• Deborah Kade

Phoenix to London

Our flight from Phoenix to London takes off at 8:30 PM. Michael reached two million miles on British Airways so we are flying first class and the tickets were free. We only had to travel during off peak times. Today, I learned first class has their own lounge at Sky Harbor Airport. I always thought business class and first class were in one lounge. In First, the seats are wider, more plush and definitely more comfortable. The staff really go out of their way to pamper and accommodate you!!! Also, there is more variety of food, beer, champagne and "hard liquor. Also, they serve Espresso and Cappuccino instead of just "plain coffee". The two soups which they served were Southwest corn chowder and Tuscan bean with kale and meatballs (doesn't sound appetizing but it was quite tasty.) Nice assortment of rolls to go along with the soups. British Airways lounges always serve interesting and delicious soups. I think they should publish a cookbook featuring the variety of soups. I would definitely buy it and I think others would, too. They had a fresh salad bar. English cucumbers used. Of course. There was a large assortment of cheeses, sandwiches, eggs, hummus and breads. They even had three different types of olives. You could also choose from different chips, fruit, pretzels, granola, etc. You could also choose the following types of popcorn: spicy queso, dill pickle, city slick or salt and pepper. Not your usual choices but all unique and tasty. There was more food but I will leave you wondering. You might fly first class out of Phoenix one day and I want to save some surprises for you. Fresh baked warm cookies were served for dessert: chocolate chip, oatmeal and sugar. They also had brownies with chocolate chips on top. There was no frosting. A small silver plastic fork was stuck on top. Michael said to use your fingers. On Saturday night we went to Sharon and Bennett's for dinner. Bennett made two different brownies which were so delicious!!! One brownie was frosted and the other one with nuts wasn't frosted. Now, I can say I have had three very different and tasty brownies in a couple days. It was a beautiful sight to see the large and bright moon rise. The landing lights of the planes on final approach into Sky Harbor looked like they were going to bump into the moon. I really couldn't capture the imagine out the lounge windows. You will just have to imagine. So, is there a difference between flying business and first? YES!!!!! When we go to Switzerland we fly business and I like to be seated in the bubble up top as there are only 16 seats and the pilots up front. Here in first there are only 14 seats. Today, only 10 were occupied. The seats are so comfortable: wide, soft leather and all the controls for windows, seats, lighting, etc. within reach. When we entered the plane, we were escorted to our seats. Then they asked if we would be wanting pajamas this evening. We passed on this. Can you picture Michael and I changing into PJ's for the flight? I'm giggling so it is fine to laugh, too. The Liberty of London cosmetic travel case I received was quite nice. All the products were aromatherapy. Inside the cosmetic bag I had moisturizing lip balm, toothpaste, toothbrush, triple rose renewing moisturizer, deodorant stick, hydrating renewing rose cleanser, orange flower hand lotion, a combination brush and comb, slipper socks and a sleeping mask. Michael's was different so I don't know what was included in his. When we took off, the lights of Phoenix and the surrounding cities twinkled below. I love flying into and out of Phoenix at night. The moon was pretty as seen from the plane but not as spectacular as it was rising. They started the dinner service once we reached our cruising altitude. Here is the greeting from the menu. Traveling in First offers you the very finest things in life, and your delicious menu today is no exception. So, please sit back, relax and enjoy our à la carte dining, our chefs use fresh local produce as the inspirations for their dishes. The finest food deserves the finest wines, and our wine expert has selected an eclectic mixture of ripe, fruity reds and crisp, fresh whites from around the world. You can choose from a variety of Champagnes, each perfectly balanced and sure to delight. They started the service with an assortment of hot nuts and your choice of drink. So, here is what I could choose from. The Bar Apéritifs and Spirits Vodka Whiskey Bourbon Gin Rum Liqueurs and Digestifs Whisky Drambuie Baileys Cognac Cointreau Beer Juices and soft drinks Champagnes and Sparkling Wine- 4 choices White Wines- 3 Red Wines-3 Dessert Wines- 2 Starters Marinated prawn and chorizo salad with Castelvetrano olives Spicy corvette arancini with roasted tomato sauce Creamy harissa soup with purple potato crisps Fresh salad leaves with your choice of balsamic vinaigrette or avocado ranch dressing Main Course Prune and Gorgonzola stuffed chicken with celery root purée, broccoli and natural chicken juice Chilean sea bass with Yukon potato, Spanish smoked chorizo and Goan-style coconut curry Pan-roasted fillet of beef with herb roasted new potatoes, mini vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and gravy Goat's cheese ravioli with mini vegetables, baby Swiss chard and charred leek consommé Herb-roasted shrimp with baby arugula, Tuscan kale, grilled avocado, sweet potato and crispy quinoa Desserts Malted chocolate financier Tart lemon pudding Vanilla ice cream Cheese Plate Stilton Blue Truffle Cheddar Bouchevrette Fresh fruit A selection of biscuits So... what sounds tasty to you? What do you think we chose? Well, I started with the salad leaves. For the main course, I chose the shrimp. Michael had the soup and sea bass. Mr. Sweet Tooth even had dessert. By the time I glanced over to his place, he had eaten it so I'm not sure what he had. He is trying to limit sweets so I'm sure he had a "sugar high". Once dinner was over, the flight attendant asked if she could make up the bed. The seat folded down completely. Next, she unwrapped a mattress pad and placed it over the seat and unwrapped a duet for a cover. She even turned down a corner so it was easy to lay down. The smell of coffee awaken me from a very restful sleep. It is so wonderful to be able to stretch out and sleep comfortably. For breakfast I could chose: Starters Chilled fruit juice An energizing fruit smoothie of blood orange and vanilla A selection of yoghurts Bircher muesli Fresh seasonal fruit appetizer A wide selection of breakfast pastries and rolls Main Courses Traditional English breakfast of scrambled eggs, Pork sausage, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and hash-brown potatoes Scrambled eggs with bacon, grilled herb tomato, charred sourdough crostini and Kalamata olive Hollandaise Belgian waffles with fresh caramelized figs, pecans and maple syrup Beverages Teas: In 1706 Twinings started selling teas in England. Back then, the most popular drinks in England were coffee, gin and ale. Although tea had been drunk in China for thousands of years, it had only just been imported to England. More than 300 years later, the passion for tea continues and we're pleased to offer you a selection of Twinings' most popular teas. The Full English Pure Camomile Infusion Thoroughly Minted The Earl Elderflower and Blossom Darjeeling Jasmine Petals and Pearls Citrus Ginger Twist Coffee- freshly roasted and ground, decaffeinated, espresso or cappuccino Michael and I chose the same for breakfast. The seasonal fruit consisted of slices of melon, cantaloupe, pineapple and watermelon. There were also raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. So fresh and delicious. The piece of mint cleansed the pallet. English breakfast tea was served in a three cup little white teapot. The Traditional English breakfast was quite filling. The start of the trip could not have been better even though we arrived about 25 minutes late since we had to circle around due to high traffic. We flew into terminal 3 which is not my favorite. It is an older building which doesn't have the charm or shopping of terminal 5. Usually London is a pass through for us on our way to Switzerland so we don't have to fill out the landing card. I just learned that First and Business Class fliers get a Fast Track Pass to go through immigration. We don't have to wait in the LONG lines. When we get to Heathrow, we will rent a car and drive out to Bath. Bath will be our home base until Friday when we come back to London. A Beautiful sunny sky greeted us flying into Heathrow. There are some thin clouds scattered here and there in the sky. Spring has arrived in London!!!! Around Heathrow, yellow and white daffodils blooming. They are also blooming along the roadway from London to Bath and in cottage gardens. Pansies are planted in the roundabouts around Heathrow. There were some white flowering trees along the highway toward Bath, too. From the road we could see Windsor Castle and the turn for Royal Ascot. The hillsides are so green!!! Just so lovely to see. Horses and sheep are grazing in the wide open pastures. Farmers are starting to plow the fields. Amazing to see the wooden fences along the road. Ivy covering some fences while other fences are covered in thick green moss. In a few places, daffodils were growing in front of the fences. Unfortunately, there aren't places to stop and take pictures. Besides wooden fences to separate pastures, people have planted hedges from bushes. The unique thing is they have trimmed the tops evenly. Very manicured. We are staying at Chestnuts House in Bath. Toni greeted us and gave an overview of the area and what to do. It is a quaint and very clean bed and breakfast which is a short 5 minute level walk to the center of the city. We are in a valley so at least we don't have to climb the hills the get to the city center. Chestnuts House is built of natural Bath stone. And... there are only four rooms! We are near Henrietta Park.The park is lovely. Flowers and trees are starting to bloom. I did not take my camera when Michael and I did a quick "get to know the area and find a pub for dinner." As it was after 6PM, most shops were closing or were already closed. So much to explore tomorrow. The one thing that stood out was the number of coffee shops. I expected more tea rooms. We decided to go to a pub for dinner. Great food- relatively inexpensive- local charm. Toni suggested to try The Boater". He also gave 4 or 5 other suggestions. He was spot on with this recommendation. The pub had a tin ceiling, pretty crown molding and cute wall decorations. I liked the drawers over the bar. I should have asked what they originally held. The locals were stopping in for "a pint or two". They have trivia night on Thursday. Might be something to check out. Michael and I had the fish and chips. So delicious!! It was also served with crushed peas and tartar sauce. The peas had a little zing even though it looked like something a baby would eat. Well, I started the blog talking about food and I will finish with talking about food. Michael took a couple pictures with his phone but he is too tired to load them onto his computer. will have to wait a day. Good night from Bath. Until tomorrow.


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