The advantages of Cruising vs Flying

Picture the scene. You are sitting at the boarding gate, waiting to be told when you can board the flight. You’ve already been at the airport a few hours, gone through a lengthy security process in a crowded airport,  browsed some duty free shops and are now literally just waiting. You have already checked out all the passengers all also impatiently waiting.

You finally get the go ahead to board the flight according to your allocated seat and then grumble as you have to make your way through slow moving passengers, who stop and hold up the line of passengers behind them as they try and store their cabin luggage in the storage overhead.

It’s a different world on-board a cruise ship. Sure on a flight you arrive at a destination much faster than on a cruise ship, however, here are some reasons why Cruises have more advantages compared to flying.

Check in

The check in process on the cruise is so much slicker and less stress free than for a flight. We literally attached tags, that we printed off, on to our luggage, dropped off our bags and joined the queue to check in at our allocated time. 5 minutes later we were boarding the ship!


There was no sitting around at the gate waiting to board, or being strapped into a seat waiting for take off. We were free to walk around the ship, relax by the pool or chill in our room.

What was even better was our bags were delivered to our room! No waiting around at baggage carousels or missing bags!


Value for money 

The cost of the flight includes a meal or two onboard, depending on the length of the flight as well as drinks. You have a choice from meat, fish or vegetables.

On the cruise you’re accommodation is included and you have a choice of many restaurants, included in the cost of your trip, as well as many with very reasonable supplements. You have also got access to swimming pools, live entertainment and arrivals at multiple destinations rather than one.



On a flight you have an assigned seat, and very limited space to walk around and very little to see. On a cruise, in your room you have a comfortable bed and your own bathroom. You are also free to walk around the ship rather than being stuck in one space for the length of the journey.

Luggage and Packing

For a flight you have to pack and unpack per destination whereas on a cruise you only need to pack and unpack once for multiple destinations as every morning you will either wake up in a new destination or be welcomed with the view of the sea. You literally get dressed and walk off the ship at a new port to explore!



There is so much choice on a ship – a foodie’s paradise! From French, Indian to contemporary British cuisine, you just can’t go wrong. You can even treat yourself to in-room dining and enjoy your meal with a sea view. Beats the airplane food!


On a flight you have a small screen on which you can watch movies, TV shows or play games. On a cruise, you can go to the cinema, watch live shows, have cookery classes, singing lessons, yoga, play sports, use the gym or party by the pool.


On a flight you can shop either pre-flight at the airport, or choose something from the duty free trolley.

On a cruise you have a choice from the cruise terminal as well as various shops on the ship.

Cabin air vs Fresh Air

Ever come off a flight with fry skin, feeling fatigued? Cruises enable you to get as much fresh air as possible from the deck or even your own balcony, allowing you to feel refreshed and relaxed.



On a flight you may be able to stick a sheet mask on (and frighten your fellow passengers with a kooky halloween look) and wear socks to keep your feet from cramping.

On a cruise there is a spa where you can go have a massage, facial, body scrub, or even get your hair cut and styled! There are hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms to so you can unwind and escape into a relaxed dreamy state.

There is something for everyone

Whether you are a young couple,a family or retired, there is something to cater for everyone on board a cruise ship.In addition, you can choose cruise ships according to size and destination too.

On a flight, apart from segmenting by economy, first and business class, it is a pretty much one size fits all approach.

Prior to going on my first cruise I had stereotypical views of what a cruise was like. I had visions of small cabins with bunk beds, it being boring and suited just for elderly people. I have to say I had to eat my words as it was a truly incredible experience and I had so much fun! If you haven’t experienced a cruise yet, I would definitely recommend giving it a try!

You can read about my cruise here.




5 Desserts you need to try in London

Whether you are after a sweet pick me up, an indulgent treat or something different for a foodie finale after a savoury meal, here are 5 desserts you need to try in London, in no particular order. Or you could be brave and try them all in one day😉

The Kinako French toast at Shackfuyu

Matcha lovers rejoice! The Kinako French toast with soft-serve matcha ice cream at Shackfuyu is just insanely good. I absolutely loved this dessert and it also happens to be one of the most instagrammed desserts. Pay a visit to Shackfuyu just for the dessert alone!

Chocolate Sin Cake at Godiva Cafe, Harrods

The list could not be without a bit of chocolate action for the chocaholics out there. This cake is just the dreamiest chocolate indulgence! You even get to put more melted chocolate on it to complete the experience.


The Godiva Cafe at Harrods is a nice little sanctuary to enjoy lots of other desserts too!

The cookie shot at Dominique Ansel London

Victoria has a brand new bakery in town and it is not your average bakery. It is Dominque Ansel’s (the man who made the cronut famous) bakery.

I had 2 favourites from the bakery (sadly the cronuts had run out so I am going back to try that). The Cookie shot, which is a warm chocolate chip biscuit shot glass filled with Tahitian Vanilla milk. OMG heaven!


The Frozen S’more from Dominique Ansel London

Kill 2 birds with one stone and also try the Frozen S’more while you are at Dominique Ansel’s bakery. It is just so delicious!

The Frozen S’more is their signature honey marshmallow wrapped around Tahitian vanilla ice cream with chocolate wafer crisps, served on a smoked willow wood branch and torched to order. Just incredible!


Soft serve ice cream served in a cloud of candy floss at Milk Train Cafe

The prettiest dessert award goes to the soft serve ice cream, available in a variety of flavours and toppings, served in a soft fluffy candy floss cloud. THE DREAM.

It is just so delicious and fun to eat (candy floss beard alert), so get yourself there pronto!


Nutbourne Restaurant in Battersea

On a Sunday morning, we took a lovely walk through Battersea Park, before arriving at the gorgeous Nutbourne Restaurant, at Ransome’s Dock, and the third restaurant by the Gladwin Brothers. Named after their family farm, the food is based around seasonal and sustainable all British produce.

The  waterside setting is so gorgeous that you even forget you are in London. The decor is of a botanical theme and it is beautiful. There are 40 covers in total split between an outside seating area and an inside area, where we opted for a cosy corner.


The restaurant is an all day dining one, and we arrived for lunch time. The menu is so interesting and has a fantastic selection ranging from breakfast, healthy drinks, salads, and small plates of meat and fish and a mouthwatering dessert selection. I immediately knew I had to save some space for a sweet ending.

I decided to opt for a healthy immune boosting juice, made from carrot, ginger, apple and lime. It was delicious and the prettiest presentation with edible flowers.


For our food choices, we decided to share, and somehow ended up choosing all vegetarian dishes, which is unusual for us. So if you are vegetarian, the selection is fantastic!

To start with, we had pan fried goats cheese with almonds, honey and thyme. OMG this was one of those dishes where you fight to have more than the other person. It was so decadent, soft, dreamy and flavoursome. I am not usually a goats cheese fan but this was just incredible.


Next up was an Omega Salad. When I first ordered this Amit looked at me like I was crazy. He was probably thinking first she chose a healthy smoothie over a cocktail and now a healthy salad?

However, when it arrived we were both blown away and speechless. It was just BEAUTIFUL.


Elements of it had also been prepared on the smoker and it was just wow. The ingredients were roasted squash, sage, red onion jam, sprouting seeds, fried kale topped with a taramasalata dressing. The fried kale was something else. If someone had given me a bowl of it i would have happily devoured it. This is definitely a must order.

Our third dish was Oak Smoked Cauliflower Steak with purple carrot salsa. Another winning dish for me. The smokiness combined with the cauliflowers made me immediately want a smoker on my terrace. The taste was just incredible and even as non-vegetarians, we were amazed by how scrumptious and how filling it was.


Because I am a chips-aholic, we also had skinny fries with truffles paired with homemade aioli. The truffles were everything. Think I am slowly getting addicted to them!


Satisfied with all our savoury dishes, it was time for dessert. We decided to share, but our neighbouring table impressed us by ordering one each!
We went for the The Shed Magnum Viennetta parfait with salted caramel, chocolate and ice cream. OMG was it heavenly!
Served on an ice cold plate, it was the stuff of dreams. Literally! The type of dessert you want to indulge in on a drizzly gloomy day as it instantly lifts your spirits.
We had such a fantastic meal at Nutbourne and were overwhelmed by each dish. My favourite was definitely the Omega salad and for Amit, it was a draw between the goats cheese and the cauliflower steak. I think we were most surprised that we chose vegetarian dishes without even realising it.
I know we will be back soon to try the non-vegetarian dishes and it is the attraction of the farm grown produce, combined with the smoker, that really appeals to us!
It is a lovely place for a  weekend breakfast, brunch or lunch and I would really recommend the vibrant, pretty setting.
For more information go to:
My meal was complimentary but all views and photos are my own.





A Mediterranean cruise with P&O Cruises and James Martin

My first cruise experience has been with P&O Cruises, where I was invited to experience a Mediterranean cruise, with food hero James Martin on board their gorgeous ship, Britannia. An opportunity I definitely could not say no to!

I didn’t know what to expect prior to the trip but the most common questions people asked me were “Will it just be full of old people?” and “Will you get bored?”

To answer both, it was surprisingly a very good split of different age groups and there was just so much to do you didn’t even have the opportunity to get bored! Cruises are so different to people’s perception of them and after my experience I was slightly annoyed at myself for not having considered it as a mode of travel before.

Britannia is one of P&O’s largest cruise ships, which can take up to 3647 passengers and has 1350 crew members on board. It never felt like there were that many people on board though as it is such a spacious ship, and we didn’t even have to wait long in restaurants or for the lifts.

There are over 10 places to dine, and so much to do, and it is a truly beautiful cruise ship, with modern amenities, luxurious style and fantastic destinations to choose from. It is a foodie’s dream come true.

The main cruise duration was 2 weeks, however I went for 7 nights to save on annual leave days and flew back from Naples. Although when it got to the last day of the cruise I really wished I had another week as I absolutely loved it and didn’t feel ready to say goodbye.

Embarking Britannia

To start from the very beginning, Britannia starts its journey from Southampton Harbour, so we took the train down from London to Southampton on the day. This was relatively easy, and we were given an embarkation time of 1pm and we aimed to arrive in Southampton around that time.

Once we arrived, we took a 5 minute taxi to the port and it was really simple. We attached tags on our bags which detailed our cabin information, which we had been provided with prior to arrival, and the bags were delivered straight to our cabin, which was so convenient.

In terms of checking in, this took 5 minutes, was very stress free and we soon made our way on board the ship. The staff were very quick and organized which really helped, and embarkation times were split throughout the day so there weren’t massive queues.

As we walked onto the ship we were amazed with how luxurious it was and marvelled at the size of it! The entry point was the lower atrium area which has a bar, the Market Cafe, which serves Eric Lanlard’s patisserie and where you can see the iconic Star Burst sculpture. We spent a lot of time here during the cruise and it was such a relaxing space.



We had a spacious balcony cabin, with a super comfortable double bed, a flat screen tv on the wall, a desk, sofa and on the balcony, we had 2 chairs and a table.




The bathroom was a good and decent size, with a power shower, and  with toiletries from the White Company, which were lush.

We had a cabin steward, who was lovely, and our room was always so clean and every day we were left little treats to enjoy. It was like being in a 5 star hotel. It was only when you looked outside did you realise you were out at sea or docked at a different port.


There was so much variety on board, with over 10 dining options, that you could literally eat somewhere new everyday or even eat in the comfort of your balcony by ordering in room service. I did this on one sea day for breakfast and it was an amazing experience and one I highly recommend.


The Freedom dining options, which were included in the cost of the cruise, were The Meridian, The Peninsular, Oriental, as well as Afternoon Tea everyday.

For casual dining throughout the day you can eat burgers, pizzas, chicken, fish and chips by the pool from the Grill restaurant. This is free and perfect to keep you going throughout the day.

There are also Grab and Go fridges by the pool, where you can pick up desserts, ice creams, yoghurts and so much more.

There are also special dining options with a very low supplement which include The Epicurean, Sindhu by Atul Kochhar, The Glasshouse, which has fabulous wines and wine pairing menus by Olly Smith, The Limelight club, where you can have fine dining while watching a live performance, and the Market Cafe, where you can have light dishes and patisserie by Eric Lanlard.

There is also an amazing Afternoon Tea available on sea days at the Epicurean by Eric Lanlard, which is a fantastic experience. You can read more about my experience here.


Celebrity Chef Hosted Dinner

On our cruise we were so lucky to have James Martin, and one experience which is truly unforgettable, is a hosted dinner by him. I recommend booking this early as it is in very small groups and extremely popular! I mean who doesn’t want dinner cooked by James Martin?

The food, as you can imagine, is just spectacular, and it is such a fantastic way to spend the evening, getting to know both James, and other people over fabulous food and wine. All I can say is monkey bread and snickers ice cream. OMG!

You can read more about my experience here.

Coffee and Cocktails

In addition to the restaurants, there are fantastic bars, lounges and coffee areas on Britannia. Favourites include The Crow’s nest and The Blue Bar. There is a Java coffee lounge, Brodies Bar, The Glasshouse, and poolside bars which are also lovely venues to relax and enjoy a drink.



Entertainment and Activities

From watching films at a cinema, cabaret shows, west end style performances, live music, comedy shows, cookery demonstrations, cookery classes to dance classes, there is no shortage of entertainment at the various venues on the ship such as The Limelight Club, Headliners Theatre, Crystal Room, The Cookery Club and The Studio.

The Captain’s Gala event and Black Tie evenings are fantastic as you get to dress up in cocktail dresses, dinner jackets and tuxedos.

There is also plenty for children to do with activity clubs and entertainment tailored for young children and teenagers.

My favourite times were the sail away parties on the Lido Deck, as we left each port. Music, dancing and lots of fun!

If you want to relax and unwind, you can read a book by the pool, in the library or the comfort of your own balcony!


You can indulge in some spa treatments and pampering too, with lots of amazing treatments available.

If you fancy swimming, there are 4 pools to choose from with plenty of sun loungers.


Sports your thing? You can play tennis, cricket, football, table tennis and practice golf on the ship too!


Want to keep fit? There is a state of the art gym with very motivating sea views.


There are also duty free shops on board so if you want some retail therapy while on the cruise you can treat yourself!

Shore Excursions and Sea Days

On our cruise, the days were as follows:

Sat 3 September – Southampton
Sun 4 September – Sea day
Mon 5 September-  Sea day
Tue 6 September –  Cadiz
Wed 7 September – Sea day
Thu 8 September – Barcelona
Fri 9 September – Monte Carlo
Sat 10 September – Rome
Sun 11 September – Naples

There are so many different excursions to choose from for each port, and if you wish you can also explore by yourself as long as you adhere to the ship’s embarkation times.

We choose a walking tour at Cadiz, where we saw flower markets, food markets and also learned about the history of Cadiz.


At the Catalonian capital Barcelona, we visited the Catalunya Square, the Spanish village, Sagrada Familia and then left the tour and visited the food market, known as La Boqueria, where we enjoyed a lovely meal.

In Monaco, we did a walking tour and then relaxed at Cafe De Paris, soaking in the sunshine and views of the amazing cars. People watching here is just amazing!

In Rome, we decided to go on a foodie excursion called Taste of Tuscania (not to be mistaken for Tuscany), where we drove to the colourful Etruscan countryside, rich in vineyards and olive groves. We had some time in the town of Tuscania, after which we went to an ‘agriturismo’ farmhouse. We sampled the olive oil, wine and ate some wonderful food, such as cheese, ham, breads, Spanish omelette and bruschettas.

My final destination on the cruise was Naples, where I learned how to make a pizza in a wood fired oven, as well as enjoyed a historical tour of the quaint town and a nice bottle of Italian wine.



On Sea Days, we tried various dining venues on the ship, relaxed, went for a Q&A session with James Martin, a book signing, played golf and just spent the time unwinding which was fabulous. There was never a moment in the entire week where I felt like I was bored!

I really enjoyed both the sea days as well as the port days, where we could spend the day exploring a different city every time we would dock. It was so exciting to open the curtains in the morning to see what view we would be able to enjoy, as well as watch as we sailed away!


It was lovely to have tasters of each destination, and with so many options of activities to choose from, there is definitely something for everyone! I got a chance to experience some cities where I thought – I would definitely go back there for longer!

So would I go on a cruise again? Yes most definitely! I would recommend it as it is like being on a luxury hotel and experience multiple destinations without having to pack and unpack, or suffer from any jet lag! You wouldn’t even realise you are on a ship until you glance out of the window as it is such a smooth journey!

The cruises tailor for all ages and so they are fantastic for a family trip as well as a romantic trip. There were lots of both segments on board our cruise and we weren’t even the youngest couple on the ship.

If you are going on a Food Hero cruise, do book the hosted dinner in advance or a cookery class as it is so worth it for the experience itself! Food Heroes include James Martin, Atul Kochhar, Eric Lanlard, Olly Smith and Marco Pierre White.

As well as the Mediterranean, P&O also have cruises to other destinations including the Caribbean. For more information, go to:

Disclaimer: My trip and flights back from Naples were complimentary. All views and photos are my own.


Spicy Mexican Vegetarian Tacos

The word Taco means the Mexican equivalent of the English word sandwich. The tortilla, which is made from corn or wheat, is wrapped or folded around fillings, of which you can be as creative as you wish.

Tacos are so much fun to eat and here is a quick and easy, yet delicious, spicy vegetarian version, perfect for a tasty and enjoyable lunch or dinner.

I have collaborated with Gran Luchito sauces for this recipe, who have a wonderful range of Mexican condiments, which go perfectly with Tacos, as well as other Mexican dishes – especially if you love spicy food.


  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
  • 350 grams Quorn chicken pieces
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 spring onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Gran Luchito Smoked Chilli Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Gran Luchito Smoked Chilli Pickle
  • Store bought flour tortillas
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • Salad leaves
  • 1 mango
  • 1 lime
  • sliced tomatoes for garnish


  1. In a pan, heat the oil on medium heat.
  2. Add the quorn pieces, red and yellow peppers, spring onions, garlic, salt and pepper and stir fry for around 4 minutes.
  3. Now add the Gran Luchito Smoked Chilli Honey and Smoked Chilli Pepper and around 3 tablespoons water.
  4. Mix well and stir fry for a further 4 minutes.
  5. In a blender, blitz the mango, juice of the lime and red chilli.img_0242
  6. Place the salad leaves in a bowl, and pour over the mango, lime and chilli mixture.
  7. Now assemble each taco, by first placing the salad at the base and topping with the tofu mixture.
  8. Add a few slices of tomato and feast away!img_0255

NB: You can use chicken for a non-vegetarian version if you wish but these taste just as good and can convert any non-vegetarian into loving them!


For more information on the Gran Luchito range, go to:



Attending the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards in Mexico City

I have just returned from a week long press trip which was in the colourful, vibrant and fantastic Mexico City, where I was invited by the Mexican Tourism Board to experience the culture, food scene and also to attend the 2016 Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards ceremony, which was held in Mexico City’s Centro Cultural Roberto Cantoral on Monday 26 September 2016.

This was the fourth annual edition of the list, which is a subset of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, an important reference point for me whenever I am travelling abroad. When I first received the invite I was super excited and it has definitely been one of the most interesting and exciting events of the year!

The renowned World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is produced by the British magazine Restaurant and is based on a poll of  foodies which include international chefs, gourmands and restaurant critics. Most of the restaurants in the list have exceptional gastronomic twists and superb cuisine using unconventional and modern methods of cooking.

Our taster for the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants experience started on Sunday 25th September at the St Regis hotel, Mexico City, where we had a lovely brunch, filled with scrumptious Mexican food, desserts and ice cream, which was followed by the #50BestTalks on Latin Liquids.



The 50 Best speakers, who were fascinating, included Leonor Espinosa from Leo in Bogotá, Enrique Olvera from Pujol in Mexico City, Kurt Schmidt and Chabi Cádiz from 99 in Santiago and Carlos García from Alto in Caracas. They talked about different drinks from their regions and it was a fantastic, interactive experience, whereby we got a chance to try various drinks and cocktails. My favourite was the Venezuelan Rum and Chocolate pairing.


During my week in Mexico City, we also dined at several of the restaurants on the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list, and some of these restaurants also feature in the Worlds 50 Best Restaurant List. My favourite from these was definitely Nicos, which had guacamole to die for, prepared at your table, along with scrumptious dishes and a family run vibe.


The awards ceremony itself was a glitzy affair, starting with a drinks reception, featuring some of the sponsors, followed by the unveiling of the new list. I attended as part of the media, alongside bloggers, journalists, tastemakers and restaurant critics from around the world.


Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016

Central, in Lima, Peru, was awarded the best restaurant in Latin America, and have retained their spot at the top for the third year running.

The full brand new list is as follows:

50 pure earth, Buenos Aires, Argentina
49 Andrés beef, Bogotá, Colombia
48 sweet homeland, Mexico City, Mexico
47 Tierra Colorada gastro, Asunción, Paraguay
46 la bourgogne, punta del este, Uruguay
45 tuju, São Paulo, Brazil
44 navel of the woods, Belém, Brazil
43 Osaka, Santiago, Chile
42 1884, Mendoza, Argentina
41 isolina, Lima, Peru
40 Harry Sasson, Bogotá, Colombia
39 heart of earth, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
38 Malabar, Lima, Peru
37 Nicos, Mexico City, Mexico
36 maito, Panama City, Panama
35 chila, Buenos Aires, Argentina
34 party, Lima, Peru
33 The Cabrera, Buenos Aires, Argentina
32 high in Caracas, Venezuela
31 Elena, Buenos Aires, Argentina
30 Rafael, Lima, Peru
29 criterion, Bogotá, Colombia
28 mocotó, São Paulo, Brazil (in the photo)
27 osso carnage and salumería, Lima, Peru
26 Aramburu, Buenos Aires, Argentina
25 Roberta Sudbrack, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
24 the house of the pig, São Paulo, Brazil
23 parador the footprint, José Ignacio, Uruguay
22 99, Santiago, Chile
21 Don Julio, Buenos Aires, Argentina
20 Ambrosia, Santiago, Chile
19 Pangaea, Monterrey, Mexico
18 lasai, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
17 Olympe, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
16 Leo, Bogotá, Colombia
15 Amaranta, Toluca, Mexico
14 gustu, La Paz, Bolivia (in the photo)
13 the learn some things, Buenos Aires, Argentina
12 the sea, Lima, Peru
11 South 777, Mexico City, Mexico
10 Biko Restaurante Bar, Mexico City, Mexico
9 Tegui, Buenos Aires, Argentina
8 Maní Manioca, São Paulo, Brazil
7 Astrid and Gaston, Lima, Peru
6 Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
5 Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
4 Borago, Santiago, Chile
3 D.O.M., São Paulo, Brazil
2 Maido, Lima, Peru
1 Central, Lima, Peru

The whole experience in Mexico City, as well as the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards Ceremony awakened a desire for me to explore more of Latin America, particularly the food scene, so countries from this region now feature higher on my travel plans!

I am a strong believer that food and travel go hand in hand together and I have left Mexico City with a new love and appreciation for Mexican food, which is so different to the type of Mexican food we are exposed to abroad.

I tried things I would never try normally and I feel like I have learned so much! I now know how to make corn tamales too thanks to Casa Jacaranda in Mexico city.  If you are ever visiting, this is a foodie experience not to miss!

For more information on the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, go to:

Disclaimer: I was invited by the Mexican Tourism Board to visit Mexico and attend the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. My trip was complimentary but all views and photos in this article are my own.