America, Caribbean, Countries, Cruising, Europe, Food, Food & Wine

Hungry and Thursday – the end of buffets?

Buffets are like marmite (and you can get that too) so the prospect of no buffets is just another thing to pile on our COVID tray.

First off, a history question? Who introduced the buffet?

Padova in north-west Italy actually.

I discovered this on a trip to the Veneto region…

Boney’s Italian adventure

Napoleon, it transpires, was responsible for the introduction of the buffet when he held parties for his pals in the Italian grand casas.

Well you don’t think he got that girth from croissants do you? Visit

Here’s where I’ve stood in line for my food asking for more. And there’s always more!

Carry on Cruising

Cruising: And one of the draws of a cruise for many is their food.

And you can eat around the world on a cruise, and go back and do it all over again!

Get there early for breakfast, lunch and dinners on MSC Cruises and The call of the fjords

Particularly when the food-mad Italians are around!!!

Of course where you go on your cruise can inform your choice of foods.

And on the Celebrity Cruise Edge maiden voyage I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out To Here from Florida to the Bahamas they like to spice it up.

And that’s my five a day

If you want though a taste of home then Royal Caribbean are the cruise for you.

When you can visit an authentic British Fish and Chip Shop.

Authentic that is for being on the top deck with a cocktail in hand and A Royal Party and

Caribbean cruising

Barbados: And seeing we’re talking about the Caribbean (and aren’t we always?) then a Caribbean buffet always has something special?

Yes, rum!

Because bread, cakes, pancakes, bacon, you name it they have it, and it will be on the hot plate in Barbados and Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna.

Der buffet

Dresden: And for Germans, eccentrics that they are, that means doing things differently.

And the Saxons in Dresden Dresden’s renaissance at the German Travel Mart put out all their meats at one side of the room and the veg at the other.

Guess which one I went for!

America’s a rollercoaster

Orlando: You’ll pay for it if you were overdoing the Hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s

Because in American hotels bigger is better.

And there will always be a chef waiting with a frying pan offering an anything you want omelette.

As well as the plethora of sweet treats.

But remember you have theme parks of loop the loops awaiting you.

And believe me you don’t want to make the Hulk angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry.

See, And Aaawlando… Orlando, the rollercoaster capital and See off Voldemort, then for a beer at Moe’s.



Moanday Morning… football, ship jobs

The football season is back… abroad! Here in Ireland it’s been going all summer.

But football fans will ditch Cork City for Manchester City, Galway United for Manchester United, Longford Town for Liverpool.

And there is, of course, a rich business in ferrying and flying fans out to see their favourite foreign clubs.

Manchester United v Chelsea is one of the blue-riband games of the season (or red if that’s your colour).

And Celtic Horizon Tours offers the fixture on August 11 for €259pp for adults and €239pp for children.

Including transport by coach and ferry, hotel stay at the Holiday Inn Express, Manchester Airport, and tickets. Visit

And before you jump all over me, they do offer deals for your team too.

The good news is that you won’t have to show your passport to get the tickets.

It helps if you have them: Photo by Omar Markhieh on

And that’s my Monday Mourning Moan…. having to show your passport abroad at the ticket office.

I still owe the Son and Heir a match in Rome after turning up at the ticket office without a passport.

And then having to take the bus back into the city against the traffic of football fans coming the other way.

Passports to get tickets for football matches… did I not need one of them to get into the country in the first place?

Harland & Wolff – shipping jobs

Belfast people have a natural wit, not dissimilar to Glaswegians, of whom I am one, just across the water.

And they too built their wealth on shipbuilding.

And so they will cheerily try to convince you that H&W lettering on the Harland And Wolff cranes that tower over Belfast stand for Hello and Welcome.

Harland and Wolff’s impact on the city is as large as those cranes, ‘Samson and Goliath’, but today it stands to lose its famous shipyard.

The administrators have been called in.

And where once it shipped goods and people, now it is shipping jobs.

Legacy: Titanic Photo by Steven Hylands on

Harland and Wolff’s skilled workmen erected the Titanic.

And which has been around since 1861.

It was a bastion of Protestant rule in its day but then that was in those days and Belfast has changed and evolved.

I know the world has moved on too, they build ships cheaper abroad, and Brexit must be a part of it as well.

But why have we just thrown our hands up and meekly relinquished our once unequalled position as the shipbuilders of the world?

I can only take solace in the fact that the Titanic Exhibition Centre has become such a huge success.

And has among its many awards been named the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards.

Belfast has rebuilt itself before – it will again.

Visit And

And read my review of the city where the Son and Heir has made his home.

And Van Morrison has chosen among all the places in the world to return to.