food

Train Tuesday: I skipped the plane and rode the Eurostar train

StuckatTheAirport.com is usually about airports and airplanes.

But a new joint campaign between the London and Paris tourism bureaus and the folks at Eurostar is aimed at reminding travelers that is much easier, much faster and sometimes pretty darn cheap to get between London and Paris on the train.

 

I tried it out this past weekend, starting my journey at the posh St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London, which sits on top of the St. Pancras Railway Station.

That’s conveniently the starting point for boarding the Eurostar to the Gare du Nord train station in central Paris.

If, like me, you’re staying in a certain category of room at the hotel, a hotel employee will escort you directly from the lobby, through the fast track ticket and passport checkpoints and directly to your seat on the train.

The journey from London to Paris on the Eurostar train is then pretty darn quick and easy and takes just 2 hours and 15 minutes, including passage through the Chunnel.  If I had chosen to go to Brussels instead the journey would have taken less than two hours.

On board, Wi-Fi is free, each seat has power and there’s a fold-down table. A cafe car sells snacks and there’s a meal included for those traveling in business premier.

Like airline tickets, fares can vary widely depending on time of year and even time of day, but during low season I’m told it’s possible to get return London-Paris ticket for under $80.

As a bonus: in Paris, even the standard tickets are good after your journey to gain 2-for-1 admission to many museums.

Traveling from city center to city center saves all that time and hasssle going to and from the airports so it does indeed make visiting bost cities a “why not?” option.

My time in Paris is short,  but the Navigator tips offered by the concierge here at the Renaissance Paris Vendome are super helpful in helping me make the most of my time, so I’ll be back later with photos from my touring.

For now – here’s me, my bread and baker/instructor Didier Lavry of Le Pett Mitron and at the end of my Meeting the French bread making class this morning.

#LondonParisNow

(My visit to London and Paris is hosted by Visit London and the Paris Tourist Office, but reports are strictly my opinion.

Airport Restaurant Month is back

It’s back. For the fourth year running, HMSHost is hosting Airport Restaurant Month.

 

Taking a cue from the popular Restaurant Week promotions that take place in many cities this time of year, HMSHost is hosting Airport Restaurant Month at more than 50 North American airports.

Prices and menus may vary a bit in the participating restaurants in airports across the country, but during HMSHost’s Airport Restaurant Month you’ll find a featured seasonal menu:

  • Seared Salmon – topped with basil pesto.
  • Vegetarian Flatbread – topped with basil pesto, goat cheese, tomato compote and sunflower seeds
  • Roasted Chicken Breast – topped with basil pesto and sage chicken jus
  • Better Than Bacon Burger – topped with fontina cheese and bacon-tomato compote
  • Grilled Pesto Shrimp Wrap – baby kale, roasted mushrooms, peppers and asparagus served with mushrooms and asparagus

Each entrée is being served with roasted mushrooms and asparagus, crispy smashed potatoes tossed with baby kale and a serving of fresh fruit.

This year there’s also a special cocktail for Airport Restaurant Month. In most of the participating venues you can order “The Temptation,” which features Templeton Rye whisky with a touch of malbec, lemon, and maple syrup – all topped with grapes. (Here’s the recipe, so you can mix this drink up at home.)

Go. Eat. Food in airports is getting better.

Snack Saturday – grains and gifts

It’s Snack Saturday – our occasional feature about neat treats you can find at airports around the country.

As we head into the Thanksgiving season, I’m happy to learn that at OTG’s CIBO Gourmet Express Markets in airports you can now purchase single-serving containers of hot cereals from The Soulfull Project, a Campbell’s off-shoot that operates with the buy one-we’ll donate one business model.

In this case, they donate hot cereal to local food banks.

The company’s multi-grain hot cereal cups are easy to carry and come in four varieties – Cinnamon Spice, Blueberry Almond, Brown Sugar Pecan and Tart Cherry (my fave so far)  – are non-GMO, low in sugar and made with natural ingredients such as steel cut oats, rye, quinoa, flax and chia.

To cook: just add hot water and let sit (like those less healthy ramen cups).

Price: just a few dollars to eat well and do good.

 

Snoballs and a 747 at San Francisco Int’l Airport

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By rights, I should save these for Souvenir Sunday, when this blog – StuckatTheAirport – features neat treats you can buy at airports.

But I’m not so sure about where to categorize these

I found them for sale in a shop at San Francisco International Airport on my way to United’s 747 Farewell flight.

The shop I passed lured me in  – and kept me looking – with all manner of true locally-made gourmet treats, including coffee and chocolate.

Then I found these “old fashioned” Hostess Snoballs and Twinkies.

I almost bought them to put on a shelf somewhere and test that “never goes bad” rumour, but passed.

But I didn’t go home souvenir-less.

When I boarded Flight 747 for United Airline’s farewell flight for its final 747 I found this on my seat, filled with some other “old” food (Pop Rocks, for one..) and a few other back-to-the-70s souvenirs.

 

 

Art of Food exhibit at MSP Int’l Airport

MSP_Art of Food_NowShowing Poster

A new exhibit at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport is all about the foods and branded edible items that hail from Minnesota and show up on plates around the world.

MSP_DoughboyPersonality1970

Some of the Minnesota-based brands in the exhibit include General Mills Inc.
Land O Lakes Inc, Hormel Foods, RyKrisp and Summit Brewing Company and, in addition to food items, the exhibit includes reels of vintage commercials and their familiar jingles.

The exhibit opened at the end of April and will run through November 15, 2016 in the art gallery near Gate 12.

So far, “the response has been amazing,” said Robyne Robinson, Arts & Culture Director of the MSP Airport Foundation, “It strikes a chord with travelers – They burst into the Spam song from the 1970’s Monty Python sketch, or playfully spar over which cereal was best – Cheerios or Lucky Charms.”

MSP food bottles

msp food guy snap

Photos courtesy MSP Airport and and the Minnesota Historical Society