Food & legroom on LOT business class flights to (& from) Warsaw

I’m definitely a slave to my Bmi Amex, the main reason being that I can get regular ‘free’ (ie, pay tax only) flights to Poland, especially at busy peak periods when all flights have sold out!

And such was the case this Christmas. When most normal Poles had booked they flights back home by August, I waited til end of October (living life on the edge). Luckily, my Bmi airmiles came in useful and since only business class flights were left, I had to succumb to the large seats and full meal … and of course spend all of my 9000 air miles 🙂

So, business class with LOT to Warsaw is a lot shorter than enjoy the luxury across the Atlantic, but still so worth it!

So, you of course get your own check in. I chose seat 2A, not to be greedy (was allocated 1A), and it worked out well as had my seat free whereas in 1A I would have had a neighbour next to me.

You then get a offered a drink of water or juice as most people are still sitting down as well as refreshing towels and peanuts to make take off more pleasant. What’s more, your coat gets taken off you and hung up (it never gets that treatment, even at home!).

LOT business class drinks
LOT business class drinks

Once we got up to the acceptable height and pilot turned off the seatbelt signs, we  had the (very attentive!) stewardesses come round, open our tables, put down a table cloth (proper one!) and give us hot food (breakfast @ 6am on the way there and dinner @ 4pm on the way back), wine and hot drinks.

As an example of the food you get, on the way back I had pork and dumplings (hot), smoked salmon salad (loads of salmon) with green lentils, chocolate cake, rolls, wine and chocolates.

LOT business class evening meal
LOT business class evening meal
LOT business class morning meal
LOT business class morning meal... yes with wine...

I also have to say something about the leg room on the flight back from Warsaw. On the way back I was in the front row and literally they’ve taken 1 seat from each row and 2 rows from business class, so you only have 2 rows of 2 on each side, instead of what would’ve been 4 rows of 6 normally. Which means you get double leg room, which is fantastic. You also get foot rests which unfold and your seat reclines much more than normal, so you could be almost horizonal on the journey! (luckily I realised this half way through the flight! – on the 6am flight you are so half asleep that you notice nothing!).

LOT business class legroom
LOT business class legroom

On the morning flight I had, I was also given a pillow and a blanket, they must’ve seen that I only had 2 hrs sleep 🙂 That only adds to the comfort of your 2.5hrs flight.

The stewardesses are very very attentive and keep coming back to see if you need more wine (yes please), any more rolls (almost always yes please) and anything else you might need! (ok, sitting in the front row I did feel like I was on a private jet ;))

So, I thoroughly recommend LOT business class …. especially on airmiles!! 🙂 (I’m naturally already on the case of building up my airmiles balance now).

Read more about Poland and travel to Poland on inlovewithpoland.com.

Happy Sylwester/New Year’s Eve (with makowiec, bigos & vodka)

Today is Sylwester – New Year’s Eve – and time to say bye to 2011 in style 🙂

Sylwester is a big deal in Poland. It’s quite an event and you often go to an organised ball/gala/party (bal sylwestrowy) and of course choose your best frock (kreacja :)) or throw a house party.

However you celebrate in Poland, it’s likely to include 3 things: Vodka (it’s so good and so cheap, and so many varieties!!!) , bigos (hunter’s stew is a must on Sylwester, even if to just keep you going through the night of partying – all that sauerkraut and meat stew that’s been eaten by Poles for centuries!) and of course some lovely makowiec (poppy seed cake) which is needed to guarantee (kinda) prosperity long into the new year!

Most Polish cities also organise concerts and parties in the main squares where you can pop along to see some pop/rock stars, boogie on down (wrap up warm warm!) and see in the New Year with the rest of the city.

A lot of people also head south for New Years Eve to celebrate in the beautiful resort of Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains.

  • Wroclaw is preparing to host some famous faces (Kayah) together with TVP2 – Polish TV channel 2.
  • Warsaw is having by far the most stars (together with Polsat – Polish ITV style channel) with Maryla Rodowicz (remember her from my childhood!), De Mono group and Golec uOrkiestra (a highlanders folk-come-pop band) among others.
  • Lublin has been advertising their party with the Bajm group all over town and on the buses (party to be held at the Plac Litewski).
  • Sopot will be staging some fireworks over the sea resort at midnight (will be probably beautiful over the sea!)
  • while Krakow, which normally hosts big stars in the old town square (beautiful at night!), will be tightening the belt during the economic crisis by supposedly not inviting any stars this year! Krakowians are however invited to come along to the old town square (the stage is normally right by Sukiennnice) and wish each other best New Year’s wishes at midnight.

So here’s what we’re going to be celebrating with tonight – some lovely makowiec (better run to the shops now) and a couple of mini bottles of vodka – my favourite is the Old Krupnik (honey vodka) below.

Happy Sylwester !

Poppy seed cake (makowiec)
Poppy seed cake (makowiec)
Old Krupnik & Wyborowa Vodka
Old Krupnik & Wyborowa Vodka

Read more about Poland and Polish traditions on inlovewithpoland.com.

Welcome to Piastowskie Estate, Lublin, Poland – My Hometown :)

This is a bit more of a personal post for me, maybe it’s my 30s or something, but I have been getting a bit more nostalgic of my youth in Poland, the tv shows/films/music (yes, spent tons of time on youtube recently) and of course my estate – Piastowskie – itself (in Lublin) – where I grew up for 10 years.

Here’s a video of the lovely fountain in the middle of Piastowskie in April

As estates come, Piastowskie Estate is beautifully green, almost totally pedestrianised (and it’s not exactly a small area) – containing numberous blocks (i’ve counted 31), one main playground in the centre, one small playground for every 2 blocks, a few parades of shops, a doctors surgery and of course a good few pharmacies (they’re pretty much on every cordner!).

 Piastowskie Estate, Lublin, Behind the fountain
Piastowskie Estate, Lublin, Behind the fountain

These chess board concrete tables used to be in many places all over Lublin but (probably due to their state) have been removed more and more. I do remember them from my childhood though as quite a fun place to go and play draughts on in the fresh air!

chess board tables
chess board tables

These funny sculptures provided us with hours of fun in my childhood (yep, they did!) – we used to imagine them as horses and climb through the middle of them (when we were a lot smaller!).

Funky sculptures
Funky sculptures

And here’s where we used to, and still do our shopping – the classic Polish parade of shops – 1 grocery shop, 1 butchers (who also does all groceries, alcohol and all manner of meats and fresh cakes) and a pharmacy (which in the 80s used to be a general hardware store with kitchen/home items and cleaning products :)). How things change – now, you will find all these shops as departments at the local Leclerc supermarket (yep, we have a couple super/hypermarkets in Lublin – really good ones too!).

Piastowskie shopping parade
Piastowskie shopping parade

Here’s a nice photo of the fountain in full action – isnt it beautiful in the sunshine!
– when we were young, we used to climb up to the top where the ‘waterfall’ was and sit in there with our feet to cool off from the hot summer. When we were feeling brave, we’d also climb on the rocks of the fountain itself and walk to the middle of it (when the water level wasnt too high). Not to mention the boats that we’d make and put on the water. You can see how it could provide hours of fun!

 Piastowskie Estate fountain in the sun
Piastowskie Estate fountain in the sun

For contrast, here’s an image of the Piastowskie fountain in the snow – still the focal point of the estate 🙂

 Piastowskie Estate fountain in the snow in February
Piastowskie Estate fountain in the snow in February

Hope you enjoyed a bit of my reminiscing on Poland 🙂

If you want to find our more about Poland and Lublin, visit our website at inlovewithpoland.com.