I have had the pleasure of enjoying the services of many airline lounges throughout the world, yet the British Airways Concorde Room at Heathrow is still best environment hands down for any airline in my opinion. The service is outstanding and the food and beverages available are simply “first class’ all the way.
Once again I entered the lounge environment well in advance of my flight to take full advantage of the experience. You may enter this lounge if you are holding a First Class ticket with British Airways and departing from terminal 5 (including B and C gates). The View of the airport from the terrace section is wonderful as you will see all the various aircraft taking off from the main runways and the large BA jets will coast by your windows. I have enjoyed the other lounge areas in the pavilion as well, (which is used by gold card holders of BA’s executive club). The other lounge, located across from the Concorde room, is always busier and does not feel as exclusive as the Concorde Room.
The private dining area in the Concorde room is a full service restaurant with no charges as it is part of the “on-the -ground” dining options available for First Class passengers. For a formal breakfast service I enjoyed a glass of pink champagne along with grilled kippers and some bacon and sausages on the side. The service is timely and extremely professional. the bottle of champagne was correctly presented to me and I was offered a tasting for approval. Kippers in the Concorde room are very popular and they are flawless every time I order them. Arguably they are some of the best kippers you will find in London.
The Concorde room is also a great place to people watch and quietly comment on various fashion successes and trajedies. Nelly Furtardo was quietly sitting in a corner in the terrace area of the lounge and dressed very well. The majority of people in this lounge make a real effort to look their best, yet at the same time be comfortable. I see many men wearing jackets, and yes, some are wearing ties. ladies are usually in very nice outfits although I find that most of the time the best dressed are the passengers from India, Africa, Europe and especially Britain. I hate to say this … but most of the passengers that are underdressed are the North Americans. Not a problem … whatever makes you comfortable. It is just nice to hark back to the glorious days of travelling in style and looking fantastic when heading overseas. This is First Class so if there is anywhere that dressing nice before a flight is acceptable … this is the place. remember that you will be provided pyjamas on board so changing after take off is the norm.
I was wearing a loosely fitted tie and felt as though the staff were making a little extra effort with me and giving a more formal and personal touch. I looked the part of a First Class traveller. I was given so many nods of approval and smiles when walking through the lounge environments. I don’t think it was my imagination, but if I so much as glanced at a server they would rush to me and I did not see that happen with my underdressed fellow travellers. British Airways spent millions of pounds creating these special lounge environments with the goal of rekindling the old prestigious age travel. I personally feel that it is nice to meet the example set by the airline in First Class by dressing appropriately and especially wearing a decent pair of shoes.
As usual the wines in the Concorde Room are outstanding. The great hit today was the Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2001. It had so many levels on the palate and you could taste the glorious age of the wine.
Laurent Perrier Grande Siècle champagne is offered in the Concorde Room as well as on board your First Class flight. It is a stunning champagne and very special. I noticed that the champagne offered in the gold card lounge across from the Concorde Room was Taittinger, which is adequate but not a premier champagne.
I booked the private Cabana area within the lounge by calling BA a few weeks before my flight. I was also given the option to advance book my massage treatment in the Elemis Spa. The Cabana is simply awesome as you are given a private retreat and full bathroom along with a desk, flat screen TV and a large lounger-bed for sleeping. A little button on the desk will bring a server to your door in seconds, should you need any food.
Before entering the lounge pavilion at Terminal 5 there is a wonderful display that shows some historic images and items from the history of British Airways. The below slideshow gives an example of what was featured today. My favourite item was the letter and accompanying envelope below: