Ponti's, Stansted Airport
by Hashley Brown
Skulking on the outskirts of our great metropolis, Stansted Airport stands as a throbbing beacon to mediocrity. Spiritual home to the cut-price airlines who have single handedly robbed international travel of the last vestiges of mystery and panache, it embodies at all times of day the desperate unhappy masses - queuing, delayed, hungry.
So it was that on a bright Sunday Morning I found myself betwixt Hibernia and Scandinavia ensconced in Stansted's cavernous interior. Hopes are never high when in transit as airport catering has become synonymous with over-priced rubbish, but a glimmer of hope flickered when i saw the familiar Ponti's logo. Not haute cuisine but readers will no doubt be familiar with the 24-hour sausage sandwich potential this chain of Italianate Cafés offers to the East End nocturnal reveller.
Yet how cruel the Gods. From the self service line-up to the final half-finished meal this was deeply upsetting. Aside from the sizeable herby cumberland that divided my plate like a porcine meridian, I had queued up for, splashed out on and emotionally invested in sub-standard canteen food. The scrambled eggs resembled the humble oeuf in name only, the mushrooms were so watery that there was a synchronicity in their swimming, and the bacon? Well it was just cold, because I had to queue for so long to pay for it.
I fear, dear reader, that the airports are taking us for fools. Perhaps it's time for flyers to demand fair fayre.