LHR: London Heathrow British Airways Terminal 5 Galleries First Lounge
The British Airways First Class lounge Heathrow Terminal 5 itself is on the lower level of the lounge complex, at the South side of the building. There are twin desks as you go in - and then you pass the two famous statues of the "horse with the lamp". If you need to know what this is, you have not got a First Class ticket.
The lounge is lovely. It is underneath the Southern Galleries lounge, on the South side of the airport. Do take the time to explore, because there are several bars, and a hidden area down a corridor, plus the famous terrace viewing area and bar. The best impression is the stunning view to the southern LHR runway.
Starting in the main area oftThe British Airways First Class lounge Heathrow Terminal 5, as you walk in, there is the main rectangular box that has neat, comfortable, armchairs separated by glass panels. Contemporary British Artist Christopher Pearson has created several pieces for the Galleries. These laser etched glass panels were inspired by the four seasons, and describe the growing circle of the English Oak tree.
If you walk over to the left and through the double doors, you are on the famous First terrace, where you can relax in white smooth leather couches with a glass of champagne. There are two highly prized sun loungers here, right by the door, with a great view, which has to be my favoured place in any of BA's lounges. There is also a fireplace on the terrace, with some very comfortable sofas.
Back in the body of the lounge, down one arm (back behind you as you go in) is the Refectory & Deli.
The Champagne Bar is tucked away up the corridor to the side (bear right and right again), and is a small intimate space, with small tables around high padded walls, plus sparkling Swarkoski chrystals, but the choice of champagne is restricted to an adequate premium white and rosť blend. There is also the Terrace Bar, on the terrage, overlooking the shops, but oddly here you only get a choice of beer - and it's just BA's standard selection of Carlsberg, Heiniken, London Pride and Newcastle Brown.
There is a Coffee House near the Champagne bar, with pretty good variants of coffee - all machine made of course.
A Kids Zone (designed by El Ultimo Grito) is tucked away past the refectory, offering toys and games for the under fives. There are 20 shower suites beside the Elemis travel spa, outside the lounge.
FoodThe Refectory & Deli are good, but be prepared to be a little bit disappointed about the offered choice of meals, because there is no remarkable difference to the Galleries business lounges. Indeed, compared with the former Terminal 1 First Class lounge food is poor.
It seems, BA twigged that most of the people in First were infact on Gold cards - so they've moved real first class passengers to the Concorde room, with accordingly better food.
Down the Refectory arm (oh, it is so public school) there are three fridges and the main food galley at the bottom. Here you can get a bacon or mushroom roll til Midday, and then either pick at the salad bar, or order from the Menu. If you call over a waitress you can be offered Soup, Ceaser salad, Pasta, Pies, panini, or tarts with veggies.
BarThere are several bars. The main bar is part of the Wine Gallery, in the centre of the main section overlooking the Southern Runway. Here there are several wines, but they are noticably a bit poorer than of late, with a couple of midling whites and a dodgy red.
Meanwhile the Gold Bar (for all those Gold executive club members flying on cheap economy tickets) is to the right of the main section.
Here, there are the spirits (on the far wall) with 14 different spirits. Johnnie Walker red (no Blue alas - that's now only in the Concorde lounge) is there, plus Tia Maria, Campari, Southern Comfort, JD, Bacardi, Smirnoff, Martini, and London gin.
There are 44 computers in the lounge, racked around the walls, and a photocopier in the middle of it. There are also a couple of plasma TVs (showing CNN and the BBC News Channel) next to the screens with departure information.
There is free-wifi in the lounge, and several racks of newspapers with a full selection of the UK's daily papers.
Magazines are much better in First than upstairs in Biz, with Conde Nast traveller and Wallpaper among the selection.
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