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25 March 2010

TURNDOWN BLISS

Chocoholics, rejoice! Your ship has come in. One of Belgium's finest luxury chocolate artists is crafting the delicacies that grace the turned-down beds of Silver Spirit. Pierre Marcolini, who won the 1995 World Champion of Pastry competition, and maintains his flagship chocolate boutique in Brussels' Place du Grand Sablon, now shares his handmade chocolate creations with the discerning guests of Silversea.

 

A Belgian citizen of Italian descent, Marcolini is uncompromising when it comes to choosing the raw ingredients for his products. From Mexico to Madagascar to Trinity Island, he travels the globe to personally select the best cocoa beans for his confections. This innovative chocolatier then subtly blends the beans from the different regions and works with original aromas to create inspired flavours. All Pierre Marcolini products are made in his workshops in Haren, a suburb of Brussels.

 

We are pleased to offer our Silversea guests the chance to discover confectionery perfection folded into creations with such names as Fleur d'Oranger, a dark chocolate flavoured with orange blossoms from Algeria, and Amande Agrume, a Piedmont hazelnut milk chocolate infused with citrus fruits. These are but two of several exotic indulgences you might sample from the Palets Fins (Thin Squares) or Saveurs du Monde (Flavours of the World) collections featured in Silver Spirit's turndown service -- and as a special welcoming amenity for guests staying in the Silver, Royal, Grand and Owner's Suites.

And should you have the pleasure of dining in Le Champagne, a selection of Pierre Marcolini macarons (French dessert cookies) in four flavours -- vanilla, chocolate, caramel and champagne -- will add the finishing touch to a delectable food and wine experience.

The Pierre Marcolini amenities will be rolled out to other Silversea ships in stages, starting with select European itineraries this summer.

 

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15 March 2010

HOW DO YOU DRINK SAKE?

 

If you're planning to dine in Silver Spirit's Seishin restaurant, you may find it helpful to brush up on your knowledge of Japan's most popular alcoholic drink -- sake.

Basically, it's a brewed drink made from rice and water with an alcohol content just slightly stronger than wine. Its origin is believed to date back thousands of years and it comes in as many varieties. You can drink sake warm, chilled or at room temperature. Its flavour changes depending on the temperature, which is best determined by the season and type of food it will accompany.

There are time-honoured traditions for serving and consuming sake properly. For instance, when drinking with others, be sure to pour sake into your colleagues' cups when they become empty and they will do the same for you.

But one of the best ways to enjoy sake is by pairing it with a delectable dish. And the best way to explore an array of sakes is with a gourmet tasting menu. With that in mind, we are pleased to share below a multi-course sake degustation menu featured for dinner in Silver Spirit's Seishin restaurant:

Amuse Bouche
Seishin Signature Caviar Sorbet

Paired with Gekkeikan Zipang, a naturally carbonated sparkling sake
brewed by Gekkeikan, Fushimi, Japan

. . .

Sushi
Assorted Sushi
with Traditional Condiments

Paired with Murai Nebuta Honjozo, a dry full-bodied sake brewed by Murai Family, Japan

. . .

Sashimi
Sashimi of Black Cod
with Daikon Flower and Topikoe Roe

Paired with Murai Nebuta Honjozo, a dry full-bodied sake brewed by Murai Family Japan

. . .

Shells
Carpaccio of King Scallops
with Flying Fish Roe

Paired with Ty Ku Junmai Black, a semi-light sake brewed by Ty Ku, California, USA

. . .

Seafood
Waterpaper Roll of Spider Crab
with Green Pea Jus and Lemongrass-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Paired with Ty Ku Junmai Black, a semi-light sake brewed by Ty Ku, California, USA

. . .

Fish
Semi-Cooked Saku Tuna
with Soya Dressing, Kaffir Lime and Caper Confit

Paired with Momokawa Diamond, an off-dry sake brewed by Sake One, Oregon, USA

. . .

Hot Seafood
Seishin Specialty Tempura
with Japanese Chili Sauce and Pickles

Paired with Murai Sugidama, a medium-dry full-bodied sake brewed by Murai Family, Japan

. . .

Meat
Signature Tepan Grilled Wagyu Beef
with Wasabi and Natural Flavours

Paired with Murai Tanrei Junmai, a crisp and dry sake brewed by Murai Family, Japan

. . .

Miso
Signature Miso Soup

. . .

Pre-Dessert
Seishin's Signature Green Tea Sorbet

. . .

Dessert
Mango and Banana Roll
with Lemongrass and Lychee Sorbet

Paired with Murai Nigori Genshu, a smooth and creamy sake
with confectionery aromas brewed by Murai Family, Japan

Reservations are required to dine in Seishin and the above menu is priced at US$80 with all sakes included.

If these delicacies have piqued your appetite for Japanese cuisine, why not go all the way and consider a more in-depth cultural experience? There's no better way to explore Japan than from the comfort and luxury of a Silversea ship. This year our intimate, 382-guest Silver Shadow visits Hakodate and Sendai on a 16-day voyage from Vancouver to Tokyo that departs on 12 September, offering an excellent opportunity to visit an enchanting land of ancient shrines, temples and fascinating traditions.

Photo credit: ©Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau/©JNTO

 

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04 March 2010

GOING TO CARNAVAL IN STYLE

It was a fabulous day for sightseeing as Silver Spirit's guests joined thousands of revellers last month to celebrate the world-famous Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro. This year's celebration was as colourful and electrifying as ever, marked by fireworks, street parties, parades and pulsating samba rhythms.

One of several complimentary onshore events for guests sailing over 70 days of the Grand Inaugural Voyage, our exclusive Carnaval programme was designed to be as stylish as it was entertaining. After an early dinner aboard ship, Silver Spirit's guests sipped champagne pierside before boarding their private motorcoach to travel in comfort to the Sambadrome. At the stadium, our guests enjoyed magnificent box seat views of the renowned parade of samba schools -- with their high-energy dancers, extravagant costumes and dazzling floats showcasing the joie de vivre that is Carnaval. 

A sumptuous buffet and cocktails awaited guests back aboard ship to top off an evening full of magic and fantasy. With some Carnaval-goers opting to return as late as 3 o'clock in the morning -- and with so much excitement in the air -- it was not unusual for guests still in the party spirit to remain out on deck observing Rio's picturesque harbour as Silver Spirit set sail just minutes before sunrise.

Fortunately, for those of us who missed this year's festivities, the fun lingers on in the following slide show:

 

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