Showing posts with label celebrity cruises. Show all posts
Showing posts with label celebrity cruises. Show all posts

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Celebrity Cruises, Jet Set Sail

Would you like to be treated like a VIP? Looking for inspiration for your next Summer holiday? Well, Celebrity Cruises has just launched a new private air charter service flight out from London Stansted airport private jet terminal. I had the opportunity to try it out last week on their inaugural flight. 

Celebrity Cruises are renowned for their modern luxury with an emphasis on the most delectable food and fantastic drinks on board their ships. It's not surprising that this add-on service is taking cruise luxury to a new level.

Picture yourself and your loved ones, starting and finishing a holiday of a lifetime with a distinct and exclusive service. Jet Set Sail is a premium package by Celebrity Cruises where a charter flight service on selected Med sailings is on offer. The airline is Titan Airways, the UK's leading private charter company. The plane carries 130 passengers. 

There is still limited availability for the 2016 sailings, and their new 2017 Summer season is now on sale. The award-winning ship, Celebrity Equinox is the one to look out for to get this unique service.

There are a few perks on the Jest Set Sail package: The current Stansted private jet terminal offers guests a beautiful lounge with comfortable seats and with complimentary tea and coffee; I believe I saw some bubbles, too! Enhanced luggage allowance of 25kg per person (23kg to Athens). Great to get all the shopping done on holidays back home.

private jet terminal beautiful lounge

Food on board: Hot breakfast and drinks are served on the outbound flights leaving at 7.30 a.m. from Stansted to Barcelona. There are a two-course lunch and drinks on return flights from Rome, the last destination. Special diets are catered for. Alcohol is served on the return flight along with the lunch service. 

on board breakfast tray
Transfers and parking: There's an adjacent on-site parking which is situated just a 50 meter walk from the terminal, allowing ease of travel from the very beginning. Transfers to and from the arrival airport to the cruise terminal are included, and there is priority ship embarkation and late debarkation for customers’ return journeys.

Destinations: Some of the destinations covered are Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Turkey, and many others, pending on the package. View packages : Jet Set Sail

Jet Set Sail package generally does not cost too much more than a non-Jet Set Sail sailing. An example is Celebrity Equinox seven-night to  Greece and Italy cruise from £1,089 per person (based on two adults sharing an interior stateroom). Price is based on 16 July 2016 UK departure.

Logistics to get to Stansted Private Jet Terminal: It's easier to take a cab or car directly to the private terminal address: Inflite Private Jet Terminal at Stansted, Hanger One, London Stansted Airport, Essex, CM24 1RY.

If you arrive at the Stansted regular terminal by train from Liverpool Street Station, expect to pay £15 for a 6-minute cab ride to the private terminal. Look for the Taxi booth inside the terminal. Give the postcode above.
For more information or to book call 0800 441 4054 or visit
 What awaits you on the other side is spectacular!  read more about it Equinox
Lunch at the exclusive restaurant—Luminae on board of Equinox

The lawn

The library

wine tower

 Disclosure: I was a guest of Celebrity Cruises. All views are my own.

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Monday, 4 April 2016

Recipe from my travels: Rome Carciofi Alla Giudea

Carciofi Alla Giudea recipe

Carciofi Alla Giudea, which literally translated from the Roman dialect, means 'Jewish-style artichokes' is an 'antipasto' (starter) that originates from the Roman Ghetto; a Jewish ghetto that was established in 1555.

This dish is a must when visiting Rome, one of Celebrity Cruises destinations. A visit to the Jewish Quarter,  where once stood the ghetto, full of small restaurants and taverns you can taste this Jewish-Roman dish.   In the Spring, the local community in the region of Lazio celebrate this vegetable with artichokes festivals.

This classic dish is very simple to prepare, but this method of preparation can enhance the aroma and flavor of this vegetable. The artichokes are quickly fried to so that they become crispy and nutty while the tasty artichoke hearts become tender and earthy.  This is a favorite local dish during the spring months when the local artichokes from the north-west coastal region of Lazio are in season. Artichokes are a typical 'contorni' (vegetable and salads) of the Lazio cuisine, especially the city of Rome, where this dish was invented.

time:  1h30m
serves: 4

Carciofi Alla Giudea recipe - This recipe was first published at The Great British Chefs site
 I am a contributor to GBChefs site. 

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Friday, 13 November 2015

#ADifferentView with Celebrity Cruises

I am excited to be partnering with modern and cool brand Celebrity Cruises in its latest campaign. Have you seen its new TV ad? It's a beautiful film highlighting spectacular locations from around the world on board the award-winning Celebrity Cruises ships.

The Campaign: #ADifferentView

Sometimes, you walk around the place you live, and suddenly, smells, colours, shapes, textures, little details, and even the big picture make you dive deep into your memory. St. Katharine Docks in London is one of those historical places. It is dotted with many eateries, a food market on Fridays, retail outlets, and great-looking dwellings overlooking the harbour.

It's a very inspiring place that reminds me of the many different docks that were the gateway to the wonderful places I've been over the last year on my escapades on board Celebrity Cruises. The atmosphere is superb with a great sense of community with delightful outdoor dining, perfect for soaking in the views of water life and London architecture. It's very much like being on board one of the Celebrity Cruises vessels.

celebrity cruises ship

lovely harbour
dining overlooking the sea

The contest

St Katherine Docks

As part of their national campaign #adifferentview, f
rom 14 till 21November, 20 frames will pop up around the UK (in central London, Chester, Birmingham, Weymouth, Canterbury and Southampton) offering a different perspective of a popular spot. 

As part of Celebrity Cruises Destination Bloggers group and other Instagrammers  influencers, we each have been designated a special spot / frame.  

My frame will be up on St Katherine Dock  location: (Google view) - made of canvas and rope St Katherine docks have some fabulous eateries, a fantastic Friday food market and fabulous views of London - Good enough reasons to pop in and get snapping! 

The mission: share your photos with your views within that frame in the St. Katherine Dock on social media with hashtag #ADifferentView, and tag me @Rosana_McPhee for a chance to win. The best two images will win!
Prize:  2 prizes on offer the very coveted  luxury travel item
a pair each of Aspinal luggage tags  *-There is no cash alternative for the prize and the prize is not negotiable, exchangeable for cash or transferable. See T&C's apply.
Between the Dates: 14–21 November 2015  

Disclosure : this competition is sponsored by Celebrity Cruises.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Celebrity Cruises, Taste of London 2015

We were back to the world class event, Taste of London Summer 2015  edition. This year once again Celebrity Cruises is one of Taste of London Festival sponsor. They put up their enormous tent and the famous and fabulous #LawnClub and are offering, as expected, a delectable a three-course tasting menu. Their menu features food and beverage pairings from the restaurants and bars onboard including wines selected by Oz Clarke and craft beer from the new Gastrobar. 

The event was hosted by the Celebrity Cruises team including fleet food and beverage director Thomas Szymanski, pastry chef Thierry Houlbert and executive sous chef Josh Becker and founder of the brilliant, A Grape Night In, Kiki Evans who presented the drinks experience. 
Celebrity Cruises  #LawnClub at Taste of London 2015

At this delectable tasting, we were taken on a cruise of discovery to sample some of the award-winning dishes paired with a selection of the wines and craft beer available on board of their luxury ships. Qsine, Blu and Luminae are restaurants on board of the ships and this tasting menu highlights some of their fantastic dishes.

Qsine's signature 'Spring' rolls  (meat and vegetarian) paired withPunk IPA (Scotland), the bubbles of the beer take away the fat of the rolls and cleans the palate

 Blu's blackened Ahi Tuna with forbidden rice and baby bok choy paired perfectly with the fresh and clean  Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)

Luminae's succulent Lamb loin with tangy yoghurt dressing  paired with a Ros, Chateau D'Esclans ' Whispering Angel' from Provence

Pop into their stand and book a place for the next tasting.

Other highlights of Taste of London 2015

The Daily Special 

Another highlight is  The Daily Special Restaurant each day featuring a different hot-spot eatery the line-up this year:  Lyle’s, Koya Bar, Bubbledogs, The Dairy and Michel Roux Jnr’s Diner.

Champagne Laurent-Perrier Masterclass

The official champagne of the festival.  Laurent-Perrier, one of the most distinguished family-owned champagne houses,  has put together a fantastic champagne adventure all about learning the different key characteristics of three distinct champagnes. How to enhance an occasion by choosing the right drink.

Protégé by Ford, a taste of things to come

To experience a taste of things to come,  the next generation of fine dining chef stars,  head to Protégé by Ford, a pop-up restaurant serving 3-course tasting menu accompanied by a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne and end with your gift of the Taste 2015 recipe book. Tickets from £16 (stand up) to £84 (incl. champagne)

AEG Let's Taste Live Cooking along

Live Cooking with TV chef Jeremy Pang from School of Wok and a chance to create your own gourmet food with professional hints, tips, and techniques. First-Served basis. 
We also experienced a cook-a-long using  AEG state-of-the-art combination induction hobs.

Other delightful experiences

 Aperol spritz  anyone?

Whisky tasting
Fabulous food from Roka (dumplings)

 more fabulous food from Roka and Artusi

The lovely Jose Pizzaro and Jamón

strange but true - beer infused ice cream from Menabrea

 We've tasted our way through some fabulous food and drink! When you first set foot at Taste of London, the sheer amount of stands and offerings can be quite daunting, and you may feel that you need more time to taste everything on your wish list.

Great top tips for visiting the event by Jeanne: Cooksister's Taste Tips 

and Taste of London 2015
Taste of London 2015  dates: from 17th - 21st June 2015
Regent's Park
Outer Circle

Until next time why not join me on InstagramTwitter and Facebook…X 

Disclosure: I was a guest of Celebrity Cruises at this event.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Celebrity Cruises, Eclipse Michelin Star Dining Experience

The iconic 'X' Celebrity Eclipse

Michelin Star Dining Experience On Board the Celebrity Eclipse

The award-winning Celebrity Eclipse offers a taste of first class foodie experience. For those who value world class food and fine dining, this is a luxury cruise you don’t want to miss out on.  The 'Taste of Modern Luxury’ two-night sailing on the Celebrity Eclipse was a culinary treat in partnership with Great British Chefs, which showcases the very best of British chefs and their stunning recipes.

The two handpicked Michelin-starred chefs Robert Thompson and Adam Simmonds  entertained guests on board to a specially made six course tasting menu in the elegant Murano restaurant on the first night of the sailing, as well as a four course set menu at  Tuscan Grille the next evening. The chefs will be back on board of Celebrity Eclipse end of August 2015. Make your reservations in advance!

We also had the chance to see a culinary demo by Robert Thompson at the Celebrity Eclipse Theatre on the second day of sailing.  At the demo Chef Robert and his Sous Chef Simon demonstrated their skills by making the egg yolk ravioli with spring truffle, seasonal asparagus, peas and broad beans. It was like watching a painter at work the result was three perfect portions a real work of art on plates. The guests were mesmerised.  
More info about Great British Chefs : GBChefs

The Chefs

Chef Robert Thompson, Celebrity Eclipse demo

Robert Thompson

Robert Thompson (left) and his sous chef Simon

Robert’s the first chef from the Isle of Wight to bag a Michelin Star. He specialises in complex yet remarkable, classic food.  Since starting his culinary career in 1997, Thompson has won nearly every accolade you can imagine. He’s a master chef with a lot of experience on his sleeve. He told us how he acquired a love for cooking at the age of ten thanks to his brother Patrick for the inspiration. Thompson's dishes are imaginative with a modern twist. He treats his prized ingredients with utmost respect.

Adam Simmonds

Adam Simmonds   pic: GBChefs
Simmond’s one of the most creative chefs currently working in Britain. Adam Simmonds is a holder of One Michelin Star. He won Great British Menu in 2014. His is a journey of ‘cooking his way up to the top’. His success didn’t come easy as he worked firstly as a pot washer on his way to top London hotels like The Lanesborough, The Halkin and The Ritz. He’s an experienced chef that has worked with other notable chefs in the UK. He’s creative, and very skilled as you will see by the dishes we had for dinner later on.

Excellent food and fine dining should engage all your senses he says. He believes to cook great food that people enjoy; you must go beyond what people expect. Great food experiences are made unforgettable when you exceed people’s expectations. When dining out, the service and ambiance teams up with the aroma and flavour of the food to create an outstanding experience that captures and pleasures all your sense.

Celebrity Cruises Eclipse Michelin Star Dining Experience


On the first night of sailing, we had dinner at the specialty dining room, Murano.  The space is very elegant and atmospheric. The service is impeccable and discreet. All dishes were pair with wines.
Murano, Celebrity Eclipse

 The Feast

Langoustine brûlée: A velvety concentrated tomato consomme with a crunchy brûlée topping and olive oil jelly, langoustine brochette topping with Russian caviar and green tomatoes - Amazing flavours and beautifully presented. Wine pairing: Perrier-Jouët champagne Grand, Brut. Dish by Robert Thompson
Confit Fillet of trout: delicious veal tartare, smoked English asparagus and  pretty edible flowers by Chef Adam Simmonds

Poached brill: a very tasty compressed cucumber, hearts of palm, poached and fresh oyster, samphire, delicate and small chanterelle mushroom, Nasturtium - a very pretty and delectable dish by Chef Adam Simmonds

Roasted saddle of Chart Farm Venison: poached Oysters, baked Roscoff Onion, sea herbs, roasted onion jus and samphire by Chef Robert Thompson
Dessert wine: light and fresh on the palette dessert wine is made from 100% Muscat, light lemon and yellow in colour. Lemon and limes scent with a hint of mint and fruit flavours of apricot and peach. It was a lovely dessert wine
Strawberry sorbet, pistachio parfait,  eucalyptus cream and olive - very refreshing like a palette cleanser, the eucalyptus cream was slightly overpowering, but I liked the creativity of Chef Adam Simmonds
By now, I was very full but I rose to the challenge and ate (almost) all the next dessert...
Caramelised Banana served with a magnificent aerated Valrhona chocolate that slowly melted in the mouth and lingered for a while; it was very satisfying!  Dulce the Leche sauce and Crème fraîche sorbet, the sour of the ice cream balanced beautifully with the sweetness of the other elements. It was a big dessert by chef Robert Thompson
That was the end of our feast where we eat heartily and left the restaurant content ready for some after dinner cocktails!

Tuscan Grille

The second night we had dinner at Tuscan Grille, once again the chefs didn't disappoint. 
Tuscan Grille, Celebrity Eclipse

Pan fried breast of quail:  confit leg of quail, boiled eggs, broad beans, asparagus, spring truffle, crispy sourdough - simple and scrumptious dish - probably the best of them all? by chef Robert Thompson

Flame grilled mackerel, a lovely dish, perhaps a little bit too grilled, still good though. English Wasabi, compressed cucumber, salmon, avocado and Ponzu  made a very fresh and pleasing dish by chef Robert Thompson

Roasted loin of lamb, crisp belly, goat's curd,  Onion ash and purslane - Amazing, in my opinion the best dish of them all! Very juicy, perfectly pink and tenderloin (perhaps sous vide?) lots of flavours and textures in this dish. The onion ash added a bitter and smoky flavour to the plate.
by Chef Adam Simmonds

PS.: I had two portions! Ooops!

Dessert wine:  Fonseca, late-bottled Vintage Port, Porto, Douro,Portugal- Perfect paired with the next course Dark chocolate Délice

Dark chocolate Délice, peppermint granita and gel - a great way to finish another feast!
by Chef Adam Simmonds

Ancient City of Le Havre

Le Havre - Port

Le Havre views from Eclipse

I researched Le Havre our destination port but, unfortunately, we didn't have time to explore the town due to all the activities happening in the ship. Le Havre is the common port-of-entry for big ships on their way to Paris, and it’s also a place to go through on your way to the City of Lights. This ancient and textured city that is Le Havre lies along the English Channel on France’s western coast. It dates back to the 16th century. Despite losing much of its historical appeal as a result of heavy bombings during World War II, it’s still a city to behold. It’s however been rebuilt and is now added to UNESCOs world heritage sites.

I heard It’s a remarkable city to visit for those with a penchant for cafes and art galleries. Le Havre comes across as a relaxing alternative to the half-a-day commute into Paris – which is a world centre of culture, museums, food and fashion. Hope I come back one day to explore it. 

A special thanks to Jeanne at Cooksister Blog for sharing this adventure with me.  

news: Hot&Chilli has been shortlisted as best blogger in the Cruise Awards 2015, by Cruise International Magazine.
Until next time why not join me on  InstagramTwitter and Facebook…X

  Disclosure: I was a guest of Celebrity Cruises. All views are my own. I retained, as always, full editorial control over this review. Photos ©Rosana McPhee, unless otherwise stated. 
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