Old Sep 12, 18, 8:40 am
  #27  
SleepySynapse
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold 5k
Posts: 53
LHR-HEL, Band 3

"Rest of day" (11.25am departure)

Menus provided after doors closed. Menu cards now folded into mini Club World-style menus, with a choice of two hot and one cold main:







Champagne remained in full-sized bottles while the wines reverted to quarter-bottles. I rarely drink wine in Club Europe (today being an exception, for research of course!) but the quality of the wine seems an improvement.

On this flight a bar run, with bagged nuts, was completed before the meals, but I overheard the crew discussing whether or not that was correct. There were no wine glasses loaded separately from on the meal trays, so the initial drinks run was served in tumblers.



All courses were presented on one of the new(ish) tiny trays, meaning a smaller starter plate. Previously "long" flights (which included Helsinki) would have received the main separately, albeit still using the tiny trays.



Bread
Extremely good, a certain improvement! I didn't have complaints about the previous bread, but this tasted as though it was baked fresh minutes before. The butter is perhaps slightly smaller but seemed good quality.

Starter
Shaved cabbage slaw with green apple, celery and flat leaf parsley
Nice flavours, crisp and fresh, more of a side salad than the previous starter plate on "long" flights. This seems to be the same as in c-w-s' band 1.




Main
British reared pork sausage and mash with slow-cooked onion gravy, fresh green beans and peas
I was unconvinced by this as a menu choice, but was interested to see whether it could be pulled off well. It was adequate - filling enough and OK - but perhaps poorer quality than previous "long" mains. Five 1cm slivers of green beans seems slightly stingy for something described as "with" fresh green beans. I wouldn't choose this again. The cold option appears to be the same as c-w-s' band 1.

Dessert
DO & CO's passion fruit panna cotta
Very good, certainly presented better than previous desserts with a fresh firm raspberry and a Do&Co chocolate disc. Again, this looks the same as c-w-s' band 1.



Cheese
Celebration of British cheese: Cromwell Bishop Stilton and Belton Red Leicester with fog relish and crackers
Similar to before, but presented in a smaller dish (though quantity of cheese seems constant). The packaged crackers (3x Peter's Yard Sourdough Crispbreads) are a definite improvement on the sometimes slightly-soggy biscuits from Heathrow before.


Summary:
Helsinki used to be a "long route", and is now band 3. I have been very happy with the previous long menus; itís the shorter flights where the problems were evident.

On this Helsinki flight the quality of the wine seems improved. The starter, dessert and cheese were good quality, though the starter more of a (tasty) side salad. From one meal, I'd say the main seems "cheaper" than before. I wonder whether band 4 have an improved main meal?

Presenting the food on one tray presumably speeds service, particularly for those sat further back in the cabin. Note that on this flight Club extended to nine rows (~28 passengers), and three crew worked the Club cabin for the whole time (this would previously have been two?). The lack of familiarisation/changed loading locations was evident.

Based on this experience I'm satisfied with the band 3 "rest of day" menu, particularly if it allows improvements to filter down to shorter flights. I really hope the band 2 routes have received some love.

Last edited by SleepySynapse; Sep 12, 18 at 9:41 am Reason: apostrophes etc got lost between phone notes and laptop upload, sorry!
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