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BA279 London Heathrow (LHR) - Los Angeles International (LAX)

Date: 1 September 2007
Departure (scheduled): 10:05
Arrival (scheduled): 13:05
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Cabin: FIRST
Seat: 2K

I entered the aircraft and made the magical left turn to the nose section where I was shown to my seat 2K. The APU was broken, so it was somewhat warm on board and the crew were very apologetic and set about making amends with copious quantities of champagne! Push back ended up being delayed by around 40 mins or so, which allowed good time to settle in and get somewhat pickled .

After take-off, further drinks were handed out and I had them and canapés with my friend in 1A in his buddy seat. After around half an hour, I moved back to my seat to eat. The menu was as follows:

LUNCH

Starters

Lobster, mango and pick grapefruit salad
with honey and coriander dressing

Roast tomato and vegetable frittata with rocket leaves,
basil and tomato dressing

White bean and oregano soup with truffle oil
and fresh herb croutons

Fresh salad leaves with your choice of Roquefort cheese and
pine nut dressing or spiced lemon and soy dressing

Main course

Grilled fillet of beef with grilled marinated courgettes,
foie gras crouton and Anna potatoes

Catch of the Day - served with your choice of watercress sauce or
red pepper citrus coulis, seasonal vegetables and parsley potatoes

Vineet Bhatia's chicken in green masala, green pea and
cumin rice with stir-fried asparagus and enoki mushrooms

Main course Greek salad with herb dressing

Dessert

Michel Roux's blancmange with roast pineapple

Warm treacle tart with vanilla ice cream

ENGLISH AFTERNOON TEA

Snacks

A selection of sandwiches:
Smoked salmon with black pepper
Chunky egg and baby spinach
Coronation chicken
Roast vegetable and cream cheese

Salmon, leek and mushroom quiche

Patisserie

Plain or fruit scones served warm with clotted cream
and strawberry jam

Farmhouse fruit cake, rhubarb custard tart with nutmeg and macaroon

WINE LIST

Champagne

Charles Heidseck Blanc des Millenaires 1995

White

Meursault Chateau de Citeaux 2003, Domaine Philippe Bouzereau

Pouilly-Fumé La Grande Cuvée 2004, Domaine Fournier

William Hill Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay 2004

Red

Chateau Nenin 1996, Pomerol

Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Vieilles Vignes 2004, Frédéric Magnien

Hook & Ladder Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, Russian River Valley

Dessert

Bonnezeaux 2003, Chateau de Fesles, Loire Valley

Warre's 1988 Colheita Port

I started with the lobster salad and it was delicious, if quite a light starter option. This was followed by the soup, which was also very nice. The steak main course was, however, quite disappointing, mainly due to being overcooked and dry, although the adorned foie gras was a nice touch. I finished off with the treacle tart.

By this time I was watching a movie on the in flight entertainment system, but fell asleep before it had finished (Pirates of the Caribbean 3). Waking up having missed a reasonable portion of the movie, I decided to bed down properly. Unfortunately, and perhaps typically, by the time I did the bed sorted out and lay down, I tossed and turned but couldn't get to sleep.

Whether due to too much indulgence or something else, I began to feel a bit unwell during the flight and took to drinking plenty of water, which meant plenty of toilet trips - I think I got through at least ten 500ml Highland Spring bottles by the end of the flight . In any case, I spent the second half of the flight not really feeling that good. About 90 minutes before landing we received the tea service and this helped somewhat.

After good views of Las Vegas on the way into LAX, we ended up circling right over the Pacific north of the airport and coming back in a big loop over Los Angeles before landing. It was then a long and slow taxi to our stand, taking about 30 minutes from touchdown - in that respect it didn't feel like we'd even left Heathrow!

I had been thrilled to receive an upgrade, but it hadn't been anywhere near my best flight, despite being a great place to spend 12 hours. Not feeling well, the not particularly good main course and good-but-not-great service took the edge off things slightly. However, I shouldn't complain - relatively speaking it was an excellent start to the holiday.


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