Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2006-07

Flight Log 39 : BA284

San Francisco (SFO) - London Heathrow (LHR)

As I settled into 1A, it didn't take long to work out that the F cabin was going to be completely full and in BA's version of the 747 nose cone, this means 14 people. The sleeper suit, BAg and a nicely presented aromatherapy sleep-aid were handed out on the ground. I changed into my sleeper suit and then had a glass of apple juice and some macadamia nuts while waiting for departure. With boarding from the lounge not starting until 1555, it was no great surprise when a delay was announced. Apparently, this was caused by a cabin crew member who had taken ill and who would have to be left behind, along with her bags.

We eventually pushed back at 1628 and made our way out to runway 28L. There couldn't have been much of a wind, because I could see planes taking off in all directions! We took to the sunny skies at 1654 and there was the usual striking moment of relative quiet when the front wheel was lifted. As we made our U-turn, over-flying the Golden Gate bridge in the process, there were some amazing views of both the bridge and the city, but of course I was on the wrong side of the aircraft to get a proper look, and the seat belt signs were still on.

As the cabin service got underway (from the back!), I had a couple of glasses of Champagne and some canapés before dinner. The menu was as follows :-



Starters   Champagne
Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat's Thai crab cakes with fresh lime   Taittinger Prelude Grands Crus
Ruby grapefruit, spinach, Stilton cheese and walnut salad with eight-year-old balsamic olive oil    
Wild mushroom soup   White Wines
Fresh salad leaves with your choice of balsamic vinaigrette or garlic and sour cream dressing   Puligny-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes 2004, Vincent Girardin
    Sancerre Clos du Roy 2004, Pascal-Jolivet
Main   Charles Krug Chardonnay 2003, Napa Valley
Seared fillet of steak with black pepper butter, asparagus, baby carrot and truffade potatoes    
Mark Edwards' sake-braised guinea fowl with sansho pepper and pineapple chutney   Red Wines
Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat's red curry glazed sea bass on a bed of fresh spinach   Chateau Montrose 1994, 2ème Grand Cru Classé, Saint-Estèphe
Italian antipasto salad of proscuitto, Mozzarella cheese and grilled vegetables with extra virgin olive oil   Roessler Cellars Red Label, Pinot Noir 2005, Sonoma County
    Franciscan Oakland Estate Merlot 2003, Napa Valley
Caramel cheesecake   Dessert Wines
Warm peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream   Bonnezeaux 2003, Chateua du Fesles, Loire Valley
    Warre's 1988 Colheita Port
Stilton   Gonzales Byass Sherries
Truffle   Smirnoff Black Label Vodka
A basket of fresh fruit   Tanqueray No 10 Gin
    Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Whisky
Snacks   The Glenlivet 18-year-old Single Malt Whisky
Porcini mushroom agnolotti pasta or asparagus risotto topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese   Woodford Reserve Kentucky Whiskey
Duchy of Cornwall biscuits   Camus XO Cognac
A selection of cheese and fruit    
A basket containing sweet and savoury treats is available between meals   SOFT DRINKS
    A selection of traditional and modern drinks
Beverages   Highland Spring still or sparkling mineral water
Twining's Teas - Traditional English Breakfast, Darjeeling, Earl Grey or Pure Green    
Twining's Fruit and Herb Infusions - Pure Camomile, Pure Peppermint, Lemon and Ginger or Blackcurrant, Ginseng and Vanilla    
Coffee - Freshly roasted and ground, decaffeinated, espresso or cappuccino    

I had the Thai crab cakes with a glass of the Montrachet, followed by a delicious steak and a glass of the Merlot. As I was ordering my cheese, I checked with the cabin crew that it would be OK to invite Mark to join me on my buddy seat for a drink. I wandered back through Club World, where it was lights-out already, and into WT+, where my fellow-FTer and Salzburg Do-er jumped at the chance to sample a spell in the F cabin. He had a glass of the Sancerre and some ice water and macadamia nuts while I ate my cheese, then we both had a cup of the blackcurrant tea. The crew even offered Mark some cheese, which was above and beyond the call of duty. As the lights started to go out, he made his way back to WT+.

The crew made up my bed while I went to brush my teeth and soon I was settling down for a few hours' sleep. I had asked to be woken up for breakfast, but in the event managed to do so myself about half and hour before the service started again. I changed back into my normal clothes in order to avoid the rush for the washrooms that would surely come later. The breakfast menu was as follows :-

Chilled fruit juice
An energising fruit smoothie
A selection of yoghurts
A selection of cereals, featuring Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat's muesli
Fresh seasonal fruit juice
A wide selection of warm bread and breakfast pastries
Warm bacon roll served with tomato ketchup
Full English breakfast of scrambled eggs, grilled bacon, pork sausages, sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and hash-brown potatoes
Tomato omelette
American pancakes with maple syrup or blueberry compote
Twining's Teas - Traditional English Breakfast, Darjeeling, Earl Grey or Pure Green
Twining's Fruit and Herb Infusions - Pure Camomile, Pure Peppermint, Lemon and Ginger or Blackcurrant, Ginseng and Vanilla
Coffee - Freshly roasted and ground, decaffeinated, espresso or cappuccino

I had some Fruit and Fibre cereal and some scrambled egg with bacon, rather than the full English. I washed this down with a cup of Earl Grey. I finished off with a glass of apple juice as the Captain announced details of our approach to London, which would take us close to Dublin, then over Liverpool. Hot towels were distributed with about 20 minutes to go. After a couple of circuits in the stack, we made our approach over the City and West End, touching down on 27L at 1042 local time. Our taxi to Terminal 1 took a further 8 minutes. Door 2L was used and, as I emerged from the Club World cabin that I had to pass through, Mark arrived at the door at exactly the same moment. Quite a coincidence! 

Date: Thu 01 Mar 2007
Aircraft : Boeing 747-400
Scheduled dep : 1615
Actual departure : 1628
Scheduled arrival : 1030+1
Actual arrival : 1050+1
Cabin : First
Seat : 1A

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