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11 months ago

The Star: March 30, 2017

26 Thursday

26 Thursday March 30 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi The Star Travel Gourmet delights on Emerald Princess • By Mike Yardley LOSING WEIGHT while on-board an ocean cruise is a forlorn goal. Virtuously though, I circumnavigated the promenade deck of the Emerald Princess so many times, I felt as if I’d walked my way to Tasmania. All the more reason to succumb to the great slate of culinary salivation bursting forth. The old-faithfuls can be found throughout the ship, from the billowing buffet ballast at Horizon Court, to the more formal a la carte dining rooms of Boticelli, Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Cheap and cheerful snacks abound, whether it’s a slice or three of poolside pizza from Prego Pizzeria, hamburgers and hot dogs at Trident Grill or sweet servings on a whim from Scoops ice cream bar. Generously studded with 13 dining venues, it’s the specialty dining experiences that lure the gastronomes for a sense of culinary discovery, flavourful fun and design finesse. The headliner is Share by Curtis Stone. But my first stop was The Salty Dog, a playful gastropub cheerily garlanded in Union Jack bunting. It’s the share-plates experience that you should plump for, AWARD-WINNER: Curtis Stone’s small plates menu caters for Australasian tastes. (Right) – Calamari frites at The Salty Dog. whereby for an $18 cover charge, you can select two gourmet plates from the cravable menu, spanning melt-in-your-mouth lobster mac and cheese to wild caught calamari frites. Another unmissable gastronomic encounter can be found at the premium seafood, steak and chop house, Crown Grill. I started with chilean sea bass and brioche-breaded king prawns, before hitting the meat. The globally-sourced range of premium chops elicited a patriotic pick on my part, opting for the New Zealand double lamb chops in rosemary essence with garden fresh vegetables. Divine. The piece de resistance is the stirring six-course degustation fine dining affair at Share. With supreme ocean views over the ship’s wake, the fresh, instantly agreeable and homely design elements mark a huge departure from the standard cruise ship aesthetic. Decorative curios, books and photos from Curtis’ personal collection, add to its informal ambience. A star feature is the sweeping communal table tailor-made for sharing food, while exquisite hand-blown glass pendants, etched with words like family, togetherness and travel, dangle above the table. The award-winning Melbourne-born chef who has made quite a splash in Hollywood, has crafted a small plates menu specifically for Australasian tastes. There are scallops, lightly seared with a sesame and chickpea puree, lamb loin matched with harissa scented couscous and steelhead trout lying in a white wine beurre blanc. The six-course experience traverses starters, salads, pasta, seafood, meat with a final flourish reserved for dessert. A selection of Curtis Stone dishes are now served in the main dining rooms across the entire fleet of 18 Princess ships. FAST FACTS •Princess Cruises operates a series of Australasian and South Pacific cruises, with five ships currently home-ported down under. In April, Emerald Princess will reposition across the Pacific to commence her fresh season of sevennight round trip Alaska cruises from Seattle. For more information and cruise bookings, see your travel agent or visit www. princess.com Status quo New order Who will we listen to in 2017? | THE MIKE HOSKING BREAKFAST | 6am – 8.30am weekdays NEWSTALKZB.CO.NZ CHRISTCHURCH 100.1FM

The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday March 30 2017 27 GETAWAY TO THE WEST COAST East to West – the trip of a lifetime The TranzAlpine Scenic train journeys between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of the South Island to the other. Now is the time to start planning your break on the world famous scenic rail journey to Greymouth. Cross the sprawling Canterbury Plains and enjoy picturesque vistas as you travel the granite ravines of the ice-fed Waimakariri River. Traverse the mighty Southern Alps where spectacular views of the chiselled alpine landscape with take your breath away at every turn. After stopping at Arthur’s Pass, the terrain changes as you emerge from the 8.5km long Otira Tunnel. With a steep gradient of 1 in 33, it remains one of New Zealand’s finest engineering feats. Descending through a subtropical rainforest and past the glistening waters of Lake Brunner, you continue on to Greymouth. As the heart of the West Coast, it is a great base for exploring the region’s famous glaciers, wild rivers and stunning Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. You will enjoy all this from the comfort of new world-class carriages featuring huge panoramic sky-view windows, an onboard licensed café with a range of delicious kiwi flavours and comprehensive GPS triggered at-seat audio commentary. For a breath of fresh spring air, step onto the open air viewing carriage where nothing gets between your camera and the stunning scenery. The TranzAlpine runs a daily return service between Christchurch and Greymouth throughout the year. Book your unforgettable TranzAlpine journey today and experience the beauty of the Southern Alps. For further information visit www.kiwirailscenic.co.nz Fox Glacier Guiding: Nature at its most awe-inspiring Glaciers around the world are experiencing massive changes. There’s no better time to come and learn about these changes in your very own backyard. Fox Glacier, one of the most accessible glaciers to the general public anywhere in the world, is at your doorstep. The largest of the West Coast glaciers, it grinds 12km from the Southern Alps, terminating in the rainforest close to sea level. The terrain ranges from the steep and fast-moving upper and lower ice falls to the gentle Victoria Flat sandwiched in-between, creating forever changing, breathtaking features along the way. Fox Glacier Guiding is NZ family-owned with a long history of guiding. Years of accumulated knowledge and experience means they are able to guide with complete confidence. Safety is at the core of everything they do. Whether your cup of tea is to take a leisurely informative two-hour walk to the dynamic terminal face, or the fly-in, fly-out Flying Fox Heli Hike, there’s something for everyone. For the adventurous, Fox It Up: Heli Ice Climb has you challenging yourself – no experience needed. Both the Heli Hiking and Ice Climbing take you to a remote area of the glacier where its forces work hardest and often create spectacular ice caves and arches. Fox Glacier Guiding’s aim is to leave you with a lifetime memory that you will savour for years to come. West Coast weather is changeable and dramatic; this brings its own beauty. Check the weather forecast before you go and what others say at www.tripadvisor.co.nz/ Fox_Glacier_Guiding. Book online at www.foxguides.co.nz. Visit the West Coast by train Travel from coast to coast on-board the world famous TranzAlpine train. You’ll travel through the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the majestic Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass National Park, before descending through lush beech rainforest to the West Coast town of Greymouth - a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the always popular glaciers. Experience all of this in purpose built scenic carriages, with panoramic windows, open air viewing carriage, GPS triggered at-seat commentary and an on board licensed cafe. Book now atkiwirailscenic.co.nz