Virgin Atlantic – Upper Class
Vacation time and since I promised myself business class travel after nearly crippling myself on what must have been the worst seats on a BMI plane coming back from Las Vegas a few years ago I plumped for my old favourite Virgin Atlantic. If you travel at the right time it actually isnt that extortionate and you can class it as part of the holiday. The holiday starts at the Clubhouse in Heathrow which takes the traditional business class lounge to a new level. In between a complimentary jacuzzi, haircut and massage you can eat in the Clubhouse restaurant and eat what ever you want from the menu as often as you like. No wonder people have been known to get to the airport 8 hours before their flight is scheduled to leave.
We went for the breakfast as it was a morning flight and a freshly prepared bacon, sausage and poached egg was brought out with plenty of freshly squeezed juice and good coffee. After that I lounged on a oversized day bed and drank a couple of bloody marys before being called to the flight.
Of course this starts a cycle of booze, from pre-take off champagne, to hand mixed cocktails, including drinks at the sit up bar at the back of the cabin. Food on Virgin Atlantic is great in Economy but not a huge upgrade normally as you move forward through the plane. the chair cum bed has a huge pull over table which is dressed with fresh linen and set with proper cutlery and cute aeroplane shaped salt and pepper pots.
After lovely warm breads we were given choices of wine and then into the starter of Smoked Halibut and marinated prawn with radish and shiso cress was delicate and moreish. A main of Fennel and mushroom risotto with chicken and saffron oil really tasted freshly prepared and was in a word delicious. Following that was cheese and biscuits and more booze followed by more after dinner drinks.
The seat was then converted to a bed and I was slowly rocked into a post prandial nap before being woken for our landing into Washingto Dulles.
I have to say that the food has definitely gone up a notch at Virgin, with competition in the sky as fierce as it is this isnt surprising but it certainly keeps Virgin as my number one choice across the Atlantic from now on.