Last night we ate in the White Room, Marco Pierre White’s signature restaurant perched high above the stern of Ventura on deck 17.
And an excellent evening it was, worth every penny of the £20 per head cover charge.
It’s quite a large restaurant but it appeared almost full, in contrast to East, the other speciality restaurant on board which is not attracting customers in big numbers.
We started with a glass of Bellini on the house, and a sun-dried tomato ravioli amuse bouche which was bursting with flavour.
I then followed the recommendations Marco had made when we shared breakfast on the restaurant’s secluded terrace on Monday. Well, it would have been rude not to.
So a plate of Salumi Misto – mixed cold meats and thinly-sliced Italian sausages, with the most amazing bread, made with goose fat – was followed by spaghetti and lobster in a rich tomato and herb sauce.
That was followed by a scintillatingly sharp Sicilian lemon tart and then the only disappointment of the evening – the chocolate truffles which came with the coffee were just the same as those on offer throughout the ship’s restaurants. A minor quibble, though.
To answer one of my readers who commented on the earlier MPW blog – the chef is not on board for the whole cruise. He joined the ship in Barbados on Friday and flew home from Antigua on Monday. His five-year contract with P&O involves him spending 30 days each year on Ventura.
He chooses not to give cookery demonstrations though he did tell me he occasionally offers one-to-one lessons in his kitchen as prizes in on board competitions.
Sorry Ken, I can’t comment on what may have been written elsewhere about his opinions of Weymouth