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Author Topic: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion  (Read 371531 times)
Btline
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« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2009, 12:04:06 am »

Not as good as Virgin's First Class, as you have to pay... twice! (once for a sky high First fare, and then for the food!)
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matt473
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« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2009, 12:15:15 am »

Not as good as Virgin's First Class, as you have to pay... twice! (once for a sky high First fare, and then for the food!)

I do not agree with this statement as I have tickets from Bristol to Swansea first class on Friday at 7pm and returning at 9.30am the following Monday for ^15 overall. This means I can have afford something to eat and enjoy first class for around ^22. It seems you may have a grudge as FGW can have some very good first class ticket prices, and at more reasonable times than what Virgin offer such cheap fares at.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2009, 12:59:58 am »

Not as good as Virgin's First Class, as you have to pay... twice! (once for a sky high First fare, and then for the food!)

I do not agree with this statement as I have tickets from Bristol to Swansea first class on Friday at 7pm and returning at 9.30am the following Monday for ^15 overall. This means I can have afford something to eat and enjoy first class for around ^22. It seems you may have a grudge as FGW can have some very good first class ticket prices, and at more reasonable times than what Virgin offer such cheap fares at.

Hear, hear. Finding the cheapest VWC advance first class fares is nigh on impossible. FGW's always seem to be available for a lot longer (greater quantity?) after they appear on the booking horizon. They are nearly always cheaper per mile than VWCs. The money saved allows for a sampling of the TC menu. Admittedly VWC do have free at seat food on nearly all weekday services, but the portion sizes noticeably reduced in Jan 09, the all day salads and soups disappeared leaving just a sandwich option. Curry specials also disappeared as did Friday fish 'n chips.

For excellent inclusive food, WSMR and ATW Premier Service are hard to beat, as Barry Doe concluded in his review.

FGW's third place is highly deserved. Their re-jigging of the catering following withdrawal of nearly all the Pullmans, was an excellent compromise. I hope Neil Micklethwaite and his Head of On-Board Catering continue the improvements that James Burt started. I am a little concerned because NM is currently wearing two hats, both Customer Service and Commercial Director. But I'll wait and see.....
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 06:40:06 am by bignosemac » Logged

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Btline
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« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2009, 01:20:17 pm »

It seems you may have a grudge

There are NO Advances on the Cotswold line. There are an abundance on the 3 tph VWC service.

I am guaranteed a First Class standard seat on VT, I may get a Turbo on FGW = Standard Class standard seats.

I will get free drinks (including alcohol) and food (which I thought was excellent, and this was post Jan 09) on VT. May get NOTHING on FGW. if there is something, I'll have to pay. (bar fruit juice and biscuits etc.)

So yes, perhaps I do have a grudge. Perhaps if I used the services FGW actually care about, I would feel different.
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matt473
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« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2009, 02:48:49 pm »



There are NO Advances on the Cotswold line. There are an abundance on the 3 tph VWC service.

I am guaranteed a First Class standard seat on VT, I may get a Turbo on FGW = Standard Class standard seats.

This is not a completely fair comparison as the services are completely different. Yes, First should offer advance tickets if that is the case and offer more hst's, but the problem is where do they getthese from as the current hst's are diagrammed as efficently as possible. Virgin offer a completely Intercityservice calling at few places enabling them to offer more seats and better first class provisions. On the Cotswold line First are limited not only by capcity constraints but he nature of the line is not a high speed intercity line as such as the service has to stop regularly unlike Virgin. Remeber that Virgin don't have to cater for local short distance passengers as LM do that but First have to carry both local and long distance passengers. This means advance fares may not even be possible as a result of services already at capcity so cannot afford to offer advance fares. What first needs are more hst's or similair to improve services but where do they get them from.

Anyhow, back on the subject of catering, everytime I have had food on on FGW services, I have always found it tobe enjoyable served by polite staff. You will not recieve any complaints from me if this service continues
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Btline
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« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2009, 03:38:42 pm »

Most off peak Cotswold trains carry around air, so advances would be no problem.
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devon_metro
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« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2009, 03:59:52 pm »

Most off peak Cotswold trains carry around air, so advances would be no problem.

Why do you always bang on about it being disagraceful that they are not HSTs then? Clearly there is no demand. And Advance fares will not solve the problem, your off peak fares are very competitive.
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matt473
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« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2009, 04:59:03 pm »

To further add to my previous post, to create some comparison between FGW and Virgin I checked first class fares at a similair time, similair days and similair time in advance tickets were booked. First class between London and Birmingham would cost ^60 travelling both ways compared to my ^15 paying for first class tickets with FGW. I can understand some people feel that Virgin offer a better first class experience buy you cannot fault the cost of first class tickets on FGW. Even having to pay for food I am paying less for first class using FGW over Virgin.

Ultimate conculsion of this is that despite PR given off by Virgin which is bery good, you can still get a fantastic first class service accompanied with some great quality food for what I find to be low prices. First does not deserve all of the critism it recieves regarding ticket prices.
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devon_metro
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« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2009, 05:07:31 pm »

FGW first class is far more pleasant too, those leather seats are excellent! Beats a Virgin interior any day!
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John R
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« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2009, 08:20:15 pm »

I certainly rate the Travelling Chef option, though I hope his highlighting what good value the omelettes are doesn't encourage FGW to first the price up.



Sadly, I hoped in vain. Omelette prices are up from 3.25 to 4.25 in the new menu.   
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inspector_blakey
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« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2009, 08:34:24 pm »

A shame it's gone up, but it's hardly daylight robbery and I'd still consider it good value. Have also just noticed the Travelling Chef Select menus which are very competitively priced as well - full breakfast for ^9.50 (fruit, porridge or yogurt with fry-up, plus toast and jam) or a two-course hot lunch for ^10.50.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2009, 10:24:10 pm »

I have just perused the new winter Travelling Chef menu. Looks good (despite the odd smelling pistake. Blinins? Blaguette?) Quite a variety and not overly expensive. May have to find an excuse to travel first class in the near future, as some of the options look quite difficult to eat out of a cardboard box!

Prices still fairly reasonable (even with the omlette increase!) There are also some mouth watering new options on the Pullman menu; always amazes me that such high quality fare can be prepared in a kitchen moving at upwards of 100mph. Paddington to Bristol via Taunton or Exeter for a slap up lunch coming up, methinks!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 10:33:26 pm by bignosemac » Logged

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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2009, 11:06:25 pm »

Hmm.  I sometimes wonder whether there is a cheeky monkey in FGW who deliberately puts smelling pistakes in the menu, just to see if we notice?  Roll Eyes

'Blaguettes', indeed!  Wink Cheesy Grin
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matt473
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« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2009, 11:12:04 pm »

smelling pistakes

pistake indeed Cheesy
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willc
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« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2009, 12:56:28 am »

Most off peak Cotswold trains carry around air, so advances would be no problem.

Not since February they haven't, when Turbos took over the weekday Worcester and Malvern off-peak diagrams they weren't already covering. Why do you keep repeating this old, tired, inaccurate statement?
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