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17 December 2012 / leggypeggy

A brief intermission for dinner in Antarctica


Chateaubriand—a gourmet choice

With all this talk about our expedition to Antarctica, I guess it’s time to mention the food.

For starters, Poor John and I are still amazed how the kitchen was able to deliver beautifully fresh and varied food at sea for so many days in a row. A real credit to the staff’s expertise and the Ocean Diamond’s refrigeration system.

Three elaborate meals per day, plus afternoon teas and occasional drinks parties were enough to send me scurrying to the yoga and core-strengthening classes held most days. And I made a serious attempt to control portions and resist seconds.

The buffet breakfast was my splurge meal. Most mornings I succumbed to scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, smoked salmon with capers and onions, cream cheese, a couple of pieces of fruit, coffee and a mini muffin (if they hadn’t run out)—all followed by a burp.

Chocolate cake

A work of art in chocolate

I could have added yogurt, cereals, porridge, potatoes, cold cuts, croissants, danishes, breads, rolls, French toast, toast, baked beans, an omelet of my choice, eggs made to order, juices and tea, but I restrained myself.

Lunch was when I did show some control. Every day, this buffet meal featured soups, an array of salads, platters of cold cuts and cheeses, four hot choices with non-low-cal favourites such as macaroni and cheese, and a couple of desserts.

Without fail, I stuck to a green salad—piles of lettuce topped with veggie choices such as tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, olives and the like. I usually tried one of the other salads too, and managed to sneak in a bit of cheese. Dessert was off limits. I passed on goodies at afternoon teas and drinks parties too.

Dinner was the most lavish meal of the day with two soups, two salads, four mains and at least three desserts on offer. The mains always covered fish/seafood, meat/poultry, pasta and vegetarian options. You could order virtually anything. A friend, Anne, was hoping to gain some weight and staff were quite happy to bring her three desserts. Poor John was especially partial to a baked dessert topped with a scoop of ship-made ice cream.

After the first night, I limited myself to two courses only, and one night my choices were just soup and salad. The last night I treated myself to the chateaubriand and lots of the showy and divine chocolate desserts.

Cruise ships are supposedly renowned for their continuous supply of gourmet food. My stepdad used to lose 20 pounds before he went on a cruise, so he could afford to eat whatever he wanted.

While all the food on our expedition ship was tasty and beautifully presented, only a few dishes were of truly fine-dining standard. Thank goodness. I don’t think I could have resisted 10 days of gourmet.

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Leave a Comment
  1. Louise Scrivener / Dec 17 2012 1:52 pm

    I’m not sure what I’m amazed by most – the quantity of food on offer (and why?), your steely nerve or the fact your stepdad would / could lose 20 pounds pre holiday – that’s a STONE AND A HALF.


    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 17 2012 2:02 pm

      He started out overweight which made it easier to lose, but he had a steely determination to enjoy every meal aboard ship. I think his diets started months in advance.

      I was rather proud of my own restraint. But unlike my previous overlands, this has not been a weight-losing trip. Too much food everywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. skippersy / Dec 17 2012 2:05 pm

    Ok, here is my “Half and a Stone” comment. (BTW, what does “Stone and a Half” mean? To lazy to Google). I am just amazed at the great choice of foods you had on the ship… and in such a remote part of the world.

    Sy S.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 17 2012 2:07 pm

      We were stunned by the choice. Such an impressive effort. And here’s one for your weights and measures. A stone is an English measure of 14 pounds, so a stone and a half would be 21 pounds. Glad you asked. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Susan / Dec 17 2012 3:15 pm

    Last cruise I went on I unknowingly went with an infected mouth due to an inept oral surgeon not putting me on an antibiotic after a wisdom tooth extraction. I lost over 10 pounds!!! At least I had a wide array of soft foods to pick from. 🙂


    • leggypeggy / Dec 17 2012 8:10 pm

      Never heard of anyone losing weight on a cruise. That’s a real accomplishment! Sorry that it was so painful.


  4. lmo58 / Dec 17 2012 7:00 pm

    Well Peggy, as you know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day followed by morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner! It all sounds quite delightful and I’m not the least bit surprised to hear that you were very restrained. I don’t know that I would have liked to have eaten the chocolate desserts; they look so much like works of art that it would be a shame to dismantle them as it were. And the amount of food, the chef’s skill, in such relatively limited circumstances are also quite amazing.


    • leggypeggy / Dec 17 2012 8:12 pm

      We really were impressed by the variety, quantity and quality of food. But it was easy to tackle the cakes. We just waited until other people hacked into them.


  5. adventurousandrea / Dec 20 2012 2:16 pm

    The chocolate look so delicious!


  6. Foodie in WV / Apr 27 2013 9:13 pm

    Yum! I would have eaten way too many desserts because I have a huge sweet tooth! Thanks for commenting on my blog, come back again soon 🙂


    • leggypeggy / Apr 27 2013 9:32 pm

      You’ve got a great blog Foodie. As for the desserts on the ship. I ate way too many and I DON’T have a sweet tooth.


  7. Zambian Lady / Jan 13 2015 10:21 pm

    I know I am late to the conversation, but going to Antarctica or anywhere extremely cold is out for me. Just thinking of that cold freezes my brain 🙂


    • leggypeggy / Jan 14 2015 11:02 pm

      Oh don’t be afraid to go to Antarctica. The ship was always beautifully warm and we were given excellent jackets to wear ashore. I’d bought a heavy-duty scarf and beanie (hat) to use on the trip and never needed either.


  8. barkinginthedark / Mar 14 2020 12:33 pm

    u r so funny…i luv that buffet breakfast. i burped just reading it. continue…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. MichaelStephenWills / Jan 14 2023 10:49 pm

    We travelled the wilds of Chile and Argentina, including Ushuaia, always marveling at the comforts of the cruise ship, Oceania’s Regatta.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jan 15 2023 9:45 am

      We look forward to doing it again. One of our daughters has been posted to Chile for three years. Goes in September.


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