Ever wondered what’s beyond the curtain that separates the nobles from the commoners? I’m talking about 1st Class vs. coach class; notice the caps and lowercase. Come with me on a journey beyond the veil to a land of plenty. Where the wine flows freely and the pampering doesn’t stop. I was able to upgrade to on my recent trip to Amsterdam and I thought it would be fun to share the wonders from that magical place – 1st class – with all of you.
I was traveling with Delta Airlines on an Airbus 330 200 series. Every seat in 1st class is like a fully reclining little cocoon. When you sit down, there is a down comforter, full size pillow, pull out touch screen TV (with all the movies and games you could hope for), noise canceling headphones, and a compact of toiletry items including; toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, chap stick, lotion, sleep mask, and stockings. We disembarked in the early afternoon and arrived in Amsterdam the following morning so all the little comfort touches make the flight out of this world. There’s a menu waiting for you to make your selections from, and a flight attendant at the ready to get you a pre-flight drink. While everyone else is engaged in a wrestling match with overhead bins and window seats, you’re peacefully sipping a mimosa.
1st Class First Course
We no sooner reach our cruising altitude than my new best friend, the flight attendant, appears to inquire what I would like to to drink. There is an excellent wine selection so I start off with the La Rioja Alta vina Ardanza Rioja reserva, Spain, 2000. I almost always prefer reds, and this one was a win. Dry, but not too acidic. He then came through the aisle passing out hot towels to perk you up before meal service begins. I am then presented with a shrimp cocktail on a bed of slivered veggies. Light and refreshing, and of course, more wine.
1st Class Second Course
At this point I’m getting settled in. I’ve got a movie going, shoes off, comfy socks on. The next tray I’m presented with houses cream of asparagus soup with a dollop of creme fraiche, spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette, and a selection of breads. This is not your run of the mill airline soup and salad. It’s delicious. Delta offers different cocktails themed by season or other events so I had to try it. The drink for my flight was peach, cranberry, and vodka. There’s nothing like a good cocktail to help relax you for a long flight. One other thing that tickles me in business class, (the little things) is that each tray has its own little tablecloth, you get real cutlery, and “glass” glasses. I hate drinking wine from a plastic cup.
1st Class Third Course
When my husband and I eat out we usually order different entrees so we can try each of them. On this flight we both insisted on getting the same thing, and we were happy we did. Mustard crusted rack of lamb, couscous, grilled zucchini, and pickled pear with mint compote. We were nervous about lamb for airplane food. Our concerns were in vain. Everything was lovely. I, of course, had red wine which paired excellently. My husband, always a beer guy, surprised me with how nicely beer and lamb pair.
1st Class Fourth Course
There were several selections to choose from for dessert from ice cream sundae to various tarts. I had the cheese platter with a lemon tart on the side. Cambozola, Brie, Gruyere, and Asiago with a dollop of onion chutney and grapes, OMG. I had the port wine with dessert and it was too sweet to go with the richness of the cheese. A chardonnay might have been a better choice. Regardless, this was absolutely my favorite part of the meal service. Although, that may have something to do with the free flowing wine.
Thanks to the amazing seats and eye masks I was able to get some good rest. When I awoke I was greeted with a breakfast spread you wouldn’t believe. How about an egg frittata, grilled tomato and asparagus, tomato hollandaise, fresh fruit, croissant, and excellent coffee to start your vacation? A good breakfast can make or break my day, especially when really good coffee is part of it.
Travel between the states and Europe usually requires a day or two of jet lag while becoming accustomed to the time change. After this flight I was bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to take on the sights, sounds, and flavors or Amsterdam. There is absolutely NO better way to travel. What’s your best life hack for a flight over the “pond”?