Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
- Discovering the lure of luxury at Hong Kong Airport and with Le Clos at DXB - November 25, 2022
- Nearing the end of my year of the RAT - November 21, 2022
- Q-rating a sense of wonder in Qatar - November 12, 2022
Some seven months since I last travelled outside London, I am finally back on the road again. It’s a gentle easing back – just the two-hour train ride to Manchester – but it feels both strange and wonderful to step tentatively back into my old life after my illness.
I’m back in a hotel room set up as a temporary bureau, Springsteen playing on my iTunes. Outside my airport hotel (the excellent Radisson Blu) window I can watch the planes coasting to and from the runways.
It’s a world I sometimes feared I never would return to and already I know it’s going to take some time to ease back into things. I am being cautioned from all sides that one can’t just leap back into the fray after such a prolonged medical treatment and for once I may just listen to advice.
I’m here in Manchester for The Moodie Report’s inaugural Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards. It’s being held at an amazing venue – Manchester Airport’s Concorde Conference Centre, where delegates during the conference and at the Gala Dinner will sit under the iconic British Airways Concorde. It is an absolutely spectacular sight.
It’s a pioneering event, designed to put a much-needed spotlight on the blossoming airport F&B sector. I conceived it in 2009 and the event was originally scheduled for September 2010 until my illness intervened and we postponed to this month.
Travelling around the world as much as I have over the past few years, it’s clear that there has been a quiet revolution in airport F&B standards. But for all the innovative, high-quality outlets there are also too many that are frankly substandard, over-priced or which offer poor service.
FAB aims to champion the former and help eradicate the latter. It should be a compelling couple of days. And boy, is it good to be back…