I just got back from a two week trip to London, which was amazing. For my flight back to the states I managed to find a British Airways First Class ticket through American Airlines for around 80,000 miles, which is an absolute steal. It was quite the splurge and afforded me access to one of the most opulent lounges at London's Heathrow airport.
Getting to this lounge is pretty straight forward due to the dedicated First wing at London Heathrow. From the dedicated check-in area you walk straight into the Business Class lounge, don't be fooled as First Class ticket holders have to exit the lounge and head across the hall to the Concorde Room. It can be confusing but all the staff were nice and pointed me in the right direction.
If for some reason that you entered Terminal 5, where all British Airways flights leave from, other than private security you can follow the signs to the Galleries Lounge and the Concorde room is across the hall just up the elevator.
The Concorde Room is exclusively for British Airways passengers flying in First Class or Gold Guest List (invite-only) passengers. The lounge will exclusively have passengers flying in long haul routes where First Class is offered. Don't get this confused with Business Class, this lounge is not available for those traveling in domestic or international Business Class with British Airways.
Food and Beverage Offerings
All food and beverage is table service, there are no buffets in sight. Everything is hand made in a kitchen and can be brought wherever you are. All the staff was very friendly and prompt if you ever needed anything they would bring it right to you.
I had arrived pretty early for my 3PM flight and ended up having both breakfast and and lunch in the lounge. For breakfast the was everything from a Full English to simple pastries, I ended up having the Eggs Benedict. It was just a light meal as I had a long day in front of me, but it was cooked perfectly. The eggs were nice and runny and the hollandaise sauce was perfectly creamy and not a single bit of grit was found.
After breakfast I went to go sit down for two hours while they changed over to lunch and then decided to try the indoor dining option, again I don't know why I was expecting anything less than amazing. Another light option I had the caesar salad with chicken and the house beef burger, both were perfectly made and the beef was juicy and flavorful. If I did have to give a slight criticism, the thickly cut fries weren't cooked for nearly long enough and still had a slightly solid interior rather than light and fluffy.
Overall however every meal I had was great! The wine selection was perfectly paired with the food. While I'm not a wine connoisseur, I had a nice New Zealand wine that paired with the burger very well.
Amenities & Services
The Concorde Room allows for bag check, I found this quite the nifty service and it makes sense. I didn't really stay put in the lounge, I opted to go to the dining rooms for meals and in between I found some comfy seating around the lounge to relax in and get some work done.
While I didn't try it myself there are private rooms with showers that can be booked, however it looks like these go quick. On my way out of the lounge I passed by the desk and there was a line to try to reserve and book these rooms. If you don't want a private room to sleep there is also a quiet room with seats made for sleeping if you need to close your eyes for a bit and relax.
There was a myriad of seating options, big couches, single seats, and even full tables were all found throughout the lounge. However, maybe I'm spoiled with Delta's lounges, power outlets were few and far between. I wanted to get a last little bit of charge in my devices before my flight but outlets were hard to come by, I found some plugs near some side tables but there wasn't enough to go around. Most people plugged in their devices and sat nearby in more comfy seats while they waited.
Because of the exclusivity of the Concorde Room seating wasn't too bad to come by, I didn't have a challenge finding the type of seat I wished to sit in and I never felt crowded at any point during my nearly 5 hour stay in the lounge before my flight. One area that you might have issues finding seating is the dining areas, if you choose to have your meals in the dining rooms they seem to fill up fast around lunch time and I saw a few couples told to wait a few moments while other passengers finished up their meals. While this did happen I don't think anyone waited more than about 5 minutes for a table.
The general feeling of the Concorde Room is silence and isolation. You could tell most people in the lounge just wanted to be alone and unlike other lounges I've been to where groups of people are traveling together and are usually social with one another I rarely found more than two people sitting together. British Airways doesn't have very large First Class cabins, on my A380 there were only 12 of us in the cabin.
The lounge was very quiet, most people talked with just a shallow voice and the clanking of silverware to dishes was louder than most people talked. You could also tell there were some celebrities and high-end people in the lounge by how they were being taken care of by the staff. I passed by Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple) in the lounge as it looked like he was trying to find a place to sit that had power plugs just like I was doing. He had someone from the lounge following him as he was trying to find a seat which I would expect they would give people like him a little closer attention than people like me.
This was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that I probably won't be able to do again. However I did have quite the fun experience, it was a different getting waited on and having prompt staff for my requests. Everyone that I ran into was just lovely and enthusiastic. It is definitely a step up from Business Class and I enjoyed my time there.