The first part of my 2022 adventure was getting to London. Even though it was about 30 hours of travelling on what should have been a 13 hour trip, it was pretty good once I got onto Emirates.
Singapore to Jakarta – Jetstar
I had been warned that there are probably going to be issues with baggage handling so I was not unhappy about having to collect my bags in Jakarta and to go through Indonesian Immigration and Customs.
Having decent status with Qantas does not help with excess baggage on Jetstar, my two bags were 5kg over my baggage allowance, so had to pay the SGD100 excess fee for the first leg, not a problem with Emirates as they do recognise QF status, thankfully.
Also did the glad wrap thing with my bag, SGD30 per bag… at least I will know if someone tried to open my bag. Crazy times
Once through Singapore Immigration it was off to the Qantas First Lounge. As expected the team there make this a great way to start the flight, though the food was not as good as usual.
Started off with my usual Tattinger bubbles and a double espresso, getting back into the swing of things. For comparison purposes I also had a glass of the Tattinger rosé bubbles.
For dinner I had salt and pepper squid, pork belly and a side of chips The squid was ok, unfortunately the pork belly was lukewarm and chewy, disappointing.
To finish of the meal I had a QF2, Tanqueray gin with fever tree aromatic tonic, Aperol ice cube and orange. It was not bad, though not my thing.
Our flight departed 30 mins late due to a few no shows, not sure why you would check in your luggage and then not make you flight… I was in the exit row which meant that we got to board first, guessing this so we had room to stow our luggage in the overhead lockers. Exit row legroom was great, flight was ok, staff friendly and efficient.
After going throw immigration, no queues thankfully, I had to explain to the customs team that I was in transit as they wanted to charge me duty for the booze that was in my bags, thankfully the customs agent who looked after me used common sense and let me go without having to pay the duty. After that it was off to find the Emirates check in counter and then back through immigration, no more hassles thankfully.
Unfortunately the Plaza Premium Lounge in the Jakarta airport has not improved, very average as always, not sure why you would pay to use this lounge. The food was cold and there are not many options for drinks, especially alcohol.
Jakarta to Dubai – Emirates
An uneventful flight as I slept most of the way, friendly and efficient cabin crew, flight was only two thirds full.
Once I had changed terminals I headed straight the to Emirates First Class Lounge, a quick shower and then hit the Cigar Lounge, a great spot for a Cigar and a coffee.
Then off to restaurant for a spot of breakfast, went with sushi and the Emirati Breakfast of Khameer Bread with baidh wa tamat, which is Khameer bread with scrambled eggs and tomatoes. It was pretty tasty.
The bubbles on offer were both the Moet Rose and Moet Brut, tried both, not too bad, the Brut is better than the Rosé.
Before boarding the flight I found the Cheese and Wine counter where I tried the 2012 Oreno, very nice, gave it a 4 out of 5, deep crimson and youthful in appearance, nice nose and smooth medium to full palate with a medium finish.
Also tried the Chateau Trimoulet 2012. Not bad. 3.5. Nice colour, pleasant nose
Dubai to London
Boarding in Dubai in Concourses A and B has an added advantage of being able to board directly from the lounge, this is for both the Business and First Class lounges, very civilised.
The flight to London Heathrow was on an Emirates A380, so there is the added benefit of the cocktail bar in Business Class, which I took advantage of.
Lunch was served shortly after take off.
Smoked Salmon – Sliced and served with red radish and horseradish cream with chives
Hamour machbous – Hamour marinated in Middle Eastern spices and served with aromatic rice, topped with fried onions. (Hamour is a fish BTW)
With my lunch I had the 2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Sous le Puits Louis Latour. It had a pale yellow appearance, with understated lemon, floral and biscuit aromas. The medium bodied palate was balanced with a medium length finish. Paired nicely with the salmon. 3.5 out 5
I skipped dessert and went for the cheese board, which had decent servings of Barber’s Vintage Cheddar, Pavé d’Affinois Brin and Harrogate Blue. The cheddar was my favourite.
With the cheese I had the 1995 Graham’s Single Harvest Tawny Port from the Douro Valley in Portugal. Youthful deep amber in appearance with a nice set if lees. The nose had a pleasantly bold set of toffee, chocolate and raisin aromas. The palate was full-bodied with a velvety mouthfeel and lovely long finish.
Cocktails from the bar
The crew member assigned to be the bar person for the flight was not able to make it for some reason so they re-assigned a crew member from the economy section to work the bar. He had never worked behind a bar before and did a pretty good job, with the rest of the crew helping him out when he needed it. His martini was very dry, not bad for his first ever attempt at making one.
As per usual with Emirates, especially in either Business or First Class, the flight was very good, a nice way to get to London.
I was at Heathrow just as the baggage woes were making it to the daily news so was not sure what to expect. I think that as we were in Terminal 3 we did not have the full brunt of the lack of baggage handlers, our bags did take a bit longer to come out than usual, but they did make it (well at least mine did).
Next up dinner at the Royal Automobile Club.