Whilst these are very scary and unsettling times, I thought it would be good to have a light-hearted, mainly very silly and tongue in cheek attempt to look at how you can recreate going away from your living room. We are all grounded for quite a while now, most of us at home for much of the time. I’m sure we will start to get itchy feet shortly, so here’s how to have the full business/first class holiday experience from your own home.
The lounge experience
Designate an area of your house as the airport lounge complete with grumpy/bored lounge dragon (i.e. your partner) to scowl at your boarding pass as you attempt to enter. Next, you need to turn the thermostat up, way up to get that lovely “tropical” oh my god, why is it so hot in here feeling. Then put out some mediocre wines, of course, champagne – but they must be lukewarm if you want to stay authentic! Then you need a few cling film wrapped sandwiches with dubious looking fillings. Add in some random spirits plus packets of crisps and you have the full “third party” lounge experience.
If you want to go more upmarket à la Cathay lounge, put a nice chair near the window – that can be your designated throne seat. Throw on some random bags or luggage plus a coat, so no one can actually sit there. Rustle up some dan-dan noodles with some of the 20 packets of long-life noodles that you bought in a panic buying session and some peanut butter, to feel like you are in the Cathay lounge at T3!
Onboard the plane in First or business class
Start the experience with a warm flannel to wipe your hands and a nice cold glass of Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle. Watch a few of your favourite fun safety videos or demonstrations such as this one
or perhaps one of the old favourites like “blow boy”
or the BA comic relief ones we all moaned about but now probably will miss for a while:
Have some more fizz with the packet of nuts leftover from Christmas which you have warmed in the microwave. Or if you want to make something a bit more first class, why not try this recipe for caramelized nuts to go with your deliciously chilled glass of bubbles. If you want to have more of a short haul business class experience, you could go for a bloody mary or G&T with a tiny packet of nuts.
In times of trouble, perhaps you want to spoil yourself with the full-on Emirates Caviar experience? London Caviar is still delivering, so even if you can’t get pasta or loo roll, there’s always caviar! Thanks to my friend Michael at Travel Zork who is a big caviar fan, you can use this link to 15% off your first order.
Whilst eating your meal, watch a recently released film you have been meaning to catch up on and completely ignore your travel companion. Extra points if you wear headphones and shout at your partner during the best bits.
To eat, may I recommend the overcooked steak served with a bowl of unidentifiable vegetables that actually taste quite nice. Or is that because you are recreating the First class experience by working your way through a selection of white, red and dessert wines? And now everything tastes really delicious! If you are more of a Qatar fan you can create its famous mezze with some hummus, tabbouleh and vine leaves. Toast some pita bread for dipping, pile those bowls high with the mezze topped with a wedge of lemon and it’s like you are in your QSuite happy place!
To finish off crack open the box of chocolates or a selection of Cadburys minibars for a Club World feel. Not forgetting a glass of Baileys or your favourite liqueur with a cup of lukewarm coffee.
After all that you may need a bit of a nap, so why not soothe yourself to sleep with some background aircraft jet noise from one of the ambient noise apps or this YouTube video.
The hotel experience
Order room service for breakfast
Roving Reporter may have been known to order room service breakfast from his husband via his mobile phone! Why not take it turns to be on room service duty and bring your loved one breakfast in bed like a hotel. Or set up a tea and coffee station in the bedroom for a quick cuppa in bed like a hotel room. You can use a flask or a Chilly’s flask for milk which keeps it cold for 24 hours.
The room – transform your bedroom
I have renovated my bedroom at home to look a bit like one of my favourite hotels, The Sanchaya. Get some great quality high thread count sheets, (mine are from The White Company) and some new fluffy white towels for the bathroom to make your room a haven. I’m sure you have a secret stash or miniature toiletries from your favourite hotel, so why not put them out and start using them! Just the smell alone can bring back lovely memories.
Many hotels sell their pillows, beds, signature scents and more online so you can recreate it all at home.
The restaurant experience
Why not try and recreate a favourite meal from somewhere you have visited. There are so many recipes online you can find the details on how to cook pretty much anything – that’s assuming you can actually get hold of the ingredients of course but hopefully, that will calm down in a week or so. Also, it is often easier to find ingredients in specialist supermarkets and online stores rather than the more usual basics. Why not plan a full-on country experience with some regional wine, beer or local spirits too.
For example –
- Thailand – fish cakes, red duck curry with lychees and a few cold Changi or Singha beers.
- Malaysia/Indonesia/Singapore – satay, Beef Rendang and a Tiger Beer or Singapore Sling
- Hong Kong Dim sum (many supermarkets do a good frozen range), sweet and sour pork and Tsingtao beer
- Spain – a selection of tapas such as patatas bravas with aioli, cooked chorizo, padron peppers and tortilla (you can buy ready-made) and a bottle of Rioja
- South Africa – piri piri chicken livers, steak and a Dom Pedro. If you have never had one it’s like an alcoholic version of a McDonald’s vanilla milkshake. I would have a bottle of one of my favourite South African reds, a Meerlust Rubicon.
- America – buffalo wings, bbq ribs, coleslaw, banana cream pie and a good California red. (I’m a fan of the Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot)
If you are missing the hotel spa, you can recreate the hot tub with one of the cheap blow up spas like this one from B&Q for £297. It’s not the prettiest but its a quick and cheap solution that can be taken down easily.
How would you recreate your favourite bits of travelling at home? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.