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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)

  • Jtz says:

    OT but I’m itching to make a RFS redemtion just for the sake of it on a weekend break or upcoming bank holiday weekend…any good ideas for destinations around 9000 avios return…something to just unwind from the daily grind…or places that have good availability on weekends
    Also does more availability come up closer to the date?

    • Londonsteve says:

      The trouble with bank holidays is that all the obvious spring holiday destinations are oversubscribed, thus no availability. Optimum choice for 9000 Avios is probably Munich. It’s perhaps slightly more of a business destination, so passenger traffic tails off during holiday times, yet it’s also one of Europe’s nicest cities. The spring weather will be marvellous this time of year and it’s a nicely relaxed place to visit. Prague is lovely but also high on the hit list of holidaymakers. Budapest magnificent and cash flights with low cost carriers are super cheap as it’s a hotly contested route, but UK BH weekends and school holidays result in the large Hungarian diaspora filling up planes, so again, no RFS availability. If you don’t insist on using Avios, I’d go for Budapest with a cash ticket and relax in the myriad thermal baths under the spring sunshine.

      • Lumma says:

        Budapest isnt 4500 avios each way either. The late flight out of Heathrow is often quite cheap though and means you can maximize the time in the terminal 3 lounges if you have status. Ibis styles hotel at the airport is usually decent value for the first night and you can enjoy a full day in Budapest the day after

      • Jtz says:

        Thanks for the info….will check out Munich…yep if Budapest out other European cities are really cheap as cash tickets would prefer to pay cash….
        I’m also considering Portugal And Malta

        • Lady London says:

          Lisbon excellent but think it’s a bit more than 9k. Barcelona has to be visited if you’ve not been recently.

    • Anna says:

      Paris usually has decent availability due to the number of flights per day, and other French cities like Nice and Marseille are the same avios price. I’m sure you’ll find something – personally I would spend 18000 avios (or less if off peak) and thoroughly enjoy the travelling as well as I only travel for leisure and am therefore not too jaded about lounges and CE refreshments!

      • Jtz says:

        I didn’t think I would be jaded with lounges too until recently..used up my lounge club Amex gold passes in plaza premium on our way to Marrakech Easter half term…we decided with the regular priority pass offers it would be worth it for us to pay for it Too! Had an excellent meal and coffee. Would have stated for a virgin mojito too but we were getting late for out flight
        In essence we would have probably paid £30 plus in terminal restaurants and cafes anyway

  • john says:

    OT: how does one claim Avios on Vueling flights? Before the flight there was a field for entering an number, but this was only for the booking as a whole (not per passenger). I entered mine on there. These have credited to my account (150 one way, 195 the other). How does the other passenger claim their Avios? (And is there a way to do this in advance not arrears for future reference?) Wondering what will happen with this on retirement also.

  • flyforfun says:

    Looking at those seats makes me thinks its Easyjet in BA clothing.

    • Thomas Howard says:

      Its easyJet/Ryanair at BA prices – the question is, how long will people be fooled by it?

    • Alex W says:

      Don’t flatter BA, doesn’t easyJet and Ryanair have more legroom than BA?

  • JPV says:

    OT: Told by staff that will no longer allow creating / converting new household accounts.

    Any other routes for free avios transfers?

  • Pangolin says:

    Pardon my french but holy f*** those seats look awful.

    I’ve seen seats on Arriva buses that look more comfortable and spacious than that.

  • Lee says:

    OT – SPG started another round points sale with 35% off, it should be the ever last sale

  • John says:

    The 200 comments best thing about this story. The Daily Mail really does have it in for BA these days.

  • Boi says:

    I have reached target for PRG and really want to upgrade to platinum but am waiting on the 5000 MR for spending £500 on companion cc. Questions:
    1. Does anyone have link for upgrade?
    2. Would I still get my 5000MR even if I go ahead and upgrade now
    3. Can I later cancel the gold cc and get platinum companion cc for another 5K

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