Goldring Travel's 2016 Culinary & Cultural (Food & Wine) Cruise on the Seabourn Quest - Part II (British Wine Tour and More) - Travels Blogs

Goldring Travel's 2016 Culinary & Cultural (Food & Wine) Cruise on the Seabourn Quest - Part II (British Wine Tour and More)

And so the 2016 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural Cruise begins!
Bacchus Grapes - Chapel Down WineryMy flight on United arrived a bit early in London; in fact, too early.  I had originally booked a later flight, but for logistical reasons (that never came into play), I arrived three hours earlier than I needed to.  Flying to the Seabourn Quest via London's Heathrow AirportFortunately, at Heathrow?s Terminal Two there is a Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge were I was able to take a shower, have some breakfast, catch up on some work and read a bit of The Apprentice; and NO, not Donald Trump?s, but gloriously, Jacques Pepin?s.  (It is a fascinating light read.)  The lounge is available for a fee or complimentary with your American Express linked Priority Pass membership.
Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge at Heathrow's Terminal 2After walking over to Heathrow?s Terminal 3 to meet some of my clients, it was time for the almost two hour drive to Dover, England and a one night stay at the Best Western Plus Dover.  It is an older hotel with small, quirky, hotel, but the view and location is great, so for one night it worked?again.
Best Western Plus Dover Hotel has a great location and viewsThe White Cliffs of DoverAfter a bit of a walk, it was time for dinner at Hythe Bay Seafood Restaurant.  It is a rather plain restaurant with a wonderful view.  More importantly, the food was quite good.  I had mussels followed by smoked haddock.  I would note that TripAdvisor ranks it as a 4 star restaurant.  For Dover it is probably a 5 star restaurant, but overall it is more of a 3 star restaurant.  (Dining on tables with no linen, ordinary rolls and ran out/never had gluten free ones, service was good but inconsistent, overall atmosphere was sans dcor and ordinary...though the view is quite nice.)  I would, however, recommend it if you are in Dover and do not wish to hire a taxi or drive somewhere.Seabourn Quest's early morning maneuvering into her berth Dover, Kent, EnglandThe next morning I awoke early and just in time to see the Seabourn Quest make a 180 degree turn so it could back into its space at the pier (just as Captain Geir-Arne Thue-Nilsen told me the night before would be happening right outside my hotel balcony?Told you the hotel location as good!)
It was then time for breakfast and then the first event:  The British Wine Tasting Tour and then a visit to Viking Recruitment and its brand new multimillion dollar Maritime Skills Academy where cruise and ferry crew and staff are trained including Windstar, some Seabourn, P&O Ferries and many others. 

We headed out of Dover west to Chapel Down, the largest wine producer in Kent, England, about an hour away. After a brief view of an herb garden and some of the vines, it was time for a nine (9) wine tasting including sparkling, white and red wines.  

With British wines having a rather poor reputation, things started off w...
Source: Goldring Travel

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