Unfortunately, the short 50-minute hop from London to Dublin does not permit much time for the preparation, serving and enjoyment of a meal of much luxury and opulence; but one must remember that in Europe, the meal is effectively the only key differentiator between business class and economy. With that in mind, this meal didn’t exactly leave me feeling truly inspired.
Airline: British Airways BA828
Route: London – Dublin (Approx. 1 hour)
Class: Business (or “Club Europe”)
For those who are unfamiliar, this is actually widely considered and paid for as a ‘business class’ cabin in Europe, even though as you can see from the picture above, legroom is certainly not one of the key benefits. As a result, even on a short 50-minute jaunt like this, food and beverage represents the main differentiator from the economy cabin.
In this respect, BA have a hard job of trying to whip up much of a gastronomic storm in such a short span of time, and initial efforts to serve everyone individually one by one directly from the galley had to be unfortunately tossed to the wind by Row 3, in order to approach any chance of giving all business passengers a meal and drink by the time we needed to pack everything away again for landing.
Another limitation of course on a smaller aircraft such as this is the available real estate on the tray table surface, upon which to serve a multi-course epicurean feast. As a result, just trying to figure out where I should place the glass of water, and whether it or the wine deserved the indented drink space on the table, where should the cutlery go that it wouldn’t likely fall off; these were questions to be answered with Tetris grandmaster-like precision.
Unfortunately, menu’s did not exist whatsoever and so I can’t offer up a fancy title for this meal, but it was effectively a combination of cold cured meats that actually weren’t too bad, accompanied by an explosive egg salad – which I sampled a spoon of, and decided that being in a window seat a few rows back from the conveniences, was not worth the potential ramifications of continuing with – and then of course the dessert that had a sticky mango layer, followed by what seemed to be just cream underneath. How bizarre.
For my adult beverage, I enjoyed what was very descriptively offered to me as simply, “the French”. I wasn’t at all sure what to do with that information – did that mean it had something of a gallic temperament? Or was it likely to up sticks and go on strike? I will never know – but it was very pleasant.
In conclusion though, there really is very little that can be achieved within the short hop duration of this flight – but then again, the meal is literally the only thing separating (well, aside from a flimsy curtain) Club Europe cabin from the economy cabin. British Airways have given it a good go, the staff were doing their best (bar the initial confusion over how to serve everyone) but this just isn’t a flight you will come off feeling deeply satisfied with the gastronomic offerings.