Chef Pierre Koffman French Cuisine London, Oh La La!

Koffmann’s, at  The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, is now home to the next step from the legendary French chef Pierre Koffmann, whose name has been synonymous with some of the finest French food in the country for the past 35 years.
Encouraged by his rave reviews and enthusiastic welcome back into the London culinary scene with his Selfridges pop- up restaurant in October 2009, Pierre Koffmann is excited to embark on this next stage in his distinguished career. A master chef, his menu sounds divinely French, much excitement in London surrounding the next stage of his distinguished career. He will be wowing the capital again and the press has been very enthusiastic in it’s welcome.
The menu will offer hearty, robust, seasonal dishes, many influenced by his Gascon heritage, with a good value Menu du jour which changes daily. Some dishes will be designed to  highlight the theatre of carving and confident performance à la table.

London is well known as a host to the glamorous gastronomic stage, and I believe Chef Koffmann will thrill and delight with his marvelous offerings.

A brief peek at the new menu: Boudin Gascon aux pommes, Coquilles St Jacques à l’encre, Lapin rôti à la moutarde, Pied de cochon aux morilles, Soufflé aux pistaches et sa glace, Vacherin aux fraises Fontainebleau…a bountiful banquet, although I must say, with great respect to the chef, Pigs trotter with morels is not high on my list, Bon Appetit!

M/Y Starfire Venice – Croatia Welcome Aboard!

Ultimate cruising on M/Y STARFIRE, the 177 foot yacht was built in Italy by the Benetti boatyard. STARFIRE has room for 12 charter guests in six cabins. There is a main master cabin with a king-size bed and an ensuite bathroom with a jacuzzi bath tub, two cabins with queen-sized beds and ensuite baths, two cabins with twin beds and another cabin with a king-size bed as well as room for the captain and crew. Luxury abounds!
I invite you to spend 14 days of luxurious relaxation aboard the magnificent STARFIRE. The Dalmatian Riviera has become a very popular cruising destination, and you will soon understand why.
From the legendary city of Venice, you will leisurely explore the enchantment of Croatia’s dramatic Dalmatian Coast, visiting such remote destinations as the Losinj, Kvarneric, and Kornati Islands. Many of these renowned islands have a multitude of protected, tranquil anchorages not accessible by land and ideal for the enjoyment of the water sports on board STARFIRE.
You will later sail on to experience the more lively and bustling destinations  Sibenik, Trogir, and Split. A visit to the enchanting ports of Bol, Hvar, Korcula precedes disembarking in the well-known city of Dubrovnik.
Keep in mind that itineraries are only guidelines. The following outline for your journey is open to modifications, as we rely on favorable winds and seas. However, the area is well known by your Captain, who will have always have a contingency plan!
Welcome aboard!!
On arrival at the Marco Polo International Airport, a host from the STARFIRE crew will warmly welcome you to the jewel city in Italy’s crown. Within no time at all, you will be onboard the M/Y STARFIRE, moored in the Port of Venezia. Welcome to Venice!
Spend the rest of today and tomorrow getting lost amidst the famous canals and fashionable streets of Venice.
Venice is “the city of canals,” and there are no big avenues – only small streets, squares, and its famous maze of waterways. Since horses were forbidden in Venice in 1392, all transportation has been made exclusively through its charming water canals.
This evening, consider a gondola ride during sunset.

Followed by a private visit of the Basilica di San Marco and the Ducal palace after they they have been closed to the public. A unique and rare chance to visit two of the worlds most stunning and visited buildings alone after they have been closed and lit up for your benefit. You will be allowed to access areas not normally open to the public. As you walk in the Basilica will be illuminated, bringing the spectacular golden mosaics to life.

Imagine entering in dim light, alone, no crowds, the lighting gradually increases until the entire Basilica is illuminated. Spend an hour with your guide savoring the gilded Byzantine mosaics, the 11th century the building was known by the nickname Chiesa d’Oro. Drop in to Harry’s Bar at the Cipriani for a Bellini, followed by dinner on board with a view of the Venetian skyline.

With so many things to see and do in Venice, two days in port are very necessary! You will remain docked here for the day.
After breakfast, spend some leisure time wandering through the tiny streets where you will find chic shopping boutiques. Purchase some legendary Murano hand-blown glass. Private tours are always available to majestic gardens and private glass blowing establishments. Water taxi to

lunch at Palazzo da Lezze, private home, not open to the public.

This evening, depart for an overnight run to Croatia and the Dalmatian Riviera.
You will awake this morning to have traveled across the Adriatic Sea from Venice and are now seated alongside the indented and pine-decorated coastline of Rovinj, on the Western coast of the Istrian region (Republic of Croatia).
The Rovinj coastal area is well articulated with numerous bays, creeks, and capes. There are numerous places of pristine natural wonder and ecological value in this area: forest park Punta Corente-Muntrav, St. Andrea’s archipelago, the Palud Marsh, the Limski kanal Fjord, and Monfiorenzo Cave.
Tennis lovers will have opportunity to have all the fun in Rovinj. There are sufficient tennis courts, most of them positioned on very attractive locations next to the sea cost surrounded by pine trees and the sounds of the sea and seals.
You might also enjoy doing a bit of sightseeing here in Rovinj. Visit the Baroque-style Town Hall built in the 17th century, the Chapel of Holy Trinity from the 13th century, and hear when the town clock strike the magical Rovinj hours.
You will spend the night anchored out near the neighboring island of Brijuni.
I highly recommend taking a VIP tour of the Brijuni Islands this morning. The Brijuni National Park park consists of 14 smaller islands all rich in exotic flora and fauna, as well as archeological sites. There are also options on the island for tennis, golf, and horseback riding.
You will depart Brijuni in late afternoon and head toward the Losinj islands (a 3.5 hour cruise).
Mali Losinj (meaning small island) and Veli Losinj (meaning big Island) are considered two of the sunniest islands off the coast of Croatia and hold much appeal. Also nearby is Cres, the second largest island in the Adriatic, covering 155 square miles.
There are many coves to explore in this tranquil area, and it is perfect for anchoring out, relaxing, and enjoying the view the islands offer.
This evening you will dock in the main resort town on Mali Losinj, whose harbor is filled with numerous cafés and colorful houses. The tourist area is centered on Cikat bay. The town of Veli Losinj is quieter and there is easy access to it from Mali Losinj.
This morning set sail from Mali Losinj for a 6-hour cruise towards the Telascica Bay in the Kornati Islands, renown for its outstanding natural beauty. You will explore the 147-island wilderness of the Kornati archipelago, meandering through the many channels and perhaps taking a trip to some of the magical waterfalls that can be found here. Look forward to anchoring in a bay for a light lunch and the opportunity to cool off in the pristine waters of the Adriatic.
Spend the night anchored out peacefully amongst the Kornati Islands.
Leaving the natural haven of the Kornati Islands behind, this morning we cruise for 4 hours to the vibrant ancient walled town and port of Trogir on the coast of Kastelanski Bay, and just a 10 km drive from the Split Airport.
Standing on the foundations of an ancient Greek settlement, Trogir is an islet connected to the mainland by a stone bridge. The area has splendid rocky and pebble beaches, lavish vegetation, as well as numerous islands and islets.
This medieval town is a favorite stop and the fascinating old town offers restaurants, markets, and beautiful sights, including the 15th century Trogir chapel and the 13th century portal by the master Radovan.
Dock here in Trogir for the night. The yacht marina is situated on the small island of Ciovo, opposite the old city walls, which is an easy walk over the bridge for exploring Trogir itself. If you care to hit the town this evening, you will surely find plenty of fine dining and entertainment options!
Day 7 OTAK SOLTA (The Island of Solta)
This morning, enjoy breakfast alfresco as the Skipper sets sail for a short, two-hour hop to the island of Solta, the Middle Dalmation Island. Today’s Solta, with its 1500 inhabitants, remains an oasis of virgin beauty. The southern side of the island with its breathtaking bays, beaches, islets and cliff is particulary beautiful.
Spend the afternoon anchored in a remote bay near the island of Solta, where you can relax, sunbathe, and take a light lunch.
The area surrounding Solta is ideal for breaking out the yacht toys. You can go jet skiing at high speed or drift lazily around the boat on our “trampoline,” basking in the sun. This would also be an excellent opportunity for you to take in the underwater life with some snorkeling gear.
Anchor near Solta overnight.
STARFIRE will depart early this morning for roughly a four-hour cruise to the pristine bay of Bobovisca and the island of Brac. Your final destination is the city of Bol, a harbor and the oldest town on the island.
The town of Bol can boast of having marvelous cultural and historic sites and splendid beaches. The most famous beach is “Zlatni” that is actually a pebble cape that stretches into the sea and changes its shape depending on the wind and waves.
Enjoy a light lunch anchored out from the island and can then take the tender into shore to visit Vidova Gora, the highest peak on the Adriatic offering a unique panorama of the islands, many of which you have visited to this point.
While ashore in Bol, choose from various restaurants offering local and international cuisine, with an excellent selection of quality wines. The inhabitants of Bol are particularly proud of the well-known wine, “Bolski plavac.”
Day 9 HVAR
This morning you travel just a short two-hour distance to the town of Hvar – an inexhaustible treasure-chest of sights, experiences, and adventures.
Though representing a part of the diverse southern Croatian archipelago, formed by numerous islands, since the earliest days Hvar has been the subject of special recognition, distinguished by both its natural beauty and its cultural strata.
In the Middle Ages, Hvar achieved renown and power as an important port and part of the Venetian marine empire. Today, it is one of the best-loved tourist resorts on the Dalmatian Riviera.
By night this sophisticated port hosts some of the finest bars and clubs you will find anywhere. Fortunately for you, we will be docked here for the night to enjoy its entertainment options to the max!
Following a three-hour cruise this morning, you will arrive in what is undoubtedly one of the most interesting islands in the Croatian Adriatic: the ancient fortified town of Korcula.
There have been numerous legends told over generations about Korcula. One legend tells that in the 12th c. B.C. the town was founded by the Trojan hero Antenor.
One fact about Korcula that we can be sure of is that it was the birthplace of the explorer Marco Polo. One option is to head ashore to explore Korcula’s narrow medieval streets and visit the house in which Marco Polo was born, now a museum.
Alternatively, you can sail over to the mystical island of Mljet. It is here that Odysseus was reputed to have spent 40 days enchanted by a mermaid, and looking out on this beautiful scenery, it is easy to understand why – the many secluded coves and bays offer an exclusive spot in this secluded and natural haven.
This will be another great opportunity to break out the snorkeling gear, jet skis, or go for a swim. Enjoy the blue of the Adriatic one last time before we head to one of Croatia’s biggest towns, Dubrovnik.
You will spend the night anchored off of the island of Mljet or on the dock of the medieval town of Korcula.
Day 11 SPLIT
This morning, continue to sail about one hour from Solta to neighboring Split, the largest town on the coast.
Sitting on a peninsula between the Castelian Bay and the Split Channel, you will find a very busy harbor here. The city’s face, turned towards the sea, has been adorned with a line of marinas, ranked among the most beautiful ones of the Mediterranean.
The earliest foundation of Split was in 4th century BC. The medieval town developed out of the Emperor Diocletian’s Palace, which is recorded as a World Heritage Site and referred to by UNESCO as a “monument of universal importance.” The remains of the first city and its famed Palace are still visible and are worth visiting!
A bustling cosmopolitan city, Split’s bars, restaurants, cafés, and boutiques welcome you to this enchanting spot, which you can enjoy while STARFIRE moors here for the night.
Days 12 and 13 SPLIT to DUBROVNIK
Today you will sail from Split towards your final destination: the historic city of Dubrovnik.
The most recognizable feature of the historic city Dubrovnik, famous all over the world, are the city walls, 1940 meters long and encircling the city. The history of the fortification goes back to the early Middle Ages.
The entire city was enclosed by walls in the 13th century, except the Dominican monastery, which came under their protection only in the 14th century. This walled structure consists of a series of forts, bastions, casemates, towers and detached forts.
You can walk the city walls today and take in the scenery from above. Other places to see in the city include: The Fortress Lovrijenac, The Big Onofrio’s Fountain, The Pile Gate, The Rector’s Palace, and St Blaise’s Church to name a few.
Take some time to walk up and down the pedestrian street that runs through Old Town: the Placa. This is the main open urban area in Dubrovnik and the most favored promenade and gathering place. It has beautiful paved stones that managed to remain undamaged during the shelling of the Gulf War in 1991.
The locals are big on walking this promenade. Be forewarned though of the protocol: the “in” people of Dubrovnik walk from the southern end to the northern end, but they turn back three streets before reaching the end. If you do not follow this rule, they know you are a tourist. You’ve been warned!
As your journey aboard STARFIRE comes to an end on Day 14, you can be certain that you have enjoyed the definitive Dalmatian Coast experience.