Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
I usually order an airline meal (the “GLUTEN FREE” option) but when you’re travelling FIRST, why would you!? (Yes, it would have guaranteed my GLUTEN FREE meal but the idea of British Airway’s First is to have restaurant styled food, served at your convenience and taken off any of the Menus they have; subject to availability). On my previous flights with British Airways in World Traveller Plus and British Airways in Club World, the GLUTEN FREE meal was a little bland but given the challenges of a preparing a meal that is heated in an oven at 35,000 feet, I know it is a challenge for all airlines (including Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, Dragon Air and Emirates . So I was excited to experience the FIRST product…
Whilst this isn’t a review of travelling with British Airways and First, I couldn’t resist sharing my picture of the “Secret” Door, which is immediately after Security in Terminal 5. For those lucky enough to be travelling First, this allows you to by-pass the shops, restaurants, bars, and fellow passengers and walk directly into the Concorde Room. Having walked passed this entrance many, many times, it was exciting (for this rare occasion) to go through with “my invitation”: exclusively for First passengers.
GLUTEN FREE “First” Breakfast (T5 Concorde Room):
In the Concorde Room, like regular airline lounges (like the Qantas one, the Emirates one, or the BA Club lounge in London and NYC) : there is eating, drinking, relaxing, reading and being First: a few extras: Cabanas, Elemis Spa and lots of attentive staff. Being mid-morning, it was time for breakfast…
Good to see a note about allergies on the Menu, and of course, I wanted mine: GLUTEN FREE
So excited to receive GLUTEN FREE Toast, although it wasn’t toasted bread but a toasted roll. (It was served on a slice of black slate and eaten alongside my bacon, mushrooms and beans. Shame they have sausages with cereal /breadcrumbs as a premium sausage which is nearly 100% meat could be GF and this would be a welcomed addition). Of course, there was juice, coffee and tea, and lots of Champagne (if you wanted!), all served at your table and fairly quickly: it is an airport after-all!
After a quick facial in the Elemis Spa, it’s time to fly… On board the flight, First is positioned at the front of the aircraft and the premise is YOU request your meals when you want and what you want: so I explained to the bemused Cabin Crew, despite originally ordering my GLUTEN FREE Meal, I had cancelled it, so I could experience “First”. They were very good in providing a quick, “this is what we can do” from the Menu, given that they plate these up for passengers onboard but I guess some of the dishes are pre-prepared with the sauces/ accompanying element.
And of course, every flight should start with..
And time to peruse the Menu…
BA First Menu: Lunch: starters, main courses, desserts & cheese.
GLUTEN FREE “First” Lunch (onboard)…
One joy of travelling First, is the ability to have meals with a travel companion sat opposite you. The foot-rest becomes a second comfortable seat so it is like eating in a restaurant, especially when they lay out the table and dress it all for “lunch”. I did want to have the Leek & Potato Soup, as I still think there is something novel about having soup on a plane but I was advised that it did contain GLUTEN so I opted for the “Severn & Wye smoked salmon cannelloni with lemon puree, cucumber, verjus marinated beetroot and Oscietra caviar” It was beautiful and whilst I would have loved some bread, it was a light and refreshing starter.
Having had a cooked breakfast (only hours ago), I decided on the salad for the main course: “Char-grilled chicken with Parma ham lardons, Caesar salad and Caesar dressing” but I requested for no croutons and asked to have a different dressing. They provided a simple olive oil dressing (which I think was brought up from Club World and they served the Parmesan cheese in a separate dish which I sprinkled on my salad). The chicken was a good portion, warm, and tasted rather good. Indeed, more leaves could have been added but I didn’t finish it.
For dessert they brought me Ice Cream (“Madagascan vanilla” and “Dulce de Leche”) which was GLUTEN FREE and refreshing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy the Lauden Chocolates as I know some of them do contain GLUTEN, but I popped back to Club World (“Raid the Larder”) and found some Cadburys Twirl Chocolate Bars!
And after lunch, a simple cup of tea was enjoyed.
GLUTEN FREE “First” Dinner (Onboard):
After a few films, it was time to eat again: Dinner this time!
Interestingly, the Cabin Crew advised that all of the light meal starters were GLUTEN FREE. It was great to have such a wide selection so I chose the “Poached Lobster timbale with avocado, creme fraiche, chives and pickled cucumber”. This was beautiful, although again, it would have been nice to have had some bread with it! I probably would have had another, if they had had any more!
My main course was the “Steamed line-caught sustainably sourced North Atlantic haddock with plum tomato, thyme sauce, cannelloni beans and Mediterranean vegetables“. It was tasty but maybe I should have opted for the GLUTEN FREE “Wild mushroom risotto” which looked and tasted amazing.
I decided for my dessert to have a yogurt, which I took from the Raid the Larder back in Club World. This was a Waitrose /Princes Trust branded yogurt and very tasty.
After all that GLUTEN FREE food, we landed and I was wheeled off (having eaten rather well) in my beautiful “First” experience. Did I miss ordering my GLUTEN FREE meal, absolutely NOT! Whilst, I couldn’t have everything on the Menus (and who could), I ate very very well, enjoyed the culinary “First” experience and it was all GLUTEN FREE.
(First World Problem: When next, will I travel in “First”?)
Happy Flying and Happy GLUTEN FREE Meals!
Other Gluten Free Meals covered on this blog include (click on the picture to open up the reviews):
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