Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
When flying long-haul, I always order a “Special Meal” so it is reassuring and a little more relaxing when the Cabin Director confirms that it is onboard the flight (from LHR to JFK). Of course, I’ve had mixed success in terms of tasty GLUTEN FREE meals travelling on (BA CW 2015, Emirates (Business 2015), BA (Traveller Plus 2014),Thai Airlines (Business 2014), Dragon Air (Business 2014), Cathay Pacific (Business 2014), BA (Club World Business 2014), BA (Club World Business 2013), BA (First 2015) and BA CW 2016 but back to the T5 Lounge:
BA T5 Departure Lounge: A very busy but there is usually some seating to be found. It was in between Breakfast and Lunch so I had a quick scan of the food: They’ve removed bacon sandwiches and mainly offer pastries which I clearly avoid. I did have some fruit salad and then read the newspapers. At some point, they moved into Lunch they have both a salad bar (labelled with allergens) and a hot food bar (which is also extensively labelled). It isn’t inspiring but there are options to try whilst hanging around.
So not as exciting as it used to be when popping into lounges but it is a refuse away from the masses at the UK’s busiest Airport. So I had from the hot selection some rice with baked beans, and a little fresh salad: it kept me going before they served a GLUTEN FREE lunch onboard:
So onboard our flight, I quickly was reassured that yes, you’ve ordered a “Special Meal” and yes, it is onboard. That does reassure me as I know I’m not going to starve (although I always carry a good supply of GF snacks and nibbles: just-in-case).
It is getting so predictable with British Airways, or I am become a regular frequent flyer but the food isn’t changing. Of course, I get served almost first as it’s a special meal, and they presented me with my tray: with the usual good mixed salad and a strange chicken-topped started. No one explained what it actually was because I don’t think they knew but I have this before.
A decent solid salad of mixed leaves and olive-oil soaked vegetables: it’s quite a good portion with a strange modern Chicken dish served on microgreens and small pots which included two different spicy sauces and raw chilis. These remained in the pots and I took over the chicken to have with my salad. Still don;t really know what it was but the generous chicken pieces added weight to the salad.
A good GLUTEN FREE Seeded roll which is individually wrapped. It is a little solid which may because it is left on the trays in the fridges but it is a good tasty and keeps-it-shape roll. And helpfully they offered me “butter” rather than the plastic artificial margarine which appears on my Special meal tray.
The Main Course was pretty horrible: Indeed, I didn’t even bother trying it having already had this dish several times on BA on previous trips. It’s just really bland and tasteless and has no real flavour or gives any pleasure.
Such a shame that BA can not prepare a decent GLUTEN FREE Main Course that is tasty given there are so many options. I suggest this is probably also the meal for the DAIRY FREE Special Meal and probably the BLAND Special Meal. And my GLUTEN FREE dessert was a jelly: nothing wrong with it but after quite a light lunch: this was a little unsubstantial so I requested a plate of cheese (as they had a good Double Gloucester Cheese which I quite fancied: with my own crackers of course). They were generous and able to provide this.
So as I have said before, it is good and reassuring to be able to have a GLUTEN FREE meal at 35,000 feet flying through the air, but it is disappointing that British Airways do not innovate and keep up with trends /food fashions and tastes. It would be so much better to have a choice and a selection rather than exactly the same meal again and again: I wonder what they’ll serve on the return flight!? (Hmmmmmm!)
Afternoon Tea: Before we land into JFK, New York: In some travel classes, British Airways have removed the second meal but in Club World, you still get an Afternoon Tea of sorts. Of course mine is a Special Meal and certainly incomplete but it is a light snack before arriving:
Most passengers receive a little selection of sandwiches but my GLUTEN FREE Afternoon Tea consists of the Poached Salmon with a slice of Tomato Roll: actually really tasty just not very big. And a plate of three Chocolates /Sweet treats. These were delightful but hardly a balanced Afternoon Tea: And why they bother providing me with a jar of Strawberry Jam when I am unable to have the scones always baffles me.
So I did enjoy the chocolate strawberry which was lovely with the sweetness of the fruit with the dark chocolate. A lovely intense jelly round which was probably also strawberry but very delightful and a chocolate disc with a nut. Again, as above, great and sweet but not really much of it: especially when they bring round warmed scones (both fruit and plain) for the rest of the passengers.
So again, whilst I am pleased to be able to be looked after with GLUTEN FREE Afternoon Tea, with so many cake options in the market and even sandwich fillings: it is a shame that BA haven’t refreshed this and thought about the actual volume /amount of food provided.
Other Gluten Free Airline Meals covered on this blog include (click on the picture to open up the reviews):
And remember I love my Chocolate Bars, Chocolate Bags and Chocolate Boxes, and more recently, my Chocolate Easter Eggs from Chocolatiers and Chocolate manufacturers, High Street Stores and London Department Stores.
If you are a member of Coeliac UK, they produce a comprehensive directory which covers over 16,000 food and drink items (including GLUTEN FREE Chocolate Bars). This is available in a paper-based Manual and online FREE to members of Coeliac UK.
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This information was correct as of October 2016.
But as I am learning, ingredients do change and therefore you should always read the label and check for yourself whether it is GLUTEN FREE or not!