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| Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2015 - 2016
Christmas and New Year Cruise - Part 7
We thought the best way to start the New Year was with one of the best meals we know of - the Degustation Menu in he Verandah Restaurant. There is a comprehensive write up in the Queen Elizabeth Overview Page including the menu so I will be brief.
The Verandah Restaurant restaurant was first introduced on the Queen Elizabeth by Chef Zimmermann. Chef Zimmermann is the Culinary Ambassador who is responsible for all the Cunard ships and masterminded the concept and implementation of the Verandah Restaurant which is based on the Verandah Restaurants on the original Queens. He was aiming for the first Michelin Star afloat - he used to have one ashore. The Verandah is open for lunch on Sea Days and every evening. It is small with a maximum seating of around 70 but is normally limited to about 40 covers to maintain the level of service. In the evening there is a degustation menu which we often have as it loses little in repartition. It is a five course fixed menu, followed by a tasting plate of four desserts. It costs a supplement of $35 each and we are often tempted instead of the a la carte.
The pictures which follow have a few from earlier dinners - we do not like to intrude with too many pictures each time.
There is usually a stop somewhere down the West coast of Spain or Portugal on ones way to or from the Mediterranean. Cadiz is an interesting town, and it is also the port for tours to Seville. It was our fourth visit and we knew it was an excellent town to walk around, and within easy reach of the cruise terminal.
Cadiz is said to be the oldest inhabited town in the western world, with 3,000 years of history. It is a major port, and is near to Jerez for exporting sherry and brandy. Seville is 80 miles away. Cadiz is a compact city, and is almost an island because it is circular with a narrow join to the rest of Spain. The old town is easy walking, and the Plaza de Espana is just outside the dock gates. There are recommended walking tours, each painted a different colour on the pavement, and the orange one is along the city walls, through the Alameda de Apodaca and Alameda Marquis de Comillas gardens, and along the Genoves Park to the Castle of Santa Catalina, then along the Playa de la Caleta sandy beach to the Castillo de San Sebastian. We followed this path in 2013.
We arrived on Saturday morning in Cadiz and we knew we needed to visit the town in the morning before the shops closed. We have visited Cadiz several times and were looking for our favourite cake shop and the nearby Market and Carrefour supermarket. Somehow we lost our path in the narrow streets and seemed to complete 3 sides of a square before seeing the Tavira Tower above us. Unfortunately the shop window was very empty, there were no cake shops in the Central Market and so we finally went shopping for cakes in Carrefour. We learned it is best to visit Cadiz before Christmas, not in the New Year.
We planned to visit the tomb of the famous composer Falla which is in the crypt of the cathedral but there are now entry charges and it was full of tourists. The other side of the cathedral stands on the edge of the long sandy beach and after a short walk we found signs to the Roman Theatre. The entrance is hidden in narrow back street but the detour is worthwhile. Entrance is free and there are interesting information boards about the construction of Roman theatres. It is only partially excavated and reconstruction work is being carried out, but none was working when we visited.
On all our previous visits to Cadiz we had passed the Museum but never had time to go inside; if the weather was good we walked and at the end of the day museums are difficult if carrying shopping. The route back to the Queen Elizabeth passed the Town Hall and it was only a short detour to the Museum and to the adjacent Church of San Francisco. The statue of the Man on the True Cross in the Veracruz side chapel is part of the procession through Cadiz on Holy Monday.
The Museum of Cadiz extends along one side of the Plaza de Mina, and the Falla bookshop and the house next door where Falla was born are on another side of the square. For the first time, the bookshop was open but the house next door was not. The Museum is excellent and free. The staff indicated lockers where we could leave our bags and coats and had a brochure in English. The ground floor is Archaeology, including a magnificent male sarcophagus, found in 1887 and a female sarcophagus found in 1980. They are both from the 5th century BC. There is the Marsias mosaic floor from the Roman town of Gades and a beautiful set of rock crystal grave goods dating from the 1st century AD. There are Roman statues including the remains of the Thoracatus statue of an emperor. We only had time for a quick exploration of the first floor, Fine Art, and the second floor, Ethnography and Contemporary Art, and vowed that we would visit again. The exhibits are well displayed and it is all very interesting.