Well, British Airways gets nothing but stick from the media so Girlahead is delighted to report on what it is REALLY like – when turning left, into First Class, admittedly.
Small things to start. The toilet paper is really luxuruous – Business (known as Club) is standard. The bedding is satiny and soft, Club’s is hard on the skin. First’s toothbrush is re-usable and the toothpaste is double sized.
What really stands out is the service. On that long flight from Heathrow to Miami, both the just-slightly mature Amanda and the definitely-younger Jack were genuine, anticipatory and reliable.
The printed menu explains that china is specially designed by William Edwards Ltd, the cutlery by Studio William and glasses are hand-blown by Dartington Crystal. Sadly no mention is made of who designed the food, which is prepared and put on board by Do&Co, the Vienna-based food and hospitality company founded by Attila Dogudan (his company also caters most of Formula 1’s Paddock Clubs).
For example, see the burrata dish, above, with short lengths of grilled asparagus, pistachio rosemary pesto and crumbs of oiled sourdough. Yummy! Other memorable dishes included a circle of mashed Loch Fyne smoked salmon on avocado mash, with a wasabi and caviar dressing, and then a slow-cooked lamb shank moulded into a ball so it looked like a lollipop. Everything was superlative, apart from the breads, which were mundane and ordinary. There were two Champagnes – Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle and a Lanson Rosé, plus an English sparkling. There were three whites (including Laroche Chablis 1er Cru L’Essence des Climats 2020) and three reds (from France, Australia, and New Zealand). All wines were presented, and served in long-stemmed glasses.
On arrival in Los Angeles, by the way, I came down to earth, seriously. An immediate eight-hour flight on to Papeete, in Economy this time, was anything but fun. The two redeeming features were the 187ml bottles of ‘red’, Merlot by Alexis Lichine, and superbly informative inflight entertainment. And although the washrooms sparkled metaphorically, Air Tahiti Nui does not waste money on designer toilet paper.