European Travel and the Coronavirus
La Renaissance Food and Wine
From: A Barge Cruise in France
Breakfast on La Renaissance consists of baguettes, croissants, and other pastries (obtained from village bakeries en route) plus two cereals, ham and cheese, and a simple fruit salad. The staff will cook eggs on request, but don't expect a full English breakfast: The chef wants you to have an appetite for lunch.
Lunch typically consists of something hot (such as a quiche or a whole salmon baked in rock salt) along with several different salads. A cheese course (with two different cheeses) rounds out the meal.
Dinner is a more elaborate affair that includes a soup or starter, a main course, two French cheeses, a dessert, and coffee. On our cruise, dinner usually started at 7:30 p.m. and lasted about two hours.
Sylvain, the chef, was a young man of exceptional talents. He was also accommodating: If a passenger had a food allergy or simply didn't like something, he'd provide a substitute--such as individual dairy-free quiches and tarts for a passenger who couldn't tolerate cheese.
European Waterways cruise fares include wine, spirits, and other beverages, with different red and white wine selections (and occasionally a rosé) at every lunch and dinner. The staff make a point of describing both the wines and the cheeses, so bring your pocket notebook if you're a connoisseur of vin or fromage.
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