Last week I was in Cloud 9, literally and figuratively. Firstly because I fortunate enough to be upgraded by Ethiopian Airlines to business class – called Cloud 9 – and secondly because travelling in such space and comfort is a luxury that is possibly one of the most satisfying and emotionally elevating things one can do as a frequent (and taller than average) flyer.
Turn left into the Cloud
As soon as you board and turn left instead of right, you know uber relaxation awaits. A glass of bubbly is offered as you settle into your ample seat-come-flat bed and it’s all fabulous from then until touch down. With your screen up, it feels as if you’re in your own universe and you can lose yourself in your own thoughts, read, do some work or snooze as and when the mood takes you.
I was really curious about the Ethiopian dishes on the menu and had been looking forward to trying them out. Chef YoAnnis has created a varied menu that is the perfect intro to traditional fare – food is a smart way to market a destination and it’s great that EA have put together such a comprehensive choice for those unfamiliar with the country and its culture. Dishes have exotic names like injera bǝ wot – ‘wot’ is prepared from locally sourced ingredients, a spicy stew best enjoyed with ‘injera’ which is leavened bread presented like a rolled up pancake and used to dip and scoop up the tapas – this hands-on eating friends, sans cutlery, and it’s fabulous! It’s gluten free too which is always a plus. ‘Gomen’ was another new dish – it’s kale and although it looks and tastes like spinach, it’s not, and I love Chef YoAnnis for dressing it up enough to convince me to eat it AND enjoy it!
The wine list is excellent too. I tried two merlots- one from Ethiopia called Rift Valley and the other by Boschendal. The bubbly on arrival was by Lallier – it was quite nice but in my opinion, there are better options, like a La Lude or Graham Beck Brut Rose. The port I had after dinner, from Portugal, was superb, perfectly paired with a good selection of cheese.
And throughout my 6hour journey the service was faultless – the ladies (below) were attentive and happy to assist at all times, especially when it came to setting up my mini photo shoot.
May your flying future be Cloudy.
For more info, www.ethiopianairlines.com
I was hosted by Ethiopian Airlines-all opinions are my own.