A GREAT VILLAGE PUB GOOD BEER AND FOOD

I hadn’t  been in The Country House Inn for around 4r0 years. I am glad that I did.

On a trip back to Exmouth we decided to look in at this old village pub. It was a pub transformed, terrific bar, be sure to come Sunday Lunch time for the weekly raffle for meats and drinks, there is always plenty of prizes and good quality as well . They do keep a great selection of beers, ciders, sprits and liquors.
The other very beautiful additions were the dining area and garden with stream and children’s area. The menu gives an extensive choice of home cooked meals, the Sunday roast is a definite winner. The pub is well run and managed by Josh Pigeon ably assisted by the lovely Natasha Salter. Josh is the ideal mine host, he makes sure that his customers get really good service, with the beer kept in cask condition. If your in the Exmouth area do try this brilliant pub you will be pleased that you did,
I am looking forward to returning very soon. Thanks Josh you owe me one from last trip.

The Country House Inn 174-176 Withycombe Village Road. Exmouth. Devon phone 01395 741 172  and

www. countryhouseinnexmouth.com

Advertisements

UKRAINE INTERNATIONAL AIRLINE

UKRAINE INTERNATIONAL AIRLINE

INAUGURAL FLIGHT TO JFK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT NEW YORK

25TH APRIL 2014 

I was delighted to be onboard this historic first flight for Ukraine International Airline on 25th April 2014. It was made even better by the fact that my beautiful wife came with me to NYC her first long haul flight and of course a first trip to NYC on our favorite friend in the skies UIA.

Check in was smooth and friendly by the ground staff, I met the captain of our flight at the same time. Quickly through check-in, through some congestion in security they need to open up more lanes during morning rush hour in my opinion. I think security is further set back by the person who sends your personal effects through the scanner takes it upon himself to browse through other pages in your passport.

Went to UIA dedicated lounge much bigger, much better than before and very pleased to see they do announce departure times and notice to board.

Boarding was at gate 11 the furthest away from lounges and security need to allow good 10 minutes to arrive at the gate in time. A great send off from President Yuri Miroshnikov, Executive VP Commercial Sergey Fomenko, Corporate Press chief Jane Satska, with UIA Station Manager Michael Senschuk present with TV and press. I was of course very pleased to publicly support UIA on TV and, to express my pleasure of being on the first flight, after all UIA is the best, flying with the best flight attendant’s in the air, professional, a genuine warmth, and welcome, with that natural smile that is inherent in Ukrainian ladies and men who fly with UIA. Service is great and very professional. I always receive a very special welcome on board; I miss this if I am not in the air with UIA very frequently, you know Ukrainian hospitality starts when you fly with UIA even before you are in Ukraine.

Our fabulous Captain and Cabin crew

???????????????????????????????Captain

 

???????????????????????????????Cabin Crew

We were flying on the brand new 767/300ER one of my favorite aircraft, a very nice flying experience.

On board we were seated in the business section of 12 seats comfortable, lots of leg room 57 inches of seat pitch and comparable to Emirates airbus 340 500 that I just has flown with and, with United Airlines Business Class on their 767/300. The seats do give the opportunity to get a good sleep.

???????????????????????????????Spacious Business class cabin cool and relaxing

2014425113541Lots of space can’t touch seat in front.

 The new blue soft blankets with UIA logo are very attractive and comfortable.

2014618120046

 

2014618120310Business class amenity kit.

UIA new venture to fly long haul competing against bigger carriers who have no restrictions on costs, was a big task. UIA have accomplished this with excellent service. Their business class service is comparable with most business class and even with some airlines first class.  I also sat in the premium economy seats with 36/37 inches of seat pitch; they are the equivalent of the Business class seat on the short haul UIA European flights, excellent value, comfortable, good service, good menu, with great amenity kit and separate cabin. It’s a great way to fly to New York.

Immediately I got to my seat I was offered a drink of champagne very nice it was too, just the way to relax and start a long flight.

The menu on board is extensive with a great selection of drinks from sparkling, red and white wines, good selection of spirits and liqueurs, with beer, non-alcoholic drinks, selection of tea, coffee.

Разное 692

The Printed Presentation Menu started with an aperitif and salted peanuts.

Lunch was offered and served tastefully arranged from a trolley:

Salad: A delicious and colorful salad with cucumbers, sweet peppers, green salad, served with dressing/

Starter: A choice of Shrimp Tartar on a Beetroot and Horseradish mash served with fresh cabbage, Frisee Lettuce and Dill, I had this dish it looked and tasted as good as it looked.

The second choice was the Spicy Chicken Fillet, with fried White Eggplants, Fresh Tomatoes dressed with pine nut sauce and topped with Rosemary and parsley.

2014425122716Elegant Trolley Service.

???????????????????????????????Salad and Starters.

Main Courses:

Beef Medallion in Café de Paris Sauce with Potatoes Gratin , Asparagus Beans and roasted carrots.

This was my choice; the beef was cooked to perfection.

2nd choice Fillet of Escolar baked in papillote with vegetables, potatoes, carrots, celery and lemon, decorated with dill

From the Breadbasket a selection of freshly baked rolls

???????????????????????????????Beef perfectly prepared.

 

???????????????????????????????Baked Fillet of Escolar Papillote

Desert: Esterhazy Cake with fresh Strawberries just delicious.

???????????????????????????????2nd Choice Chocolate Praline soufflé with chocolate dressing. Praline Souffle

Followed by fresh fruit and assorted cheese and nuts.

 On the UIA Inflight entertainment there was a fine selection of films all easily selected with you own controls right at you seat and on your personal screen. Music selection was great for me.

I personally was so enjoying the flight I didn’t watch movies or listen to music however; the headsets were of the most comfortable kind to easily adjust to your fitting. I enjoyed the flight information and  the showing in real time of the flights progress on the big screen as well as personal screens, very informative.

 There was a dinner service before arrival into JFK. Dinner again served in a very elegant way from the trolley,

???????????????????????????????Sergey a man happy with his work.

Salad, Vegetable Salad with cherry tomatoes, grilled artichoke and a green mix.

Starter. Roast Beef with cherry tomatoes, green mix and a wasabi cream sauce

Main Course. Roasted Halibut with tomato risotto and sautéed spinach my choice cooked just the way it should be.

2ndChoice. Chicken Skewers with peppers and mushroom pancakes, served with vegetable ratatouille

Bread basket with selection of freshly baked rolls

Desert. Tiramisu

I flew back to Kiev with the same excellent crew that I came with this time I was accompanied by my dear friend Mr. Tom Stuker he is the most travelled man in the world on United Airline he has flown with then 13 million miles nearly 20 million kilometers, he has a titanium frequent flyer card and has a Boeing named after him on the United fleet. I was very keen to show him the delights of Kiev and the beauty of flying with Ukraine International Airlines.

We checked in at terminal 7 at JFK UIA is not yet listed on the sky train stops. Terminal 7 is the United Airlines , British Airways Terminal, check in was with the British Airways ground staff. It is important to be early for your check-in as the security checks were still busy even for a 00.30 flight time. The BA business lounge is spacious and close to the departure gates. I was asked several times if I was getting on the wrong airline, as BA were used to me for may years checking in for the Concorde service to London. I assured them that I was totally with the correct airline; they said you must know something we don’t. I answered yes its UIA try them you will enjoy

2014430012227On screen the route map showing Massachusetts Turnpike Route 90 as we flew over very impressive.

???????????????????????????????

Tom Stuker in the Business Class seats from JFK plenty of leg room.

2014430071716 Nicely contoured seat giving great back support for long flights.

???????????????????????????????From menu JFK to BSP colorful and fresh salad with Prawn Starter.

 

???????????????????????????????Beef Tenderloin with Beans Pepper and Sautéed Potatoes.

 

2014430080206Delicious Cheesecake to finish

 

2014430075600or Chocolate delights.

 

 

???????????????????????????????

My friend Ton Stuker who is used to only first class with United was delighted to say how much he enjoyed our flight and service at the press conference at Kiev Barispol Airport on arrival, how efficient and quick everything worked at Barispol from immigration to clearing customs.

I have to say that UIA service to JFK New York was one of the most enjoyable flight experiences I have had for many years, ever since Concorde stopped flying. The superb attention and care from the crew took me back to the heyday of flying with the greatest airline of its time PanAm.

Well done UIA you do certainly fly above the rest.

Here are some comments from my log book that do say a  lot for the Crews of UIA

Разное 680Разное 688Разное 687

 

 

 

 

RETURN TO OPERA HOTEL KIEV

OPERA HOTEL

Its spring time this means terrace dining what a joy.

With Colorful, crisp, delicious Feta Salad followed by Yogurt Ice Cream

20146061346272014606143822

 Return again to my favorite hotel in Kiev. I have been travelling for many weeks and stayed in many hotels, however its always just so very good to be back here at the Opera Hotel where the welcome starts the minute the car arrives and, the doorman says welcome back Mr. Finn and that carries over with such a genuine Opera Hotel Welcome including the concierge and reception, it really does feel like home from home. This is why this is the best hotel in Kiev in my opinion

Here I am at check-in, everything always ready all I have to do is sign my name and I’m on the way to the room the bags have gone already, from arrival to room about 5 minutes.
from breakfast at opera hotel to limo, checkin and flight 014

Fred Tom Stuker and Stefan Masche at Opera Hotel
I was travelling on this occasion with my great friend and fellow traveler Mr. Tom Stoker the most travelled person in the world on United Airlines, he travelled so far with them his frequent flyer card is Titanium and they named a plane after him.

This was Tom’s first trip to Kiev he had decided to follow my advice and stay at the Opera Hotel with me.

Tom wasn’t disappointed he told me his dinner in Teatro was one of the best meals he had ever had. Tom says he will be back.

We had a celebration of my birthday and the super chefs Emmanuel Soares and Eric Testa made this amazing cake, very tasty it was as well thank you so much and, to David Mohren for arranging such a nice surprise for me. It was greatly appreciated

birthday cake june 2014

 from breakfast at opera hotel to limo, checkin and flight 004

Dinner in Teatro Restaurant one of the best restaurants in Kiev noted for the accents on its Provence style flavorful menus, with its intimate seating and relaxing ambience  is always superb, this occasion proved to be no different. I decided on the Rib Eye Steak as you can see it was simple perfect

OPERA HOTEL Rib Eye 

Then follow this with the Ice Cream what a taste treat

 Too good for words .

ice crean 

The Terrace Restaurant mentioned above is great for spring and summer dining and people watching.  The same full menu of tasty cafe-style fare and drinks that are served in the Bellini Bar and Lobby Lounge are served throughout the day and evening at the Terrace restaurant.

The rooms are elegant in every way, from high ceilings, comfortable lighting, soft natural colors and deep armchairs and settees, all with high speed internet and fully fitted bathrooms with that luxurious under floor heating that is so welcoming . The beds at the Opera Hotel are really, really comfortable, the Pillows are the very best anywhere. My room had the very spacious balcony with good street views.

DSC07225

The Opera Hotel still runs a shoe shine service which I find very useful.

I will be back to opera hotel my friends are coming to stay as well.

This hotel is tops

 

 

MARRIOT MUNICH HOTEL

                                                                                                  MARRIOT MUNICH HOTEL
I Arrived at the Marriot Munich Hotel at around 2330. I was met at the reception by an entirely friendly and professional member of staff, check in was efficient and one of the best first time arrival and check-in of any hotel that I have stayed in to date, this warm welcome set the tone for the rest of my stay.
Being the world most travelled person I am always asked where I go and why and where I stay and why I use a certain hotel..
I do a large amount of research when going to stay in a new hotel that’s new to me. I visit that hotel in the destination that I have carefully chosen. I never recommend any hotel, Travel Company that I have not used. I have never been paid for my recommendation or endorsement of any hotel.
The Marriot Munich Hotel is the essence of professionalism.
The hotel is a very happy environment, the staff are great, they all seem to speak English very well, they offer to help and ask is there anything they can do for you, without being asked, that goes from the reception, the restaurant staff, housekeeping and, the chefs who are around for all to see and speak to. The staffs here are brilliant this of course is not by accident it starts from the very top of the tree with the General Manager Mr. Erich Zuri a fine gentleman of international repute the epitome of the hotelier that makes the sort of hotel that we would all like to stay in in the future.

???????????????????????????????

Eric Zuri GM and Fred
Marriot are running a travel brilliantly program throughout the company and it is surely working well in conjunction with good management.
I can safely say that without recourse that the Munich Marriot has charm quality and comfort, my room with a great view on the 7th floor with a day room which was great when my daughter visited there was room to put an extra bed there for her.
It’s no good me saying all the good things about this hotel without giving a view on the food and restaurants.
The breakfast buffet has something to suit everyone’s taste. Fresh fruit a terrific selection, freshly cooked eggs to your taste, bacon sausages, cold meats and cheeses, a variety of freshly baked breads, fresh juices, brilliant. I got my eggs sunny side up perfectly cooked., It all worked like a well-oiled Swiss watch, with many people coming for breakfast around the same times, there was nevermore than a few minutes to wait for your order.

Eggs sunny side up

Eggs Sunny side up to perfection with Hash Browns

The breakfast chefs
Here are the chefs that made it so great

For Lunch there is the lounge in reception very comfortable and good for meeting as you can see everyone coming into the hotel menu is from champions bar.
I had dinner in the Steakhouse grill 93 It is the more formal restaurant for fine dining with an International menu and flair.
I was recommended to try the steaks and was glad I did they are succulent and taste even better with the smoked pepper a real taste treat to bring out the best in the salsa and steaks.
Service here is as befits an international dining experience; the maître de there is a real gem, knows his menus and is extremely helpful. In case you many want to know what is

???????????????????????????????

An amazing Starter. Followed by:

???????????????????????????????

A succulent steak with accoutrements to match

Grill 93

available before you arrive here is the menu for you

It would be remiss of me not to mention the Food and beverage manager Manuel Falk he is so very anxious to please his guests know what he is talking about, has a great relationship with his staff and his guests, nothing is too much trouble for Manuel. I mentioned about how good the Smoked Pepper was and to my surprise there was a gift from the hotel to take away. This thoughtfulness towards guests is what makes this hotel stand out.

???????????????????????????????

I had some drinks in the Champions bar just like a local pub. I had a great time with the staff, they were so friendly, we had dinner there one evening, they had live music this particular evening we had great fun. The steak dinner with dumplings I had was done to perfection and their Key Lime Pie is to die for.

???????????????????????????????

Steak with Dumplings and Mushroom Sauce .
Here is the food menu something for everyone in and informal atmosphere with ambience to please.

champions Bar drinks 001champions bar food 001

And we have the drinks menu again a massive selection and they bar staff will make you any cocktail you desire.
The Champions Restaurant is a place for friendly informal days and evenings.
I met in my days the executive housekeeper Tobias Halama, Nicole Sturm Director of Room Operations. I believe Nicole has had a well earned promotion I wish her well in her new position and finally to Christine of Public Relations, all of these people I met in walking around the hotel. I have to say that even top people in the hotel are asking guests if they are ok and is there anything they need, including me.
This is a wonderful Hotel I have been privileged to stay with you. To my readers I am sure you will have the same enjoyable stay that I have. I will be back.

2014307121740

Even check-in for younger guests
Best wishes and well done

The Marriot Munich Hotel near Marienplatz is conveniently close to the city center and subway, just 18 miles from Airport With Jaguar Taxis wow.