Bolette has 2 speciality restaurants onboard – Vasco and Colours & Tastes – and I would highly recommend them both! The cover charge is a mere £15 per person and the food is exceptional. In fact, it was so good that I visited Colours & Tastes twice! I would have also gone back to Vasco if I’d had time. Each has 3 menus, and they change every few days. I like this idea because one menu for the entire cruise duration might not suit a lot of people.
I tried Colours & Tastes first and my gosh, it was delicious! You’re served a selection of breads and sauces while you wait for your starter dish, but I tried to only sample and not eat all of it – I needed to leave space for the rest of the meal. To start, I went with the salt & pepper calamari fritto with kafir lime jelly, and it was excellent. The calamari were perfectly cooked, there was lots of flavour, and the tempura aspect was very light. For my main course, I decided to keep the seafood theme going and I ordered the spice paste marinated cod with tamarind chutney, wilted Asian greens and coconut rice. Another home run from the chef! It’s not a dish I’d usually order, but I was so glad that I did. It was a beautiful piece of fish! By now, I can hardly breathe, and I didn’t really want a dessert, but the girls twisted my arm, and I went for the mango & lychee mille-feuille with street graffiti and raspberry sorbet. However, it didn’t end there! In typical Fred. style, they also brought out the five-spice chocolate cake with hazelnut and chocolate sauce. I was nearing a food coma by this point, so I had a sample of each and the winner for me was the mille-feuille.
As we continued our sea days, I found some familiar places – The Morning Light Pub, Oriental Room, Neptune Lounge (albeit three times the size and with an additional deck), The Poolside (HEAVEN!) and the Bookmark Café. These were comfort spaces; I knew them well. I also found some new places including the Auditorium, a mid-ship pool with a roof and my absolute favourite, the Piano Bar – I adore that space! It was something outside of the box and new for Fred., and I was smitten with it.
FOOD! It’s a huge aspect of any cruise and the Poolside Café is just perfect! I was also pleased to see this time that the menus were changed more frequently (although I still wish they would bring back the chicken skewers with hummus and warm tortilla bread – that was my absolute favourite) and I’d probably say some of the portion sizes had increased slightly, too. I must admit, I definitely over-indulged and I would tend to have my main meal of the day at the Poolside and then explore afternoon tea – having also had breakfast! So, to break it down for you, the Poolside is exactly as it sounds, it’s the poolside restaurant on the Lido Deck and you can get everything from fish & chips to a small Ploughman’s. The reason it’s one of my favourite dining options (and not just on Fred., I mean in general) is because it mixes light and casual with naughty and fried. You can always order a beef burger or fish & chips, but they also do some very nice grilled chicken and salad dishes, and fresh tuna steak. It’s just a variety of incredibly good food that has had effort put into it. I really like the Santa-Fe-salad, the fish & chips are always excellent, and the grilled halloumi with salad & balsamic is a tasty vegetarian option.
The Poolside also does breakfast between 10am and 12 noon. This includes fresh omelette, 2 options for poached eggs, Swiss Muesli, and a tropical fruit platter with yoghurt.
Yes, I enjoyed those sea days, I acquainted myself with Bolette and I was now ready to put my feet on some warm international soil…
Cruising The Olsen Way Part 3 soon…
#PressTrip – I was a guest of Fred. Olsen on this sailing
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