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Virgin Atlantic launches afternoon tea – on the ground and onboard

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One thing about running HfP is that you meet a far broader range of people than you ever do working in the City, as I did. 

Eric Lanlard is one of these people – I never really expected that I would get to know one of the best pâtissiers in the world, and owner of Cake Boy, the destination café, cake emporium and cookery school.  However, via various Starwood Preferred Guest events (he did a lot for Starwood), I did.

Lanlard has now partnered with Virgin Atlantic to launch afternoon tea.  From Monday, a formal afternoon tea service will be available – for free – in the Heathrow Clubhouse from 3pm to 5.30pm.  Banish images of the British Airways Club Europe afternoon tea from your mind!

Eric Lanlard Virgin Atlantic afternoon tea

You will get a pot of tea or Lanson rose champagne and a bespoke stand filled with items including:

  • Prosciutto, sunblushed tomato and rocket on a stone baked Campagne brown roll
  • Smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill mint mini croissant
  • Broccoli, goat’s cheese and cress savoury tart
  • Homemade plain and sultana scones with strawberry preserve, lemon and clotted cream
  • Eton mess verrine with strawberry coulis
  • Apple and blackberry cake
  • Dark chocolate brownie with salted caramel sauce

More interestingly, the service is launching onboard from “late Summer”.  Upper Class passengers will be able to have afternoon tea at the bar, whilst Premium and Economy passengers will receive a selection of items at their seat.

I have a friend in the Clubhouse on Monday so hopefully we can get some images.  

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (October 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 points):

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

Until 2nd November 2021, there is a special offer on The Platinum Card from American Express.

You will receive a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points which converts into 60,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (132)

  • another_will says:

    As long as I can still take my golf clubs for free on RFS tickets, I’ll continue to fly BA short haul.
    When they take that away – and we seem to be on a race to the bottom – then I’ll look at other options.

  • Craig says:

    OT: Amex are refusing me 5000 for adding a complimentary credit card and spending the £500. They say I have already received a parallel offer, would adding a supp card at around the same time have blocked it? For info I was targeted through the portal but didn’t take a screenshot.

    • roberto says:

      Take a screen shot of and get back to them saying you “found” a screenshot of the deal that you clicked on when you signed for the card. It clearly show you will should get 5000 MR for spending £500. MR points can take up to a month to arrive.

      The terms and conditions dont specifically mention any issues with parallel offers They say :-

      1. Accurate as of 1 April 2017. This is not a promotional rate and does not have a predetermined expiry date. American Express reserves the right to periodically increase interest rates in accordance with the Cardmember Agreement and applicable law. American Express also reserves the right to offer a Credit Card with a lower interest rate at some point in the future.

      2. The 5,000 Membership Rewards points will be awarded onto your Account once you have been approved and you have spent and charged £500 within the first three months of American Express Gold Credit Cardmembership. Please note that it can take up to one month for bonus points to be awarded to your Account. Offer is subject to change and can be withdrawn at anytime.

      3. Membership Rewards points are not earned on Balance Transfers, Cash Advances, American Express Travellers Cheques purchases, Foreign Exchange transactions, interest, any spending in excess of your credit limit, charges for returned payments, late payment or referral charges and American Express Credit Card finance charges. For full Membership Rewards Terms and Conditions, please visit

      4. Terms and Conditions apply. Please see the Insurance Terms and Conditions for full details. Please read this to understand the limits and exclusions that may apply.

      5. Should you choose not to pay in full each month, you will be charged interest on your balance.

      • Craig says:

        Thanks, I’ve sent them a link to this page and it is now over a month since I hit the target.

  • xcalx says:

    OT Just got the curve debit card. do I get curve points for spending on it, I can’t see any points added. If not can’t see any advantage.


    • Genghis says:

      As a new user or an existing “pre-paid” user? I changed to the personal debit from the previous version and still get Curve rewards at the previous list of selected retailers.

  • JPV says:

    OT: Are there any clever ways to get cheaper VTEC tickets from KGX to EDB? Either with points or some other scheme I don’t know about? I’m spending a small fortune on these tickets and only getting a pittance in virgin air miles in return

    • Genghis says:

      Keep signing up for the Virgin Red app discount code?

      • JPV says:

        I had no idea about this, thanks Genghis! Got an invite code? I searched but couldn’t find one from Rob

        • JamesB says:

          If you are using any type of railcard you will be unable to use the red code, if not then the red code or sales is the best you can do. Hopefully we will soon be back to something closer to old EC staff run structure, promotions, fares and rewards.

      • Rob says:

        That’s what I do for West Coast!

      • Chris A says:

        Is it possible to keep signing up for these, Genghis?! I used a code a couple months ago from Virgin Red and had just assumed that would be it.

  • Sam says:

    OT: Now that Avios is closing and transferring to BAEC, how does one make an Avios booking and have the Avios come out of specific accounts? Previously if I didn’t want to use Avios from one account, I’d move them all from BAEC to Avios temporarily and make the booking.

    • Rob says:

      Presumably you can still move them to Aer Club or Vueling Club accounts which are basically accounts using the IT platform and website.

  • Tom Cook says:


    I hold the BAPP and the Amex Plat. Around early March I cancelled the SPG card after hitting the spend bonus – I can repay at the end of September. At the moment our BA avios come through my BAPP and Tesco. My Plat card gives MR which is sent through to hotel schemes.

    I’m thinking of keeping the Plat and the BAPP (haven’t churned the BAPP). We have plenty of BA avios and hols are sorted for the year. We want to build our hotel points.

    Would the following therefore be a decent next step – get my other half (or refer self) from plat to AMEX Rewards CC (which I presume I can hold as well). Hit spend target, cancel, then go back to the SPG card at the end of summer. Just conscious that at the moment I’m not benefitting from any sign up bonuses and I have referred a few friends / other half so have run out of options.

  • Anna says:

    OT – avios changes. I suspect there are going to be issues. have a BAEC household account where all family members share an email address as we like all our travel bookings to go to the same folder. I have just spoken to and they have said that to transfer mine and my OH’s avios, we have to have separate email addresses and must change this on our BAEC accounts! I told them I am not prepared to do this as BA don’t require separate email addresses. I was then told that this might prevent the avios from being transferred!

    I’m going to wait and see, but this isn’t mentioned in the notification email from so presumably people won’t know unless they speak to about it.

    • Margaret says:

      I don’t know if this is true (as the Avios site is still working), but customer services at told me that Aer Lingus accounts which merge with the Avios account (and presumably Aer Lingus accounts generally) will allow transfer into a family account, as they have different rules.

  • Cate ⛱️ says:

    OT as bits, is anyone going to move their stays to another provider from Marriott and to who?. Going through the figures although we can do without lounge access the lack of breakfast plus lack of elite benefits on booking more than room means we’ll probably shelve them for the foreseeable future.

    • Alex W says:

      Hilton- free brekkie with gold

      • Cate ⛱️ says:

        Thanks Alex W, we’ve dropped Hilton and won’t pick back up for the foreseeable future.

        Anyone who runs a business here got a view? i’m thinking general employees for IHG HIX and biz meetings and entertainment perhaps Hyatt or MO location dependent.?

        • Pangolin says:

          Cste, mind saying why you dropped Hilton?

          For me it would be the obvious alternative to someone leaving Marriott.

          Are you sure that 50 nights is out of bounds? Remember that if the Marriott CC comes back in August we will hopefully get the 10 elite nights credit. That would mean 40 nights – the same as for Hilton Gold. Marriott Platinum will be a lot better than having that.

        • Cate ⛱️ says:

          Hi Pangolin, short and sweet Hilton took us for granted for too long and mistakenly thought we were loyal….

          It’s not about getting the status back with Marriott, we have plat anyway because we go away most weekends. It’s that the new changes mean it doesn’t matter how many rooms we book for a night only one of those rooms will get breakfast. So if we have nine contractors come down only one is getting breakfast.

    • Alex W says:

      I don’t know any chain which gives you 9 breakfasts based on your status?!

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