Holidays are poorly designed. After all the fun, pack your bags and pack your bags again and head back to the airport. You are struggling with security, you are appalled by the lack of shops on the other side and you will not find any extra seats at the gate. To make it fun, there is always a crying toddler just meters away.
I have always wondered what it's like in the exclusive lounge: that mystery Shangri-La has been swept away at the end of the hall. This month I had the opportunity to watch the British Airways multi-million dollar refit from the Club Lounge at JFK International Airport's Terminal 7. Going home from New York is always difficult, but BA has taken the trouble to ease your pain.
After a quick security check, a discreet little escalator guides you to the fun – 22,000 square feet of fun, in fact. As you enter, there's a cold buffet with sandwiches, wraps, chilled drinks, and fresh juice, though it's the giant pots of gummy bears and Oreo cookies that strike me.
The lounge features the Quaich Bar with granite roof, created in collaboration with the Quaich Bar at the Craigellachie Hotel in Speyside, Scotland.
The cocktails that the Quaich Bar offers – the Big Apple, the classic Manhattan – are all inspired by New York
Furthermore, there is not just one lounge, but several: room after room with inviting armchairs, minimally structured but deeply set and generously padded – the kind of thing you drag on. To rate this double, you would like to search reviews of the former lounge online, where photos reveal an ocean of tired leather. It was definitely time for a makeover.
As I ventured through the lounge, I kept looking back at old test photos on my smartphone to compare and contrast how things looked before and after. Instead of an old & # 39; pub & # 39; (which was largely a well-stocked beverage shelf), there is now – hipster warning – a pop-up Brewdog bar with three craft beers on the go, one of which is exclusive to BA.
If that's not your drink, there's the Quaich Bar with granite tops: an elegant oval-shaped whiskey and cocktail bar that is presented in collaboration with the bar of the same name at the Craigellachie Hotel in a single malt country just north of the Cairngorms.
But let's not forget where we are: the cocktails it offers – the Big Apple, the classic Manhattan – all inspired by New York. Around the corner you will also find four different white wines and four different red wines that you can help yourself with, and endless Prosecco if that's your poison. My first mistake was to leave my car at Heathrow, so with a promised flight I didn't promise these treats.
In addition to the Quaich Bar, the lounge has a pop-up Brewdog bar with three craft beers on tap – and endless Prosecco
James writes: & # 39; There are countless power outlets and USB ports everywhere, so you can charge your equipment and yourself & # 39;
The lounge features & # 39; room after room or inviting armchairs & # 39 ;, writes James, & # 39; minimally structured but deeply set and generously received – the kind of thing you drool over on made.com & # 39;
To double appreciate the new lounge, James says, take a look online at the old one, which, he says, an ocean of tired tan leatherette
James was a guest at British Airways.
British Airways returns fares from London to New York from £ 278 in World Traveler (economy), £ 772 in World Traveler Plus (premium economy) and £ 1,462 in Club World (business class). Visit www.ba.com.
Assessment code: one star – poor; two stars – ok; three stars – good; four stars – very good; five stars – exceptional.
Instead, I decided to sweat out. Like the buffet – two of them, in fact – there is a brasserie with hot dishes and a table with chairs where I enjoyed a full plate of Korean chicken and Char Siu pork. Then two fistful & # 39; s of gummy bears for dessert.
Just like me, you could take a night flight from New York and – after a long day of spluttering through Manhattan – I appreciated the free showers. These were not as new as the other fixtures, but were spacious, warm and powerful, and that's all you need.
I liked how different parts of the lounge were lit differently, for those who still buzzed and stood up for fun, as well as for those who wanted to knock things down after a hedonistic outing. There are seemingly countless plug connections and USB ports everywhere, so you can charge your equipment and yourself.
With a few hours to kill before my flight, some of me quietly hoped for more gimmicks and attractions – and I noticed that I was paralyzed by what was hidden in the First Lounge next door, off-limits for us clubbers. But maybe after a while in New York the pleasure is simply space and comfort to find yourself again.
The lounge completes an investment of £ 52 million by BA following the unveiling of a & # 39; plush new space & # 39; for first customers in the fall of last year
In the brasserie, James enjoyed & # 39; a full plate of Korean chicken and Char Siu pork – then two fists of gummy bears for dessert & # 39;
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