London Travel Blog

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It's Monday 9th June and we are sitting in Terminal 2 at Heathrow airport. It is 2:41am and our flight does not depart until 8:40. We were dropped off at the airport by Fabien's mum who kindly offered to take us. Now we just play the waiting game. Heathrow airport is strange at this time of the morning. It is very quiet and everywhere is (understandably) closed. Most of the life comes from the cleaners and staff members, it seems like everyone else is asleep. It is quieter in here than in the quiet floor in my university library and I feel like we should be whispering.

I feel a little tired and also a little sick, I get car sick and on the journey to the airport I was close to being sick. It takes a while for my stomach to settle after that. Shame nothing is open for a bite to eat or a coffee, but it's not the end of the world; once we get onto the plane in our business class seats (yay!) we'll be treated like royalty. Well, I hope so!

After many hours more waiting around, we decided to head downstairs to see if we could check in. We were told that although we couldn't check our bags, we could have seats allocated and receive our boarding passes. We asked for bulk-head so Fabien could stretch out his legs. The lady on the desk told us to come back in an hour and we could check our bags. We did just that and oddly enough, we weren't asked any security questions or any other formalities that this terrorism-obsessed culture seems to demand.

Not much later we were able to go to the departure lounge and get onto the plane. We found our seats - right behind the business class section. We were surprised to note that the business class section was identical to the coach section (apart from the fact that they had more free goodies than us.) We thought this was odd and since Fabien barely had enough leg space where we were, we were worried that the so-called business class would just be another version of coach.

As we sat waiting for the plane to start moving towards the runway, we realised that we had been waiting an extra 30 minutes. We were 45 minutes late taking off when there was an announcement that due to fog, we had been delayed and would not arrive until 12pm. Our latest check in time was at 12:20, which gave us only 20 minutes to alight the plane and get all the way from one side of Zurich airport to the other (it's not a small airport!).

Fortunately, we got to the departure terminal just in time and, very hot and out of breath from running through the airport, we settled into our business class seats on the Zurich - Delhi leg of our journey.

Wow! What a difference! We had the front seats and  it was just like you would imagine business class to be. We had silk covered pillows on the seats, small wash bags containing a pair of socks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturising cream, lip balm, an eye mask, a refreshing wipe and some earplugs, and almost enough legroom for Fabien to stretch out fully (he's 6'6"). We caught our breath, stowed our hand luggage and before long the flight attendants had come round with drinks. I chose champagne - after all, how often can you say that you travelled in business class!

We were delayed taking off because they had to remove some luggage from the hold of two passengers who decided not to take the flight, but it was not long until we were in the air again.

Lunch was served not long after take-off and we were given the option of a Western or Indian meal. We both chose a Western meal. It was stupendous.

To start, we had guinea fowl, air-dried beef and mushroom terrine served with marinated artichokes and a spiced peach chutney. It was so delicate and light it was as if it melted in your mouth. The sweetness of the chutney offset the strong flavours of the terrine perfectly, creating a delicious combination of sweet and savoury.

Next, the main course. I had the beef tenderloin with rosemary jus, accompanied by Romanesco broccoli, pine nuts and rondini filled with peppercorn ricotta. The beef was very tender and the jus rich in flavour, although perhaps a little too salty. The pine nuts sadly did not go well with the meal, and seemed a little chewy. However, the broccoli was cooked to perfection, retaining firmness and bright colour, and they rondini was superb. The ricotta was seasoned perfectly and complimented the beef.

Fabien had the sautéed chicken breast filled with smoked, air dried beef and Swiss mountain cheese, served with a rich gravy, carrots and a potato gratin. The chicken was extremely moist and tender with little 'cheesy balls of heaven inside' (so I'm told!). This dish must have been excellent because Fabien finished his vegetables - and he is not a vegetable fan!

Desert was a fruit salad or a vanilla mousse with honeyed tomatoes and almond brioche sprinkled with pistachio nuts.
The fruit salad was self-explanatory. The mousse was very light and sweet, with just enough of a hint of vanilla without being overpowering. However, the honeyed tomatoes were a very odd choice and I found it to be an unpleasant taste. The almond brioche did not really fit well with the mousse either; almond biscotti would have worked much better.

Nonetheless, the meal was stunning and I would love to eat food like that on a regular basis!

We took a nap, and woke up with 2 hours to arrive in Delhi!

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photo by: ulysses