For Easter, I went to Western Australia for a short holiday. Short being the essence, I had two long-haul flights in a short amount of time. I had a one-day layover in Hong Kong between my flights but by the time I made it to Perth, I was so exhausted. I flew out London Heathrow on the evening CX256 and connected onto the following day’s CX171 afternoon departure to Perth. Apologies in advance for the lack of many pictures – a lot of these are a repeat from prior reports so I would encourage you to have a browse there and I was really tired from all the travelling.
I first visited the Qantas Lounge, which was both very spacious and eerily quiet at this time of the day. I usually stay in this lounge until after both CX238 and CX250 depart or else the Cathay First Class lounge would be too packed for me to enjoy – although in today’s case, the Cathay F lounge was very crowded even after two evening departures!
I am a big fan of the gin bar
Onto Cathay lounge I go to get a bite
Dim sum to start – nothing too spectacular
Crispy squid – better
Salmon to conclude
Some bog standard Moet
Loving the view!
One thing I do detest about Heathrow departures is that Cathay uses the furthest gate all the time. It may be me just being unlucky, but I have used gate 42 for departures and arrivals more often than any other Heathrow gates in my lifetime! A good walk to digest the food, but oftentimes it is just quite stressful to have to leave the lounge a bit early to make sure I make the flight!
I told the ISM that I would like to sleep as soon as possible and whether she could bring me my starter plate and then dessert. She was very complying and I was done with dinner within an hour of departure.
I woke up just in time for the breakfast service, which I thought was a bit disappointing (the food, the sleep was excellent!)
The flight flew by (pun intended) and we arrived well ahead of schedule – I cleared immigration and picked up my bags within 20 minutes of arrival
Only to return to the airport the following day…
I arrived back to Hong Kong International Airport two hours ahead of departure. With the gate being 50, I decided to use the Pier Dining Room. I sampled a three-course menu – nothing to write home about. Service was so-so and a bit slow.
Soon enough, I had to head back to the gate for more flying (it sounds like a chore!)
My second time on the A350 – I am very excited!
Definitely my favourite feature of the A350!
To start, sparkling water and a G&T as per!
Curiously, the first service is a ‘Dinner’ service. To start, I had some dried meat, which was quite nice
Champagne to accompany the starter – not the usual Billecart Salmon, but the Piper Heidsieck – not as nice, but oh well!
I had the braised beef for main – it was overcooked as per, but it was rather nice
The Senior Purser offered me wine tasting on both whites.
Both were quite drinkable but not impressive
Fruits and cheese
The SP was quite insistent I tried both desserts – the Panna cotta and the Tiramisu. Both were very good
Sunset came just after dinner
I started working just after dinner
The refreshment service started 2 hours before landing (or 2.5 hours after dessert was served) Before I was working, I requested my meal to be served first and the Senior Purser was only too happy to comply. The duck was one of the best main courses I have ever had on Cathay – I was really impressed!
Dessert was to follow – by this time I am too stuffed
Bailey’s to wrap up the meal
1 hour left to go
The flight arrived more or less on time
The two flights I took to go to Australia were both above par – not Cathay’s most impressive work and I can definitely see how slow the service can get on an A350. More impressive was the can do spirit of the crew: both the ISM from the London flight and the SP from the Perth flight were very accommodating to maximise my work/sleep time. Beyond that, the food left a lot to be desired and the wine list was getting more dire.