Being a Midlands lass, there’s nothing which is going to float me boat (get it?) more than BAKED GOODS. Mainly – Pasties. But I’ll take anything: pies, pastries, cakes, sausage rolls. But mainly pasties. When an email landed in my inbox inviting me to Greggs the Bakers Christmas Cruise in Manchester, I felt like all my culinary dreams had comes true. What can I say? I’m a simple girl with simple taste.
Nothing screams Christmas more than gingerbreads from Lidl or a Festive Bake from Greggs. Pretend all you want that the Coca Cola advert is the sign of Christmas, we all know that deep down nothing is more exciting at Christmas than baked goods, which basically contain an entire Christmas dinner in one handy, crispy, flakey pocket. When Cous Cous Bang Bang wrote an Ode To The Festive Bake I felt like I wasn’t alone in my love. It was like the internet finally reached out to me as I read it, gave me a pat on the back and said ‘There, there Terri, you’re not alone.’
So this ‘cruise’ eh? In true Gregg’s fashion, it wasn’t a big boat sailing across the Atlantic. It was a barge. On a canal. In Manchester. Which was truly a brilliant idea. There’s nothing worse than a blog event where you go to loads of effort to get there and then sit in a room awkwardly watching someone put make up on someone else for 3 hours (it has happened, several times). The idea for the Greggs Christmas Cruise was simple. Barge. Festive food. Christmas tunes. It was all very lovely indeed. We got to try all the food from their festive menu (apart from the Christmas Lunch soup, boo!). Of course, the festive bake was there in full force, alongside some other treats for us to eats.
The stand out products for me were the new Christmas pudding doughnut (which was actually a chocolatey, gooey doughnut of dreams) and the Steak and Cheese Roll, which was on a par with my beloved festive bake itself. I wasn’t overly keen on the Ham Hock, Cheese and Chutney Baguette. It was just a little too sweet and sickly for my liking, despite being a big fan of sweet and savoury combinations. I think the cheese was just a little too much with the mayonaisse and chutney in one finely baked baguette.
The ‘cruise’ itself lasted around two hours and took us around the canals of Manchester, with a tour guide narrating the tour as the cruissssedddd. It was certainly a very different way to spend a rainy Sunday! One thing I’ve never been keen on is minced pies but I swear, the ones I had on this day were all the delicious sweet parts of Christmas in a tiny pie. But maybe it was the atmosphere encompassing my festive soul. Who knows.