Travel Diaries – Memories from London

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I was flicking through some albums and had a bit of nostalgia about a loverly trip I had to London a couple of years back… There have been some changes to the way Qantas operate (they now travel via Dubai to London, they used to fly via Singapore), and this was my last flight with them on the JSA (The Joint Services Agreement they had with British Airways).

So this trip was very sentimental to me….here are some memories from the trip…Enjoy!

If you want a more in-depth view on travelling on the Qantas A380 check out my most recent trip to and from London… this is more a snippet of memories from my 2012 jaunt to London. 

Qantas First Lounge (Sydney) 

The First Lounge in Sydney is one of the best in the whole world. Amazing views of the tarmac, restaurant cuisine from Neil Perry (Owner of Rockpool Group), a Spa with products and therapists from Payot and of course Private Meeting Rooms so you can just chill.

Champers

I had some lovely lamb cutlets – which were simply divine.

Lamb Cutlets

The Bluefin Tuna sashmi is always a treat – soft rich oily tuna fillets with a light miso soy sauce.

Bluefin Tuna Sashimi

They have a selection of cakes which provide rich doughy sugar boost during the day.

Selection of Cakes

The Spa provides a lovely little back massage to ease the tendons… the soothing mist of beautiful botanicals flow through the place… you almost forget your’e at an airport.

Spa

Qantas First (Sydney to Singapore)

So next on Board with a glass of Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2000 nestled in my suite. (I actually met a member of the Taittinger dynasty at a Qantas function later on. He was a very down to earth guy with a fantastic knowledge of his family’s wines).

takeoff

So we settle and the degustation is the choice when you’re on the SYD to SIN leg.

Tasting Menu

The Zucchini, Basil and Parmesan soup kicks things off. It’s rich with the cooling taste of the zucchini and the distinct basil flavour shining through.

Zucchini, Basil and Parmesan Soup

The duck and pistachio terrine with a spiced apple chutney is amazing. The rich oily textured gamey duck pairs with the contrast of the spiced apple, while the pistachios provide needed texture to the smoothness of the dish.

Duck and Pistachio Terrine with Spiced Apple Chutney with Picardy Chardonnay

This dish is a masterpiece. The fleshy white meat of the snapper is overflowing with the flavours of the spicy garam masala its absorbed during the poaching process. The softness of the egg noodles contrast with the crunchiness of the snow peas. It’s quite an experience.

Sanpper poached in coconut milk and garam masala with fine egg noodles and snow peas

Beautiful tender lamb cutlet is amazing in itself. The other dishes just do a little dance around the lamb, which is the star of the dish.

Castricum Borthers Lamb with fregola, green beans and roasted garlic aioli

The profiteroles are amazing, the plush puffy pastries filled with a rich cream filling with a kick of vanilla smothered with fudge sauce and the kick of the tangy fruity raspberries.

Profiteroles filled with Vanilla Cream and served with raspberries and fudge sauce

We land in Singapore… I cool my heels in the lounge (which is nothing to write home about – Qantas have recently upgraded their Singapore Lounge, which I hope to pay a visit soon!).

Qantas First (Singapore to London)

Anyway back on board…. and supper is served. I go for the lovely prawn mayo sandwich, which is a lovely little starter.

Prawn & Mayo Sandwich

The Pea & Mint Soup is refreshing, the smoothness of the peas with the refreshing stroke through of mint! It’s heaven.

Pea & Mint Soup

Now the Steak Sandwich is a regular favourite of mine – to view my full thoughts on it check out my recent trip to London.

Steak Sandwich

Nothing calms the senses like a refreshing peppermint tea and some gourmet chocolates to put me to sleep.

Peppermint Tea

After a relaxing supper, I really need to sleep! My host makes my bed and I fall asleep like a baby.

Sleep Time

As we enter London airspace it is only fitting one has a traditional English breakfast before landing

Breakfast

London

We touch down in beautiful London Heathrow. I am actually here for a bit over a week, I wasn’t planning on doing anything… I just booked the trip so I could enjoy my flight over and the flight back. But I do manage to squeeze in some fun on the ground & here are some pictures of the shenanigans I get up to!

London Design Week Function (at the Royal Geographic Society)

Michelin Star Chef, London’s culture elite, Models serving beautiful gourmet food, free flowing wine… it was an afternoon to remember.

London Design Week with Nuno Mendes   548528_10151242857841224_1611192292_n

Claridges Bar

One of my favourite places (it made it onto my Best Food Guide – check it out here)

The Tregothnan: Infused Hennessey cognac with Cornwall Tregothnan Earl Gray Tea, Pineapple, Honey and Lime Juice with Earl Tea infused Ice cube.

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Secret Brunch (Embassy Mayfair – Social Diner, Bar & Nightclub)

This is a brunch event held in the UK. The theme was Pyjamas! It wasn’t great, but there was rustic dishes, people in PJs (yes in the middle of Mayfair), beds, dance music, Hampton style cocktails and life music/performers. It’s random, but the breakfast canapes were lovely.

The brunch canapés: We have Bruschetta, Pate Burgers, Some Caesar Tarts, Traditional Salmon Bagels and Mushoom Arancini balls.

The Brunch Canapes - Bruschetta, Pate, Burgers, Caesar tarts, Salmon Bagels and Mushoom Arancini Balls

Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea at Sandersons Hotel 

Let me help you out here:
Top Tier – (1) Blueberry “Hot & Cold” Lollipop (2) Chocolate and Praline Lollipop (Explode in your mouth)
Second Tier – (1) Chocolate Opera Rabbit’s Clock, (2) Queen of Hearts Strawberry Mouse and (3) Drink Me – Passionfruit Jelly, Coconut Panacotta, Exotic Foam
Third Tier & Plate – Scones & the Sandwiches (1) Ham and English Mustard on Saffron Bread, (2) Smoked Salmon on green spinach bread, (3) Cucumber and Black pepper on Beetroot bread (4) Egg Mayonnaise & Cress on Brown Bread

Alice in Wonderland

British Airways – Galleries First Lounge (Terminal 3)

So my time in London draws to a close and I find myself in the British Airways Lounge chilling, enjoying the beautiful meals in the restaurant and the self-pour Champagne Gold Bar.

Smoked Chicken with Apple & Walnut Salad

Smoked Chicken with Apple & Walnut Salad

Champagne Gold Bar 

Gold Bar with Bollinger and Taittinger

Qantas First (London to Singapore)

I get on board and have some beautiful canapés waiting for me. There is a Spanner Crab with Nam Jim and Crostini with Ricotta, Caramelised Eschalots and Pancetta, both of which are delicious.

Spanner Crab with Nam Jim and Crostine with Ricotta, Caramelised Eschalots and Pancetta

The Chicken and Corn Soup is the starter. Now a traditional home-made “just like my mother made it” dish. Juicy chicken peaces with crunchy corn in a transcendent stew.

Chicken & Corn Soup

For the main I have a lighter dish, the Herb Crusted Sea Bass with Roasted Baby Carrots, Broccoli and Aioli. Lovely crunchiness of the herb crust pairs beautifully with the soft succulent sea bass. The baby carrots adds some lovely colour to the dish. The dish represents a mix of flavours – the herbs, the rich aioli and the smooth flavour of the sea bass

Herb Crusted Sea Bass with Roasted Baby Carrots, Boccoli and Aioli

Qantas (Singapore to Melbourne) 

We kick of this leg with the Roast Chicken Artichoke Salad with Paprika Dressing. The chicken is tender and juicy – perfectly roasted. Whole the artichoke salad adds a light tang (probably through the dressing) with a light overlay of the paprika for extra flavour.

Roast Chicket & Artichoke Salad with Paprika dressing

Then we move onto the Casserole of Wild Boar Ragu with Fondant Potato. Rich stewy casserole with the gamey flavour of the wild boar meat making this a rich tasting experience.

Casserole of Wild Boar Ragu with fondant Potato and Red Glazed Cabbage

Breakfast is a light hearted affair. I settle for a beautiful Danish with a flat white to wake-me-up.

Hazelnut Danish & Flat White

Then the plane reaches Melbourne, the bright rising sun enters the cabin, the pilot announces our arrival and soon the plane hits the tarmac and my trip is over! Well not quite, I have to connect onto a domestic flight to get back to Sydney (oh the things I do to remain in the air)!