Happy Wednesday! Well, I am fully back into the groove of work after my holiday (if you missed my recap of my skiing adventures, check it out HERE).
As much as I love going on holiday and getting away from it all, it is so good to be back in my own home and comforts with my regular food. That might sound boring, but I love our home and our usual routines.
As it’s WIAW, I thought I’d do a What I ate Skiing post.
I mentioned in my last post that the food in Bulgaria didn’t rock my world. Don’t get me wrong, I fully enjoyed skiing and the whole experience of it, but honestly the food at our hotel sucked. We went half-board so got breakfast and dinner. On the first morning we went down to breakfast and it was a small buffet of strange fried meats, fried bread, really dodgy looking yogurt, cold meats and salad. Yes, salad.
Now I don’t want to offend any Bulgarians, but it really wasn’t me. I didn’t know what the meat was and it all looked very sausage-like, which I am not a fan of so I tried to play it safe.
I had a piece of toast, two boiled eggs, some ham (I think?), jam and fruit and salad. Very strange combination I know but I wanted to make sure I had enough fuel for skiing later. Basically I was making the best of a not great situation. Maybe I’m really fussy but Ben wasn’t liking it either.
To be honest, the whole breakfast experience felt very canteen-like with people rushing around grabbing food and piling their plates high. I much prefer a calming morning and slowly enjoying my breakfast. This was not fun. What also irked me was that breakfast started at 7.30am, and as Ben and me wanted to get up and get out skiing asap we’d get to the breakfast room pretty much dead on. One morning we were TWO MINUTES early and the waiter looked at his watch, looked at us and then shut the door IN OUR FACES without saying anything. I mean, seriously, how rude is that? As I said in the last post, the hotel was shocking (food, rooms, customer service) so at this point we weren’t surprised.
One morning I was overjoyed to find muesli. You better believe I enjoyed a big bowl of this!
But it ran out the next day and obviously they didn’t re-stock *sighs*. So breakfast was a bit of a dud if I’m honest. The first morning back from holiday I practically danced my way to kitchen to make my oatmeal. I am that cool.
Lunchtime on the first day wasn’t amazing either (sorry I know this is so whiney). It was all fast food meats and chips. Meat that was vaguely “beef” or “pork” which you just ordered on it’s own and then could order slices of bread or greasy chips. Not fancying this every day Ben and me decided to hit the local supermarket and make our own lunch to take with us. Not only was this cheaper but it meant we could have a tasty lunch in the snow away from the hubbub.
I had a ham sandwich, some stolen cucumber from breakfast, an un-pictured Babybel (they had Babybels!!) and an apple. Oh and I stole some of Ben’s crisps each day.
It was great eating lunch sat in the sun on the snow. I’d have a diet coke and Ben would have a beer and we’d poke them into the snow to keep them nice and cold. Perfect!
We also treated ourselves to a more extravagant lunch one day at the more posh restaurant (you had to book). It was in this beautiful cabin with a lovely warm fire. They even offered us slippers to wear if we wanted to take our snow boots off!
As we only had an hour to eat, we kept to just a main course. I had a pork chop with lentils.
This was so good. The pork just melted in my mouth and the lentils were cooked to perfection. They also had warm bread on the side so we could fuel ourselves fully for the day. We thought it would be really expensive but actually it was surprisingly cheap (more expensive than buying the cheaper food elsewhere, but for a good meal out very reasonable).
Dinner *sighs*. Well I didn’t even take any photos of the hotel dinners because honestly it wasn’t worth it. When I asked the waiter/chef what one of soups was that was on the buffet table he shrugged like he couldn’t care less, picked up a spoon and swilled it around a bit and said “Um, not sure. It has beans in it.” Ah right. Thanks but no thanks. After a night of dodging some really suspicious bullets (seriously, all crazy processed meats floating in thick sauces and no vegetables), Ben and me decided to have dinner out each night. Best decision ever.
We went to a small, cosy tavern with some very friendly owners.
So rustic! We got a salad to start. Now Bulgarians know their salads that’s for certain. The list of different salads was quite extensive! We went for a standard Bulgarian classic.
Lots of vegetables and big chunks of feta cheese with a basil dressing. Even Ben loved this!
For the main, I had sea bass with grilled vegetables. The funniest thing was when I was ordering the fish the waiter asked if I wanted chips with it and I said no could I get the grilled vegetables and he looked at me oddly and went “Erm, no. You’re having vegetables to start.” I really had to force my point that, yes, I wanted vegetables AGAIN with my main. He seemed bewildered. Quite amusing. Clearly he hasn’t met an Anna before.
So good and so nice after the horrible dinner the night before.
Another night we tried somewhere else and, again, I ordered salad to start.
This is a really bad photo sorry, but basically it’s lots of salad, the feta cheese (which seems to be a Bulgarian speciality), roasted mushrooms, and beans in a tomato sauce. Very yummy. Ben ordered goat’s cheese roasted in honey.
Oh my goodness, this was the best tasting goat’s cheese in the world. Fact. I managed to snag a few pieces before it was gone in a blink of an eye.
For main I went for a Bulgarian chicken shashlik. This was basically chunks of chicken cooked on an outside BBQ with vegetables on a skewer. They brought it out on a huge wooden board and then removed the meat for me.
Honestly, this might not look that huge but the pieces of chicken were massive. I was absolutely full to my brim after this. As yummy as it was it was a bit overkill on the amount of chicken!
We didn’t snack much at all during the day because we were skiing all the time. We did however enjoy some après ski drinks.
Ben enjoyed a beer while I had a pear cider. So lovely sat in a warm bar while watching the skiers and drinking.
We also had some hot red white with fruit in the evening.
This was lovely and warming. There were bits of orange in the drink which added a lovely flavour.
We also went to a little sweet shop in the nearby village (how could I not??)
We went in to have a browse around and it became very clear we needed to buy something as the man was looking at us so expectantly. It looked like a pic ‘n’ mix so I thought we could help ourselves, but he took charge and I had to point at the sweets I wanted which meant he put HUGE amounts in our bag. It wasn’t expensive and we told him to keep the change so he threw in even MORE. We now have like a life-time supply of candied and chocolate covered nuts. Well, it was great to snack on those in the evening!!
And there was soo much Milka about.
So though the food didn’t hugely appeal to me in the hotel – breakfast was such a disappointment every morning and dinner just not our thing at all – we managed to find ways to ‘cope’. That was the downside of the holiday that food wasn’t particularly easy like it was on our honeymoon holiday in that we had to really search for good stuff. But in the end we were there to ski!
As we are hoping to go back next year, we know where to avoid now!
And on an unrelated note. We found a Bulgarian Alfie in a little cafe.
Aww, isn’t he lovely? So soft as well. Just don’t tell Alfie, he might get offended.
Foreign food: do you try the local delicacies?
Ever been disappointed on holiday with the food?
How do you cope with horrible breakfasts in hotels?