The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

royal rendezvous

yozzause's picture

royal rendezvous

Hi Fellow TFL folk

I have recently returned from a 3 month holiday that took us to the UK. We flew with Emirates on the 7th May from Perth @6.00am for  a non stop flight to Dubai aboard a Boeing 777 -200LR literaly overseas for 11 hours ,a quick 1 hr 15 minutes to change planes and an Airbus A380-800 to London. a mere 6hrs and 45 minutes. arriving at local time  6.40pm  we were then taken to the Hilton hotel in Kensington for the night, an extremely long day (32 hours.)

We travelled by coach down to Southampton  to catch the first of the 3 Cunard Queens that we were to travel on, QUEEN VICTORIA was to take us up to the  Baltic on a 14 day cruise takeing in Norway,Sweden,Denmark,Finland before St Petersburg in Russia then Estonia and Brussels back to Southampton.

We then stayed a night at the Devere hotel and the following day boarded the QUEEN ELIZABETH for 14 day cruise of the Mediterranean visiting Gibralta, Sardina, Italy (Rome) Barcelona and  Monte Carlo before returning to Southampton where the three Cunard Queens  were to meet to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubillee. On the morning of  June the 5th  at first light  we followed in line behind QUEEN MARY2 and QUEEN VICTORIA to tie up in Southampton, there were hundreds of small craft escorting us to our berths and after much hooting and tooting the three Queens were altogether for the first time.

We then transfered to the Queen Mary 2  for a 5 day cruise taking in Rotterdam Brussels and LeHavre in France. there were big celebrations planned but as the weather worsened the air display was cancelled  but the fireworks still went ahead  as the Queen Mary positioned herself adjacent to the other QUEENS for more hooter blowing  and then an orderly procession out to sea in pooring rain.

 We did enjoy our first introduction to cruising and i managed to get an invite to the bakery from the executive chef on board the  Queen Elizabeth. The bakery operates 24 hours a day with 4 bakers, i had  asked the question why were the bread rolls so leathery on both the first two cruise ships.

The bakery was quite spacious  and had a number of deck ovens the head baker an indian gentleman ran through the procedures an said that steam was applied for the first five minutes of baking and again for the last 5 minutes  which for me explained  a possible cause, i enquired if it was laid down in a manual or something as both ships were producing similar results. There was also a dough on the bench which i was told were scones and were about to be pressed out placed on a tray and into the retarder for later baking which also sort of explained why the scones had very little lift. With a ship full of grannies i thought there would have been plenty thinking they could have done a much better job of the scones. Any way as a guest i didn't want to be to critical., but a baking contest for best scones would have been a hoot!

I will add some photos after i have posted this as i dont want to loose  what ive written so far.

Part 2 of the adventure will continue when on our 50 day car hire and travel through the UK we meet up with Andy (Ananda) in Northumberland and during a stopover on the flight back to Australia i meet up with Khalid (Mebake) in Dubai. 


 kind regards Yozza




Mebake's picture

I was beginning to wonder of your whereabouts, Derek!

What a gigantic ship! I've never seen one ( save for the movie Titanic , and Poseidon), let alone being in one. It must have been a world of its own.

Waiting for more photos..


ananda's picture

They should appoint you to head up the baking Derek!

I believe Jan Hedh made his reputation on the Cruise Ships; his baking is quite amazing too.

Wonderful that you came up to Powburn; it was great to meet up and spend some time together.

Like Khalid, I was wondering where you'd got to.

Very best wishes


yozzause's picture

 Sorry Guys, you would have thought that a month back in Australia before my return to work  i would have posted before now. It's amazing how busy you can get doing nothing , and its only now that i have returned to work this week that i have had time to contribute, i do hope it doesn't take another month to put down part 2!


Bob and Yozza ENJOYING Belgian Beer  (The fuzziness of this pic conveys the effect of the Leffy)

the morning of the docking of the 3 Queens in Southampton

 Regards Yozza

Janetcook's picture

Wow, What a trip!!!!  Makes me tired just reading all you got done in the time you were on the road!  How you covered so much territory amazes me....I am a totally NON traveler so I am always amazed by those who do travel.  

I love reading about people's impressions of their trips and found your telling of the scones and rolls very interesting.  I would have had a hard time keeping my mouth shut.  Too bad when they have such good stoves to bake in.  Oh well.

I was surprised by the size of the ship you traveled on too.  So many decks.  I live in Colorado so the only boats here abouts are motor boats and the Queen Elizabeth is a far cry from one of those.

Mind naming people in the final photo?  I am assuming you are one of them and I am one of those who likes to connect a face with a name but also understand one wanting to remain un-named on a public forum so totally understand  anonymity.

Like Andy and Khalid stated above, I look forward to more photos of all the places you were able to see on your trip.  

Thanks for the post!



yozzause's picture

 Thanks Janet

 No problem the picture is of  the group of six of us that went on the sailing part of the trip, The Royal Rendezvous was promoted well within Australia, particularly so here in the West so there were about 400 West Aussies aboard.

In the photo of dressed for the Formal dinning evening are from the Left my dear long suffering wife, in the middle Anita and on the right my dear friend Joan and at the back rogues gallery lead by yours truelly on the left Dave behind his wife and  (Wallaby) Bob behind Joan. We were all originally born in the UK but have called Australia home for many many years.  

 a picture of my wife Judy with spare propellor blades on the fore deck

Kind regards Yozza

Janetcook's picture

Thank you for the introduction :-).  How nice that such a large group of you got to travel together and that you had close friends along as well.  What wonderful memories to share.  Sounds like a grand time was had by all.

I am amazed by those propellor blades.  I sure would hate to be the person whose job it is to replace one....I'm not good at holding my breath either :-)  I can't help but wonder why so many?  Are broken blades the 'norm'?  What is it that causes them to break?

Sorry for the questions....


SylviaH's picture

You certainly put in some miles on this one, air and sea.  It sounds like a wonderful time was had by all.  

Thanks for sharing the experience and photos!




yozzause's picture

Hi Sylvia,

Yes plenty of miles  covered and always nice to visit your birthplace the motherland  and still lots of relatives and friends that look after you on your extended vacation.

regards yozza

yozzause's picture

Hi Janet what a good question  the blades were only on the foredeck of Queen Elizabeth, they fit onto azipods  which can be turned through 360 degrees they eliminate the need for tugs as the can push the ship sideways when used with the bow thrusters to come alongside the warf or pull away. in fact in the pic of Queen Elizabeth leaving you can see the current being generated as it pulls away from the warf. In fact Azipods pull the ship through the water rather than  being propelled by a shaft.

regards Yozza

dabrownman's picture

land, sea and air.  You must have enjoyed yourself to the max.  Nice you were able to meet up with Andy and Khalid.  I'm baking one of Andy's breads today his Brazil Nut and Prune bread but I already messed it up badly when we converted it over from fresh yeast to SD.  Instead of 68% hydration I loped off 100 g of flour with a bad spreadsheet and ended up at 85%.  I thought it was a little soupy:-)  Maybe we will get big holes.

Sorry your back to work too :-)  thanks for posting about your travels it was a fun read.  Glad you dispelled the myth that Aussies are teetotalers too.