“Fatter but fitter” was the three-word summary of our guest’s Christmas holiday, and to be honest, we were offended. Yes, he was offered eight courses of food each day, for seven days straight. Yes, most of those courses included sugar, butter and fat … but we didn’t force feed him, did we? Sure, kids will stuff themselves silly if left unsupervised with a table of triple chocolate cookies and caramel tarts, but adult guests, at least most of them, practice self-control – don’t they?
It turns out that they don’t, and neither would we – for good reason. Holidays are about that second course of brioche and poached eggs at breakfast, and the marinated lamb at lunch, and the flourless chocolate cake at afternoon tea, and the confit duck with duck-fat roasted potatoes at dinner, and the lemon tart followed by a soft smelly cheese with quince paste. Add a glass of white wine at lunch, a couple of sunset beers and a bottle of pinot with dinner, and your daily calorie intake is in the red zone. And so what? You’re on holidays with your partner (and perhaps your kids, friends or extended family), and you’re happy. Maybe it’s the happiest you’ve been all year, and why spoil it?
The trick, we now know, is to balance the calorie credit with calorie debit, so guests at least feel a bit better. You’ll still put on weight. We’re not a health farm. But if you at least walk to Kims Lookout for one of Australia’s iconic views, or swim along Blinky Beach with schools of salmon, or snorkel Erscotts Hole over dazzling coral gardens, or ride a bike to Cobbys Corner for a BBQ lunch, you’ll earn your next meal. That’s the secret to surviving a food destination.