First-class travel, first-class snack, first-class service. Simplicity, and attention to detail. And we wonder why Richard Branson – sorry, Sir Richard Branson – is a multi-billionaire. I know he comes in for a fair bit of criticism – the only way to avoid that is to do nothing with your life, and definitely don’t commit the ultimate sin of actually being rich and successful – but this is a tiny piece of perfection: lunch on a Virgin train. Herb-y black and green olives, a little pack of cream cheese, a tiny pot of pate and some savoury biscuits. Oh yes: and a nice crisp apple. My only regret is not having photographed the free lunch as I travelled with East Coast: an indefinable white slush, a glimpse of a passing mushroom, and a couple of cubes of something that had never flapped a wing or clucked, all wrapped up in a sad, damp, pastry parcel. Six or seven soggy chips and some limp salad. As I say – when it’s so easy to get it right, why do so many service providers manage to get it so monumentally wrong?
PS Nearly forgot – proper cutlery, and a free glass of wine, with my lovely snack.