It’s lunchtime on the Cote D’Azur and I’m sitting on a rooftop terrace overlooking the sun-drenched Promenade des Anglais in Nice sipping on rose wine.
Just two hours earlier I had been in cloudy London waiting to board my flight to France – and later this evening I’ll be back in England following a bite to eat.
Popping over to the French Riviera for lunch from the UK might sound like a preposterous hassle – but it’s a cinch if you take a private jet, like I have.
The Cessna Citation Latitude private jet that took Jennifer to Nice from London so she could enjoy lunch on the Cote D’Azur
The interior of the aircraft, which had been prepped and ready to take Jennifer and her fellow passengers to Nice for lunch
Jennifer boards the private jet, left, and enjoys champagne for breakfast once seated, right
I’m a guest of PrivateFly, a private jet booking company, which is giving me the chance to visit France celeb-style.
And it’s something I could get used to.
My day begins very early indeed at Luton Airport, but rather than going to the standard passenger terminal when I arrive at 8am, I head to a special private jet building – the Signature Aviation Service terminal – where celebrities and the super-rich hang out before taking off.
My flight to the glittering south of France will be on a £16million Cessna Citation Latitude jet, one of 7,000 that PrivateFly has access to around the world.
I turn up just 30 minutes before departure – in this world, there are no pesky queues or bag check-ins to blight the day.
I just walk into the building and after a swift security check the captain comes out to greet me and my fellow passengers – then offers to carry my hold bags to the plane.
Inside the jet there is space for eight passengers. PrivateFly has access to around 7,000 private jets worldwide
One of eight cream leather seats on board the Cessna Citation Latitude, left. It can fully recline and swivel 180 degrees, right
Within minutes I am walking up the steps of the aircraft and settling into my very comfortable cream leather seat.
Mere moments later, a glass of champagne is in my hand as the captain taxies towards the runway and before long the aircraft is preparing to soar among the clouds.
Not that the aircraft had to take off then, because in the world of private jets passengers and not the crew request the exact departure time.
But I have lunch planned in Nice so I want to leave promptly.
The jet has space for eight passengers with each luxurious seat able to turn 180 degrees and even fully recline if you want to kick your heels back.
Want to freshen up? No problem. There’s a bathroom that actually has space for you to turn around in – and the sink and mirror is set in a wood-effect interior complete with luxurious Jo Malone soap and hand lotion.
Twenty minutes into the flight and I can already see why this is the preferred way to travel – for those with sizeable bank accounts.
The Citation Latitude also has enough space so that you can fully stand up, move about and even pop down to the flight deck for a chat with the pilots mid-flight.
My glass is topped up with champagne again and wood-effect tables are folded out from under the windows – it’s breakfast time.
My experiences of being served breakfast at 38,000 feet usually consist of a stale croissant and a tiny yoghurt – but not this time.
Breakfast on board the jet consisted of meat, cheese, bread and fruit. It came on real China plates and passengers used silver cutlery to eat it
The jet’s interior is finished with a wood effect and comes with drink holders and adjustable lights
A whole box is placed in front of me containing three real china plates filled with meat, cheese, fruit and a bread roll.
And plastic cutlery is nowhere to be seen. Instead silver knives and forks are handed out and of course the food is washed down with yet more champagne.
Over breakfast, Adam Twidell, the CEO of PrivateFly tells me that for its private jet customers, the route from London to Nice is one of the most popular.
A trip to the south of France on a private jet can cost between £8,000 and £80,000 – depending upon timings and the type of aircraft used, while the quickest turnaround it’s ever had from enquiry to having a customer airborne is just 30 minutes.
The bathroom actually has space for you to turn around in and the sink and mirror is set in a wood-effect interior complete with luxurious Jo Malone soap and hand lotion
A little over an hour after taking off the private jet started to make its descent into Nice Airport. On approach passengers are treated to stunning views
Just 20 minutes after landing in Nice, Jennifer found herself enjoying the view from the rooftop restaurant Le Terrasse at the Le Meridien Hotel on the Promenade des Anglais
The Citation Latitude has enough space so that you can fully stand up, move about and even pop down to the flight deck for a chat with the pilots mid-flight
Once breakfast is over the plane starts its descent into the scenic Cote D’Azur and on landing, there’s no hanging around – a fleet of black people carriers are waiting to take me and the other passengers for a quick passport check before we enter France.
Just 20 minutes later I am enjoying lunch at the Le Terrasse roof-top restaurant at Le Meridien hotel on the Promenade des Anglais.
Lunch over and following an afternoon of wandering Nice’s old town and relaxing on the beach, it’s time to head back to London.
A quick phone call from the captain of the private jet tells me that the flight is ready to leave at 7.30pm as planned – but he informs us that if we fancy pushing back the departure time we can.
But we press ahead as planned and after another quick security and passport check, I’m back in a people carrier being ferried out to the jet on the apron.
Settling into my seat, the champagne flows again as the jet rolls down the runway bound for Britain.
A so-called ‘light snack’ of a platter of hand-craft sandwiches are served alongside mouth-watering French pastries.
After a day of enjoying the sun in Nice, Jennifer headed back to London on the private jet, with the passengers treated to a ‘light’ dinner
To round off dinner on the journey back to Luton, passengers were treated to miniature French pastries and macarons
The private jet terminal run by Signature Aviation Services at Luton Airport, which welcomes private jet passengers and crew
As the jet hurtles across the Channel, I rack my brains to think of any negative of taking a private jet (apart from the cost).
The only one I can come up with is that if you’re not a fan of confined spaces, this may not be an ideal mode of transport.
It’s not exactly roomy.
But the luxury and the sub-two-hour flight time to Nice make up for this as far as I’m concerned.
Just 12 hours after leaving, the jet touches back down in Luton and within minutes of hitting the tarmac, I’m back in the private terminal – again with no queues to endure.
What a life. Now, where else in the Med can I pop to for lunch?