As I write this, the seat belt sign comes on. There goes my ‘smooth as Royal Silk’ line. The turbulence is pretty bad.
I digress. Having kissed the love of my life goodbye at Paddington Station, it was time for my very first Thai adventure. The airline of choice was Thai Airways, and after a super speedy check-in and clearing security, I treated myself to breakfast in Heathrow’s Terminal 2 before the gate opened.
Before I knew it my gate was called and after a five minute stroll, I first saw the sleek plane that would take me quite literally half way around the world, all in one go, without the stress and hassle of a connection somewhere in the Middle Eastern desert.
I’d seen various airbuses before, but up close, the A380 – our monster – was something else. It’s indicative of the sheer volume of traffic between London and Bangkok that a flying bus would be needed to ferry business travellers, backpackers and holiday goers across the globe.
Being a huge fan of Virgin Atlantic’s economy offering, I started to wonder what standard service would be like as our group began to board. But then something magical happened. I greeted the attendant who took my boarding pass, pulled that confused face that you make when you press the wrong key on a computer, and looked from my boarding card, to me, then back again.
And then it happened.
‘Sir it looks like you have been upgraded on your flight today!’
What beautiful words. I didn’t have to turn right when I boarded. Oh no. It was up the stairs, past the first class seats and into Thai Airways’ version of business class – Royal Silk.
I was greeted with a glass of champagne (naturally) a warm towel and an even warmer smile from our cabin crew, and shown to my seat. Two huge storage compartments underneath the windows, oodles of legroom, a table to my left and some rather nifty control buttons for my seat-no-wait-my-bed to hand.
From what I gather, that’s sort of Thailand in a nutshell – total hospitality and everything with a smile. And Thai Airways reflects their nation perfectly. Comfort in all the right areas mixed with a dash of sophistication and relaxation in others. Not to mention the food. OH THE FOOD.
Lunch was Tom Ka Gai – chicken breast, kaffir lime leaves in coconut galangal soup, served with steamed rice and mushrooms. It was divine. All it served was to whet the appetite of what is to come over the next ten days. And I cannot wait.
It’s 11pm local (Thai) time, and it’s time for a Drambuie and or Cognac to ease me into my sleeping trousers. Sorry did I mention I have a bed? Yes. This Royal Silk has a bed.
Now where’s that nightcap?