Whenever I write about overseas holidays there always seems to be a piece on the subject of the catering arrangements, whether it be the appalling lack of queuing etiquette displayed by the German contingent in Lanzarote in 2013 or the still unidentified meat product labelled as “Goat Beef” in Tenerife in 2010.
This is this holiday’s take on the Food and Drink aspect.
Incidentally, if you wish to read about either of the previously mentioned holidays, you can find them in the Archive pages of this site for March or April of either of those years.
There were no such queuing incidents on this occasion – probably because, whatever the nationalities involved, the people staying here this late in the season tend to be around our age and not therefore in a rush to be first for everything.
The buffet system for Breakfast and Lunch still continues to amaze me!
I had no idea that there were so many international requirements for Breakfast!
I can understand the presence of Fruit and Cereals (because that’s what I normally have at home) and at least some of the makings of the proverbial “Full English” with only Mushrooms, some form of fried Potato and Black Pudding failing to appear.
Some of the other offerings do, however, seem a tad weird.
Anyone who has stayed in a UK hotel in the last 40 years or more will have become familiar with the concept of a “Continental Breakfast” (often as the default provided with the “Full English” option as a chargeable alternative) but the British version of this normally comprises not much more than cold Croissants, slices of Edam or Cheddar cheese and a plate with some ham slices on.
It should be no surprise to anybody that, given the range of countries presumably covered by the term “Continental Breakfast” there is actually a lot more to it than that – no less than 5 different sorts of cheese, slices of many varieties of ham plus several regional styles of Salami-type sliced sausage.
So that, what with all that hot and cold choice and the fact that as long as you hang on to your knife and fork you can go back and refill your plate as often as you like (or can manage) the breakfast set up alone explains why we never, ever, pay extra for “full board”! You can easily fill yourself up sufficiently that a small (and cheap) lunchtime snack outside of the hotel will keep you going until the evening where it all starts again, only worse!
Remembering that I am supposed to be losing weight by eating healthily I determined every evening to have a Salad – which under buffet conditions can still amount to quite a plateful. I included allowable items such as Anchovies and Hard Boiled Eggs and dutifully avoided no-no’s like Olives and Cheese (despite being rather fond of both). Sometimes, if I liked the flavour I would also have a bowl of soup.
Unfortunately, this left me feeling so virtuous that I would celebrate by going back for a normal main course!
In my defence I will say that each time I did this I did choose things permitted by my current eating regime, avoiding fried stuff, fatty meat and such like but like the buffet meals in Tenerife in 2010 and Lanzarote in 2013 I ended up with plates containing the most unholy mixtures you could wish for.
One evening Faith pointed at some of my meat selections and asked me what they were.
“Don’t know, don’t know and Ostrich” was my reply. As long as they tasted nice I didn’t really mind, though.
Having now eaten way more than I would have done at home but feeling good because I’d avoided things that were bad for me I then usually rewarded myself by having a big bowl of multi-coloured jelly with several scoops of ice cream on top – which probably undid all the good!
At the start of this piece I mentioned that it would be about Food AND Drink.
Anyone who knew me when I was in my 20’s would be very surprised to learn that most of what I drank on this holiday was some form of diet Cola – not even lightly flavoured with Bourbon or Amaretto – or the occasional small bottle of beer. I must be getting old! I even failed to indulge in the cabinet of Cava available at breakfast – although to be fair it was tucked away in a corner and I didn’t notice it for about 5 days!
I still wonder just who the Spanish hotel management think starts hitting alcohol that early in the day! Must be those Germans!
I did indulge myself with a number of Mojitos both in the hotel and out in the town at various small bars but hit the jackpot with our excursion to the island capital, Mahon. There, as a legacy from the 1700s when Menorca was major British Naval Base, is a still fully functional Gin Distillery and a trip to it was on our itinerary. So much sampling took place that I didn’t even notice how little legroom I had in the coach on the way back!
So, taking liberties with the term “Distillery” back in the restaurant that evening I expressed disappointment that the soup of the day was Mushroom because it denied me the opportunity to title this piece “Pea soup ‘n a Brewery”!
But then I so dazzled myself with the idea that I’ve gone ahead and used it anyway! Faith was also disappointed because the one soup she loves more than any other is Pea!
Oh, and in case you were wondering, by the time I “weighed in” at Slimming World six days after our return I had reduced what could have been a colossal weight gain to a mere one and a half pounds!
Only one more thing to write about now to bring this little series to a close – we have after all now been back over a month!