Way way back in 2010, having returned from a sojourn across South East Asia, I took stock of my career and direction, endeavouring to work out next moves. I was at a crossroads you see, a bit like Dorothy when she meets the scarecrow, only I didn’t meet any scarecrows, although I did once dance with a scarecrow who was drunk on scrumpy and smelt strongly of garlic, who in fact turned out to be Damon Albarn, in the Pig’s nose down by the coast at East Prawle in Devon; but that’s another story.
The decision to start a blog about food and travel was born quite simply from a love food, travel, writing and photography. Culinary World Tour was the title of an advertorial feature I’d written for The Mirror’s entertainment supplement and included write-ups on world food restaurants in London. I never really knew exactly where it would take me, so naturally I was delighted when an offer came through in October last year to visit Mexico City on a press trip organised by the airline AeroMexico. Mexico City! The mind boggles at the mere mention of a city so vast, and as for the cuisine, well. Find me somebody who doesn’t love Mexican food and I will cure them, or at least shoot them a look of withering bewilderment. It should come as no surprise that in 2010, UNESCO recognised Mexican cuisine as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and having visited Tulum on the east coast of the Yucatan in 2000, I was more than keen.
The next few posts will detail this exciting trip, including such highlights as a visit to a brand new aircraft hangar, preview of a new fleet of 787-8 planes, cultural insight into the pre-Spanish indigenous Mexican people known as Mexica (Meh-hee-ka) and inspiration for culinary exploration of this exciting megalopolis. Thanks to careful planning by the marketing team at AeroMexico in collaboration with the Mexico City tourist board and Starwood hotels, there was quite literally never a dull moment, hence describing it is going to take several posts. You could hardly do an ancient city with a population of 21 million justice in a couple of paragraphs.
However before we elope to Mexico, let us begin the journey here in the UK, in Middlesex, home of Heathrow airport, and the Sky Team Lounge. As I generally fly economy class, it was a real insight and privilege to experience the upgrade to Premier Class, or Clase Premier as they have branded it. The lounge has been beautifully designed with smooth flowing lines and a living wall, creating a sense of harmony and relaxation that helps smooth the passage to the flight.
We were met with chilled champagne in a lounge space reserved for the occasion, and took the opportunity to get acquainted with one another over a fix of mentholated oxygen and a good rub down from a reclining massage chair.
On board our flight we were greeted by the pilot, Captain Leonardo Sanchez Herrera, which made me smile as it was a little like being met by the chef when you go to a restaurant. I was half expecting him to offer us a slice of toast from the cockpit, but no. We did however get the opportunity to go in to the cockpit during the flight; always an exciting experience. Forgive the dreadful picture, it was late and I was a little drowsy.
It was an incredibly smooth and comfortable flight. Our every need was catered for, we all slept soundly in reclining chair beds and the ambient temperature was perfect.
In the next instalment you will read about the pre-Columbian Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan, another UNESCO listed site, as well as some intriguing facts about the history of the city and it’s inhabitants. Until then, adiós damas y caballeros.
Check Aeromexico for flight times and prices from the UK to Mexico, the US, Canada and Asia.