Friday, 17 December 2010

Trip Report 4 - Part 1 - LHR-SIN, SQ R

1A, Suites

Having seen that the flight was boarding, I decided to leave the lounge slightly before the main horde mainly to have a stretch of the legs and because I tend to like to board early. On reaching the gate, I was cordially escorted to a separate seating area for Suites passengers and then within seconds escorted on board. My suite was 1A, it reminds me a little of a railway sleeper carriage of the couchette era but in done out in lovely wood and leather earth tones and with a fascinating selection of cubbyholes, crannies and buttons. The charming crew introduced themselves one by one, distributing a cornucopia of goodies, a Givenchy sleep suit (yes, the XL fits even huge old me), some slippers (very comfy), socks, menus etc whilst carefully establishing drink preferences and making professional chit-chat. Some people say SQ crew are robotic, I’ve never found this, I’ve always found them consistently very good and very charming. 

Of course, I was swiftly given the most difficult choice of them all, Dom or Krug, I’m not allowed to drink much on my new exciting medication, but I trust the pharmacist in that a couple of glasses will help sleep as opposed to the quack who has cultural reasons to say no alcohol at every opportunity. I chose the Dom and it was delicious. Sadly, we had one of those lengthy slot and de-icing delays which are so common in the winter, so we ended up on the ground for about an hour. Refills were of course offered, but declined as I was rationing the consumption.
Soon after we took off the second glass was taken with some roasted cashew nuts and huge macadamia nuts – lovely. 

The menu today was:

Chilled malossol caviar
Maine lobster with celeriac-crabmeat salad and lemon dressing

Chicken and sweetcorn consommé with smoked chicken dumpling
Chinese style seafood soup

Salad of frisee and endive garnished with feta cheese, ligurian olives and semi-dried tomato. (Basil vinaigrette or ranch dressing)

Beef Wellington, Mushroom duxelle, green beans, bordelaise sauce
Prawn Sambal
Roast pork loin with caraway seed sauce, sauerkraut with bacon and potato dumplings (hello, am I on LH)
Salmon in oriental sauce with braised noodles
Assorted wild mushroom risotto with roast capsicum, rucola, shaved parmesan

Rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice cream and syrup
Vanilla ice cream with fresh mixed berries and passion fruit coulis

Somerset brie, Butlers secret mature cheddar, wensleydale with cranberry and Shropshire blue with the tracklements

Fresh Fruits in season

Coffee & Teas with pralines

Choices, choices, eh. Even the first choice is difficult, I am fond of caviar but I am also fond of lobster. I take the punt that there will be a similar choice on the next flight and opt for the caviar which comes with all the trimmings. I take a nice brown roll from the bread basket to go with the echt but too cold Normandy butter.

After that, I go for the consommé, this is quite nice, especially the dumpling, but not quite right. I skip the salad, one has to save some calories somewhere in a feast such as this, plus I like my salad to be nude leaves.

I then choose the Salmon with noodles, which also has a selection of fresh veg cooked with it. Like any reheated non-soup noodle dish, the texture is a bit variable, but a bit of crunchy is good as far as I’m concerned. It’s light and delicious and I could have eaten it all over again.

I skip dessert in favour of cheese, I’m happy to report that the cheese comes in generous portions, the Brie was a little meh, but the Shropshire blue was delicious – it’s not in the photo because it got scoffed  very quickly, as did the very good cheddar – I prefer my cheddar a little strong, but this had fine texture.

A nice cup of tea and a single praline rounded off the meal for me, with a few more pages read of Dominic Sandbrook’s latest magnum opus – State of Emergency. At this point I went to the bathroom whilst the bed was brought down and the seat folded away and changed into my sleepsuit. The bed is very ingeniously positioned in the wall and provides a decent length, single mattressed bed. It’s quite hard, but I like that and with the duvet and the doors shut I was soon snugly heading towards sleepytime.

I slept with the odd interruption for about 7 hours, the A380 is sufficiently quiet that I can sleep without using earplugs! There was a bouncy bit just over India, but otherwise the flight seemed pretty smooth.

Having the cabin converted back, I breakfasted over the Andaman Islands. I had some fresh fruit (too cold, melon a bit unripe), tomato juice and a nice large glass of it at that, two mugs of delicious black coffee, a small bowl of fruit yoghurt (very good), a croissant and Nasi Lemak. As is usual, I was asked “are you OK with spicy”, I say I’ve had it before (which is true, usually in food courts in Singapore). 

The Nasi Lemak was a good choice, the prawns in the sambal were plump and the sambal was nice and spicy but not that spicy, the little fried fish were salty heaven, the rice was good, the omelette was fine and the chicken was well, chicken.

Unfortunately, with the delays at Heathrow, it’s unlikely that I’ll have much time on my transfer at Singapore. My plan of a nice hour in The Private Room looks scuppered, but I should be able to get a look inside even if it will probably mean I don’t have chance for a shower. Well, I have no seat opponent on the next flight, I can afford to whiff a bit J

Unternehmen Changi is basically, smoke fag, buy fags, go to lounge for a bit of Intertubes, smoke fag, board. If I get chance, I might see if I can get a UK-OZ adaptor as well, but I doubt if I’ll get chance. I’m sure the hotel will have one.

I’m actually slightly regretting this flight. I have a terrible feeling that i’ll never be happy in Business Class to the Far East again. Now, I wonder how much a D to R cash upgrade is for SIN-LHR on the way back.


  1. OMG! That's not a plane. It's a flying 5 star hotel. :)