In May, I was lucky enough to join the inaugural sailing from Southampton of Celebrity Cruises’ exciting new ship, Celebrity Edge, part of the revolutionary series that will be joined by an identical model, Celebrity Apex, next year. I could rave about every aspect of this incredible ship – including the unique interiors by Kelly Hoppen, MBE and a 23-treatment room spa - but one thing that truly stood out to me was the incredible food. Everything I ate was absolutely delicious and, honestly, I can't stop talking about it!
The Complimentary Choices
As well as five more casual eateries, a cruise on Celebrity Edge includes complimentary dining at four main restaurants, each themed on a particular world area. Unsurprisingly, Normandie serves French favourites, Tuscan is Italian, Cyprus’s menu showcases the best of Mediterranean cuisine, while Cosmopolitan offers modern dishes from around the world. Their décor, furnishings and colour schemes also keep with the theme, while all enjoying beautiful views over the sea from large windows.
Wonderful if you (or someone that you’re travelling with) like to stick to what you know, each of these restaurants offer a ‘Classics’ menu nightly, including favourites such as Caesar salad, prawn cocktail, sirloin steak and fresh salmon. Alongside this, offering something a little different, each of the four restaurants also serve an ‘Exclusive’ menu that reflects their world area. I tried a range of delicious dishes - from gooey baked brie at Normandie, to homemade pasta at Tuscany, to juicy chicken souvlaki at Cyprus.
As well as a healthy spa café and poolside grill serving awesome burgers, the Oceanview Café was great for a lighter, more casual dining options. With cooking stations from around the globe, I was tucking into a wonderful fresh salad and premium charcuterie, while my husband enjoyed noodles that were cooked fresh in front of him – a real people pleaser!
Although the main dining options are fabulous, the specialty restaurants are something else entirely. Topping my (long) list of favourites is the Le Petit Chef experience at Le Grand Bistro, where I enjoyed an immersive dining experience that was unlike any other I’ve had before. Before each course, the lights go down and the tablecloth becomes a stage/screen, as an animated 3D chef is cleverly projected onto your table using Skullmapping technology. The mini chef then appears to prepare each dish that you will be enjoying as part of your set four-course menu, before you’re served the actual dish – that looks exactly like the animated one! Explaining the genius concept of Le Petit Chef doesn’t do it justice whatsoever and I really advise that you take a look on Youtube for a greater idea of what it’s about! Absolutely hilarious and truly entertaining whatever your age, I looked around the restaurant to see everyone completely engrossed in the animation before them – amazing. I was worried that due to all the theatre, the quality of the food might suffer. I was quickly proven wrong as everything I ate was delicious – from the fresh tomato salad and steak frites, to the exciting green tea matcha cake for dessert.
Unsurprisingly, more sensational steak awaited at Five Cut Steakhouse, a swanky restaurant that has been designed to reflect the workmanship of a couture jeweller. The meat here was out of this world and you could choose from eight different types of steak, as well as premium cuts and other grilled dishes. The sauces and sides were also incredible, and I still find myself dreaming about the parmesan truffle steak fries when I’m hungry! If seafood is more your thing, Raw on 5 (located, you guessed it, on the fifth floor) has an impressive raw counter that serves super fresh oysters, ceviche, sushi, sashimi and caviar, as well as a selection of hot options, with fabulous sea views. Cleverly, the wine lists are matched to what you’re ordering… who knew ‘oyster whites’ and ‘sushi whites’ were different?!
The final restaurant that I am going to rave about (although I could go on forever) is Eden, where the stunning food was matched by lively open kitchens and the beautiful garden décor. Not to mention the ‘Edenists’, aka super talented acrobats that swung across the ceiling and interacted with us throughout. This sensory setting was perfectly matched by the incredible food here, absolutely breathtakingly presented, uniquely named and, of course, delicious too. Winter’s Frost (hey, I said they had unusual name) was a gorgeous starter of oyster, sea urchin and wasabi, while Blue Velvet was one of the most interesting and beautiful plates of food I’ve ever seen, made up of blue dumplings with langoustine and a tamarind curry sauce. In keeping with the Eden theme, the dessert I had was named Forbidden Fruit, a delicious combination of apple, almond and caramel. This, again, looked (almost) too good to eat, resembling a perfectly red apple with an irresistible shine – yum!
Divine Drinks to Match
Amazing food deserves to be matched by great drinks, something that was certainly no problem on board Celebrity Edge. We chose to prebook the Classic Drinks Package, which I would heartily recommend. The included wines were of wonderful quality with options from all over the world, while the cocktail list also kept us more than happy. My husband’s favourite was the classic martini (shaken, not stirred), while I went for the tasty cosmopolitan.
There are eleven bars and lounges on board, all offering a slightly different experience. We loved The Martini Bar, which immediately caught our eye, located at the centre of the Grand Plaza and beneath an impressive art installation. As well as offering great drinks pre or post-dinner, the bar tenders here regularly show off their skills with gravity-defying mixology shows backed by music – so much fun!
The Perfect Pair
Not strictly food related (though we did sample some of the city’s incredible restaurants, coffee shops and gelaterias), we paired our 11-night Mediterranean cruise with two nights in Rome at the stunning Baglioni Hotel Regina, in a wonderful location near the Borghese gardens and the city’s most renowned sights. This is a great option when it comes to cruising… just ask your Luxury Travel Specialist for the best land combination for your itinerary!
To sample Celebrity Edge's phenomenal cuisine for yourself, give us a call today.