Coming Home with a Sad Heart and a Full Stomach

24 Oct

The end of this amazing trip was nothing short of depressing. Not only was I leaving my gorgeous apartment in my perfect neighbourhood, in one of the most amazing cities I have ever travelled to, but I was also returning home to the reality of my unavoidable weight-gain and inevitable money-loss. The only thing that kept me from bawling my eyes out during the flight back to Victoria was the absolutely unbelievable travel experience supplied by Lufthansa. While I may have shown a level of astonishment over the food that was offered on my Air Canada flight to London in the post En Route – Not so Plain Plane Food, nothing compares to the impeccable service I received on this German airline.

Firstly, the lounge in Frankfurt was stocked full of gourmet snacks and beverages all of which are concocted by knowledgeable bartenders and chefs and brought to you by eager waiters. No self-serve station here where you spend 10 minutes trying to figure out how the water dispenser works. No, at the Lufthansa lounge you’re supplied with anything you can imagine without having to move an inch off your plush leather chair. At this lounge they offer a full buffet of truffle-infused and caviar-encrusted gourmet delights in their 5-star restaurant style eating area, or you can simply stay put and nosh on innovative snacks displayed elegantly in tall vases.

But the lounge was really a warm-up to the multi-course meal I was about to experience on the flight. Beautifully designed menus were waiting for me on my seat as if the staff were well aware that this was a much anticipated part of the Lufthansa flying experience. Not only did the pamphlets artfully describe what I was about to enjoy, but they also offered some information on the “star chef” that provided all this wonderful on-board sustenance. Our featured chef, Anna Matscher, infused traditional German basics with colourful Mediterranean and Latin American cuisine to create our eclectic assortment of options.

A tower of appetizers, including grilled scallops on tomato and apple confit, fried knuckle of veal Carpaccio with marinated chanterelles, and a plate of south Tyrolean grey cheese with pears, walnuts and pomegranate seeds, were brought to me with warm bread and customized butter.

I sipped on an amazing 2006 “Special Blend Reserva” Patagonien wine from the Bodega Fin del Miundo winery in Argentina, while enjoying a seasonal mixed-green salad with herb mushrooms, pumpkin juliennes and sun-dried tomatoes.

My main course was a filet of sea bass with Mediterranean vegetables served in parchment paper, although I could have also had braised veal cheek on radicchio and mashed celery, or the traditional dish of Südtiroler Kaspressknödel, cheese dumplings south Tyrolean style, on coleslaw and browned butter.

For dessert, I chose the chestnut mousse tartlet with marinated plums, followed by an assortment of artisanal chocolates combined with such flavours as mango, salted caramel and passion fruit.

And that was just lunch! Dinner was another collection of appetizers, this time including a king prawn wrap with cilantro mayonnaise, tortilla chips accompanied by ricotta and pomegranate seed sprinkled guacamole, mango and tomato salsa, and a turkey and red bell pepper cake served with a creamy pine nut sauce.

For my main course I was offered Achiote corn-fed Poulard wrapped in a bamboo leaf, served with a citrus salad and fried polenta, as well as grilled pork tenderloin in a light manchego cheese sauce with spinach and mashed chilli potatoes. But never being able to resist something wrapped in a leaf, I went for the first option.

For dessert I enjoyed a chocolate and chilli tart, accompanied by a variety of surprisingly fresh fruits (isn’t airplane fruit usually doused in all sorts of preservatives that taste like hospitals smell??), and entertained myself with a bevy of TV shows and movies, as well as the contents of my “gift basket” which included a snazzy long-sleeved Lufthansa polo, some La Mer skin products and a strange but weirdly satisfying German toothpaste with “scrubbing pearls” to scuff away the tartar build-up caused by the hoards of food you just consumed. How innovative!

I usually hate flying. The line-ups, the looming anticipation of getting sick, sitting for hours on end as your feet collect with so much fluid that you feel like you’re walking on water balloons etc…Really I couldn’t think of any worse form of torture, until I travelled Lufthansa and experienced flawless hospitality, supreme comfort, and jaw-dropping cuisine. Really the saddest part about returning home to Canada that day was the fact that my flight had to end.

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