6 in the morning… way to early but it’s all fine, because I’m on my way to New York City: the city that never sleeps! I’m one of the last persons to check in on the plane (which often happens to me). When I’m flying alone, I’m not to picky about my seat so I didn’t bother to reserve my seat before the flight. Once I arrive at the check-in counter I’m notified that there is only one seat available in the airplane, at the very last row… Next to the toilets… At that point I could have killed myself for not reserving my seat… But there was nothing more I could do.
So I arrive at the gate and I’m all ready for what could become the worst flight of my life. And then it happened. That one thing that you hope for every time you take a flight: “Would you mind having an upgrade to the Brussels Airlines business class?”. So that’s how I was moved from the last row in the plane to the first. Keeping in mind that Brussels Airlines won the title of Best International Business Class Wine Selection two consecutive years in a row and that their slogan is: first in business. I’m up for a great plane ride! Time to put my nose in some glasses (in Business Class you actually get a glass instead of a plastic cup).
I decide to go to the The Loft, which has a magnificent view over the runway and where you can relax. The pampering starts here with coffee, croissants and a very nice wine selection. I’m tempted to start with a glass of Champagne, because it’s never too early for Champagne, but 9 AM is kind of early enough to go for a glass of fresh orange juice. Once on board I take place in my “seat”, which looks more like a small living room. You get your own travel set with a toothbrush, toothpaste, socks and earplugs. I have my own huge flat screen entertainment system and I can change my seat into 20 different stands or even choose which massage I prefer during the flight. On top of all this I can transform the seat into a bed in less than 30 seconds. Brussels Airlines takes business class to the next level, that’s for sure!
I’m offered a glass of Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne before taking off. It’s still only 10-ish, but now I can not resist anymore. Laurent Perrier is not my most favorite champagne but an understandble choice. It has a subtle and round nose of white peach, green apple and a hint of brioche en biscuits. The mouth is full with fresh citrus notes and a hint of stone fruit and a long full aftertase. A great refreshment prior to departure.
Once in the air the business class menu is presented and you can clearly see that Brussels Airlines is proud to be Belgian. The meals are prepared by Belgian Michelin Star chefs and you can always expect a Belgian touch to the menu. I start with a small appetizer and olives followed by a small toast with fresh cream cheese and salmon. I choose for a glass of Entre-deux-Monts – Pinot Gris with this dish. A belgian wine! A very round aromatic pinot gris with a hint of citrus and stone fruit. A silky texture with a very delicate acidity which combines heavenly with the cream cheese and salmon!
I choose the carpaccio of Filet d’Anvers with Parmezan cheese and rucola as a starter. I ask for the wine suggestion and have the choice between a Chilean Syrah or a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru (Chateau La Grangère 2009). A quite heavy choice for this light starter, but why say no to a Bordeaux wine? The wine was perfectly balanced with lots of black fruit and a touch of vanilla and surprisingly round soft tannins.
The main dish is a filet of sole with nori, joined by a white wine lemon sauce, wasabi and fresh vegetables I go for a glass of Louis Jadot Château des Jacques Clos de Loyse 2011 with this because of it crispy flavors. The buttery touch of the wine and the round finish goes great with the sole. Another very well selected wine!
After the main dish the cheese cart is presented with mainly Belgian cheeses. I go for an Altesse, Brugge Rodenbach en Cambozola in combination with a 10 years old tawny port of Croft. The port has slightly evolved notes of nuts, cinnamon and gingerbread but with a lot of fred fruit. Slightly sweet but with a lot of ‘matière’. Do I have to tell you that the combination with the cheeses was once again divine?!
Before transforming my seat into a bed I enjoy the dessert. A Madeleine with wild berries, cream cheese and a latté. If I wanted I could still go for a ‘pousse-café’ such as whiskey, cognac or armagnac. But I have had enough. Time to sit back, relax and close my eyes. See you in New York!