British Airways Castel – nau more
All good things must come to an end and sadly it looks like the long line of BA Champagne puns must come to an end. From Mono-poo to Henri -oh no! we have enjoyed them all. However, BA yesterday announced an end to it when they said they were introducing some new Champagnes for First, business class and the lounges. However, our old favourite Castelnau will still be served in Club Europe and the Galleries Club lounges.
From this month onwards BA (who serve more than two million bottles of fizz a year), will now offer:
· Canard-Duchêne Charles VII Champagne
· Champagne Jeeper Brut Grand Rosé
· Gusbourne, English Sparkling Wine
· Lanson Rosé Champagne
Club World Cabin
· Canard-Duchêne Cuvee Léonie Brut Champagne
· Champagne Besserat de Bellefon
Castelnau champagne will continue to be served in the business class Galleries Club Lounges, while most importantly Laurent-Perrier’s Grand Siècle will also still be served in First on board and the Concorde Room.
I am familiar with the Jeeper Rosé which is currently in the Galleries First lounge and the Lanson Rosé which Qatar served until recently. Strangely I actually prefer the Lanson Rosé than the Jeeper. The Canard Duchene for Club is actually the same as they serve on Virgin in Upper Class and I enjoyed it recently when I flew with them. Being not a great fan of the Henriot except the Rosé , this is a welcome change for me. I can only assume then that the First version should be better – it retails at around £35 a bottle. However, I can imagine that Roving Reporter is weeping into his cornflakes this morning seeing that there is no more Rosé champagne in Club as he is a big Rosé fan.
The Besserat Champagne is not one I have tried but it gets 91/100 on Wine Spectator so it should be enjoyable.
My top pick would actually be the Gusbourne English Sparkling wine. Living in the heart of English wine country myself I am a big fan of this style of wine. They tend to be a little lighter in style than a French Champagne but I actually enjoy this for a change. The Gusbourne estate was awarded the IWSC English Wine Producer of the Year in 2013 and their wines retail around £35 which is quite a high price point even for an English wine.
What do you think if the new wines? Have you tried any of them? Let me know in the comments below or on social media.
BA First offers
Until August 6, if you want to fly in style on British Airways’ longest long-haul route, you can buy a pair of First tickets to the Chilean capital Santiago for £5499 return.The flights are available for travel October 2018 to January 2019.
Although you can get better first offers from time to time such as the Cape Town offer, this is pretty good for such as long flight from London as you would often pay close to that in Club. The cheapest First class return I can find without the offer is around £4500 per person.
The five-per-week flight is served by the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with the latest First cabin which has just 8 seats. I will be reviewing this later in the year on my tour of Asia with Roving Reporter to visit the newly reopened Datai in Langkawi.
BA US First from £2265
There are also some good value First offers to the US on an advance purchase deal. These are very limited in availability and only for a limited period but if it suits you it is worth a look to experience First fairly cheaply and get some handy tier points each with 210 each way. You could also try and add in an internal US connection for an extra 40 TP as transfers are all avowed.
The deal is available under the following rules:
- 21-28 November and 18 December to 2 January
- permitted Mon/Tue/Wed on each transatlantic sector outbound
- inbound – permitted Tue/Wed/Thu/Fri on each transatlantic sector
- 90 day advance purchase
- Refundable and cancellable for a fee.
- Transfers allowed
- Saturday night minimum stay
The fares start from:
- New York £2575
- Chicago £2265
- Boston £2475
- Philadelphia £2288
- Nashville £2157
- New Orleans £2549
- Washington £2250
- Orlando £2597
Search for the lowest fares using the BA Low fare finder here.
Tesco Clubcard is a handy way to collect Avios but it is not quick as you have to wait for your quarterly statement to convert them. However, according to Money Saving Expert, they are about to introduce a quick Clubcard “Faster Rewards” scheme from 28 August where you will be able to choose to convert your vouchers online at any time if you have enough in your account. The full details are not known yet but this could be a very handy way to top up your Avios for a purchase quickly.