Saturday, March 24, 2012

In Transit

Now, where did we leave it?

Redeye to London....


Wednesday Morning: Arrive in London around 8:30AM. Grey skies, typically London. They had checked my bags all the way to Cape Town, so I was at my leisure. Everything was in Terminal 5. Since I am headed straight to the showers, I don't bother changing out of my lululemon pants and sweatshirt that I slept in. Go through security, and head to my first stop: Boots. I need dry shampoo in a major way. Buy three bottles of Batiste and go to the lounge, and find a 20 min wait for showers! They give me a buzzer to wait for my shower. Everyone is in suits and immaculately dressed and I am sitting there waiting for a shower in sweat pants, a messy bun, and slippers. The great thing about it is these people should be on a flight in couple hours, never to see me again. 

Finally my buzzer goes off for a shower. Shower makes me feel like a new person. I haven't had coffee yet, so at the end of the shower, I put the water to cold. I love/hate ending my shower with a cold spray, but it makes me feel completely awake (try it!). Put on fresh clothes, dry-shampoo my hair, and put on some make-up. 30 mins later I walk out feeling 100% better about myself. My flight  isn't until 4:45PM, so it's not quite late enough to go into London for a day trip. Besides, my feet hurt and I am lazy. Sitting in the lounge and exploring the terminal sounds like a solid day to me. 

Amidst changing my tickets, I ended up with a first class ticket to Cape Town. Somewhere the travel gods are looking out for me, because I originally had a business class ticket to Johannesburg and an economy flight to Cape Town. For little bit more money, and less miles, I ended up with a direct flight down (We travel a lot and use a mix of miles, upgrades, and flying club memberships, so we never pay a full fare, but that is a post for a different day).  I called every single day for about a week, but I ended up with a great flight on my ideal date. 

I've never flown First out of London, so was excited to check out the hype of the Concorde Room. I read about it on one of my favorite travel blogs and was excited to see it for myself. My husband has been before and assured me I was in for a treat. 

I headed to the dining room for breakfast. The booths are very private and the service was fantastic. Just like a restaurant, but with no bill. 
Since I love all things mini, I was digging the little tray of condiments. Even though I hate Marmite, I have to admit these mini marmites were adorable and almost made it into my bag.



 Fruit, Soft Boiled Eggs and Soldiers, and a coffee. The food was delicious and I was starving after a sub-par lounge dinner the night before. I left the coffee because I remembered the last amazing coffee I had while travelling through the UK.
 


So good, exactly how I remembered it.


Wednesday Afternoon: The next couple hours were spent going through all the shops in Terminal 5. Reiss had amazing stuff and I wanted every single piece of the Valentino Red collection at Harrods. I didn't buy anything because I had a very full closet at home and I have shopped enough for the month. 


Another Elemis Spa...another massage. I chatted up the therapist and she was kind enough to load me up with samples. Score. Apparently, I am that passenger that makes sure to use all the amenities offered by the airline. 

Since I had a late breakfast, I opted for a late lunch. I didn't feel like going into those private booths, so I ate at one of the high-tops in the bar. 


I first ordered Pumpkin soup, but it was not the type of pumpkin soup I expected. Not good. I ordered a spinach and pecorino tart as a replacement. Best decision ever. Everything about this was perfect and I got in some veggies.


Wednesday Evening: Board my flight and settle in. Once we are airborne, I put on my cozy clothes and settle in for dinner and a movie. There are two women behind me that are SO LOUD, and SO obnoxious. It's one of those moments where you are a bit embarrassed to be American, because this instance is the stereotype of Americans that fuel the fire. The cabin is full of older brits rolling their eyes at these terrible, loud passengers, and I join in. One woman in the cabin tells them to "Shut Up" and I wait for it to pop off. Surprisingly, they do shut up.

Dinner is served and it's completely weird. There is a sugary coating on the nuts that hurts my teeth. I've never experienced a sensation quite like it. Totally weird. Love George Clooney in The Descendants.

 Dinner was not good, which is completely out of sorts for British Airways. I thought travelling out of London, it would be the best, but it was the worst airplane meal I think I've ever had.



Every single course was pretty bad. To make it even weirder, I tasted all three red wines and didn't enjoy a single one. I kept passing it over, and thinking I would eat the next course, but finally my main course came (halibut with green pea risotto) and I was not having it. 

I finally just ordered what I knew I would like. A Cheese plate and a glass of Vin de Constance
Cheese and wine for dinner two nights in a row. Picture of health right here. 

I forgot how good Vin de Constance is...it's a South African sweet wine that is fairly well known in the states (and around the world). I think it tastes a bit tropical and I love how it pairs with the saltiness and creaminess of soft cheeses. It's also pretty special because it's from a winery in our neighborhood. I'm always proud when I see it on menus or shops around the world. 

Finally Bed Time. 


Next Stop, CPT.

3 comments:

Dana said...

I am loving these posts! I am such a travel junkie, its so much fun to read about your adventures.

Amy said...

Sierra I just wanted to say how much I love reading your blog! I just found it last week and it's one of my new favorites! Love hearing about your adventures, fitness, and life in SA.

Anne P said...

Holy crap. I have never flown first class and this made me so jealous!

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