While the threat of Covid hasn’t gone away fully, the relaxing of restrictions this year has seen more and more of us taking holidays again, both at home and abroad. And for the Ceres team, holidays mean food and the chance to explore new eateries and sample local delicacies. We’ve rounded up some of the best food we’ve discovered on our recent trips.
It’s no secret that I love Cyprus, and try to visit at least once a year. The sunshine, hospitality, friendships and food, draw me back to my favourite island time and time again. With a fusion of Mediterranean flavours, the menu never fails to include all of my favourite meals. Marinated, barbecued meat and fish, cheese and fresh salads, served as a meze in a seemingly endless display of food!
For me it’s often the simplicity of the dishes that pack the real punch, with surprising ingredients that just add that special something. From Fattoush salad, combining onion, radish, pomegranate and fried pitta bread, to fresh Greek village salads that hit the spot with the zing of red onion, olives and of course a healthy amount of feta.
Then there’s the never ending supply of halloumi, fresh tzatziki and souvlaki that just tastes SO different to home. Grilled octopus and squid, you name it, it all tastes better straight from the Cypriot bbq with a backdrop of a sunset! And finally, a visit to Cyprus just isn’t complete without making room for the ultimate pudding, loukoumades! Greek doughnuts or honey balls, deep fried, covered in syrup and served with ice cream. They are an absolute must, (perhaps just not every night) before rounding off the evening with an espresso!
Emily: Lucali, Brooklyn, New York
During a recent trip to New York, we were told Lucali was the “best pizza in the city” by none other than Jay-Z (it wasn’t a personal recommendation, in case you’re wondering…). Lucali had the most bizarre set up but it added to the whole experience. They recommend that you arrive at 4pm to put your name down for a table – you can’t call or reserve online, you have to be there in person (although I doubt Jay-Z has to do that…).
By the time we arrived, the queue was already snaking down the road, but we managed to secure a table for 7.15, which, from what we had read, was very lucky! Once you’re on the list, you find yourself in a small neighbourhood in Brooklyn with a few hours to kill. We spoke to a local and they directed us to a few bars nearby which kept us busy. When your table is ready, they encourage you to bring your own drinks and there’s plenty of supermarkets and wine shops nearby to stock up. After all the ‘admin’, I expect you’re wondering if this pizza was worth the hassle… I can confirm it absolutely was!
We ordered a half and half pizza pie (aka a normal pizza) and then a mozzarella and garlic calzone with tomato sauce, which oozed with all the melted cheese goodness that you would hope for. It genuinely was the BEST pizza I’ve ever eaten and I’m still obsessing over it. From the dough, to the tasty tomato sauce and mouth-watering cheese, you’re going to want to head to Lucali when and if you visit New York. And if you don’t fancy the queue, you can get a takeaway!
Taryn: Albert Schloss, Manchester
Ever visited Switzerland, Germany, France and Austria in one day? I have, and I didn’t even have to leave the country! Albert Schloss in Manchester is simply ‘wunderbar’ and a true delight for any person who likes good food, good vibes and even better cocktails (I can highly recommend the Cold Brew Espresso Martini!).
From the mouth-watering freshly baked bread with whipped butter to start, to the delightful Cordon Bleu which was a combination of tender chicken, crispy prosciutto and creamy gruyere, joined by a side of crunchy truffle fries…incredible! Combine this with the roaring fires, live music and excellent service, it was the perfect holiday foodie destination, without even having to board a plane.
David: The Pigs, Norfolk
Holidays with children can mean compromising to make sure everyone is happy at meal time. Luckily The Pigs in Norfolk is perfect for that, which is why we revisited for the third year running. This year though we booked for its famous Sunday Piggy Pudding Table, ideal for two hungry little piglets who discovered the joy of a pudding buffet earlier this year in Lanzarote.
Being British, the adults of course opted for Sunday Roasts (despite being in the middle of a heatwave!) as our main and boy am I glad we did, as they were simply fantastic – with a generous helping of pork or beef, super large Yorkshire puddings, a flavour packed gravy, and even one of the Ceres team’s favourite veg, kale. As for the puddings, I think I’s fair to say that the mini brownies and sticky toffee pudding both went down a treat!
Kathryn: The Beach House, Javea
We’ve been visiting Javea since my eldest was 6 months old – he turns 20 this year! - and having not been since 2019 it was amazing to be back this summer. Eating breakfast out has always been a family favourite of ours, so returning to The Beach House situated in the Port of Javea which celebrates Mediterranean cuisine with a twist was one of the first things we did.
Some of our ‘go to’ breakfasts included Green Toast – multi cereal bread with feta, avo and linseeds; Beetroot Toast – oat bread, beetroot hummus and black olive soil; and my favourite. an Acai bowl with granola, banana, chai with a detox juice!
Jennifer: Duo, Lecce, Southern Italy
This August we had the privilege of being invited to a christening in Southern Italy & took the opportunity to also tag on a couple of days in Lecce too. We had an amazing five days of great Italian food and hospitality (there is nothing quite like a Calabrian baptismo!) and enjoyed too seeing some of the fabulous produce these regions produce - from chillies ( which you saw drying everywhere!) to prickly pears ( lots growing by the road side, as well as cultivated crops too) and strawberries to olives.
The stand out meal of the holiday was at Duo Restaurant in Lecce where these fabulous sweet treats made for an excellent end to the evening. But one of the things that made the meal so special was the trouble the chef took to come and talk to his guests. Passionate about his food and grateful for everyone’s custom. All in all, a wonderful few days that more than met expectations.