I don’t know whether it’s me but I always find the meals coming out of British Airways Terminal 5 in London so much better than those on the return leg. Am I biased or have they nailed the catering at Heathrow Airport? For a long-haul flight, I’ll always try and save the extra cash to enjoy the benefits of the Club World (Business) cabin. I don’t think First Class is worth the extra money, you get treated like Royalty in CW, and I know because I’ve experienced both.
Before you book your seats, always check out specific seating options on SeatGuru. You’ll need your flight date and airline details, whether you fly with British Airways or not. A community of flyers add specific details to the site through message boards, and plane configuration helps to let you know if you’ll be near a galley, near a potentially banging door or a bulkhead. It’s a great resource whichever class you fly and has helped me pick the best seat on lots of trips.
Back to our flight on a BA 747-400 with upstairs seats, in the bubble. I didn’t get a chance to check these out because they were all booked but there are plenty of comments on SG.
Our seats on the outbound were very comfortable and my birthday trip began with a glass of champagne before I’d managed to sit down and a chance to catch up with Ronan and his new wife.
After take off, out came the full bar and my favourite rose Champagne. The Champagne de Castelnau Brut Rose is an award-winner with a beautiful salmon pink colour. It’s super dry and smells of red fruits. Two glasses of this and I was ready for food. Feet up. Movie on, even Scarlett approved.
A morning flight meant lunch was served just before noon. We’d taken advantage of the Lounge, but I didn’t have more than a cup of coffee and browsed through the papers so it was welcome.
With all Club World flights, passengers are offered a menu with a full explanation of what’s on offer for the entire trip. You’ll be asked what you want for your main course and there’s usually a selection of four.
The starter was superb. A sweet pea pannacotta was of restaurant quality, richly sweet and light, but sadly there was only one plate of it. A fresh plate of green salad is served with a simple vinaigrette.
I chose the slow-braised Herefordshire beef cheek with a cheese-ridden gratin and baby shallots and gingered carrots. Now it wasn’t the three glasses of champagne that had me thinking this was one of the best airline meals I’ve ever eaten. It was. Period.
The dessert wasn’t too shabby either I chose the oven-baked vanilla custard on a sweet pastry with cherry jelly. Superb. Often these desserts are gelatin-laden, and this had just the right amount of ‘wobble’.
I swerved the coffee and chocolates and settled down to a film. My window seat meant that I did have to climb over the passenger’s feet to my right as he decided to have a snooze. It’s a bit of a party trick to try and not bash the extended foot rest if you need to use the facilities or fancy a walk around the cabin.
Next thing I remember the Twinings Tea Room had opened and it was time for Afternoon Tea.
Antipasti, whilst an option, is not afternoon tea, so I chose the individual sandwiches. Red Leicester and pickle, truffled chicken and coleslaw and the ubiquitous smoked salmon.
I didn’t manage the macaron, Madeira cake or eclair.
The return food I’m afraid isn’t worth the time it takes to write and post. Needless to say, the outbound journey entirely made up for it.
What’s your experience of airline food?