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Weekend in London and Budapest

Weekend in London and Budapest
Weekend in London and Budapest
via British Airways First Class
December 2022

Off to London

DFW_CK and I are off on a quick hall pass trip with a day in London and a day in Budapest… 3 restaurants with a combined 5 Michelin stars. We found a pair of BA First Class award seats to from DFW to London. 

Denver Admirals Club.

Huh?  No idea who leaves shoes in the restroom.

My positioning flight to DFW is in Economy since AA rarely releases domestic F award seats connecting to international First.  Loads of legrooom.

Cute doggies at DFW.

BA and AA international First Class passengers can access the exclusive and very nice Flagship First Dining restaurants at both DFW and MIA. 

Excellent regional menu and some nice wines in elegant surroundings.

Impressive champagne in First Dining.

Excellent warm cornbread.

Yummy Gulf Oysters... chicken fried oysters.

Tasty Texas BBQ Brisket.

Crispy Skin Gulf Snapper.

Flagship Dessert sampler.

For those into Instagram, a couple of videos from today...

Dallas DFW to London LHR
British Airways BA
6:55p-9:40am +1
December 7, 2022
Departed 14/14


We joined the gate lice waiting for boarding to begin.

It's not luxurious like EK or SQ, but BA's A380 First Class is a comfortable cabin.

Showtime, BA style.

Excellent soup.

And very tasty pork despite being a bit dry.

Very nice cheese plate.

And delicious ice cream.

After dinner, I slept for a solid 5 hours.

In the air, this was a pleasant flight.  But once on the ground at Heathrow, not so much.   We waited some 45 minutes for an A380 gate to open.

And then miserable Terminal 5 passport control.

Instagram video of our BA First flight to London.

Lunch at Michelin 1 Star Trishna London

What a treat to return to one of our favorite Indian restaurants in a city with some of the best Indian restaurants in the world.

Amazing Duck Chutney Seekh and Shahi Salmon Tikka...

... with tomato tokku, Kashmiri chilli, shallot, pineapple chutney.

... with royal cumin, dill leaf, smoked raw papaya & samphire chaat

Simply spectacular.  Best salmon ever!!

Fabulous Pepper Chicken Biryani and Vegetable Kofta Curry.

For dessert, Fig and Cardamon Kheer.

After lunch, I headed out to check out the "best hot chocolate in London".

So yummy.

Heading back to the hotel via Picadilly and Regent Street.

Instagram video of our lunch as Trishna

The Connaught Hotel - Mayfair

The Connaught is one of London’s elegant and classic hotels. Located in fashionable Mayfair, it is a perfect base for exploring London’s wonderful restaurants and shopping.


After an afternoon nap, I headed out to check out the Christmas lights especially on Regent Street.

And then back to the hotel...

For pre-dinner drinks in the Conservatory.

Instagram video of The Connaught and Christmas lights of Mayfair.


Dinner at Michelin 3 Star Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

Dinner tonight in London was at Michelin 3 Star restaurant Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, located in our hotel. It’s a gorgeous restaurant with some of the finest service I have ever experienced. What a delight to spend time with the mostly Italian waitstaff. Truly 3 stars. But the food?  Not so much.  My 7 course tasting menu wound up being more like 11 or 12 courses. Food was generally very good, just not amazing and indeed there were some misses tonight. Apparently, I’m not a big venison or raw prawn fan. The wine pairing was outstanding and generous… far better and more generous than the insulting wine pairing at @lebernardinny in New York last month. 

Our amuse bouche platter was really tasty.

Tonight's Taste of Autumn menu...

Torbay Prawn, Peter John II - Devon.   with radishes, finger lime and voatsiperifery pepper.   Way too raw for me.

Jerusalem artichoke.  Benoit Quiviger - Brittany.  Guanciale, Buddha's hand, Kenyan Estate coffee.  Excellent.

The foie gras was fabulous.

Creative butter duo.

Lobster... Phil Trebilock - Cornwall.  Tandoori spices, carrot, citrus, coriander.

Turbot, The Duchess - Cornwall.  Turnip, razor clams, chanterelles, yuku kosbo.   This was actually a mistake serving but quite good.

Scallops with truffle.    Too raw again and even the truffle supplement couldn't save this one

Venison Wellington.  Rhug Estate Farms from North of Wales.  Bispi cabbage, quince, grand veneur sauce.   Meh, not for me.

Desserts were all outstanding.  First was Vanilla Tahiti with corn, banana, mango and lime.  Fabulous.

Now this was a most impressive wine tasting spread at a nearby table. 

Signature Baba.  Wonderful.

Instagram video of our dinner at Hélène Darroze.

BA Economy to Budapest.

This morning we’re off for a day in Budapest, the gorgeous Four Seasons Gresham Palace, Christmas markets and another Michelin star dinner at Borkonyha. European domestic Business Class is a joke with Economy seating and legroom... and an open middle to make you feel better about overpaying for an Economy seat. Since our One World Emerald status got us most of the Business Class perks anyway, like BA First check-in, security, lounge access and priority boarding, we opted to just use some useless Avios and get more leg room in an Exit row.

Yikes on the BA breakfast pancakes.

Exit row Economy, more legroom than in BA's fake Business Class.

Welcome to rainy Budapest.

Instragram video of our BA flight to Budapest,

Four Seasons Gresham Palace Hotel - Budapest

The Four Seasons Gresham Palace is a gorgeous hotel on Danube.  It features a spectacular lobby with stunning glass ceilings and massive beautiful chandelier.

After we checked in, we headed down for lunch at the hotel's Kollasz Brasserie and Grill.

My French Onion soup was excellent.

My Marseille Sea Bass was exceptional.

Later that afternoon, pre-dinner drinks in the beautiful lobby bar.

Instagram video of The Four Seasons Gresham Palace Hotel

Tour of Budapest

The hotel concierge arrange great tour guide for a 3 hour walking tour of the city.


Wonderful Christmas markets...

Instagram video of our walking tour of Budapest.


After a nap back at the hotel, we headed out into the rain for a 5 minute walk to Michelin 1 star Borkonyha.

Michelin 1 Star Borkonyha - Budapest

What a wonderful restaurant featuring fabulous food, excellent Hungarian and outstanding service.

My fois gras was to die for.

Delicious angus beef short rib.

Fabulous sturgeon.

And amazing desserts.

What a wonderful treat to dine at Borkonyha.

My instagram video of our dinner at Borkonyha.


British Airways Club Europe to London

Time to head home after a wonderful but all too short day in London and day in Budapest. Today is the start of a BA mileage run to log my 4 paid BA segments to help me requalify for my BA Gold/One World Emerald status for next year. An 8am flight from an unfamiliar airport means an early taxi from the hotel to give ourselves plenty of time. Unlike British airports, BUD Terminal 2B is a very nice, spacious and well planned terminal. 


After a brief delay for the counters to open at 6am, we headed for the Celebi Platinum Lounge that BA and others use for Business Class passengers. 

DFW_CK clowning around...

Budapest BUD to London LHR
British Airways BA 865
November 10, 2022

Since we were in bulkhead seats, we decided to queue early so we made sure we had overhead space for our bags. Despite the Eurotrash “Business Class” Economy seats, our flight was only 2 hours and service was very good.

The Poached Egg Shakshouka was delicious.

Instagram video of our BA Club Europe to London.

British Airways A380 First Class from London to Chicago

Much better Heathrow experience today as we were fortunate to arrive at the B gates and thereby avoid the disaster that is T5 A gate connecting security. We were to only ones in line for B security and in the Galleries B Business Class Lounge shortly after.

Alcohol free Tanqueray??

London LHR to Chicago ORD
British Airways BA 295
November 10, 2022


From there it was a 10 minute tunnel walk to the C gates and our A380. Pleasant BA First flight today although we departed 90 minutes late as BA and Heathrow don’t have enough de-icing trucks. Excellent all male inflight crew and the best BA meal ever, the wonderful chicken murgh malaiwala.

Yeah, cold Beef Welllington just doesn't work.

But, OMG... best BA meal ever, the wonderful chicken murgh malaiwala.

Instagram video of our BA First flight to Chicago.