Wednesday, 30 March 2016

New Orleans Iconic Food And Drink

We recently visited New Orleans as part of our road trip around the 'mojo triangle', New Orleans, Memphis, and Nashville - the birthplace of jazz, blues, rock and roll and country music.

New Orleans is known for its food, from simple po' boy sandwiches to classic cocktails such as the Pimms Cup and more refined Creole and Cajun cuisine. In simple terms, Creole cuisine is referred to as city food whilst Cajun is more rustic country food.

These are some of the dishes that we tried in New Orleans, and specifically what New Orleans is known for.

Beignet


A beignet is a deep fried donut. Served hot with lots of powdered sugar, they are generally plain with no jam and are well known as the iconic food at Cafe Du Monde and Cafe Beignet in the French Quarter, New Orleans.

Gumbo



Gumbo is a stew that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It consists of a flavoured stock thickened with a roux, meat such as chicken or andouille sausage, onions, peppers and celery and sometimes seafood. The gumbo above was a simple dish I ate at a cafe, more luxurious dishes are eaten in one of the many restaurants.

Sazerac



A Sazerac is a cocktail invented in New Orleans containing rye whiskey, bitters, and Absinthe. This Sazerac was drunk in the Monteleone hotel, famous for it's rotating carousel bar. Served quite strong you could really taste the whiskey in this cocktail.

Muffuletta


A muffuletta is a popular sandwich made of round flattened bread, similar to focaccia and filled with salami, ham, provolone cheese, and olive salad. Traditionally served cold, although many places will toast it for you, this is a total meal in a sandwich. The one shown above was half a whole muffuletta, so you can see how big they are.

Po' Boy


A Po' boy is a submarine-type sandwich from Lousiana, served on bread similar to French Bread and consist of roast beef, chicken, ham or fried seafood. A "dressed" Po' boy has lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayonnaise. It is said this sandwich was invented when the New Orleans streetcar drivers went on strike in 1929 as an inexpensive sandwich of bits of leftover roast beef and gravy.

Shrimp And Grits



Shrimp and grits is a traditional dish from South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Grits are made by boiling ground maize and is similar to porridge in consistency. A traditional breakfast dish grits is also served well seasoned and accompanied with shrimp as a main course for dinner in some of the finer restaurants. I had this dish in Mr. B's bistro, an excellent New Orleans restaurant known for it's refined Creole food.

Pimms Cup


A Pimms Cup, although invented in London in the 1800's, was brought to New Orleans by a restaurant and bar called the Napoleon House bar in the late 1940's. Consisting of Pimms No 1, lemonade, a lemon-lime soda such as 7 Up, lots of strawberries and topped with ice, it is very refreshing on a warm day garnished with cucumber.

For information on well-priced food when in NOLA check out this post, 10 Cheap Eats In New Orleans by 2foodtrippers.

These are some of the dishes we ate and drunk in New Orleans. Which would you try?
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Monday, 28 March 2016

I'm Going to Graceland, Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee

In the words of the Paul Simon song "I'm going to Graceland, Graceland in Memphis Tennessee". Well I'm not going, I've just been, and what an interesting place for all lovers of Elvis. But you don't need to be the biggest lover of Elvis to enjoy the tour of Graceland, his former home, in Memphis, just a lover of music and celebrity culture.

Elvis bought Graceland in 1957 for 100,000 dollars after his first year of super stardom.   



The Graceland Mansion

He had just started working in films and Jailhouse Rock was his next big movie. He lived there with his family until his death in 1977 of heart failure.  



Elvis Looked So Handsome When He Was Young

Graceland is now Memphis' most visited attraction and is a shrine to the 'King Of Rock 'N Roll'.  The tour of the house is the main attraction. This is self guided tour with an IPad and is really interesting. You are taken from the main building in a bus to the Graceland mansion. As you walk around the mansion you listen to the music, his interviews and learn about his life, and his main loves - music, and his daughter Lisa Marie.



The Beautiful Living Room

The house is large but not as large as I expected considering his wealth. Each room was decorated to a high standard, with a nod to the kitsch - such as the grass on the floor and the animals in the jungle room.  



The Jungle Room

The jungle room has become famous over the years and is a big Elvis fan favourite due to the eccentric design based on Elvis' favourite holiday place - Hawaii. Intricate wood carvings, toy, stone and wood animals and green carpet on the floor and the ceiling too (great for insulation - after all it became a recording studio) make this room a must see.


The Awards In The Racquetball Building

Throughout the tour we learn about the fantastic music career that Elvis had, including 14 Grammy nominations, and 3 Grammy awards as well as a huge number of gold and platinum albums and singles. You can see what an amazingly prolific and true music legend he was throughout his life.



The Costumes

Elvis was also known for stage clothes, including his rhinestone studded jumpsuits which you can view here.



Gold and Platinum Records In The Trophy Room

The Trophy Room contains many of the gold and platinum records that he was awarded in his lifetime and also posthumously. Not including reissues this included 102 single awards, 30 EPs and 70 albums on RCA, as well as 9 other awards on other labels when he was alive and also a number after his death.

Elvis appeared to give his time and money generously to support a number of charitable causes and especially supported the Memphis community. After leaving the army he performed three charitable concerts raising a significant amount of money for Memphis charities and for a USS memorial in Arizona. These are things I never knew about Elvis and which I found out on the tour.



After touring the mansion, the final stop was the Meditation Garden, here is where Elvis, the rock n roll legend as well as members of his family were laid to rest. 

After the tour of the mansion you take a bus back to the main building. From here you have the chance to go to the souvenir shops, have something to eat in one of the cafes, and visit the automobile museum as well as see the two aeroplanes he owned.



One Of His Two Planes, Named After His Daughter Lisa Marie

Elvis purchased this plane above, in April 1975 and named it Lisa Marie after his daughter. He spent more than $800,000 having the jet remodelled. Inside the customised jet. there is a living room, sitting room, small meeting area and private bathroom. The quality and detail on the fixtures and furnishings are luxurious - the sinks are inlaid with 24 carat gold and the chairs covered in soft suede, whilst the tables are covered in the best leather.  

There is also a smaller plane here too that was primarily used for taking Elvis’ manager and his staff from city to city on his concert tours.


Elvis ' Famous Pink Cadillac

The next stop was the automobile museum. Elvis owned 15 different cars and a number of bikes. You can view his famous pink Cadillac, Harley Davidson motorbikes, the pink jeep from Blue Hawaii and many more. He also had a collection of motorised toys including a dune buggy.

There is a number of other additional exhibits that are free or that you can pay for, that are included in the VIP and platinum tours. There is even the 'Heartbreak Hotel' on site in Graceland for those that want to stay close.

Graceland provides a valuable insight into the world of one of the biggest music legends that has ever existed. The tour of the mansion on the Ipad with earphones was excellent and there is even a kid friendly option.

A trip to Graceland is well worth the admission price, expect to spend at least half a day here to see everything you want to see and leave informed and entertained.

I've been to Graceland, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee and I'm so glad I have. He was a true legend. R.I.P. Elvis Aaron Presley.

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Saturday, 26 March 2016

Wilfred's Pies - Lovely Welsh Bakes

A local Welsh bakery, has launched a new range of premium pies aimed at upmarket consumers. The Lewis Pies and Pasty Company has named this quality brand Wilfred's with the tagline 'Lovely Welsh Bakes'.

As you can see the pies look authentic and homemade with a lovely crust and brown pastry. I like the fact that they don't look regular in design and that each once is
 individual- with different crimping on the pastry. I really feel that you can tell that they have been made with love, like you would make them yourself in your own kitchen. In fact you could probably pass them off at a dinner party as made by you!


All the beef and steak in sourced from Wales and the chicken is from 'Red Tractor' assured farms.

With six pies altogether in the range you can choose from the following delectable pies:-

The Steak and Tatws with Welsh beef steak and potatoes

The Fiery Chick, in a cajun spicy sauce with Collier’s Welsh cheddar
Lamb of My Fathers, with Welsh lamb, mint, faggots and laverbread
The Clucking Valleys, with British chicken and vegetables
The Gower Cwtch, with Welsh beef steak. leeks and a hint of horseradish

The Saucy Cow, with Welsh beef steak in a rich Gower Power Ale gravy



The Steak And Tatws

The 'Steak and Tatws' (potato) pie was my favourite. The rich tasty gravy had decent chunks of steak and potato. The pastry on the pie was not too thick or too thin, like Goldilocks would have said, it was 'just right'. The pastry was soft at the bottom and filled well with a crispy lid. Would I go too far in saying I think this pie is a modern classic? Yes, I would!

The Fiery Chick

My husband enjoyed the 'Fiery Chick'. For those of you that like a little adventure this pie is full to the brim with British chicken in a Cajun spicy kicking sauce. The Colliers Powerful Welsh Cheddar in the pie holds it's own against the strong flavours of the spice. The heat is at an appropriate level, with a medium spice.


Lamb Of My Fathers

The next pie we tried was the 'Lamb Of My Fathers'. This pie is a real Welsh delight. Juicy Welsh lamb, with pieces of faggot, carrots and laverbread ( seaweed) in a well seasoned gravy. This pie is as Welsh as Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey or Rob Brydon. In fact you could almost be forgiven for thinking it will be singing 'Land Of My Fathers' at a Welsh international rugby match next!


The Clucking Valleys

The Clucking Valleys pie, full of British chicken and tender vegetables was well seasoned and really tasty.  An excellently crafted chicken pie full of flavour.

I'm still waiting to try the Saucy Cow pie, and the Gower Cwtch and my mouth is watering at the thought. 

The Lewis Pies and Pasty company has been established since 1936 and these new Wilfred's Pies are tasty pies, full of quality ingredients, in a home made style. What makes the pies extra special is the hot water crust pastry, similar in style to a pork pie but different. No puff or shortcrust pastry here, only the best will do.

What do you think of these pies? Which ones would you like to try? Let me know!

* I was sent a selection of pies for an honest review
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Friday, 25 March 2016

Meet The Bloggers - Lucy From The Parent Game

Meet The Bloggers is a new series where I get to interview some of my favourite bloggers and get to highlight new bloggers too. If you would like to be included please give me a shout on social media. Today, it's my friend Lucy Dorrington from The Parent Game blog.

Can you tell my readers about yourself and your blog.



I started blogging in 2012, because I enjoy writing and it seemed like a fun idea. I couldn't find many blogs to read that focussed on older children and those of student age, so thought it might be nice to talk about ideas and issues surrounding those ages, as opposed to babies and toddlers.

What inspired you to start blogging?


A good friend of mine had been blogging for a long time, just for fun and seemed to get so much enjoyment out of it, I thought I might as well have a go. Once you get over the initial 'what if someone actually reads it' nerves, it's really fun!


What do you love writing about the most?

That's a difficult one. I love writing, so, in some ways, the more challenging the better. Like, when someone says to me; 'I can't find an interesting angle on this really boring review, can you have a go?', for example! I also love a really good rant now and again, too. That's always fun, especially if it's about a subject I'm really passionate about!

Tell me about your proudest blogging achievement.


Probably that it's lasted nearly four years! When you see something tiny grow from one little piece of writing into something that strangers tell me they actually read, that's pretty amazing. I could bore you with various stats and whatnot, but the fact that people actually read it is a really big thing for me!

What is your favourite blog post of 2015 and why?


That would have to be 'Our Year in Pictures'. The best thing about having a blog is that it gives you an amazing diary of all the fun times you have together as a family. This is particularly important to me, as I have problems with my short term memory due to illness. I love looking back on our adventures together, so that was a really fun post to write.

Do you have any specific goals for 2016?


I would like to make more of our Youtube channel. Luke, who has just turned ten, loves starring in our videos, but I think I need to step up and do more myself. It's too easy being behind the camera all the time!

Tell me have you read Lucy's blog?
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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Oak Alley Plantation, Louisiana

Oak Alley plantation is a beautiful antebellum mansion in Vacherie on the Mississippi river. It was a plantation built in 1837 and was originally established to grow sugar cane. 

Oak Alley Plantation

The Plantation

It's a place steeped in history and has been designated a National Historic Landmark for its stunning architecture and landscaped gardens. 

A distinguishing feature is its alley of oak trees, planted previously to the house being built. As you can see it frames the house beautifully. The garden is also renowned for the innovative way of growing pecan trees in the 1800's, a slave gardener known as Antoine spent many years crafting his knowledge and expertise to devise this. 

The Oak Alley Of Trees



We went on a guided tour of the house which is included in the 20 dollar admission price. I would certainly recommend this. The insight into life in a plantation was incredible.

The house was owned by the Romans, and was a gift from Jacques Roman to his wife Celina.  It was constructed primarily on slave labour and built as a sugar cane plantation. Sugar first became an attractive crop in the late 1700's and this area of Louisiana was known for its sugar producing plantations.

A valuable crop, sugar was also very arduous to produce, and the temperatures that slaves had to work in were very intense. 

When Jacques died in 1848 of tuberculosis, his wife's heavy spending nearly bankrupted the estate and her son Henri tried to turn things around however 18 years later it was sold, and a succession of owners could not afford the upkeep. The tour guide told us, the building was run down and was invaded with cattle until it was bought by the Stewarts in 1925. After renovation they were the last people to live in it. Josephine Stewart left the historic house and grounds to the Oak Alley Foundation when she died in 1972, which opened them to the public. 


Jacques Roman

The large fan above the table was moved by one of the slaves to keep the flies off the food



The clothes of the day

The three children in silhouette were three of the Roman's children who did not live until adulthood

Slavery At Oak Alley


The exhibition 'Slavery At Oak Alley", was interesting and thought provoking. 


Located in the historic grounds, six cabins were reconstructed to gain a real insight into the day-to-day lives of the slaves living at Oak Alley. There were different quarters for different slaves, and a sick house among the cabins shown. A house slave had to look presentable at all time due to the personal work they carried out and thus had different clothes to those working on the sugar cane. Displays of clothes, religion, work and punishments all helped understand the conditions of the slaves and the harsh realities of life in the 1800's for those who were not free men or women of colour.



This video really gives an insight into the life of a slave


Due to the personal nature of a house slave they had to look presentable at all times


Filmed At Oak Alley

Oak Alley Plantation has been used in numerous films and TV series. The most notable of these being Primary Colours starring John Travolta and Interview With A Vampire, starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. 

You can see some of the splendour of Oak Alley in this video we created for our new travel blog Fly Drive Explore, which also covers Dunleith, another historic building in Natchez.


Oak Alley is within an hour of New Orleans and Baton Rouge and if you are ever in the area I thoroughly recommend a visit to see the beauty of the mansion, the splendour of the gardens and gain an insight into slavery in the 1800's. Recommended.

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Sunday, 20 March 2016

Meet The Bloggers - Michelle From TSNC

Meet The Bloggers is a new series where I get to interview some of my favourite bloggers and get to highlight new bloggers too. If you would like to be included please give me a shout on social media.


Can you tell my readers about yourself and your blog?

Yes sure! My name is Michelle and I blog at Thou Shalt Not Covet

I've been running it for three years now, which I can't quite believe! I started off with a mixture of fashion, beauty and lifestyle posts, and I've found myself naturally veering towards beauty as my main focus. I write about anything that interests me, including product reviews, news and features.


What inspired you to start blogging?

Well I'd been reading blogs for a long time, and I'm a complete makeup fanatic. My friends aren't really 'into it' like I am, so I found myself spending more and more time online, reading, watching Youtube and chatting with like minded makeup lovers. A couple of the first bloggers I started reading were Tattooed Tea Lady and Fashion For Lunch, and I thought they were so cool! (I still do) and I just decided to give it a go myself!

What are your favourite three beauty products?

Only three??! Ok this is difficult, but I'll always include eyeliner in my top three, preferable intense black or bright blue. I usually go for pencil or pen style eyeliners - liquid ones just don't really do it for me. For budget I'd definitely say Bourjois is my favourite, and high end would probably be MAC.



Bourjois

My next must have product is definitely lipstick - in a nude / mauve for day time, and I love a statement intense red lip for the evening. Sleek is one of my favourite budget lipstick brands, and high end would be NARS, Tom Ford and Charlotte Tilbury.

My last must have product would probably be a contour powder. I love giving my face a bit more shape and emphasising my cheekbones. Rodial's Instaglam Contour Deluxe Contour Powder is fantastic but a tad pricey. For a budget option the Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit is great alternative.

What beauty trends are making an impact at the moment?

I'm seeing a lot of luminous skin coming up for spring summer, which I just love. Really natural looking, glowing-from-within complexions. It makes a refreshing change from the higher coverage matte finishes from Winter. Highlighters are also really big at the moment too - Becca's Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop is a must have! And the matte liquid lipstick trend is showing no signs of slowing down.

Tell me about your proudest blogging achievement?

This is a difficult one! I was a beauty blogger for beauty at Tesco this time last year, that was a complete wow moment for me! I also collaborated with Cohorted and chose the products for their December beauty box. That was pretty awesome too!

What is your favourite blog post of 2015 and why?

One of the ones that stands out for me is my 'How Much Do Blogger Earn' post.

I put a lot of work into researching this, and I loved how it started a conversation on the subject of earning money, which many bloggers don't really talk about. I see so many bloggers under valuing themselves, I think this should really be discussed more.

Do you have any specific goals for 2016?

In general terms I'd just like to improve - improve my photography, my writing, and refine my overall blog style. I'd also really like to up my Instagram game. I haven't really used it too much up until now so I really want to work on that. Same with Pinterest - oh and I want to figure out Snapchat too!

Tell me have you read Michelle's blog?
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Saturday, 19 March 2016

Why You Must Fly Virgin Upper Class

The Surprise

I never thought I would be flying Virgin Atlantic upper class on my recent trip to New Orleans but I had the pleasure of this service when my husband surprised me recently by using our Virgin miles to upgrade us. Now not everyone will be able to afford this due to their current circumstances, so I guess I should have called this...

"Why you must fly Virgin upper class... at least once in your life" .

You may think from the title that you could never afford to fly upper class, but so did I. I guess if you love travelling and hate flying like me and would do anything to feel more comfortable on a plane, or you are looking for a very special treat then it's certainly worth looking at your priorities and see if you can afford it. Alternatively sign up to the Virgin Flying Club - their loyalty scheme, and look at all the ways you can earn Virgin miles.

The trip was a very special trip for our 10th wedding anniversary and my birthday combined. We had already signed up to Virgin’s Flying Club on previous trips. This airline loyalty scheme meant every time we fly with Virgin we accredit miles which can be used towards flight upgrades. He used miles plus money to get us a return to Atlanta at half the cost of a normal upper class ticket. From Atlanta we would be moving onto New Orleans, then Memphis and Nashville for our trip of the American 'deep South', but more of that in posts to follow.

So it was with excitement and trepidation I was ready on the morning of our flight.

Being Whisked Through Security

On of the perks of upper class travel on Virgin Atlantic is that there is a separate entry to check in and separate security at Heathrow. We had an email 24 hours in advance asking us if we wanted to arrange the upper wing check in and so we did. To arrange this you need to let them know what time you will be arriving and the registration number of the car (or taxi) so you can get to the security entry. This was easily arranged, my husband just rang through the taxi number when we were on our way.

Some upper class tickets include a complimentary chauffeur driven transfer. I guess it depends if your ticket is discounted or not, as ours was.


Copyright Virgin Atlantic


The Virgin upper entry at Heathrow is very cool and stylish. We handed in our boarding passes that we had printed off and we were checked in, in literally less than 2 mins. We actually didn't even need to print our boarding passes as they had already done this for us. Very impressive.

We were then told to go through to security - again this is a separate security for Virgin upper class passengers. With only one family before us, this was very calm and the process was extremely quick. Before we knew it we were through security and looking at the shops in Heathrow. 

Heathrow has an amazing selection of shops - everything from high street brands like WHSmith and John Lewis, to fashion brands like Michael Kors and Ted Baker and designer brands like Chanel and Hugo Boss.

The Virgin Upper Lounge

Then it was time to find the Virgin upper class lounge. The lounge is actually quite beautiful. There is a large cocktail bar in the centre of the lounge, and lots of comfortable tables and chairs, nooks and crannies to relax in. 


"The lounge is actually quite beautiful"


There is a hair salon where you can have a hair cut or even a massage. Some of the services are free while others you have to pay for. The food and drink is complimentary. There is a deli bar - and at this time of day (7am) they were serving breakfast and also waiter service for anything you wanted off the menu. 


Food And Drink In The Lounge

We ordered fresh fruit salad and orange juice and my husband ordered a bacon roll. If you wanted to you could have almost anything to drink, from a coffee to champagne all day, every day, and anything off the food menu which changes due to the time of day. 

Virgin Club Lounge Breakfast Served Until 11.30am

As I wanted to eat on the plane and it was still early I didn’t eat anything else in the lounge.


After breakfast we had a wander around and checked out the other facilities in the Virgin upper lounge, such as the roof top garden where you can sit and  watch the planes.

Before we knew it, it was time to catch our flight. When you board the plane you are called first,  and we walked up to the plane though the dedicated upper entrance at the front of the plane.

On Board

The seats in upper class are like little cocoons, you have plenty of space to put your legs out in front of you. The seats are angled away from the window which is the only negative point. There must have been a reason for doing this but you can’t see out of the window even if you are in a window seat - which I thought was a shame.

Seats That Can Fold Flat At The Touch Of A Button


As well as reclining, the seats can fold flat at a touch of a button. If can be a bit fiddly to do this though so the flight attendant helps you with this. There is a proper duvet and pillow available if you want to get some sleep.

"The flight attendant remembered my name"

Service was impeccable. What impressed me is that the flight attendant introduced herself and showed me all the facilities on board and explained how to work everything. She also remembered my name - little things like this made the service very special.

Food

The food was very tasty and definitely the best I have had on an aeroplane. The dessert of toffee apple pecan sponge with cream, was exceptionally delicious. 


Starters

"The best food I have ever eaten on a plane"

Starters - a choice of chicken and smoked duck terrine, Waldorf salad and tomato and basil soup.
Mains - four main choices included chicken biryani, garlic and herb marinated beef, grilled salmon fillet and spinach and ricotta tortellini
Pudding - chocolate brownie or toffee apple pecan sponge
Cheese and biscuits - a selection of cheese with crackers and chutney


Main Courses And Desserts
Tomato And Basil Soup

Garlic And Herb Marinated Beef


Toffee Apple Pecan Sponge

Everything was well presented on china dishes with proper cutlery, even a small table cloth. There was even Virgin’s trademark aeroplane salt and pepper shakers. 

"Proper china and stainless steel cutlery"


Cheese, Crackers, Port And Chutney

If you still had room at the end of dinner there was an option of cheese, crackers, grapes and chutney, washed down with a glass of port if you wanted it. 

Drinks on board included anything from juices, tea, coffee, hot chocolate to spirits, cocktails and champagne, and these were served regularly. After the obligatory glass of champagne (after all, it’s not every day I go upper), I tried a raspberry Bellini, which was very well made and later a glass of Chardonnay with my meal.

The little things were impressive. There was a choice of different types of bread roll for example, and these were served warm. The air hostess came around before dinner with a choice of wine and asked if I wanted to taste it. The wine was wrapped in a white napkin. 

Afternoon Tea

The food doesn't stop there though, oh no. A couple of hours before the plane landed, we were treated to afternoon tea. A selection of sandwiches, dainty cakes and a warm scone was served with tea or coffee. 

Now at this point I did think the afternoon tea would come on china plates with a little tea pot, so I was a tiny bit disappointed when it was served on a plastic afternoon tea stand, with no tea pot in sight.  I guess the disappointment was because everything else had been so perfect. After the dinner was served on proper china with a choice of wine, I felt the presentation of afternoon tea lacked a little finesse.

The Bar

Although drinks were served at your seat you could also go and sit at the bar, at the end of the upper class section where you could have a drink, read from a selection of magazines or chat. There was also a small food menu you could eat at the bar.


The Bar On The Plane

The Amenities

There is an amenity pack on your seat as you board the plane. This contained toothpaste and toothbrush, ear plugs, an eye mask, warm socks, lip balm, face cream and hand cream, all in a useful travel wash bag. I found the toothbrush and toothpaste  very useful after an 8 hour flight, and it is great that the washbag is a quality product that you can use again. 


The Amenity Pack

The entertainment system was very similar to what I had used in premium economy before with a large choice of movies, many fairly new, TV programmes, music and 20 or so games such as Hold Em Poker, Tetris, bowling and others. They gave you noise cancelling headphones to use on the flight which were excellent at drowning out background noise. A big thumbs up from me on this one.

The TV was in the side part of the seat and was movable so you could pull it out in front of you for a better view. There is a side section with USB plugs so you can charge any phone or laptops you have.

We used our miles and money to upgrade through Virgin Flying Club. Virgin customer service were very helpful. I recommend you ring them before booking as they helped my husband book the best way. It was actually cheaper to book an economy flight, buy miles to add them to our current balance and then use them to upgrade to upper. It sounded complicated but my husband said the customer service staff were excellent at offering advice and assisting with the booking process.

For a greater insight into how this works check out this link by on the Money Saving Expert blog.

In Conclusion

If you have the money, or manage to upgrade through the Virgin Flying Club using your Virgin miles, you must, at least once in your lifetime fly Virgin upper class. I've tried business class on BA and whilst it is a good product Virgin upper just does not compare - it is so much better. Some airlines offer a first class option which costs much more again but the cost of Virgin upper is achievable for many people. For a special occasion - birthday, anniversary, or wedding for example, why don't you treat yourself!

No fuss security, an excellent lounge, spacious seating with flat beds, personal service and exceptional food make Virgin upper class a wonderful experience and why you must try it at least once in your lifetime. You deserve it.

Tried once you will not go back.... I've now been well and truly spoilt.
Family Fever
Dragons and Fairy Dust
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