It's not fancy, it's not big and it's not clever, but the scrag end is delicious. For simple, honest opinions on restaurants, recipes, supper clubs and what not, you've come to the right place.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Thomson Airways, 30,000 ft above Northern Europe

Take a close look at that picture. Go on, take a real good look. Note especially the shapes, the surfaces. Imagine the texture of those items. There’s that rubbery egg, bouncy and hard; the mushy tomato, compounding its lack of flavour with a lack of body; slab-like bubble and squeak; and most evilly of all, that pasty, textureless, shiny sausage. 

How do airlines do it? How do they manage to make food so preternaturally awful? How do Thomson get away with charging £6 per meal for something that you wouldn’t give to a lion that would eat you if you didn’t, for fear of insulting the king of the jungle?

For the record, this ‘breakfast’ tasted worse than it looks. Or rather, the bits that tasted of anything at all tasted worse than they look. Mercifully, the egg and sausage, beyond a vague salty aura, tasted precisely of nothing. The tomatoes, by way of contrast, were somehow synthetic, recalling cheap service station ketchup more than anything else. But even that’s not quite right; in truth, they tasted wholly, almost proudly, of themselves. It’s not a good taste, I assure you. Bubble and squeak at least had a faint whiff of something vegetable about it - very faint, though. Flaccid fruit and a cup of orange juice were better, but not by much.

Thankfully, we had also booked a meal for our return flight, so I was able to sample the delights of dinner too. A pasta salad tasted like sculpted wallpaper paste. More sausages were awful. Onion gravy was pretty bad. Leek mash was pointless and dry. Oddly, and brilliantly, all this was accompanied by some absolutely delicious peas, of the sort you find in France, sweet and moreish. A bread roll made me feel sick. And I couldn’t bear the thought of trying dessert.

That this dinner came unaccompanied by any drink apart from tea/coffee seemed a little stingy, but I suppose when you’re charging for drinks, it makes sense to only give away stuff that makes people thirsty.

Thomson Airlines meals should not be eaten by anyone, ever. To endure one is akin to having your hand slowly crushed in a vice; eating two is for the most hardcore of masochists. Absolutely revolting.

Phil Letts’ take: 1/10 (for the peas)

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