Thanks to everyone who got in touch via social media about Part 1 of my Thomson Holidays #BiscuitCruise post- I’m so glad you enjoyed reading about our adventures! In the second installment of our journey we sailed from Naples onto Citavecchia (for Rome), the little town of Ajaccio on the French Island of Corsica and lastly to Palamos in mainland Spain. I can still hardly believe that we visited SO many places in such a short space of time- it was a biscuity whirlwind!
Day 5 – Rome
The ship docked at the port town of Civitavecchia, which is about an hour and a half from Rome. We booked Thomson’s Rome on Your Own trip so that we could have a full day exploring the city at our own pace. The weather was a little grey- although it wasn’t cold or rainy- so we had good conditions for a day of wandering on foot.
The coach dropped us off at Ponte Sant’Angelo, with a good six or so hours of exploring time ahead of us. We made our way down to Piazza Navona before marveling at the colossal Pantheon (see above!) on our way to our first designated Tea stop of our trip- Babingtons!
Babington’s was recommended by Kat (of Blogtacular fame) as a must see for tea jennies. It’s in quite a grand location (just on the left of the Spanish Steps, Piazza di Spagna and across from a whole host of designer boutiques) so we were expecting it to err on the side of fancy! Inside the interior was decked in dark wood and deep colours, while the waitresses wore crisp white shirts and powder blue skirts with cream tights.
We ordered afternoon tea with a spicy Colonial Chai and Pinhead Gunpowder Green Tea (Mr Biscuit’s choice) which was served in the cutest silver pots topped with tiny kitties (Mrs Babington was a cat lady, clearly!). We’d already taken several wrong turns trying to navigate our way through Rome’s winding streets- so retreating into Babington’s for a little bit of the things we love best was just what we needed.
Our cookies and cakes were perfect. They were “Mignon” style (small and dainty!) and a lot of them vanished quite easily in one mouthful! Their chocolate cookies and the pistachio mousse cup were up there with my favourites!
After fuelling up on tea and cake, we stumbled upon an awesome little stationery store called Vertecchi where I picked up some fancy new detail pencils to work on my Biscuit Cruise Itinerary sketch. Rome had lots of dedicated stationery stores filled with beautifully designed things- next time we go I’ll be setting aside a deskware budget so that the (35 Euro!) stapler of my dreams will be mine!
A few of the sights were closed the day we visited (there were railings around the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain was closed for cleaning) and despite getting a tad lost trying to track down a few we had a brilliant day meandering around the streets soaking up our surroundings. I think we’ll definitely return to Rome at some point in the future- maybe for 3 or 4 days- to visit the Colosseum, the Sisteen Chapel and take home a few of Babington’s pistachio mousse cups.
Day 6 – Ajaccio (Corsica)
With a long journey ahead of us back towards mainland spain, we docked at Ajaccio on the little French Island of Corsica for the morning on day 6. We just had long enough to dip our toes into the sea and climb to the top of Napoleon’s monument (he was born in Ajaccio!) before doing a biscuit MEGA HAUL at a local supermarket!
Out of all the biscuits we tried on our trip- I’d have to say that the French ones were up there with the best. We got a good selection (clockwise from top left): BN Casse-Croute Chocolat, LU Petit Ecolier, Genoise Fourree & some Choc Chip Petit Beurre.
The BN’s were a bit dry on their own- but they really came into their own once they’d been dunked in a hot mug of tea. Petit Ecolier reminded me of the Choco Liebniz Biscuits that have ships on them- only smaller, prettier and with a better chocolate to biscuit ratio. The Genoise were like little cherry flavoured Jaffa cakes- which I could have happily eaten ten of!
My favourite of the bunch though- had to be the plainest looking of them all- the Petit Beurre. I have a special place in my heart for the more “basic” biscuits (hello there, Malted Milks!) and I’d say that the Petit Beurre would fall into this category. They are plain- but at the same time- light and buttery and the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon cuppa. I’ve never seen these for sale in the UK anywhere- so I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do after my only packet is finished!
Day 7 – Palamos (Spain)
For our last stop before returning to port in Palma, the Thomson Dream docked in Palamos, Spain. We jumped on the bus to Figueres (Salvador Dali’s home town) to take in his elaborately designed museum and a sweet Spanish delicacy- Churros!
The Museum itself was (in true Dali style) totally out there- which we loved! It was topped with gigantic glowing eggs, painted crimson and encrusted with casts of the local speciality bread- which were painted gold. We spent about an hour and a half wandering through each room in the museum- which was like stepping into one of his surrealist paintings.
We found a little tapas bar down one of the side streets from the museum and tucked into a lunch of Chorizo, Patatas Bravas, Queso & Churros with Chocolate! Throughout the week- coffee was more readily available than tea- which was the case again at our bar in Figueres.
Back on the ship that evening- the restaurant made a fairwell salute to our last port of call with a yummy Spanish themed buffet bar. They even had a whole “station” of freshly fried Churros and a variety of sweet dipping sauces.
We set sail for our overnight to Palma around 5pm that evening- and lots of passengers gathered around the outside decks to wave goodbye to the last stop before returning home again.
That evening, we popped in to the Broadway theater to catch their production of Moulin Rouge before retiring to our cosy wee cabin for our last night at sea. We’d gotten to know lots of the staff who looked after us throughout the trip- and we did a circuit around the ship to say farewell before we left for the airport in the morning. We both agreed that the staff on the ship had all been fantastic- always smiling and happy to help in any way they could.
Our biscuit cruise has been a trip that we’ll never forget- from the incredible facilities on the ship, to our whirlwind adventures soaking up the local culture on shore. We’d never traveled this way before (getting the ferry to a smaller island whilst on holiday has been the height of it in the past) but I’d say that if you want to get a taster of lots of different places within your week’s break- a cruise is perfect for you.
And here it is- my finished itinerary doodle! I really enjoyed sketching a little visual reminder of each place we visited as part of our busy week at sea and on shore.
Thank you again to Thomson Holidays for sending us on the trip of a biscuit-lovers lifetime- and to Blogtacular for giving me the opportunity to pitch the idea back in June this year.
Happy dunking, pals!
Mr & Mrs Biscuit