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A First Class binge: BA F to CPT wine country

A First Class binge: BA F to CPT wine country

Old Jul 29, 10, 11:04 am
  #1  
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A First Class binge: BA F to CPT wine country

Updated 09.08.2010 with videos of LHR-CPT F sector

Part 1 push back from T5B and engine start up

Part 2 taxi along 27R

Part 3 line-up and take off!

Background:

My Father turned 60 earlier this year and I thought it was fitting with a treat. Initially the idea was to head to MIA and Florida to check out a Shuttle launch among other things.
Availability did disappear however so I now tried to find redemption seats to NYC instead. Petrus Sr. is very fond of the big apple and has not been for a couple of years.
As I was playing around with BA.com and the redemption tool the idea of Cape Town struck me. And could I believe it!
F seats available on the dates I had planned for.
I was slightly apprehensive to flying BA F. My last sector to NYC during the May Strikes was terrible.

Now, finding F availability to Cape Town for one is fluke. For two is equal to winning the lottery.
Who was I to complain? Tickets booked asap and now my main worry was for dad not to log in to his BAEC account as the booking would be visible there.

Petrus Sr. is winding down his business and is training to become a somelier. I believe the first level certificates are completed.
He had not been to Cape Town yet. This place is basically packed with stellar vineyards in a 50 mile radius.
Combine this with flying BA F and you get a proper First Class wine trip. Dad would be pleased.

A polite note: The picture quality is varying dramatically due to a mix of cameras, poor light, wrong settings and a lot of wine.


Sector 1:
ARN-LHR A320
Seat 2D
Club Europe (intra-EU J)
Crew: Above average


Dropped the wheels at ARN, which I reiterate is one of the most dull, boring airports ever.
As roads in Sweden are empty this time of the year we arrived early.
The option now was to head to the dreadful outsourced lounge at ARN.







Boarding was called and very smooth. We sat down for the just over 2h hop to London. Champagne please. It turned out we where the only ones in the Club Europe cabing More Champagne please.
I believe I finished 4 mini champer bottles, for a total of 75cl.
I was now in that happy stage of early champagne intoxication.














Finals to LHR.




We had a 5h 30 min layover in London. We headed into London for Dim Sum however there would be three of us.
As a surprise my sister, who lives in London, was waiting at the table.
Petrus Sr. was speechless.
After the delicious Dim Sum at Royal China we headed back to LHR on the HEX.

T5 was a bit of a choker in the non-premium area:



Compared with the F check-in:



South security cleared:


Welcome to the Concorde Room dear Daddy:






To be continued....

Last edited by Petrus; Aug 9, 10 at 9:10 am
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Old Jul 29, 10, 11:05 am
  #2  
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More from the Concorde Room:





The Board Room (work area with authentic Concorde Seats)


If you traveled Concorde Class, this would be your dead ahead view:


I made use of a Cabana to fresh up before the 11.30h flight to CPT:










Can I just mention that the Fog Head Chardonnay is stunning! It is available in the CCR.
A very good Margaux available too. The Champagne was Lanson 1999, LP 2000 and The Bruno Rose.

So it was time to board the next sector on this adventure.

Sector 2:
LHR-CPT 744
Seat 1A
First
Crew: Very good


Over at the B pier ready for boarding.




All good in 1A.






Unfortunately my camera died shortly after this picture. I did however manage to record plenty of video material,
including the taxi and take-off sequence. I shall edit this and upload to this report soon.

The flight was very good with a nearly top notch crew. We arrived a little after schedule. Immigration was a breeze.
Slight head ache from the previous day. Estimated consumption: 3 bottles of Champagne. 2 Glasses of the Fog Head. 2 Glasses of Margaux. 2 Glasses of St. Emilion. Some water.

In Cape Town we stayed at the new Sea Five boutique hotel in Camps Bay. Lovely are some 5 minute drive from down town Cape Town.

View from the balcony:




First Stop: Constantia and the Uitsig Vineyard:









To be continued...

Last edited by Petrus; Jul 29, 10 at 11:29 am
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Old Jul 29, 10, 11:05 am
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Our ride and enthusiastic driver:


Some sightseeing to Chapmans peak:





After a long day of sights and delicious wine (the Uitsig Semillon was fantastic, very much like Montrachet!) we had dinner at l'aubergine in Cape Town.
Springbok filet with De Toren Fusion 5 2001 and then 2003. A truly amazing Bordeaux blend!

The following day was all about wine, and Signal hill:

Lions head from Signal hill:


WC stadium from Signal hill:




First up was L'ormarins. They also have an extensive car museum. Recommended.
Second was Rickety Bridge; small estate producing quality wines. Good Chardonnay which I bought two bottles of.
Third was Chamonix further up the hill.
Lunch was at Ruben's, apparently the highest rated restaurant in South Africa. It lived up to expectations.
We had a lovely Chamonix Reserve Pinot Noir.









On the last day our friend was at work so we had to fend for ourselves.
Got a hire car delivered to the hotel and drove off on a a tour.
First stop Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. Second stop Table Mountain.









Yours truly:


Sunset over Camps Bay beach:



To be continued...

Last edited by Petrus; Jul 29, 10 at 11:54 am
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Old Jul 29, 10, 11:06 am
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Time to head back to Europe.
My dear friend gave us a 130mph average speed' lift to CPT International.

It was empty. As it turns out we had the same crew as on the outbound.
Needless to say we had absolutely spectacular service.

Sector 3:
CPT-LHR 744
Seat 2A
First
Crew: Outstanding.


Light load, only 6 out of 14 seats occupied. I'll let the pictures tell the story.



















Starter 1: Prawns. Tasty. Worked nicely with the Mersault.


Mood lighting:


Starter 2: Soup on veggies. Also tasty.


Entree: Line fish. Too salty. The Laurent Perrier 2000 balanced nicely here.


Pudding: Chocolate cake with ice cream. Coffe and JW Blue. Why make things complicated?


I asked to be woken 1h 15min prior to arrival:




Landed. The always impressive BA line up at T5:


The flight was truly exceptional. The crew seemed thrilled to have us again.
We where looked after in the best way. If every sector was like this, wow.

A slight shambles in flight connections and security.
The crew had forgotten to seal my duty free shopping... re-pack and check bag to hold.

Since we where on an F inbound we could access the Concorde Room.
Perfect after a nearly 12 h flight, even in F. cabanas reserved for 2 hours.
A shower, a 1h sleep and then brunch:


Sector 4:
LHR-ARN A320
Seat 1D
Club Europe (intra-EU J)
Crew: indifferent


Not much to say really about this flight. I slept most of it and sticked to water
since I would be driving once back in Stockholm.


To summarise:

BA F exceeded all expectations except for the bubbly. The crew was great. The Champagne onboard in F is now
Laurent Perrier Millesime 2000, only. That is piss poor BA. A year ago it was Bollinger GA 1999 and Pol Roger 1999.
A serious slip in standards.

Cape Town was fantastic. I am considering moving there. A rare blend of religion, culture and people that works nicely. Diverse.
Stunning scenery. Extremely friendly people. Fantastic wines, obviously.

Petrus Sr. said this is the kindest thing someone has ever done to him. Mission complete

Thanks for looking,


Petrus

Last edited by Petrus; Jul 29, 10 at 1:30 pm
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Old Jul 29, 10, 11:06 am
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reserved just in case...
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Old Jul 29, 10, 1:42 pm
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Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful trip report, Petrus.
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Old Jul 29, 10, 1:47 pm
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Great trip report ^ (I had spotted this in the trip reports forum before you posted your link in the BA forum - I really don't know why people do that ).

Great pictures too, and so great to have the luxury of the Concorde Room on your arrival to your connecting flight.

Lucky getting the same crew twice, and how good they were.

Cape Town looks fantastic.
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Old Jul 29, 10, 2:04 pm
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Awesome pictures. Nice TR! That black M3 was gorgeous too!

What kind of camera do you use if you don't mind me asking? Thanks for the report.

Last edited by kan148; Jul 29, 10 at 2:36 pm
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Old Jul 29, 10, 2:08 pm
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fantastic report. BA need to sort the lounge out though at CPT.
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Old Jul 29, 10, 2:31 pm
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What a lovely Trip Report....

Great pictures.

Last edited by BingBongBoy; Jul 29, 10 at 3:26 pm
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Old Jul 29, 10, 3:29 pm
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I'd love to do something like this with my father someday....

The mention of the CCR always makes me feel disappointed that I've always visited alone and never had the chance to enjoy it to the full or appreciate it with someone else
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Old Jul 29, 10, 4:04 pm
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What a great report.

For the love of God will they drop the cringe worthy adjectives on the menu: what is a sun-blushed tomato???
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Old Jul 29, 10, 4:15 pm
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Tip top

Cape Town + BA First = jealousy.
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Old Jul 29, 10, 4:35 pm
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Great report.

I have friends in Cape Town and try and go there every year (as long as I manage to earn enough Air Miles). Brings back great memories (spend a lot of time in wine farms and on golf courses!!) and I would also go and live there like a shot.
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Old Jul 29, 10, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by BingBongBoy View Post

Great pictures.
I don't know about that. He wouldn't make a very good portrait photographer that's for sure.

I must say Cape Town does look good in your pictures I really need to try and get across there sometime. Glad to hear you had a good couple of flights in F and your dad enjoyed the surprise. ^
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