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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Starting Our Small Adventure in Style

Our departure date was easily picked, we left home on Boxing Day because that was when BA had frequent flier seats. First class seats - we were going to start our trip in style! Note to self, from recent experience I can say it is too much to pack up the house, celebrate Christmas, prep for renters and begin our small adventure all at the same time. 

First class seats - I thought this was the best way  to start our trip in style and it was very comfortable. But I hadn't reckoned on our friend B. (traveling between Holland, Houston, Berkeley and the Dolomites)  being there for our first night in London, that was true style! Though we were jet lagged and half dead he was there to show us how to best begin our adventure. Apparently a bottle of Madeira at Gordon's Wine Bar on Villiers Street is the way to make friends and before we left we had met a classically trained  pianist and a physicist specializing in lasers - dressed in an unusual leather coat! How is it that physicists (B.) always find their own kind? Of course there were more people to meet and one pub meal and several Australians later we fell into a desperate sleep, our small adventure had begun in the style only B. could provide.

Keep reading for my review of  the best that British Airways can provide between SFO and LHR.
BA has a small First Class lounge at SFO which is a room inside the larger Business Lounge. I loved the view overlooking the nose of the plane! Otherwise the lounge is small, with the same offering in the larger lounge next door. The main advantages are a quieter space and free flowing champagne. What I like most about traveling BA from SFO is that they load the plane directly from the lounge which means no waiting around at the gate, very convenient!
The seats were as expected, large and comfortable though I wasn't to keen on the fake burl walnut look, not nearly as nice as the real thing which you can see in a nice cars these days!
You can eat anytime you like though I was hungry and opted to eat promptly. I stuck with champagne to accompany the lobster salad starter and  the scallop main course.


















After dinner I had the bed made up and having seen a rather dapper business man take the lead I donned a pair of the BA pajamas. Given that I wouldn't be seen dead in pajamas at home it was a very strange experience to share in public!

In the morning with dim blue lighting in the cabin I enjoyed my first full English breakfast of this trip. A very easy and comfortable journey and a bag full of Cadbury's Fudge finger on departure from a flight attendant who could tell I needed just a little more chocolate! A lovely beginning indeed.
The arrivals lounge at Terminal Five (for First and Business passengers) isn't anything particularly special but it's convenient if you need a shower, a cup of tea or a quick breakfast. It was very quiet when we arrived. In case you go it's worth noting it closes at 2pm daily.
A review of our London hotel and the fabulous plays we saw to follow...

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