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VTWC 1st Class Weekend Offer

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tgsh2011

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Seems there has been a menu change today. I'm travelling on 12:35 MAN/EUS and offered a trial menu to pass comment on. Soft drinks do not appear to included Pepsi. Otherwise this is a major improvement on the usual weekend rubbish that is offered!
 

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All Line Rover

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So, at the time of day you were travelling, that is a scaled back version of the weekday menu which applied between January and May. The sandwich on the May to September weekday menu is chicken with lemon mayonnaise.

That is a definite improvement on the weekend offering. I wonder if breakfast is offered on selected morning services, as was the case a few years ago?
 
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me123

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Agree it's a big improvement - I'd be more likely to travel FC at the weekend with this offering.
 

Agent_c

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Looks like they're following VTEC's lead in offering sandwiches, I hope this (or an even more improved version) will still be going when I travel with em in July.
 

Polarbear

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That looks much better-and more in line with East Coast's offerings in first class at the weekend.
 

sduob

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Not thrilled by this personally (don't eat Mayonnaise, dont like the deli plate). Improves the current fare but its not why I travel in first class regardless.
 

ag51ruk

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It hasn't been available on every train this weekend - I had the usual tiny egg and cheese roll pack offered on two trains earlier
 

furgus2

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I went on 3 VTWC trains yesterday and each one was given the cheese and biscuits snack box. I think I prefer that to the 'new' offering.

By the way, this morning I see there's a new menu for the weekday offering.
 

Bletchleyite

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I'd rather no freebies and a more reasonable fare. Quality would be emphasized by serving standard buffet car fare (at the same charge as buying at the buffet) but in proper cups/glasses and on proper plates.
 

lokosp

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Looks like a big improvement to me. It would make me more likely to part with £15 for the upgrade.
 

Agent_c

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I'd rather no freebies and a more reasonable fare. Quality would be emphasized by serving standard buffet car fare (at the same charge as buying at the buffet) but in proper cups/glasses and on proper plates.

...Then ride in Standard?
 

All Line Rover

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I agree - BTW Those same sandwiches cost about £3.50 if travelling in standard.

The sandwiches in 'The Shop' are awful. The sandwiches in 1ST are fine. I believe they are made by different suppliers.

This is reflected in a VT press release which contained some refreshing honesty:

Head of Catering at Virgin Trains West Coast said:
We’re passionate about the food we serve on board our trains and always strive to offer our customers great quality and value. We believe our food is tasty and sometimes better than that of the high street.

Out of interest, is VAT charged on Pullman meals? If it is, this is a strong incentive for going down the complimentary route, particularly for a TOC with as many first class passengers as VTWC or VTEC.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I don't think this still exists - I believe it was limited to a small section of UP services from Manchester on a Saturday morning as a trial.

It hasn't been offered for years, but I hope it returns (at least to selected services), because according to the menu posted by the OP, all that is offered for breakfast is a slice of fruitcake and a banana!
 
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Bishopstone

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...Then ride in Standard?

Lots of us choose First for the seat comfort, legroom, view and (often) the relatively quiet ambience.

I welcome tea, coffee and juice served at-seat, but can't get excited about the finger food and booze miniatures that could be bought for £5 in Sainsburys prior to departure.

I like the GWR offer. They don't give much, but the trolley visits regularly and reliably, in my experience.
 

All Line Rover

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Lots of us choose First for the seat comfort, legroom, view and (often) the relatively quiet ambience.

I welcome tea, coffee and juice served at-seat, but can't get excited about the finger food and booze miniatures that could be bought for £5 in Sainsburys prior to departure.

Not all stations benefit from comprehensive retail facilities. For example, Warrington, Chester, Crewe, Stoke and Stafford (among many others).

Even at stations which do have a Sainsbury's and/or M&S, these shops don't necessarily open sufficiently early (at Manchester Piccadilly, only 7am). And even when they are open the queues can, at times, be too long to bother with (e.g. at Euston, Friday afternoons and midday on Saturdays)

Therefore, for many of us, the expectation of filling and reasonable quality food is down to the convenience factor, rather than a desire to have as many "freebies" as possible. If a train operator decides that it makes economic sense for such food to be complimentary for first class passengers, that is their choice.
 

Techniquest

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That menu sure doesn't appeal to me whatsoever. That being said, none of the Virgin menu does on the weekday services!

As long as the trolley came out for all of the First Class carriages (that's one thing that puts me off Weekend First with Virgin, it's a long walk to coach C if no trolley service is available!) then that would be fine. I'd prefer not to be offered nonsense food and have a decent service instead. I would also hope Virgin's First Class service has improved since April 2008, another reason why my First Class travel with them has only been on short leaps around the Midlands...
 

misterredmist

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I must admit, I much prefer the complimentary service in VTWC/VTEC 1st , no faffing about, board the train, sit down, relax, and choose what you want whenever the Crew come round and help yourself to water anytime......... the on board crew are a very pleasant and helpful bunch too.....
 

Essexman

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I'm travelling next week and chose the 11.05 from Kings Cross so I'd get a meal. Slightly disappointed now, as if Virgin had publicised this earlier I'd have gone half an hour earlier and had full breakfast which looks much better than the 'all day lunch' on the new menu.
 

voyagerdude220

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I'm travelling next week and chose the 11.05 from Kings Cross so I'd get a meal. Slightly disappointed now, as if Virgin had publicised this earlier I'd have gone half an hour earlier and had full breakfast which looks much better than the 'all day lunch' on the new menu.

I don't know about VTEC, but VWC only bothered to change their website to reflect their new FC menus sometime over the weekend (i.e. a couple of days before hand) IIRC- very poor IMO.

I don't expect them to do it months in advance, but surely, particularly when TOCs are encouraging people to book their journeys weeks in advance, it would have been a lot better to have the new menus of the relevant websites at least a week in advance.
 

All Line Rover

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The catering is going to be improved. Basically similar to the weekday light bites option with sandwich crisps biscuits and reduced selection of soft & hot drinks. Scheduled to start 4th June. [The weekday light bites offering] isn't always the best but let's remember a lot of journeys are relatively short these days and whether we like it or not it's a business and its here to make a profit.

This is welcome. It makes sense to commence on 4th June since next weekend there is a reduced service due to engineering works.

I agree that the weekday light bites offering is fine, other than the small portion sizes (the 'deli snacks', especially). The only weekday offering which is unacceptably bad is the Pendolino 'brunch', served on Pendolinos commencing their journey between 11:00 and 12:59.

Any word on breakfast at the weekends?
 

SaveECRewards

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I'd rather no freebies and a more reasonable fare. Quality would be emphasized by serving standard buffet car fare (at the same charge as buying at the buffet) but in proper cups/glasses and on proper plates.

Like GNER used to do! The thing that annoys me from the post 2011 East Coast service is they don't offer anything at seat that's not complimentary. If you want something that's on offer on the menu then they should offer it at seat.

A crappy packaged sandwich full of e-numbers does not make a luxury experience. If they let me pay for a bacon roll and Hop on Board at seat that would be an improvement.

But that said it's still the best weekend first offering around. Shame really.
 

Bishopstone

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I travelled Euston - New Street return yesterday (Saturday), and decided to sample Weekend First.

Outward: was charged £10, and the Guard mentioned it was going to increase next weekend, with an enhanced food/drink offer, though he had not been briefed on the details.

Supplied with a packaged food wrap containing an egg roll, small Cadbury's choccie biscuits, and something savoury and vaguely crisp-related which I've forgotten already. Two drink runs: hot and/or soft, and they willingly doubled-up the small orange juice cans.

First Class was about 10% loaded (11 car set), but no attempt was made to promote the Weekend First upgrade. I was the only passenger in the rear coach, with the galley, and the Guard had returned there to gossip with the catering staff by Bushey, where he remained until the outskirts of Rugby.

Return: Caught one of the ex-Scottish services.

Trolley attendant shoved a box under my nose with the question 'want this?' grunted. The box contained crackers, which I could have guessed from the cracker debris scattered over most of the nearby seats. One drink run.

This time, First Class was perhaps 20% loaded.

Nobody visited to collect my upgrade money, so I got the nice seat and crumbly crackers for free.

Is this business a basket case, or was my anecdotal experience unusual?

(Being positive for a moment, I think the 'reservation level' indicators at Euston are a great innovation.)
 
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