Up until relatively recently, flyertalk.com’s British Airways forum had a thread which provided the opportunity to arrange meetups with other forum members; this was not only a way to meet other people with an interest in flying but also an opportunity for people ticketed in premium cabins to offer their +1 to somebody else in the community.
[the thread was taken down but a similar exchange now exists on BA97.com]
I saw that somebody was offering a space to BA’s Concorde Room (CCR) on the day that I was due to set out on my first Viking Fare and sent across a message which was responded to very quickly.
Not only would I be flying an amazingly cheap premium airfare but I would be commencing my trip within the confines of the usually highly exclusive Concorde Room, despite positioning to OSL on an Economy Avios ticket!
There’s nothing like the feeling of stacking up one deal on top of another and coming back with exponentially silly results.
I reviewed this lounge in full in the past and not much had changed on this occassion, for the full review click here or here.
The champagne is arguably the best thing about the CCR, as they serve the same Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle as is served on board the First Class cabin. This is something of a rarity for airlines as generally the champagne will be one notch below what you get on the plane: Business class champagne in the F lounge and prosecco, cava or some other sparkling…thing in the business class lounge.
The only other lounges, that I know of, serving a prestige cuvée are:
The Private Room – SIN (SQ) : Dom Pérignon
Al Safwa – DOH (QR) : Taittinger Comtes de Champagne
Both of these lounges have restricted access criteria, denying entry to frequent fliers on non-First Class tickets and even denying entry to those in ticketed First Class on partner airlines.
With another hour to kill before boarding, I ordered a couple of dishes from the dining room menu and asked for them to be brought to my table on the terrace. I’m not a big fan of the indoor dining area, the service can be quite varied and the area itself is cramped and noisy. I always prefer to eat on the terrace, even if the tables are a little low.
Both dishes were excellent, a real cut above the breakfast offerings that I had previously tried.
After three glasses of the LPGS I decided to switch to a champagne cocktail, the CCR interpretation of a classic French 75 – the BA175.
This was very well made and not sweet at all, one of the better versions of this cocktail that I’ve had the pleasure to taste.
I enjoyed this quite a lot more than my previous visits to the CCR. It was really nice to meet another FlyerTalker in person but more than anything this visit highlighted to me how much difference timing makes to a lounge visit.
A rushed breakfast in a crowded room, heaving with people is quite a different prospect to a relaxed dinner, enjoyed on a sparsely populated terrace, where the lounge staff have time to interact on a more personal level.
I was actually a little sad to leave for my flight to OSL…