including, Portugal, Spain and France. The dinner we had was representative of the kind of food and wine matching meals that would feature on the ship. We started off with an English Sparkling wine, the Ridgeview South Ridge 2008 traditional method, which was really good with the canapes. I was a bit surprised as I’d had it a few days previously and wasn’t all that keen on it but it seems to go well with food. Served up with the starter of goat cheese tart and beetroot, we had a white Bordeaux,  a 2004 Rioja reserva, Pagos de Tahola, was paired with a perfectly grilled steak and a 2007 LBV port with chocolate fondant was heavenly.  Happily a cheese board was served up paired with a white wine from the the south of France, the Grand Reserve de Gassac blanc 2010. An interesting choice to have with the cheeses (Cheshire Blue, Brie de Meaux, Epoisse) and for me, they didn’t match. While some people like the wine...

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