Brain food: Canteen culture - British Airways

Brain food: Canteen culture - British Airways - Entree: At one end of the terrifically au courrant city-street style atrium in BA's award-winning Waterside HQ you find the staff restaurant (apparently, 'canteen is a word we want to get away from'). All bl

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Entree: At one end of the terrifically au courrant city-street style atrium in BA's award-winning Waterside HQ you find the staff restaurant (apparently, 'canteen is a word we want to get away from'). All blond wood, glass, and high ceilings, it looks out across a landscaped lake. The only blot on this bucolic vista is a rather incongruous scrapyard: when BA redeveloped the site, the owner refused point-blank to sell up.

Main dish: In keeping with the vogue for retro British grub there's plenty of hearty fare. Notables include stew with dumplings and bubble-and-squeak with an egg on top. Lighter palates can choose from salads, pastas and suchlike, while those requiring an offal fix can step up to the 'chef's theatre', where calves' liver and bacon is freshly griddled amid great pyrotechnics. The diners were no less varied and ranged from combat-trousered twentysomethings to besuited senior management; there were a couple of kids on the next table and, as befits a global airline, numerous nationalities were represented.

Dessert: Back out on 'the street', staff were busy holding informal meetings in the pavement cafes over lattes, espressos, pastries and the (ubiquitous) Otis Spunkmeyer cookies. Impressively, the coffee was genuino Italian Lavazza. Also streetside was a sandwich bar, micro-Waitrose and even a flower stall.

Whine list: If you opt for set dishes, the restaurant is excellent value. But if you mix and match at random, as we did, the grub can get a little pricey.

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