In addition to having a luxurious seat … food is one of the most important aspects of first class travel. This is where I believe British Airways really excels. It is a formal service without any gimmicks like the other carriers. The menu for lunch includes a soup and salad option as well as several great mains. There is also the cheese course and the dessert course. I have learned in London that a 4 or 5 course meal is very traditionally English and it should be done with time and care to enjoy the moment of the meal as well as the food itself. The portions are small compared to North America so if you are very hungry you can manage everything served. Also there is no rule that the plate should be completely clean after each course. It is acceptable to enjoy what makes you happy in each dish and leave the rest on the plate.
On the Menu for my flight there was a formal dinner service that included dishes like: Cornish crab and avocado cocktail with fresh summer salad leaves and marsh samphire. Seared Herefordshire fillet of beef with new forest girolles, spinach tortellini and madeira sauce. pan-fried stone bass with ratatouille and fennel sauce.
A Bistro selection is also available for dining on a side table so that a passenger can work or relax without a formal dinner service. the selection onboard my flight for an informal meal included dishes like: Penne pasta with wild mushroom and tyme sauce. Classic BLT with a tuscan fire dressing.
For dessert I had the option to have a custom made ice cream sundae or a bread and butter marmalade bread pudding with vanilla ice cream and orange crisp. Oh I should mention the correct order of a traditional British meal is an amuse bouche, starter, main dish, cheese plate, and then a dessert, coffee tea and some chocolates to finish.
I had a small portion of scottish smoked salmon as an amuse bouche which went perfectly with the Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle Champagne. Grand Siecle champagne is the prestige cuvee of the house of Laurent Perrier and is named in honour of the “Sun King” Louis XIV, who presided over an era known as the “Grand Siecle” or “Great Century”. I think in a Canadian Liquor store this champagne would cost roughly $200 a bottle. In a restaurant who knows … $300 upwards. Yep I drank plenty of this on the flight. Beacause its the good stuff, there are no headaches or funny feelings … just a very light buzz.
My starter was a heritage tomato salad with Laverstoke Park Farm mozzarella and basil dressing.
Next was a butter bean soup with crispy pancetta. The soup on board was pretty unbelievable. It had a velvety texture and was served at a perfect temperature so as not to remove from the flavour. The pancetta was crispy and made me wonder how they were creating this dish in the galley, as it tasted as though I was in a michelin star restaurant somewhere in London.
The main course was a signature dish created in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It was a Roast Gressingham breast of duck with fondant potato, baby carrots and cherry sauce.
For this course I moved to a glass of the Bordeaux. Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion 2005. The Canadian Liquor store retails this at about $75 per bottle. As I am travelling in first class the bottle was presented to me and then placed on my dining table should I wish to down it in one. Just kidding … good posture and form is a must in this cabin. I only indulged in half a glass to go with the duck.
Next, the cheese course which was served with a glass of port. The cheeses were a selection of Reblochon, Blacksticks Blue, Quickes Farmhouse Cheddar and a Melusine. The port was a Warre’s 1992 Colheita Tawny Port.
The finale was a handmade ice cream sundae which I just nibbled on while I watched the clouds move through the windows. I was ridiculously full despite eating small portions of each dish. This was first class so in my view it was worth taking advantage of the full service. Soon after dinner I put my seat into a full flat bed position and went into a very deep sleep over the Atlantic Ocean.