Travelling really is my life. It never used to be believe it or not, in fact quite the opposite – but blogging opened travel up to me as I quickly realised all of the places I was missing. I’ve met some amazing people after deciding to write my passion, some extremely talented chefs, exquisite hotels and airlines which go beyond any expectations anyone would have ever imagined. I’ve seen a lot over the years – but never did I expect to come across an airlines which was miles in front of the rest.
Having recently fell in love with Dubai after my vacation earlier in the year, I finally decided that if I wanted to see the full extent of what the UAE had to offer then a trip to Abu Dhabi was in tall order. Etihad Airways was an airline I’d never even considered until as of recently, but it’s now at the forefront every time I book. If you want to read all about my on-board experience and the luxurious return home from my trip you can HERE. But if you want to find out how it started travelling Business Class and enjoying the fabulous lounge then read on….
From the moment you walk into the Etihad Business Class Lounge it is all about service. Our bags were whisked away and the staff made us feel incredibly at home and at ease. Staff were smiling and laughing, the manager seemed genuinely interested in where we were travelling and from then onwards it seemed to get only better.
The moment we sat down in the lounge the staff left us waiting for no more than 30 seconds and just minutes later our requested glass of Champagne arrived. That’s the beauty of a Business Class Lounge. Whether you’re wanting a glass of bubbles, Negroni or even a whiskey sour – nothing is ever too much for the team.
Size wise the lounge isn’t huge and it can get busy, but there are so many different areas to enjoy. From the Six Senses Spa where you can enjoy an array of express treatments, large dining room and even a bar for perching on while you’re waiting for your flight. And there is no need to keep getting up to check the status of your flight as staff will always let you know as soon as gates open.
Being The Foodaholic, what I love most about Etihad Airways is the attention to detail they pay with their food. As well as a buffet in the lounge which is an extensive selection of hot & cold dishes, you can also enjoy an a la carte offering. After finishing our Champagne we sat down in the restaurant setting of the lounge and tucked into our a la carte meal. Spicy soups, butternut squash panna cotta or what we choose – a lovely Arabic mezze plate filled with hummus, tabbouleh and baba ghanoush. All washed down with a glass of full-bodied Australian Chardonnay.
I was a little worried first about eating a three course meal before boarding a flight, but they have the portions sizes so perfected that instead you’ll board a flight feeling comfortable. Main courses came in the form of slow cooked short rib of Bedfordshire beef with baby carrots, swede and Khorasan wheat. Then the whole things was smothered in a rich jus. Better still was my dish of Sumac seasoned Indian Ocean king prawns with pearl barley, vegetables and citrus apple gel. The prawns were well cooked and the dish had bags of flavour and character. A glass of Chilean pinot noir paired beautifully.
Dessert was a simple, but a very satisfying caramelised apple and cinnamon tart – topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and pistachio crumb. Again not at all heavy, but with still enough sweetness to satisfy.
With a little time before our flight was due to the depart we couldn’t resist propping ourselves up at the bar to see how the cocktails were. With a trip to somewhere a little more exotic than our current setting, a Cosmopolitan was in order. Something that always reminds me of a holiday. Vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec and lime. Light and refreshing, without going too crazy on the measures given us about to board a flight.