TUESDAY 08 MARCH 2011 • A TRAIN JOURNEY TO THE LAKE DISTRICT
A train journey, with great service...
Last Friday, I took a Virgin Trains train to the Lake District. I was appearing at the magical sounding event - Words by the Water. The very name sounded so poetic and picturesque that I was tempted to travel to be part of this literary festival. The festival's president is Melvyn Bragg. I was there to meet people, to talk about my book and to sign many of them. It was a most enjoyable evening in the most wonderful surroundings.
My journey was quite a long one, so I needed some sustenance! Look at the size of this sandwich:
It was huge - no way could I take on this double decker! I am only a little Frenchman after all! So, let's spit it in half:
Ah, that's better! But how good did it taste?
Actually to be fair, I must tell you that the sandwich was OK. I could see there was real effort in the sourcing of the cheese, by using an award-winning Cheddar cheese, it was cut thick – a bit young but still good. The fig chutney provided a sharp contrast and the malted brown bread was exactly what it said - factory produced bread - but at least I was offered a choice of white or brown.
The service was friendly and helpful, the loos worked, and there were only a few minutes of delay half way to my destination. I am not kidding - all of the elements of great service are there - friendliness, care, empathy and a true smile ... then, you can get away with murder (I am kidding!).
Thank to the Virgin team who made our travel more than pleasant. Richard Branson should be proud of you!
So life is good.
Oh, one little question. Why is travelling by train on the continent half the price than travelling in the UK?
PS Please tell me what you think of my blogs and my website: I want to hear from you!
Raymond Blanc's new book, Kitchen Secrets, featuring recipes from Kitchen Secrets Series 1 & 2 and many more, was published by Bloomsbury on 14 February and is available to buy from Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Brasserie Blanc, Maison Blanc, online and from bookstores.
Watch Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets on BBC2, Mondays at 8.30pm.
Follow Raymond Blanc on Twitter
Contact Raymond via the Contact page of the website
Read RB's Le Blog for the catering profession on the Caterer website, by clicking here