Monday, 17 November 2014

OD'ing on Christmas at Viking Line

We've only reached mid-November yet we're feasting on yet another Christmas buffet! And if Klaus K's American-inspired Christmas spread wasn't particularly traditional, this one certainly was. Scandinavian traditions (and herring!) galore!

We had a mini-break in Stockholm, courtesy of Viking Line cruises and on board we checked out the launch of their Christmas season. And rather impressive Christmas buffet (€36/ person, including beverages)...

Like last year, the man behind the buffet is a Michelin-starred chef Leif Mannerström who is also one of the judges on the local Masterchef. He's also the author of a comprehensive Christmas-themed cookbook which also features many of the dishes we sampled.

Rest of our party agreed on fish being the make or break of the Christmas table. And sure enough, this one rocked. My favourite was the curried herring (for my recipe, see here!).

And this cruise marked officially the first time ever I didn't go overboard with shrimp (the way I always, always do). Not because I've learnt anything about moderation but simply out of courtesy to the fellow bloggers we had at our table...

But sure enough there wasn't much space for the warm dishes and meats. Funny things, those Swedes. Be it Christmas, Easter, Midsummer, breakfast, brunch or,well, any meal any day of the year, they've got to have their meatballs and mini sausages...

I liked the Christmas stew with brisket, pork belly and Christmasy sausages but a little surprisingly my biggest favourites (apart from all those tens of different pickled herrings, of course!) were salad made with organic spelt (yes! me!) and sweet and tangy brown beans that were an absolute delight with slow-roasted pork.

Unlike my appetite (I daren't imagine the size I'll be by the actual Christmas...!) the dessert portions were tiny. Maltese rice was my favourite.

Ooh, it is always nice to sit down and let somebody else do the cooking! And let's face it, it isn't too often I find myself with time or motivation to whip up a 100-course fiesta just to surprise my nearest and dearest...!

*In collaboration with Viking Line*




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