Okay girls, I have a confession to make. You see, I arrived at Diva Resort in the Maldives with every intention of getting ready for summer. I'd test out a new bikini, start on my tan and, let's face it, lose a few of those winter-pudding kilos I've been hiding under sweaters for the last few months.
My plan was foolproof: I'd eat nothing but fruit (and, if possible, drink nothing but Brutal Fruit) and I'd spend all my time doing strenuous outdoor activities in my bikini: snorkelling, scuba diving, beach volleyball, waterskiing. In no time at all I'd be lean, brown and almost possibly a COSMOPOLITAN Swimwear model candidate myself.
So you can imagine how my spirits plummeted when Leigh Kinross, COSMO's stylish Business Development Manager, greeted me with the fateful words, 'Oh my goodness, the food here is the best in the world!'
There are six restaurants at Diva Resort, and, besides all being in spectacular settings (think perched over a limpid lagoon full of tropical fish), most of them serve buffet meals.
Now, in my experience, buffets are not normally anything to write home about. They usually involve various brownish fries and stews, stale soggy sandwiches and sad wilting salads. In other words, they're utterly resistible.
The buffets at Diva, however, are unimaginably delectable. The variety, the freshness, the presentation, the sheer yumminess of it all would be enough to defeat the most disciplined of dietarians.
Let's start with breakfast. Please tell me, how was I meant to choose between fresh sliced fruit (papaya, star fruit, dragon fruit, pineapple, kiwis, passion fruit, yellow and pink watermelon), fresh fruit salad, fresh fruit compote (kiwi, strawberry, raspberry, peach) and stewed fruit? Apparently, even my 'fruit-only' diet was completely doomed.
Each morning, I have to walk past chocolate croissants, custard Danishes, dainty little bread rolls, Nutella, omelettes made to order, egg noodles, cold meats, cheeses, even dim sum. In the end, I usually manage to settle for a three-course breakfast of fruit (hey, I'm sticking to my plan, sort of), Bircher Muesli and fresh pancakes with maple syrup and crispy bacon, washed down with two cappuccinos.
Lunches and dinners pose a similar problem. No matter how hard I try, I simply cannot pass up on the Caesar Salad station, the fresh tuna niçoise, the crispy grilled salmon, the fresh smoked salmon, the prawns, the reef fish stir-fry, the chocolate éclairs, the chocolate mousse, and the coconut, coffee, strawberry and pineapple ice creams.
To top it all, some of the restaurants have themed evenings, so you can try out authentic tidbits from all over the world. On Monday, it was Maldivian evening. Tonight, it's Chinese and Japanese. (Did I hear someone say sushi?)
I'd love to know just how the chefs come up with all these incredible recipes and ideas and how they manage to put together such fresh and varied feasts on a tiny island in the middle of nowhere. But, what I really want to know is this: which joker at Diva decided it was a good idea to put an electronic scale in each room?
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