Forget Terminal 5, it is Heathrow’s Terminal 2 that impressed me on my last visit to the UK’s biggest airport. Known as ‘The Queen’s Terminal’, this departure area is truly fit for royalty with the finest British luxury brands (the likes of Smythson and Burberry) and a range of innovative cuisine choices to enjoy before your flight.
Recently international airports have been offering more exciting and prestigious restaurants with some of the world’s most famous chefs opening establishments and, since June, passengers travelling through Heathrow Terminal 2 have had access to The Perfectionists’ Cafe, from multi-award winning chef Heston Blumenthal. Heston hopes to offer Brits the chance to satisfy their stomachs with nostalgic British classic, but fast, food that is tasty and good quality. Inspired by the chef’s TV series ‘In Search of Perfection,’ the menu features fun and familiar dishes like Fish and Chips, Pizzas and Burgers.
The futuristic design is instantly recognisable in the smart and shiny new Terminal. We took a seat and quickly ordered a burger and pizza to share. Both arrived within ten minutes, smelling delicious. The burger was disappointing however, with under-flavoured meat and limp salad. Having tasted Heston’s triple cooked chips at his London restaurant ‘Dinner’, I was hoping for a reminder of these crispy delights, but the fries were plain and unimaginative. The pizza was thin crusted and fresh out of the pizza oven, it was topped with rocket and salami and tasted great.
For dessert, diners can design their own ice-cream sundae which is then made in the Nitro Ice-cream Parlour adjoining the restaurant. Served in a biscuit basket and topped with chocolate sauce and popping candy, it is a child’s dream come true. I love that the ice-cream concept is so different to any other desserts you would find in an airport, and this part of the restaurant is definitely the most original.
Flicking through the Heston cookbooks at the table, I could see how much the great chef has had to compromise in this airport scenario – the food certainly isn’t exceptional but it is much better than anything else I spotted on offer. If you haven’t got time for a whole meal I’d recommend popping by for a sweet treat at the Willy Wonka style parlour.
More information here.
In all my airborne travels I have never travelled by Virgin until recently. This big brand dominate the sky space between UK and USA with their efficient and stylish big red planes. For my winter trip to New York I was lucky enough to be taking my first flight with Virgin Atlantic. Arriving at Heathrow Terminal 3 Zone A, I was impressed by the separate Virgin entrance, complete with smiling staff ready to help you with a speedy check-in. No queues and no hassle, it was blissfully stressfree and amazingly quick.
We boarded an hour or so later, the double-decker aircraft was clean and spacious, we were seated immediately and comfortably. The flight wasn’t painfully full so the pair of us shared a three-seat row, spreading out our books and blankets ready for the journey. Tasty food and great current films made the 7 hours fly by! Service was exemplary throughout, and I loved the special touches this airline provide for all guests, including a Fab ice lolly to revitalise you an hour before landing. We arrived at Newark airport early feeling rested and ready for a New York adventure.
On the return flight the staff kindly upgraded us to Premium Economy seats with extra room and lovely perks. Sparkling wine arrived in real glass and the meals (five cheese ravioli and chicken curry with basmati rice) were accompanied by real metal cutlery! I began enjoying myself so much I forgot I was miles up in the air. It was an absolute pleasure flying with Virgin, I hope to board a red plane again soon.
Virgin Atlantic flies six times every day from London Heathrow to New York and is offering return Economy fares from £522 per person. Virgin Atlantic now offers flights between London Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen on its Little Red domestic service with prices starting from £88 return. For further information contact www.virginatlantic.com or call 0844 2092 770. This fare is available for selected departures during 2013. Prices given are correct as of today and are subject to change.
Travel to Baku in style with British Airways’ new flight to the Azeri capital. Having recently taken over this ex-BMI route, it has never been easier for British visitors to exchange bustling London for the boulevards of Baku.
After just five hours, you arrive at Heydar Aliyev airport in 30 degree heat, a short taxi ride from the amazing architecture, skyscrapers and historical old town that Baku has to offer.
The British Airways aircraft for this route is divided into two cabins – Club World and World Traveller. I was lucky enough to experience both as part of my return journey. World Traveller is British Airways’ standard class but with plenty of legroom, friendly and helpful staff and very edible food; it is a step up from many of the airlines I have experienced.
On our return journey, we were especially pleased to be seated in Club World. A glass of Taittinger Brut Reserve NV Champagne on take-off, followed by a tasty piece of steak was a lovely way to round off our trip.
The British Airways motto “to fly, to serve” seems like a simple concept, but as always the service felt special – especially when you’re used to flying with Ryanair.
British Airways strive to make the world’s most unique destinations more accessible, this flight to Baku is a prime example.
British Airways operates a daily service from Heathrow to Baku seven times a week. The lead-in fare is from £463.95 including taxes/fees/carrier charges. To book or for more information visit www.ba.com/Baku or call 0844 4930787.