MFWF - Fly First Class Italy at Grand Hotel Richmond
Fly first class around Italy! That sounded fabulous to The World Loves Melbourne, invited to imbibe this premium Melbourne Food and Wine Festival event! This is surely one of the best events of Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and actually sticks to the theme of Air (unlike most events). Barnie the owner of Grand Hotel Richmond has gone all out with a fun night of air travel around Italy and superb food and wine, utilising their top notch dining spaces. The World Loves Melbourne understands there are 4 booked out events with a 5th event fast filling for Wednesday March 11. We note Grand Hotel consistently puts on some of the best foodie events in Melbourne.
The invitation was appealing - "GRAND AIR and it's affiliate flight partners MELBOURNE FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL and RED & WHITE WINES would like to invite you to join our Captain and Head Chef as he takes to the sky for a first-class journey through Italy's most beautiful culinary destinations. This is a dinner that will take in-flight dining into rarefied air. It’s time to stow your tray table, return your seat to an upright position and prepare for take off as our Flight Captain and Head Chef Federico Frigato deftly pilots this exceptional dinner through the greatest of Italy's culinary locations. Whilst you’re "flying high" our gracious stewards will be matching this Italian feast with the kind of beverages, service and in-flight entertainment one would expect to find only in First Class. Seats are limited at the front of the plane so book your ticket early and, of course, don't be late for check in."
The World Loves Melbourne (David and Mario) were greeted upon entry and ushered through security. Amazingly this was a real airport security experience. We put our belongings in a tray but Mario was found to have coins in his pocket and set off the alarm. He was then required to put his hands against the wall and duly frisked. We were then poured a beer and taken to a waiting area for boarding.
Grand Hotel Richmond also put together these boarding passes from our carrier Grand Air for each passenger/diner...
We were taken up the stairs to the First Class Departure Lounge. The Insalata caprese was superb and deconstructed on long skewers. Pea e Bolognese arancini were a hit and The World Loves Melbourne consumed several...
Glamourous guests included Tiur Rosa Serafina Bouchaud (wife of Barnie) who has her own popular couture fashion business, and Laurina Fleure (right) famous for her fashion business and The Bachelor series.
Staff became flight attendants and went through the flight processes including "cross check" on take off. A large screen gave us flight simulations - so brilliant!
Carpaccio di Pesce spada, fagliolini Verdi, pomodori ciliegia was an exciting dish as we sat down in our allocated flight seating... The dining crowd/passengers were a passionate bunch, laughing, clapping and embracing the theme.
We were encouraged to clap every time we "landed" in a different part of Italy - as after all this was an Italian airline.
Risotto con zafferano e midollo was a cracking risotto dish was a hit of bone marrow. The World Loves Melbourne understands this is a classic dish from Milan, full of soul and style. This was served with my favourite wine of the night 2012 Monte Tondo San Pietro Valpolicella, Veneto.
Grand Air then took us to Sicily where we enjoyed Copertina di manzo affumicata con vegetali misti. The slow cooked meat was delicious and the range and flavour of rustic vegetables also a highlight. The Flight Captain made an appearance to carve the meat...
Grand Hotel Richmond then thrilled with some Sardinian magic, Seades - Pasta fritta ripiena di pecorino e scorzer d'arancia. Dessert with pecorino!
Grand Hotel Richmond excelled with this event. Barnie and Tiur (below) were superb hosts.
Thanks also to the amazing flight crew (aka Grand Hotel Richmond staff). We want to fly again with this airline!
The Flights of Italy event is surely one of the best MFWF events of 2015.