Qantas food

16 07 2017

In the past two days, I travelled on Qantas and American Airlines (AA) from Perth, Western Australia to Burlington, Vermont (via Sydney, Dallas, and an unexpected night in Washington DC owing to an AA flight cancellation). I wrote last year about the points of difference between Qantas and AA (https://rhondabracey.com/2016/10/14/comparing-qantas-and-american-airlines/). This time I’ll talk about the food on Qantas, both on their domestic and international flights, and in the Qantas lounge.

NOTE: I travelled Qantas Business Class domestically — AA call this class ‘First’, but there’s nothing ‘first’ about their meagre food and drink offerings compared to Qantas for similar length journeys! And as a Qantas Platinum Frequent Flyer, I had access to the Qantas International First Lounge at Sydney Airport.

Domestic flight Perth to Sydney, approximately 4 hours

On this afternoon flight, we were fed dinner — see the menu for the food options. I had the soup (with sourdough bread), the lamb chops (two of them!) and the citrus baba.

Qantas lounge

After staying overnight in Sydney, I forgo the breakfast at the hotel, instead choosing to eat at the Qantas lounge. My choices from that menu — eggs benedict with smoked salmon, bircher muesli with hazelnuts (?) and apple, an apple julep (delicious! [non-alcoholic]), and sourdough toast with Vegemite. All very yummy!

Flight from Sydney to Dallas, 16+ hours

Next was the flight from Sydney to Dallas. We get served dinner on that flight not long after taking off, and then breakfast some 12 or 13 hours later, about 2 hours before we land. Because I’d had such a big lunch, I opted for soup (cauliflower I think), the ‘light’ steak sandwich dinner offering, followed by the MOST AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS passionfruit tart with fresh cream. It was SOOO good, I asked if I could have another — and I’m NOT a dessert person. The sharpness and acidity of the passionfruit perfectly balanced the creamy sweetness of the tart. (I didn’t take any photos of my breakfast.)

 





Day trip to Augusta

13 04 2017

We went for a drive down to Augusta and Cape Leeuwin on Monday, just ‘cos it was a GORGEOUS day and we could. Drove down Caves Rd, popping into Gracetown and stopping at Lefthanders car park (there are tiny people with surfboards on the beach in the photo, with other surfers in the Indian Ocean that you probably can’t see), then on into the magical cathedral-like Boranup Forest full of towering karri trees (note the size of the vehicle in relation to the trees). We stopped for lunch in Augusta, then went on to the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse precinct, where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet (I’m not sure if this was the setting for the novel ‘The light between two oceans’, but it’s close enough). Back home via Margaret River (the town is just a Subiaco/Claremont clone these days) and Cowaramup, where the cow sculptures have overtaken the town!





Blackwood River in flood

22 02 2017

The Blackwood River in south-western Western Australia doesn’t flood very often, and rarely in February. But the catchment area had a lot of rain in first two weeks of February and so the rivers rose. By the time I drove down to Bridgetown for a quilting retreat with friends, it was nearly at its peak. I stopped in at the park near the bridge at Bridgetown to see it — it was sure moving FAST. I also stopped at the bottom of Greys Hill Rd, near the intersection with Mattamattup St, and the water was lapping the footpath. Friends who came by a couple of hours later said it was lapping at the road when they came through. This was Thursday 19 Feb. By Monday 21 Feb when I headed home, the river was back to almost normal levels.

Blackwood River at the bottom of Greys Hill Rd, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)

Blackwood River at the bottom of Greys Hill Rd, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)

 

Blackwood River at the bottom of Greys Hill Rd, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)

Blackwood River at the bottom of Greys Hill Rd, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)

 

Blackwood River at the bottom of Greys Hill Rd, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)

Blackwood River at the bottom of Greys Hill Rd, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)

 

Blackwood River at the bridge, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)

Blackwood River at the bridge, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)

 

Blackwood River at the bridge, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)

Blackwood River at the bridge, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)

 

Blackwood River at the bridge, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)

Blackwood River at the bridge, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)

 

Blackwood River at the bridge, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)

Blackwood River at the bridge, Bridgetown (19 Feb 2017)





Albany for the weekend

8 12 2016

We went to Albany (Western Australia) last weekend, as an early birthday treat for me. We stayed in a lovely fully furnished apartment near Middleton Beach, and ate well at Rustlers Steakhouse (both nights!), Hybla Tavern, and then Plantagenet Winery in Mount Barker on the way home.

I spent a couple of hours at the very sobering National Anzac Centre, on Mount Clarence overlooking the harbour where more than 40,000 troops and 13,000 horses sailed from to fight for Britain in World War One. Many of those men died at Gallipoli, with more dying in the Somme, and still others coming home ruined for life, either mentally or physically or both. Only one horse came back to Australia… It’s well worth a visit but allow yourself several hours to do it justice.

After the museum, I needed to reconnect with nature, so walked to the viewing area at the top of the hill near the Anzac Centre. Hidden in amongst the bushes are gun emplacements from earlier times (likely World War Two, when the Japanese came well down the Australian coast), which was a surprise. And of course, the King Skinks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egernia_kingii). I’d seen them before so knew what to look for when I heard rustling in the leafy undergrowth! They’re big sods!! Speaking of lizards, we saw a couple of big guys (looked like bungarras or monitor lizards, but probably weren’t) on the drive home — we swerved to miss one on the side of the road.

Some photos from the weekend:

p1070988

Spot the gun!

p1080002

King Skink

p1070977

From the National Anzac Centre

p1070979

The names scroll by slowly under the water

More photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/albums/72157673671910723

 





QV2016: Day 20: Heading home

11 11 2016

It’s all over. I said some goodbyes at dinner last night, expecting to see many of the group later today because we were catching the same flight from Dallas to Sydney. However, it was not to be. I had an early morning breakfast commitment with some Houston friends, so checked out of the hotel early. After breakfast, one of my companions drove me to the airport where I had a long wait for my 2:10pm flight. Except it was an even longer wait than expected.

They boarded us, then told us we’d be waiting on the tarmac for at least an hour because of weather delays at Dallas. We took off about 3:30pm, getting in around 4:30 — Dallas was shrouded in heavy rain and low cloud and visibility was very low. I had plenty of time before my flight to Sydney, due to leave at 8pm, so cooled my heels in the Qantas Premier lounge. Most of the group were scheduled to fly out of Houston around 4:30pm — the hour-long delay saw them racing to get to the gate on time (one missed the connection as she was coming in from Hobby airport in Houston). I saw them briefly at the gate, fully expecting to see them on the flight. But Qantas doesn’t encourage fraternisation between different classes on board! I had received my points upgrade to First Class, but it was impossible for anyone in Economy to join me, or for me to go to Economy. And when we arrived in Sydney, most were on the 8:30am flight to Perth, so they had another dash from one terminal to the other to make their flight. I was booked on the 10:30am flight out of Sydney, so had a leisurely transfer time, allowing me to shower and relax in the Qantas Business Lounge. Which meant I missed saying my goodbyes to a great group of ladies!

The flights home were uneventful — just as I like it! There was a bit of turbulence leaving Dallas, and some midway across the Pacific (usual), but otherwise there was nothing out of the ordinary about the flights. I even slept a few hours of the DFW to SYD flight!

Some photos taken from the plane going across Australia:

Salt lakes in the Western Australian wheatbelt

Salt lakes in the Western Australian wheatbelt

Straight line of clouds

Straight line of clouds

The Cooyong, South Australia

The Coorong, South Australia





Middle of winter, 2015

29 06 2015

Yesterday was one of those magic winter’s days we get here — clear blue skies, green grass, dry, mild temperatures (about 19C [66F]). I took a few photos through the car window (yes, naughty, I know!) while driving to and from Perth, and a few more quite close to home to show my North American friends, in particular, what winter is like in my part of the world.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Forrest Highway, heading south, near Myalup about 4pm

Forrest Highway, heading south, near Myalup about 4pm

Forrest Highway, heading south, near Myalup about 4pm

Forrest Highway, heading south, near Myalup about 4pm

Forrest Highway, heading south, near Myalup about 4pm

Forrest Highway, heading south, near Myalup about 4pm

Near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Cathedral Ave, near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Cathedral Ave, near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Cathedral Ave, near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Cathedral Ave, near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Near top end of Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia, around 4pm

Heading towards Perth on Forrest Highway

Heading towards Perth on Forrest Highway (if you view the photo at full size, you’ll see horses in the paddocks alongside the road)

 





Points upgrade to First Class

6 03 2015

I got my points upgrade to First Class on Qantas for the long leg from Sydney to Dallas.  Woohoo!! And this time I was notified early,  not at the gate on boarding,  which meant I got to experience the First Class Lounge at Sydney airport.

This is an all-day lounge,  meaning you can check in as early as you want on the day you’re flying and take advantage of the services on offer.

I checked in about 9:30am,  had breakfast of Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon,  then had a spa treatment (back massage). Later I had lunch – three tasting plates of salt and pepper squid with green chilli and aoili, buffalo mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes,  black angus minute steak,  followed by pavlova with lychees and raspberries in a glass topped with pashmak. Delicious. And table service too.

A quick shower about an hour before boarding and I’m all ready and relaxed for my 16-hour non-stop flight,  in First Class on an A380.

And we’ve just got the first boarding call…. See you on the flipside….

image

image

image

image

image