I am beginning my ten-day journey to Paris, the Champagne Region of France and Belgium. I am flying “l’Espace Affaires”/Business Class from Toronto to Paris, and looking forward to the “Business Class” travel experience with Air France.
Settling into a large comfortable seat with a welcoming glass of Champagne, a copy of the Air France in-flight magazine immediately gets me into a “Parisian” mood. The magazine consists of Paris spring fashion trends, locations of the best restaurants as well as comments on what is going on in the art scene. This in-flight magazine is a fashionista’s dream come true; lots of French-styled shoes, dresses, purses…. In between sips of Deutz Brut Classic, I’m handed a dinner menu and wine list by one of the coiffed, well-mannered flight attendant who speaks both French and English.
The wine offerings are superior, and it is refreshing to see a well-constructed wine list that has ample offerings. I notice there is a reference on the menu that the wines have been chosen by Olivier Poussier, the World’s Best Sommelier in 2000 – this is an added bonus. The attendants place a white linen tablecloth on my table, immediately followed by fresh, delicious baguettes with creamy butter. I choose Saint-Veran Chateau de Fuisse 06 a nice easy Burgundy, to pair with my choice of seafood hors d’oeuvre of marinated shrimp, served with miso and ginger sauce, served with soba noodles.
The main course of grilled tournedos of beef with scallion butter, potatoes au grain, broccoli and tomato truly melts in my mouth, particularly paired with a glass of Clos Triguedina Cuvee Prince Probus 05. This is another perfect match and an excellent choice with meat and game-nice intensity and refinement.
Fine china, silver and an impressive wine list coupled with first class service, make me feel like I am in an exclusive international restaurant, not on an airplane! I skip coffee and chocolate torte, and decide to get a few hours of sleep. I found sleeping a delightful and restful experience. The tilted seats turn into a perfect horizontal position and pillows and quilts are quite abundant. Within a few hours I awaken to the smell of fresh coffee brewing…Y E S I’m almost in Paris. The French-style breakfast consisted of juice, yogurt, fresh fruits with pastries, lots of coffee, and Champagne if I want – so perfect!
My “l’Espace Affaires”/Air France Business Class experience has truly proven to be Crossing the Ocean in Style!
Wine and Travel Writer