If I had a dollar for every mile I have traveled I’d be on the Forbes Fortune 500 list by now. In an earlier post I mentioned that I missed my flight home from London. Virgin Atlantic mercifully put me on a flight the next day, and were most gracious about it…considering it was entirely my own fault!
On tour with Duran Duran 1987

On tour with Duran Duran 1987

Their upper class lounge at London Heathrow beats anything I’ve ever seen before…hands down! Apart from the usual buffet you can order a full English breakfast, or just about anything else your heart desires…including a massage, facial, haircut, manicure and pedicure, complimentary limousine service to and from the airport, and their own fast track through security and immigration.

These salt and pepper shakers reminded me of how Andy Warhol would ask us to pinch the silverware from Concorde (sterling, not plastic of course)…one of his many odd ball collections. He would have appreciated these.
Salt & pepper

Salt & pepper

I actually remember planes that looked like these, but they were not all that was reminiscent of an era in travel I thought was long gone. Not only does Virgin give you service with a smile, they even offer to read you a bedtime story and tuck you in (tongue in cheek of course) after making your upper class seat into a totally flat bed complete with sheets, pillow, comforter, and cozy pajamas. Travel ain’t what it used to be….
Virgin service with a smile

Virgin service with a smile

…Virgin makes it so much better! Apart from being entertained with films barely out of the cinema (you have so many to choose from it’s difficult to decide what to watch), the food was actually quite scrumptious!

The menu reads …”Our Freedom Menu gives you the flexibility to eat what you want, when you want to. Please feel free to place an order at any time. We are proud to offer you a range of contemporary and traditional cuisine from around the world. We are committed to the use of seasonal and locally sourced produce where we can and hope you enjoy today’s selection”
Cheese bread

Cheese bread

The freshly baked cheese bread tipped me off that I was in for a treat. You know how I love to judge a restaurant by it’s bread….that now includes planes.
Smoked Salmon and spelt salad with balsamic dressing

Smoked Salmon and spelt salad with balsamic dressing

The smoked salmon melted in my mouth, and the spelt, one of the original 7 grains mentioned in the bible, added an unexpected but delightful texture to the salad (the tough outer hull, left in tact when harvested, serves to protect the many natural nutrients in this whole grain).
Steak and mushroom pie with champ potatoes & sauteed Savoy cabbage

Steak and mushroom pie with champ potatoes & sauteed Savoy cabbage

Crisp, flakey puff pastry atop tender beef with mushrooms and a flavorful, rich gravy really hit my comfort food cravings along with a hint of twang from the buttery cabbage, and satisfying potatoes. I wish all airlines would stick to such well made classic dishes.
Strawberry Cream Roulade with Wild Berry Coulis

Strawberry Cream Roulade with Wild Berry Coulis

Light, decadent, and just the right combination of sweet but tart. The entire dinner did not even have a hint of that overcooked, soggy airline food we’ve all tolerated for years…every bit as good as any decent restaurant would serve, and most definitely the best meal I’ve ever had on an airplane.
Enjoying a refreshments and a few laughs at the bar

Enjoying a refreshments and a few laughs at the bar

After a lovely snooze I was ready to stretch my legs and have a few laughs in the bar, then back to a little writing and of course my favorite English tradition…
Classic sultana scone with jam and clotted cream

Classic sultana scone with jam and clotted cream

Still warm from the oven scones with sinfully good clotted cream and jam. The perfect ending to a wonderful journey.
Jewels sitting comfortably and satisfied

Jewels sitting comfortably and satisfied

It is blatantly apparent why Richard Branson is so successful…attention to every minute detail, and a deep understanding of customer service will turn customers into loyal clientele every time. Virgin Atlantic Upper Class is miles and light years above the rest.
Version 2
Seasonal Leaf Salad with Smoked Salmon, Spelt, and Balsamic Dressing

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

for the salad:
1 cup of rolled spelt
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon of salt
4 cups of seasonal salad greens, rinsed and spun dry
8 ounces of Scottish smoked salmon
for the dressing:
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (depending on how tangy you like your dressing)

Directions:

1). Add 1 tablespoon of salt the the water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to boil. Add rolled spelt and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Drain and allow to cool to room temperature.

2). In a small bowl, whisk balsamic, mustard, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and freshly ground black pepper. In a slow steady stream, add olive oil whilst whisking constantly until well Incorporated.

3). Toss cooled spelt, smoked salmon, salad greens, and desired amount of dressing together. Divide between 4 salad plates and serve.
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  • September 2, 2009
    12:55 pm

    WOW…..Julie Anne, I can see why you were sooooo impressed by the menu. From what I have read and seen in your pictures even I would convert to aeroplane food (upper class of course).The menu sounds and looks so tempting. Being an Aussie, I love pies, so steak and mushroom pie is certainly one of my favorite. Oh, the salt and pepper shakers, what a novelty. I just love them.Great blog as usual Julie Anne and I just adore the shot of you and Nick sleeping. How exhausted you both must have been.Aussie Mum, Melbourne, Australia.

  • September 2, 2009
    6:15 pm

    What a fabulous surprise to see air-fare can be good! The scones look fabulous, as does everything else! Hope you are well, see you soon!

  • September 3, 2009
    9:49 pm

    Sharon McConnell Worster Nice Jewels!!!