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Time for a tipple


Drink your way around the world in The Glass House with Food Hero and wine guru Olly Smith

P&O Cruises Food Hero Olly Smith

‘Cruising is the ultimate way to explore food and wine,’ says Olly Smith, award-winning wine expert and one of P&O Cruises celebrity Food Heroes. His stylish wine bar, The Glass House, launched on board P&O Cruises ship Azura five years ago and was an instant success, winning Best Bar at Sea in the 2011 and 2012 Cruise Critic Awards.

Since then, The Glass House has opened on Ventura, Aurora and, just this year, on Britannia. ‘I think there’s a wine out there to suit every palette and every pocket, and really that’s what I wanted to achieve with The Glass House,’ Olly explains. ‘It’s a place where you can just hang out informally and taste different wines. No intimidation at all. It should be about enjoyment.’

On each of the ships, The Glass House offers an impressive choice of around 40 wines from all over the world handpicked by Olly. He travels extensively to source brand new wines and find hidden gems full of character that guests won’t find anywhere else. Even the most seasoned cruiser will always find something new and enticing to try, while the house wines, the Bon Viveur collection, are Olly’s own unique, signature blends created exclusively for P&O Cruises guests. 

An example of small plates available in The Glass House

However, it’s not just about the wines: the Glass House’s sophisticated menu boasts something to suit everyone. There are small plates for sharing, including smoked salmon fishcakes, baked portobello mushrooms, warm quail Scotch eggs, and salt and pepper tempura king prawns. Or if you’re in need of something a bit more substantial, try a hearty, stomach-lining steak, aged on the bone for a minimum of 21 days. There’s also a mouthwatering mixed grill, pan-fried calves’ liver, prime North Atlantic cod and chips and a succulent lamb burger, as well as a vegetarian sweet butternut squash risotto and chicory salad with toasted pecan nuts and Gorgonzola cheese.


And don’t forget dessert. Choose from baked lemon cheesecake, sweet summer berries topped with hazelnut pavlova, a rich Bourneville chocolate tart or a black cherries jubilee and mixed ice cream sundae. And, of course, you’ll need a good cheese board and a glass of port to finish off.


Although all the wines offered in The Glass House can be enjoyed by the glass, guests can also turn their meal into a wine-tasting experience, sampling specially selected wines matched to each course. You might even be lucky enough to find the man himself behind the bar, ready and waiting to personally help you find your perfect tipple. Like all our Food Heroes, Olly joins a number of cruises throughout the year to host talks and wine tastings. ‘It’s a great honour to share people’s holiday with them,’ he says. ‘I couldn’t be more of a fan of both wine and cruising. I think they make the perfect partners. Whether you’re with friends and family, or new friends you’ve made on board, if you share a glass of wine it just enhances and improves the moment.’


Next year, you’ll find Olly on board Britannia’s 13-night Mediterranean cruise in April (B609), Azura’s 14-night cruise to Iceland in June (A616) and on Ventura in September (N626).