Marco and Olly both provide food for thought as P&O re-models ships

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It’s good news that the transformation of P&O cruise ship Oriana into an adults-only vessel will include the introduction of a new restaurant overseen by Marco Pierre White. But I am disappointed that room has not yet been found for a Glass House wine bar on the lines of the one which Olly Smith launched last year on Azura.
Marco’s first ocean-going restaurant was the White Room on board the Ventura. His new Ocean Grill concept will debut on Adonia when the ship joins the fleet in May, and will also replace Gary Rhodes’s restaurant on Arcadia next January.
Ocean Grill will serve classic Marco dishes such as crayfish cocktail, grilled lobster with triple cooked chips, and one of his signature desserts, Sherry Trifle Wally Ladd – always a popular Sunday lunchtime treat at his Yew Tree Inn restaurant near Newbury in Hampshire.
On Oriana, additional cabins are being created in place of the children’s club; there will be a total of 27, including two singles. Also to be fitted in time for the November relaunch will be Sorrento, an Italian restaurant with an outdoor seating area. There will be a cover charge for Ocean Grill, but Sorrento will be free of charge apart from certain unspecified items.
P&O managing director Carol Marlow said: “Passengers want a select dining experience and they also want a contemporary style. Marco Pierre White has proved to be a huge hit so we have asked him to work his culinary magic on board Oriana, Arcadia and Adonia.
“These ships offer longer itineraries, and Ocean Grill by Marco Pierre White will provide an evolving menu to offer a different choice of cuisine throughout the cruise. With these changes Oriana will become even more elegant and very well suited to passengers seeking a sophisticated environment exclusively for adults.”
Marco himself said: “Dining is about the complete experience and this comprises the surroundings, the company, the service and of course the food. Each element is as important as the other and the Ocean Grill will offer these in equal measure.”
His comments could equally refer to Olly Smith’s Glass House which has been a runaway success on Azura, serving an a la carte menu of bistro-style food at lunch and dinner, and a carefully-chosen selection of wines served by the bottle or the glass. The unusual Peller Niagara Ice Cuvee from Canada is a remarkable bubbly; Blind River Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is a crisp white worth crossing oceans for, and the Argentinean Malbec is the perfect partner for the bar’s steaks.
A spokesperson for P&O confirmed for me today that Glass House has been a hit – both for passengers and in terms of revenue. “It is one of the most popular venues on the ship,” she said.
Which leaves me puzzling why the company has not taken the opportunity to sign Olly – who has blended the house wines served on all seven ships in the fleet – to replace the Ramblas bar on Ventura or to mastermind new venues on Adonia and Oriana.
P&O were guarded about whether they were in negotiations with Olly – whose Secret Supper Club is showing on Channel 4 and has made him a regular on Harry Hill’s TV Burp.
But the man himself told me: “I can confirm P&O and I are committed to one another and there’s a few exciting ideas under discussion. Nothing I can announce just yet.”
I’m keeping a bottle of Ice Cuvee chilled ready for the celebrations when the pair of them can finally come clean.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:09+00:00 9 March 2011|Cruise Food & Drink, Cruise News, Cruise Ships|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. GREEDYGUTS 9 March 2011 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Does this mean MPW is ousting Gary Rhodes from his restaurants on Arcadia and Oriana? Be good news if he is

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