Friday 7 January 2022

By Red Arrow To Milan (3)

Before looking at the catering available in Executive class on the Trenitalia Freeciarossa (Red Arrow) between Paris and Milan, it behoves us to take a peek at LNER's food service for First Class folk; a deal which is in the process of changing for 2022.

The clever folk at nationalised LNER have come up with three grades of food service - all (cunningly) beginning with the letter D; although it is not clear from the PR which service you get and when.
Deli is the basic service which has been in operation for some time during the pandemic. "hot options" for brekkies is simply a bacon roll and the rest are posh sandwiches.
Next up the ladder is called Dish.
This offers more substantial items (snacks on a plate?) which look quite appetising.
The green stuff was a mystery to fbb until he looked up the full menu. It is crushed avocado on sourdough with a poached egg. Yummy?

The topmost menu is not yet fully publicised ...
... but looks much better. Of course, it will never match the good old Great British Breakfast of olden days ...
... complete with silver service by liveried flunkies and with cereals, toast and lashings of tea or coffee. In days gone by, fbb would aim to travel from Sheffield to London on trains with this on offer - and to second class passengers as well! It was, as they say, a good scoff - and you certainly did not need lunch!

First Great Western's Pullman service offers a brave attempt, but not as extensive in quantity.
Likewise, LNER's brekkies in recent times was OK - but only "OK" by comparison with the full monty of old.
It remains to be seen what "storm" the LNER chefs will actually be cooking up when the "Dine" option appears. And, for that matter, what will be available at weekends when, up to now, you have paid the same First Class fare and been provided with a poor meal deal.

But with all that in mind, let us now look at what our video presented enjoyed on his Trenitalia Red Arrow.

Here is the breakfast menu.
Alas no sausages, bacon and black pudding, just a wide ranging "continental breakfast" set of good things. Here is what our YouTuber enjoyed. He had ordered (from left to right) ...
Yogurt magro - senza glutini.
Cornetto (just one!) alla nocciola.
Macedonia misti.

The video tells us that you can order what you like in Executive class, so if you are a tad on the peckish side, you could order one of everything!

The video doesn't show the full lunch and dinner menu, just the top half ...
... but we can judge quality and quantity from the choices made for the mid-day refreshment; starter ...
... cold meats, cheese and a hot bread roll. Main course ...
... washed down with a cheeky Italian white; and pud ...
... again with superb italian coffee.

Obviously it is not quite the same at Brown Windsor soup, steak and kidney pud and jam roly poly - but, again, you could order extra courses if the rumbly tum persists.

The "lower orders" have a buffet car, but well stocked with good things to sustain passengers on their journeys.
The 6+ hour trip passes speedily and comfortably and soon via sinuous road and rail routes ...
... a tunnel and mountainous views, ...
... the Red Arrow is crossing the Alps and on the high speed line to Milano Centrale. 
This forms a splendid architectural terminus ...
... to an equally splendid railway journey.

Alas, our guide and YouTuber has one complaint. Take a look at his Executive class carriage.
To promote this new service from Paris to Milan, Trenitalia have decked the luxury coach with ...
... Contravision spots before the eyes! Our video creator had to move to a neighbouring carriage to get unimpeded views of the outside world. You might say that the spotty horror makes even the high-luxe of Executive class a bit of a rip-off. Trenitalia should rip off the spots rather than rip off the passenger!

Personal Message from fbb - a Reminder

Mrs fbb has been diagnosed with severe arthritis and in the queue for a hip replacement. She is struggling with both pain and mobility so fbb, like the splendid husband that he is (modest as ever!) has taken over all driving and all significant catering. Whilst time can be made for writing blogs, even for research, the fbb performance needle ...

... is wont to drop into the red zone much earlier in the day - usually after de-coking the kitchen from last night's evening meal.
Blogging will continue on a daily basis - it does represent a relief from the rigours of domesticity, BUT quality may be low, quantity may be reduced and something beginning with q may cause delays in posting.

And A Puzzle Picture
Leighton Buzzard station used to look like this ...
... and now looks like this:-
Passing through on a journey from Northampton recently, Alan spotted something new on the footway approaching the entrance.
Alan poses the question "what is it?" and offers some suggestions.

A weighbridge for passengers luggage 
       as part of a charging scheme like the airlines.
Entrance to the famous Linslade caverns
       open on Summer holiday weekends.
A means of generating electricity used by the railway.
       (Pre-electronic version illustrated)
An experimental large sized "doormat" 
        to cut down carriage cleaning.
Answer tomorrow!

 Next Variety blog : Saturday 8th January 


  1. Is the mystery item not the inductive charging pad for the now-withdrawn Wright StreetLite electric buses Arriva used to have? This seems to have been an unusccessful method of keeping electric buses charged during the day .

  2. Andrew Kleissner7 January 2022 at 12:32

    Having done a bit of internet research and discovering what it is, I can confidently say that it's not a bus charging pad. Anyway, the buses couldn't even get in there unless the bollards were retractable!