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For me, Caviar House & Prunier has redefined the airport food & beverage experience. Every time, and I mean every time, I visit one of the company’s outlets I enjoy the occasion, not only the product but also watching the relaxing effect that the environment has on fellow passengers.
My experience at the company’s Heathrow Terminal 1 Seafood Bar last Saturday was a typical case in point. It was a relatively quiet time of day in the terminal but there were quite a few customers sipping on Champagne or wine, while taking light snacks pre-flight.
Diners can sit on stools at the elegant marble bar and imbibe on some nice new world wines, including Chilean Chardonnay, South African Chenin Blanc, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Argentinian Viognier; plus old world favourites such as Chablis, Muscadet, Sancerre and Pinot Grigio, all available by the glass. If your budget allows you can step up to a bottle of Chassagne Montrachet at £59.
And of course there’s Caviar – all sourced from the company’s own Prunier sturgeon farms in France. One can sample 30g of Malossol for £95 or splash out on £395 worth of exquisite Luxury Minute Saint James caviar (125gm).
There’s something about this place that simply slows you down after all the hassles of getting to the airport and through security.
It’s almost a throw back in time to the golden age of travel, something underlined by Caviar House & Prunier Chairman and CEO Peter Rebeiz in a message to consumers on the menu: “Dear Madam, Dear Sir. Travelling by air is not what it used to be. [It involves] Controls and more controls by suspicious security officers and long queues only to end up removing your shoes, belts, computers and whatever might constitute a security risk.
“Just 20 years ago passenger travel was more relaxed and passenger comfort was a priority. Unfortunately we cannot change the growing frustration and stress that the modern day aviation industry is imposing on us but what we can do is our utmost to ensure that whilst you are in our care at the Seafood Bar, you will get the very best service, the very best selection of products and absolute value for money.
“We want to play our part in making travel wonderful again.” And you know, that’s exactly what they do.
To ensure that’s the case, the note is not only signed by Peter but he even includes his personal e-mail and cell phone number to encourage customer feedback, good, bad or indifferent. What a brave move.
I was in a rush so only had time for a nice glass of Framingham Sauvignon Blanc from Marlbourgh, New Zealand (£5.75 for 125g). But I was given a complimentary portion of salmon on toast by the very friendly staff member Reuben (pictured below) who rounded down, rather than up, my tip. When did that last happen to you?
I headed for my gate and another queue. But for a moment in time at least, travel was indeed wonderful.