A Travellerspoint blog

Planes, trains and automobiles

1st leg - Sydney-Bangkok (8 hrs 45 mins) Departure 5.30.

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The following is for my dear old Mum who has been quite ill over the past few months. Mum has only ever flown once so I told her I’d write all the details of my journey so she could feel like she is travelling with me. I apologise for the indepth details of the flights.

Enjoy Mum…

After our drive to the airport, we arrived with 2 hours to spare. Sarah & I met David at the airport. (Sarah was flying out to Bali with another family). It was then I realized that I’d forgotten to eat both breakfast and lunch – the only sustenance of the day was a banana, grabbed as I dashed to the car.

After boarding I finally relaxed, glass of ’99 Tattinger and some marinated olives & smoked almonds in hand and wondered why I really needed to not only have cleaned the house so thoroughly but also wash curtains, rearrange wardrobes, etc, etc before leaving??? David said that his mother used to clean like crazy before going on holidays and he could never work it out either. Perhaps it’s the thought of coming home after a wonderful holiday to a clean home. (My children – please keep it clean during my absence! Xxx)

The journey – I managed to eat my way through the first leg (I know…terrible pun). I made up for the lack of food during the day. I needn’t eat for the next week.

There seems to be 3 kinds of first class passengers on evening flights – those who choose the ‘light’ option on the menu, don the first class pjs, drink a glass of water to ward off dehydration, slip on the eye mask and ear plugs and go to sleep, then there’s the movie-marathoners/wine sippers (it’s a race to see how many movies you can watch back to back before reaching your destination) and finally, there’s the odd person like me who loves the whole dining experience – next to taking photos of food and writing about it, I also love sampling it!

Tonight we chose the Tasting Menu described as:

‘…a selection of eight tasting plates highlighting the finest of Rockpool and Qantas cuisine. A selection of award winning wines will be offered to complement each course.

Sounded enticing!

Spencer Gulf Prawn Toasts

Tartlet of Cauliflower Puree with Truffle Oil

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Cream of broccoli soup with Parmesan

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Salad of Kurobuta Leg Ham with Celeriac Remoulade

Salad of Kurobuta Leg Ham with Celeriac Remoulade

Salad of Kurobuta Leg Ham with Celeriac Remoulade

Cermoula Crusted Kingfish with Moroccan Eggplant Salad and Sardinian Couscous

Cermoula Crusted Kingfish with Moroccan Eggplant Salad and Sardinian Couscous

Cermoula Crusted Kingfish with Moroccan Eggplant Salad and Sardinian Couscous

Rangers Valley Dry Aged Sirloin with Potato Gratin, Green Beans and Café de Paris Butter

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Salad of Baby Cos, Radicchio and Frisee with Palm Sugar Vinaigrette

Assiette of Desserts

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Blue, soft and hard cheese, hand selected by Will Studd, Maitre Fromager, Calendar Chese Company served with accompaniments.

Selection of Cacao handmade chocolates

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To entice the diner even further, the menu then discusses the produce:

Today’s menu includes sustainable Spencer Gulf king prawns managed by the South Australian Research and Development Institute; Kurobuta Leg Ham, regarded as the world’s highest quality pork from the oriental breed of Black Berkshire pigs, descended from Japan; Hiramasa kingfish also farmed from South Australia, cultivagted in the cold, nutrient rich Antarctic waters of the Great Southern Ocean and Rangers Valley dry aged sirloin, grain fed for 300 days with no growth hormones or antibiotics used.

Perhaps a little too much information.

The menu didn’t disappoint however. Servings were a perfect size so that at the end of dinner, you felt very satisfied but not over indulged. Mind you, the cheese platter and assiette of desserts were only ‘sampled’ and I didn’t eat the warm sour dough.

I did get to watch 1 movie in that first leg – Animal Kingdom – a rather dark Australian film based on a family caught up in crime. I quite enjoyed it if that’s the word - perhaps found it ‘interesting’ would be more appropriate.
I started watching The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo however it was around midnight at home and reading the subtitles became a little tedious so I napped until we were 45 minutes out of Bangkok – had a cup of tea, changed back into my clothes and then it was time to disembark.

Looking at first class passengers can be quite amusing. Shortly after take-off people usually change into the Qantas complimentary pyjamas and slippers – usually grey or khaki in colour. They’re a far more comfortable alternative to wearing your day clothes for all those hours. The amusing thing is that when you walk through the cabin, you could almost believe that you were walking through a group of prisoners – identically dressed and when wearing the black eye masks – you could almost believe their crime of choice was bank robbing!

Just before the end of the flight, one by one people disappear into the bathroom and emerge with their former identity restored.

Posted by Anniemax 07:37 Archived in Australia Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Why Normandy?

I must admit I'm looking forward to some warm weather.

After our initial 3 nights in Paris we're heading off to the Normandy area.

People keep asking why I chose Normandy and the answer is mainly due to time. It's a short vacation so it seemed wise to concentrate on one area. I purchased a Lonely Planet book called 'Discover France' (April 2010) and read the description:

"Normandy is bordered on the north and west by the English Channel (La Manche). This is a land of cows, cider and Camembert, of churned butter and soft cheeses and where gentle fields divided by hedgerows end at chalk-white cliffs and dune-lined beaches. Inland, lovely Rouen, a favourite haunt of Monet and Simone de Beauvoir, is one of the most intriguing cities in France."

Food, art, ocean, country fields, 'intriguing' city and obviously much loved by Claude and Simone - how could I go wrong?

Posted by Anniemax 22:07 Comments (0)

Planning, Planning, Planning

The trials and tribulations of booking accommodation on the net.

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Today I finally finished booking our accommodation after a week of reading reviews on the net. Obviously hotels and B&Bs can post their most delightful and inviting photos on their websites - you hope that you've made a wise choice - my priorities are clean, comfortable and friendly - after that, everything else is a pleasant bonus.

I even polished up my Year 10 French before ringing several establishments only to be greeted with, "Hello! How can I help you?" (They must be able to see that the call is from Australia). How disappointing. I guess I'll have plenty of opportunities next week.

I was fortunate securing some highly recommended B&Bs which is exciting.

This time next week we'll be winging our way to Paris. Stay tuned!

Posted by Anniemax 03:13 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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