Chutneys Restaurant – Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Exit the Hilton PJ, cross the road, turn left and then turn right; you will find Chutneys on the right.

Chutneys is an Indian restaurant which didn’t seem to be very busy.  I have no idea why as the food is exceptionally tasty.

I visited Chutneys a couple of times during my trip to Malaysia, primarily as it was really easy to reach from the hotel.  The first of my visits were with a colleague.

We ordered two beers and were given 2 glasses of Tiger (MYR 12.90); these came from a can but hey – I am not that fussy.  The beer was cold.  The menu here is fairly succinct, but sometimes I think that its better to cook a few dished really well, than to cool many dishes not so well.
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Emirates Business Class Lounge, Dubai

I had arrived into Dubai just after 1:00am and by the time I had made it to the Emirates Business class Lounge it was almost 2:00am.  Time of course, is a very funny thing when travelling and the Lounge was certainly not quiet.

I should add that this review relates to the main Emirates Business class Lounge (the enormous one).  I understand there is a smaller lounge by one of the gates (will look out next time and report back!)

Anyway – first things first; this lounge is enormous.  When I arrived at 2:00am there were 6 members of staff checking tickets.  This is a big lounge.  This is also a very busy lounge around the clock.
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Newcastle Aviator Lounge, UK

I was flying Emirates to Dubai and then on to Kuala Lumpur.  My trip had started with a car pick up and a three our drive to Newcastle.  I was looking forward to a drink, albeit a soft drink.

The Aviator lounge is a lot like a Servisair lounge – indeed it may well be; I’m not sure.

Lounge was much larger than I had expected for a regional airport but that is a good thing.

There was a usual selection of drinks; wine, spirits, beer (alas no Peroni), juice, etc.  Champagne was extra and I didn’t see anything notable in the Whisky department.

Standard crisps, crackers and cheese to eat.  Coffee was pretty good.

Some ladies from the nerby beauty parlour arrived and offered the ladies a ‘goodie’ bag and a complimentary manicure.  I thought this was a nice touch.

A very short entry for a very standard venue.  Still beats paying for it outside the lounge though.

Click here to learn more about Priority Pass (for frequent Lounge users)

Click here to purchase one-time access (for occasional Lounge users)

EK0036 – Newcastle to Dubai (Business Class)

My complimentary chauffeur car had picked me up on time and so I arrived at the airport with around 2 hours to spare.  I caught up on some work in the unremarkable (but perfectly functional) Aviator Lounge.

I was clock-watching for a while and eventually gave up and went to the gate which was about 10 minutes away.

My ticket was checked and I was directed into my boarding area which seemed to be made up of passengers travelling in Business Class, the elderly and the immobile.  It later turned out that elite members of Emirates frequent flyer program Skywards were also here.

Time passed slowly and we hadn’t even started boarding by the time we were meant to take off.  No announcement was made and nobody asked.

Eventually, they sneakily let the ‘old dears’ on first and then announced boarding for Business and elites.  Off I went.
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Hoodies, Jeans and a Beard

I got off the airport bus and paused for a brief moment, wondering how I had got there. My account on Openflights.org tells me this was the 176th time I had used Edinburgh airport; usually at 3:46 in the morning (the extra minutes asleep is important at that time of the day) on the way to a client site somewhere. This time it was different; I had booked an off-peak flight in the evening and was dressed much more comfortably in jeans and a Gap hoody with a few days’ worth of beard growth.

I wandered through to departures and managed a brief smile at the new holographic lady they had installed. While waiting in the queue, my smile faded pretty quickly as I realised she only had two minutes worth of advice to give…and then started again.
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Three Horseshoes Restaurant – Breedon, UK

I had been staying at the-almost-nearby Hilton East Midlands Airport with a few colleagues for almost three weeks. We were moaning about being really fed up of the same hotel food when someone in the office told us to try the Three Horseshoes.

Breedon-on-the-hill is a quaint little village about five miles from East Midlands Airport. I reckon it’s no more than 15 minutes off the M1.

We arrived into Breedon around 6pm on a Wednesday and found The Three Horseshoes just off the main road – it was busier than expected but there was still ample space in the free car park.
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WW51 – EMA – EDI

This must be the worst domestic flight in the UK. Seriously.

If you are thinking of getting this flight for a weekend in Edinburgh – don’t bother. Half the weekend will be gone before you get there.

I had the misfortune of working in the East Midlands for four weeks recently. I booked the sister flight to this on the Sunday night and booked this flight to get me home again on the Friday.

Out of 4 weeks this flight arrived on time only once. The remaining three flights arrived between three and four hours later than they should have.
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No One Lounge by gate 16 London Stansted Airport, UK

I like No.1 lounges. I like them more than I like Servisair lounges because they have a hot food menu. And hot food must be better than crackers and cheese…

Stansted is a bit tricky as far as exec lounges go. There is a main terminal at her along with two satellite terminals which are connected by a monorail. The monorail is however, only one way – once you get on; the only way you can get off is at one of the satellite terminals.  The only way back is in an official rescue vehicle.  They say this can cost you some cash but I doubt they have ever made anyone sober cough up.
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Hilton London Metropole Hotel – London, UK

The Hilton London Met is a huge hotel.  I mean really huge.  This is a big hotel for international conferences from everything to defence (yes, guns) through to sex toys.  It is also a big group hotel with a large number of school parties.

This is definitely not the hotel to visit if you are looking for individual attention and service – it’s simply too big.  The hotel is located pretty close to Paddington and is handy for the Heathrow Express if, like me, you can’t afford the Hilton London Paddington (£200 plus per night).  The London Met is a 15 minute walk from Paddington station (or less than £5 in a cab).  The nearest tune is Edgware Road which is a five minute walk from the hotel.
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Benihaha – London, UK

I was looking forward to being taken out for Teppanyaki by a new client.  I had been to Sen Nin in Islington a few times before and had really enjoyed it.

Benihana at Piccadilly is a few minutes’ straight walk from Piccadilly Circus.  It was a Wednesday night and we didn’t expect it to be all that busy.  Of course I had forgotten this was central London and the restaurant seemed almost full on arrival.

Luckily we had booked, however we had arrived about 20 minutes early.  We were invited to have a drink in the bar.  We took the four remaining bar stools and waited for a barman to become free.  We waited and waited and then waited some more.  There were two staff serving behind the bar and they kept looking at us and then looking away; we weren’t even acknowledged.
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