The British Airways Concorde Room at London Heathrow has to be one of most hellacious lounges in the world. Let me tell you about my visit.
First, the lounge looks like grandma’s house. You know, your grandma whose furniture is about two decades out of style. There’s vintage and then there is tacky. The Concorde Room falls into the latter category. The good news is BA is reupholstering the furniture. The bad news is that much of the threadbare furniture still remains and leather won’t get rid of the chips and cracks of years of use.
And with that dour opening, let’s pivot to breakfast. I arrived from Dubai and had a few hours before connecting to New York. I skipped a full English breakfast onboard Qantas First Class specifically because I wanted that in the Concorde Room.
How was it?
Well, first the dining area. I like it. Private booths with high walls, sterling silver cutlery, and cloth napkins. The menu has a number of breakfast items.
The waitress helping me out was quite cheeky.
I asked her, “What is this black pudding that come with breakfast?”
“Don’t ask love, you really don’t want to know.”
I asked Google instead and found it was blood sausage pictured in my plate below (the black disc that could also pass for dark rye toast). I skipped it. The breakfast was underwhelming (eggs were not cold but also not hot) but the cappuccino was drinkable. I only had four.
There is a lunch/dinner menu in the lounge but I was told I could not see it because it wasn’t available until noon.
Just to see what I’ll be missing? No.
I’m going to do a separate post on the Elemis Spa. I had an interesting experience there…
But I also wanted to take a shower and thought it would be a good time to check on cabana availability. BA actually has private rooms with bathroom/showers available to first class passengers. But alas, there was no room in the inn.
Instead, I was directed out of the lounge and to the spa, where I was added to a queue and told to I would be paged…in about an hour. That’s first class service.
When it finally came time to use the lounge, I immediately appreciated why there was such a demand for the showers. The shower rooms were indeed as good as I’ve ever seen onboard Amtrak or at my local hospital. See for yourself:
Refreshed after the shower, I returned to the lounge and sat down for a bit on the terrace overlooking bustling T5 below. It was there I ran into James Dozer from Travel Codex (who I still managed to beat in publishing this review even though we are both two years late…😉).
By this time, the lounge began to fill up and for whatever reason thoughts of a Tokyo subway came to mind.
It came time to board my flight to New York. I sat waiting for my personal lounge attendant to escort me downstairs and help me into the Rover to drive me over to my aircraft. I waited for about 20 minutes but curiously no one ever came to fetch me. Then I realized, or should I say realised, I was dreaming about the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt.
I bid goodbye to the friendly staff on the way out but they were so busy doing important company business on their cell phones that they did not even acknowledge me. I wasn’t aware that BA used YouTube and iMessage for official work.
You cannot miss this lounge, for it is the best one…in London…in T5…operated by British Airways…on the second floor.
In all seriousness, the lounge is not in the same league as first class lounges across the channel in Frankfurt, Munich, and Paris. It is a nice lounge with some first class elements, but ultimately feels worn out. Reupholstering the furniture will help, but the trite “lipstick on a pig” line seems appropriate here. Cheerio.