Getting There

Heathrow's first ever food guide, Food on the Fly, created in conjunction with John Torode and Gregg Wallace - who were appointed as the airport's official taste buds earlier this year -

is being handed out to passengers as the UK's only hub airport gears up for another record summer.

Providing a comprehensive overview of the dining options at Heathrow, Food on the Fly reviews the 73 bars, cafes and restaurants and features specially formulated top fives and a breakdown of the eateries by terminal - giving passengers a simple way to track down something tasty to enjoy pre-flight. There are also top tips available about the type of foods to eat or avoid before flying for those looking to travel well. A digital version is also available to download from www.heathrow.com

Waitrose has joined forces with Eurostar to supply on-board refreshments to Eurostar’s bar buffets, for passengers travelling in standard class between London and mainland Europe.

The selection includes fresh sandwiches, snacks, drinks and hot dishes. With a range of over 20 products there will be something to satisfy pan-European appetites including mushroom risotto, chicken tikka masala, and a tapas selection, as well as traditional British sandwiches and the French classic Croque Monsieur.

Having recently upgraded both its Standard Premier and Business Premier catering, Eurostar’s partnership with Waitrose completes a trio of changes which will see Eurostar passengers offered the best range of refreshments in the rail operator’s near 20 year history.

Eurostar has also launched a new summer menu for Business Premier passengers in partnership with Culinary Director, Michelin-starred chef, Raymond Blanc. The summer options focus on seasonal flavours, fruits and vegetables and feature several Blanc family recipes. Separately, Eurostar’s Standard Premier menu options have also been updated. www.eurostar.com or call 08432 186 186.

Train operator East Coast is now serving a brand new range of summer menus for customers in First Class, with ingredients from many suppliers based near the East Coast Main Line.

Served to passengers in their seat, the new selections promise something to suit every taste – including vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Ingredients sourced locally along the East Coast route are used whenever possible, including meat from Taste Traditions of Thirsk, North Yorkshire, and fish from L. Robson and Sons of Craster, Northumberland. The train operator’s range of hot and cold dishes is accompanied by wines carefully chosen to compliment main courses.

www.eastcoast.co.uk/on-board-our-trains/food1/complimentary-food-and-drink1/ 

Celebrity chef James Martin has launched his latest range of in-flight meals designed exclusively for Thomas Cook Airlines. The new meals are now available on Thomas Cook Airlines flights to more than 45 different destinations from UK airports. 

The latest in-flight menu features traditional dishes such as slow braised beef with bourbon glaze & baby baked potatoes, breaded chicken goujons with triple cooked chips & James’ own ketchup on the children’s menu, a twice-baked cheese souffle with roasted leeks as one of the vegetarian options and classic treacle sponge pudding and custard for dessert.

Meals start from £6 per sector per adult and £3 per child for short haul flights, £8 per adult and £4 per child for mid-haul and £20 per adult and £10 per child for long haul where not included as part of the package holiday price.

Furthermore, passengers can now book in-flight meals for inbound flights even if they did not order one for their outbound flight through their Thomas Cook or Airtours holiday representative in resort or via www.flythomascook.com

Brittany Ferries has launched a new cross-Channel route from Portsmouth to Le Havre in Normandy. The new service will run four days a week, from Thursday to Sunday, and because it is operated by the company’s fastcraft, Normandie Express, the crossing time will be just 3 hours 45 minutes. www.brittany-ferries.co.uk

AFerry.co.uk offers a convenient way to research ferry travel around Europe as all carriers can be found on this one-stop-shop of a site – Aferry.co.uk! Not only can you compare prices and reserve crossings, whether across the Channel or the Irish Sea, around the Baltic or the Mediterranean or in among the Scottish Isles, you can also compare the amenities onboard ship.

One important factor – what foody facilities are available on various ferries is easily accessed. Some of the dining options are excellent with Fine Dining a common theme, although all ferries offer a broad choice of eateries for differing budgets.

For example: P&O Ferries’ new Dover – Calais route ships (except the Pride of Burgundy) have The Brasserie where the highest quality food and wine are served. Menus offer such goodies as fresh asparagus and Cotswold Char-grilled Lamb.

On the Rodin and Berlioz of MYFerryLink, once again servicing the Channel crossings, The Brasserie’s fine dining menu features such French dependables as Pavé de rumpsteak grille sauce béarnaise, gratin dauphinoise et haricots verts followed by Nougat glacé et sa purée framboise.

DFDS Seaways, on their Portsmouth – Le Havre ferries, have Le Bistro Norman, where an evening dinner whilst enjoying the sunset is an option.

New menu options feature this year on Stena Line ferries to Ireland so now delicious jalfrezis, stone baked pizzas and maple spare ribs are readily available, whilst on their Hook of Holland service from Harwich, Taste restaurant offers everything from duck breast to pork tenderloin.

The à la carte restaurants on the TransEuropa Ferries travelling to Belgium all have Italian, Belgian or English choices.

Most famous for their excellent cuisine however are Brittany Ferries where the dining experience is a feature of thecrossing to France or Spain, which feature vegetarian options as well as fine fish or locally sourced meat. Finish a satisfying French meal with a Soufflé Chaud au Grand Marnier or a Biscuit moelleux au citron, Glace à tequila?

Your journey abroad starts once you board your ferry and enjoy some of the delicious food and wine options embraced by nearly all the operators. Visit  http://www.aferry.com/foodytraveller

Singapore Airlines now offers an English Tea Service to First and Business Class customers flying on selected flights from London Heathrow to Singapore, complete with scones and clotted cream, cucumber sandwiches, petit fours and a choice of teas. www.singaporeair.com

Lufthansa is boosting UK services with the introduction of the summer timetable with a double-digit increase in capacity on the Aberdeen to Frankfurt route and the start of two new services to Glasgow and Cardiff. www.lufthansagroup.com

National Express, the UK's largest coach operator and London Luton Airport have announced a major new agreement which will see National Express operate dedicated direct coach services between London Luton Airport and London Victoria Coach Station from 1 May.

The new service will mean faster journey times, more frequent services, and more seats available at peak times for passengers getting to and from the Airport.

www.nationalexpress.com

A nationwide appeal has been launched by Monarch, asking for head teachers to help them in their quest to make flying fun! Monarch will be taking three lucky schools on the day trip of their lives.

The airline will give 600 children - up to 200 from each school - exclusive use of a Monarch aircraft on 24 April 2013, with a range of fun activities in the air and on the ground. The appeal is targeting secondary school children in years 7-9, aged 11-14, from anywhere in the UK.

One flight will depart from Manchester to learn the real story of Romeo & Juliet in Verona, complemented with an acting lesson during the flight. The second will depart from London Gatwick to visit the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen with a German lesson during their flight. The third will depart from Birmingham and spend their day exploring the ancient city walls in Dubrovnik after a history lesson in the air.

Head teachers need to nominate their schools by visiting www.monarch.co.uk/offers/flights/win-the-best-day-trip-ever

The closing date for entries is Friday 5 April 2013.

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger service linking London and mainland Europe, is selling thousands of fares available at £119 return in standard class or £219 in Standard Premier, for travel from London to the Swiss Alps. Tickets are on sale until midnight on 11 March, for travel until 13 April.

Eurostar's Swiss ski service, new for 2013, carries skiers and snowboarders from St Pancras International and Ashford International to the heart of the Swiss Alps and the Valais region. Resorts including Verbier, Zermatt, Saas Fee and Gstaad are served on the weekly route until Saturday 13 April 2013.

With an easy connection in Lille Europe on to a high-speed TGV Lyria service, passengers arrive into Aigle, Martigny, Visp and Brig stations for quick onward transfers to their ski resorts. For added convenience, Eurostar and TGV Lyria will allow passengers to carry skis or snowboards at no extra cost. Visit www.eurostar.com

P&O Ferries is offering two for one mini cruise fares on its overnight Hull to Rotterdam service from £75 per person with the option to book an extra night from £10 extra per person. The fare includes a standard cabin and coach transfers to Amsterdam city centre. For more information or to book call Visit www.POferries.com; Tel: 08716 64 64 64

MyFerryLink operates 16 daily crossings on the Dover-Calais route and is currently offering a special three-day short break fare for a car and up to nine passengers from just £19 each way.

It is also offering a two-night short break at luxury boutique hotel Le Macassar in Picardy from just £132 per person, including return ferry crossings. www.myferrylink.com or call 0844 2482 100.

Brittany Ferries, is launching a really special offer for families travelling this summer - even throughout the peak school holidays. On all four cruise-ferry routes between the UK and France up to two children in a car can travel free. And on top of that the company is throwing in a free day cabin, plus the surcharge for a rear bike rack is being waived. All these savings can add up to £180 for a family.

Bookings must be made before 16 March for travel any time during 2013. Visit www.brittany-ferries.co.uk or call 0871 244 1400 quoting account number 614193.

Pegasus Airlines, flying to 63 destinations in 27 countries, has been rated as the best airline in Europe for on-board food in Skyscanner's recent European Airline Food Awards in the low-cost category. This follows hot on the heels of Pegasus' success in the Skyscanner 2012 Airline Wine Awards when it took 3rd and 4th place respectively for its white (Kavalidere Cankaya 2011) and red wine (Kavaklidere Angora 2011) served on-board. www.flypgs.com

Moscow - easyJet announce a new direct route from London Gatwick to Moscow Domodedovo commencing 18 March.

Mykonos - Fly easyJet to the Greek resort of Mykonos twice a week from London Luton Airport from 26 April.

Sardinia - easyJet's new route to Olbia will operate twice a week from London Luton Airport from 15 May.

The Skytender Trolley took to the skies recently on its first commercial flight on German airline WDL Aviation flying from Cologne to Palma Majorca.

The full service trolley provides passengers with hot and cold drink options without the need for cabin crew to pour and open traditional drink options for passengers. With the touch of a button cabin crew are able to serve a range of hot and cold drink items such as juices, soft drinks, cocktails, and hot drinks. The Skytender Trolley will soon be taking to the skies on several other airlines. Visit  www.skymax.eu

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