Intrepid Travel & Finnair China Fam
9th October 2017 - 10:35am
The group were met at Dublin Airport by a bright eyed and bushy tailed Martin Whelan (Sales/GSA for Finnair) at Terminal 1. After that, it was straight through security and onto our short, two and a half hour hop to Finnair's exceptional hub in Helsinki. The trade tucked into complimentary teas, coffees and juices onboard and benefited from the very generous legroom afforded to travellers on economy tickets. On arrival in Helsinki, the group were greeted by their delightful Finnair host, Catherine Grennell-Whyte.
The Fam enjoyed the food offering available at the Nordic Kitchen restaurant, which serves Nordic flavours from seasonal ingredients, provides meals morning, noon and nights and are open in the airport around the clock. It combines a deli, bar and an à la carte restaurant. Opting for the burger (€22), it was not standard fast food but a gourmet dish thoroughly enjoyed. A quick stroll then ensued to the check-in desk and onto the business class leg of our journey.
As expected, the attentive service combined with a fine selection of wines, champagnes and signature cocktails onboard all served up in fine Ultima Thule glassware were second to none. Dining consisted of “a delightful amuse bouche of smoked vendace, curdled cream with aby rye cracker”. For starters, flyers enjoyed a mustard marinated Baltic herring. For the main event, Shane opted for the local delicacy of Finnish Karelian stew with crushed potatoes. It was outstanding. Options of cheese boards and ice-creams were available, however, the allure of the designer Marimekko slippers (complimentary for the business traveller) and the full lie-flat bed proved too much. Sleeping soundly for a few hours, Shane woke well rested and refreshed, a significant plus and a rare occurrence on long-haul flights.
It is worth noting, given Finnair have a special arrangement with Russian airspace, the journey to Bejing was just seven and a half hours, though this means less time to enjoy the fine dining and drinks onboard!
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