We ventured across to the B gates on the train and it was the first time I had travelled on it. Reminded me of my yooooth on the tube in London.
In the interests of my fellow BT senators, we headed to the lounge. It was a Galleries lounge, so all who were eligible for lounge access were allowed in. In saying that it was not busy at all and there was plenty of choice of seating and it seemed very spacious. We were there mid-afternoon, so it may well be much busier at other times.
We had just had lunch so a water for me and coffee for the DH. There is a coffee machine so you can choose your favourite coffee, and a good selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Along with the new glass barrels of biscuits there was also a selection of savoury snacks, also loose in the glass barrels. I am calling them barrels as they are slightly larger than what I would call a jar. There didn’t appear to be any other food at that time, but there may have been further into the lounge.
In front of each barrel was a plate on which there was a pair of tongs and a small stack of side plates and serviettes. Quite clear to me what they were there for but obviously not to the gentleman who had been sitting near us, who left to go to the loo and on the way back, stopped and stuck his hand in the barrel and then rammed the food down his neck. So, even with the best of intentions of hygiene, if people choose to blatantly ignore it, then all is quite lost.
There was a sign saying that gluten free biscuits were available, just to request them from the staff. There were a couple of ladies who were constantly tidying up tables and the buffet selection, so I asked one of them if I could have some GF biscuits. Yes she said, I will go and see what I can get for you. A few minutes later, she appeared, apologising that they might still be frozen, but gave me two generous sized packets of individually wrapped biscuits. And very nice they were too – I didn’t eat them until I had the munchies much later that night, or I should say wee early hours at our hotel. So there is a solution for those of you who like to acquire some biscuits for later consumption, or would prefer individual wrapped offerings. A word of warning, they are very sweet, so are a real treat and not to be scoffed!
So, not long there and off to the flight. At this stage we didn’t know if we would have NF or OF. I actually prefer OF – I know, I know, but I think it’s the way that NF seems to make the space in the cabin seem so much smaller.
As we walked to the gate it was clear from the aircraft that it was to be NF.
We boarded through door IL and we were shown to our seats 2A and 2K by a friendly CC member. The usual fussing, coats hung, pre-take off drinks, sleep suits, wash bags, and finally Mrs P sat down with a “Phew, good slug of the fizz, thinking, did I remember to do, have I remembered to pack?”. Well it’s too blooming late now, as long as I have my passport and the DH’s credit card, I don’t worry too much! 😉 🙂
We had a very pleasant purser and crew, in fact we had two pursers, one of whom was operating a position down, and one other CC member; all female and they were all delightful. We heard the CSD but never saw or met him, but he may well have come around when we were sleeping.
When they gave us the menu they apologised in advance saying it was a brand new menu, they hadn’t seen it or cooked it before, so they were excited about it and asked for our feedback as well.
There was a bit printed inside the menu highlighting BA’s support of Taste of London and an invitation to “come and meet the team behind British Airways’ inflight menus and take part in one of the master classes showcasing our new menus and regional cuisine that’s served on board.”
Lunch (our flight departed 1715, so maybe too early to call it dinner on a westbound TA)
Tiger prawn and wasabi timbale with watermelon, lime and coriander salad
Meze plate of chickpea, cumin and lentil said, labneh with beet root, baba ghanoush, falafel and za’atar cheese croissant
Asparagus and chervil soup with pecorino cheese
Fresh seasonal salad with choice of dressings
British fillet of beef with herb crust, summer vegetables, chargrilled fondant potatoes with horseradish, dill and chive sauce
Sustainably sourced Severn and Wye haddock with creamy basil, lemon and caper sauce, gnocchi, cherry tomatoes and spinach
Roasted breast of Gressingham duck with peppercorn and honey glaze, black current sauce, pea and mint mash, glazed icicle radishes and baby carrots
Seared scallops on a sweet pepper, cashew and spring onion salad with spicy ginger dressing
Strawberry and white chocolate mousse with sweet mint jelly
Peach and almond tart with raspberry sauce and vanilla custard
Ice cream sundae
Black sticks blue
Quickes farmhouse cheddar
Melusine Goats Cheese
Fusilli pasta with cep mushrooms, leek, garlic and parsley sauce
Beef burger with Monterey Jack cheese, gherkin, tomato and chunky chips
A selection of biscuits
A selection of cheese and fruit
So pretty good choices I thought. I chose the asparagus and chervil soup. It was good but I don’t really care for pecorino cheese and that was mostly where the flavour was coming from. I was asked about the soup as the CC had tried it and they were not impressed, and I was told that they would be reporting back on our comments and their thoughts as well. Quite impressed with this team, they really did care.
I then had the haddock, which was delicious and succulent * and I could have happily and greedily indulged in another! But I was still watching what I was eating as we were headed for a couple of flight-seeing trips on very small dehavilland aircraft and I knew I would have to be weighed and I and did not want to be the porker at weigh in!
* succulent because this purser cooked her dishes with a small tray of water in the ovens which she says is not a BA instruction but she finds it keeps the food moist. Good for her I say!
I declined dessert but couldn’t resist the cheese – probably and most likely more calories but I just had a small piece of each except for the yucky goats cheese which in my book, is always way too goaty! But I did have a couple of the delicious chocolates which are a very nice selection of soft centres, and I am rather partial to a “soft centre!”
The DH had the tiger prawns which he said was quite spicy but he enjoyed, followed by the scallops, which were very small – this was noted as well.
The service was excellent and at a pace which we enjoyed and then it was time for a nap – I never bother watching the IFE, but the DH did and it worked fine. So, shortly before we started our descent, it was time to change out of our sleepssuits and have afternoon tea.
Now despite all the comments on here, it was absolutely fine – a nice selection of mini-sandwiches, a small pot of smoked salmon with dill garnish which was very good. There was also a mozzarella and sun-dried tomato savoury Danish which I didn’t have.
Warm mini-scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Yummy.
There was also a selection of cakes including white chocolate and cherry cadeaux, vanilla Madeleine, and lemon financier – none of which I had, but was told my greedy boy in 2K that they were very nice indeed!
I did find the cabin a bit crowded, I think this is down to the seat backs being that bit wider at the top than OF, so that they intrude more into the aisle. But my seat was clean and everything I needed worked, so that was fine.
Overall opinion – this was BA at their very best, and we thoroughly enjoyed our flights from ABZ-LHR, LHR-YVR and our lounge experience.
And the descent into the “Land of Canucklad” was quite magnificent!
More to come … 🙂