While I am too cheap to ever pay for First Class (not that I have that type of money anyways), I can understand why people like it. By this point I was not even on the plane, and it was a totally like a whole new world. While I access lounges all the time, First Class lounges a whole new level of awesome. Between the amazing food and the world’s best shower at the Cathay Pacific First Lounge and the Gin Bar at Qantas, I was in heaven. Of course, we didn’t stop there. Next stop was terminal five and the British Airways’ premier lounge, the Concorde room.
Getting from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 at London Heathrow, was not too much of a hassle. However, it took longer than we expected it to. You have to follow the signs and essentially go through a backdoor through security to get to the transfer area. From there you jump on a bus that takes you to Terminal 5. It took about 30 minutes to make the transfer plus clear security at Terminal 5. One we cleared security we took an immediate right turn which led us to the Concorde Room. This lounge is part of a larger British Airways Lounge Complex which consists of the Concorde Room, The Galleries First Lounge, and the Elemis Spa. All of which I had access to with my first class ticket.
The Concorde room itself is super exclusive (clearly they knew who I was 🙂 ). You can only access it with a first class ticket or if you are Concorde Room cardholder. The Concorde Room card is only given to the highest of BA’s highest level frequent flier status. So us normals will likely never see it baring an amazing deal like Iberia’s 90,000 points promo. It is open from 5am until 10:30pm, so if you are flying first class out of T5 there should be no issues accessing it.
One thing you will want to be aware of if you plan on visiting the Concorde Room is You First. This is a service offered by British Airways to its first class fliers which helps you with your airport experience. For the lounges it can help you book a Concorde Room Cabana (a private room with private shower and daybed), as well as Elemis SPA treaments which can be hard to get if not booked in advance.
Our first stop was the Elemis Spa. When flying in British First or Business you can receive a complementary 15-minute spa treatment while visiting the lounges. They offer a wide variety of treatments including back massage, neck and shoulder massage, and facials. This area is also where their non-cabana shower rooms are. Stephanie and I both booked massages through the You First concierge. While we were a little bit late getting their for Stephanie’s, which was scheduled first, they were still able to take her to get her massage. My massage treatment was exactly what i needed. It left me feeling very clam, loose, and relaxed. Which, generally, are all things that I struggle with.
While at the SPA I also decided to grab a shower room. The British Airways showers paled in comparison to the Cathay Pacific showers, and this is an understatement. They really couldn’t compare. The British Airways showers felt like something you would find in a cruise ship rather than a luxury lounge. They seemed built to be functional rather than with aesthetics in mind. But again, this is way better than boarding a plane with the stink of 10+ hours of travel on you.
The Concorde Room
As we spent more time than expected at the Cathay Lounge, my favorite of the three lounges we checked out, we did not get as much time as we would like to checkout the Concorde Room.But as relaxed as I was after my massage, it didn’t really seem to matter to me, I was in too good of a mood to care. The lounge itself was beautiful decorated.
It dark decor and homey feel makes it seem more like someone living room than an airport lounge.
It set the perfect environment for some rest before a long flight. However, if you want a completely different feel just step out onto its Terrace.
The Terrace is without a doubt my favorite part about the Concorde Room. The first step out is quite awesome. You step onto the large wooden floor into a huge open space. The terrace overlooks overlooks the terminal and faces the massive glass windows of terminal five. Where the Concorde Room is dark, itself terrace is bright. Where the Concord room can feel stuffy, the terrace is wide open.
It is decorated like a mix of beach Cabana mixed with a bunch of random furniture. Its style is extremely eclectic. I loved it; while Stephanie was showering (she decided she wanted another one too), I relaxed on the terrace.
Concorde Room Dining/Drinks
The Concorde room has two different dining option. The first is lounge dining. This is a lighter dining option (I didn’t get a picture of the menu) if you are not looking for a full meal. Generally this menu consists of a Burger, a curry, a sandwich, a salad, and another dish or two. Servers are constantly walking around the Concorde Room asking if you want anything, so if you want to order something to eat or drink you will never need to leave your lounge chair. However, if you are in a hurry you can always order at the bar.
Concorde Room Dining
Separate from the lounge area is the Concorde room dining area.
If you are feeling really hungry, or are like me and want to get every drop of value from your first class ticket, you can get a three course meal while waiting for your plane. Despite having only about 30-40 minutes decided to try the three course meal. The restaurant rotates its menu every month, retiring a dish or two each time, making every month unique. However, the menu will look something like this.
One of the best parts about the Concorde Room that makes it superior to some other lounges, is they offer their top shelf drinks in the lounge, rather than just on the plane. That means Stephanie and I got to try some $150 a bottle Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle Champagne while on the ground. Generally, I am not a wine or Champagne person but damn, it was good. I got my moneys worth by getting a couple refills while on the ground. I don’t drink very often, so I definitely got a good buzz going.
For the first course I started with the Somerset smoked duck breast, which consisted of wafer thin slices of smoked breast of Somerset duck on a warm Brussels sprout and cranberry salad, served with kumquat marmalade.
Stephanie, who’s obsessed with goat’s cheese went with the fig and goat’s cheese tart. Fresh goats cheese and sliced fig in a shortcrust pastry base. Warmed through to release the flavors, with micro cress and served with a dressing of British Rapeseed oil and balsamic glaze.
I wasn’t a huge fan of my duck breast. I am not sure if it was because it was basically my fourth meal of the day (and it was only like 1pm) or because it just wasn’t a good dish. My duck really felt a bit rubbery and just a bit abrasive. However, Stephanie loved her tart. Goats cheese is an extremely strong flavor and the sweet fig really helped balance out that flavor. The short crust was warm and fresh. A fantastic overall dish.
For our second course I went with the beef bourguignon. Slow cooked British beef, with a red wine sauce. Served with buttered potato mash and creamed savoy cabbage.
Stephanie went with the Sauteed artichoke gnocchi. Sauteed artichoke gnocchi tossed in basil pesto and drizzled with smoked red pepper oil.
Both of our dishes were fantastic However, again I think i preferred Stephanie’s. Given the amount I had to eat that day (an the amount I was going to eat) the gnocchi was by the lighter and fresher option which would have been a great break from the heavy dishes I ate thus far.
Unfortunately we never got to try dessert. The wait between on entree and desert seemed unusually long, and because we had such a short timeline we had to run off before desert.
Concorde Room Bar
Immediately on the left as you enter the Concorde room is the bar. Like in the Concorde Room dining area, the bar offers the BA’s highest tier wines, champagnes, beers, and liquors. The entire month leading up to this trip I was hoping to grab one of my favorite drinks from the bar (Pimm’s & Lemonade), but unfortunately due to our lack of time, I did not get to see if they had it!
The Concorde Room at London Heathrow is British Airway’s Premier Airport Experience. Between a 3 course meal, top shelf drinks, and a relaxing atmosphere, it is worth showing up early to the airport.