Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Club Europe, BA715, ZRH-LHR

As you've been reading about the past few weeks, I took a business trip to Zurich (via Mallorca!), and spent a few days in London on my return.  British Airways was my airline of choice, and as you know, I enjoyed my first class flight from SFO-LHR (particularly the waffles!). You'll get to read about the corresponding LHR-SFO return journey next week on Travelin' Tuesday.

But I also needed to get from Zurich to London for the return journey, and I accidentally forgot to publish this review sooner, so, please pardon the slight interruption in continuity, as I've already reviewed the Concorde room, the First Class Galleries Lounge, and the Business Class Galleries Lounge, without explaining HOW I got there in the first place.  Whoops!

The flight experience was fairly similar to the Club Europe journey from LHR-BCN.  The flight was fine, although we were delayed about 45 minutes before taking off, and had to fly around France because of a strike, but besides that, unremarkable.  Flight attendants were friendly and polite, and provided standard BA Club Europe service.
Wine Reserve de la Baume Colombard-Chardonnay.
I started with a white wine.  I had the choice of two, and went for the Chardonnay.  It was fairly drinkable.  Not harsh, a tiny bit buttery, but generally unremarkable.
Afternoon Tea Service.
My meal on this flight, just like my LHR-BCN flight, was tea service. After the last time, I was much less excited about this, as I knew what I had in store for me.  I’d also had lunch not long before, so I didn’t care much.

The tray setup was the same, although I was lacking milk this time, and none was offered with my coffee.

The trio of sandwiches was much better than my previous experience, and I actually ate parts of each of them.

The bread, just like before, was really dried out and stale however.  There really is no way to make sandwich bread not dry out, why do they even try?  I know tiny sandwiches are part of a proper tea service, but … yeah.  There is no way for this to work well.

I started with the vegetarian sando: egg salad on wheat bread.  The egg salad was actually decent.  Not drowning in mayo, but plenty to make it creamy.  While I don’t like sandwiches, I do like egg salad, and I would have gladly had a scoop of this in another form.  Instead, I just ate all the filling, discarding the dried out bread.  Much, much better than the cream cheese and bell pepper vegetarian offering on the last flight, and, I’d eat another of these (well, the filling at least).  Not that it was interestingly seasoned or anything, just standard egg salad, but, sometimes, egg salad is all you need.  My favorite of the trio.

Next I got adventurous, and went for the meat option in the middle.  It had sliced meat that looked particularly frightening.  Some kind of pork?  I didn’t try the meat, but ate the cheese and sliced pickles, because, well, pickles are tasty.  I wish I’d had the foresight to mix the pickles in with the egg salad.  Next time!  Certainly better than the ham offering on the previous flight, but, still not something I wanted again.

Finally, the seafood option, simple smoked salmon with cream cheese on a grainy bread.  The smoked salmon was actually fine, and the cream cheese went well with it.  My second favorite.

Scones were presented at the exact same time as the sandwiches.  This made me sad, as the scones were served warm, and I wanted to enjoy mine warm, but I also wanted the sandwiches first.  Savory before sweet!  And again, the basket of scones was put in front of me, no explanation, no serving utensils.

I again picked the fruit scone.  Last time, I detected a hint of orange, but this time, my scone actually had slivers of orange rind, amping up the flavor considerably.  I think the scone base was probably the same as before, but I was far less into it this time.  I still used up my entire thing of clotted cream, and appreciated the warm scone, the cream, and a bit of jam, but the scone really seemed unremarkable, as did the jam.  I wanted a fresher pastry, and my mom’s jam.

With my scone, I ordered decaf tea.  It turned out, they didn’t have any decaf tea, only regular, or herbal.  I asked which herbals they had, and one choice was given as Earl Gray.  I asked if that was decaf, since I knew BA serves decaf Earl Gray on longer flights, but was told no.  Note to BA: “herbal” and “earl grey” are not the same.  Instead I went for decaf coffee, because I wanted something to go with my scone and dessert.  It was the same strange instant coffee again, somehow chocolate tasting.  It did the trick, but, not something I particularly want more of.  I did again appreciate the lovely cup, with the city skyline on it.
Sweet Treat: Pistachio Madiera Cake.
And finally, another “Sweet Treat”.  I was hoping for a different selection this time, and thought I was in luck, as the shape of the box was different.  As before, the type of treat awaiting me was not revealed until I opened the box.   But alas, it was another pistachio madiera cake, just a smaller one this time.

Now, a reasonable person would recognize that they hated this thing last time and not bother trying it again.  But we all know I’m not a reasonable person.  I had a dessert in front of me, I had to try it, right?

I should have known better.  I mean, I did know better.  Just like last time, I could tell the moment I opened the plastic wrapper that it was horrible and moist and gummy and spongy.  But I still tried it.  It again was awful, tasted like pistachios and a bit like a madeline.  Ugh.  Don’t try these.
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