The good people at Qantas invited me along to the launch of the new Qantas London lounge today in Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport. This is the first Qantas lounge in London, which is somewhat surprising considering the airline has been flying there for 60 years.
Qantas operate two daily services from Heathrow, one to Sydney and one to Melbourne. From late March 2018, the Melbourne service will go via Perth rather than Dubai, becoming the second longest flight in the world in the process. The lounge opens 29 November 2017, so let’s have a look.
Qantas London Lounge Entry
In Terminal 3, the new Qantas London Lounge is next to the excellent Cathay Pacific First Class and Business Class lounges. The entrance is quite striking.
Once inside, you can proceed to the left to go to the dining room and to the right to go to the gin bar or stairs. Did I mention the lounge is on two levels? Well, I have now.
Usually Qantas like to have a local twist in each of their current lounges and in London it is the gin bar. This is due to the British love of all things gin. Happily there is a very good selection on offer.
While I did not try any gin during my visit, I can tell you the Sipsmith is a decent gin, especially with a bit of lime and some Fever Tree tonic water. Give it a try, I liked it!
Above is a short video I took of the gin bar while everyone was listening to the speeches going on upstairs. It lasts around one minute and a half and shows around the bar and the stairs. Enjoy!
Qantas London Lounge Dining Room
For those that are hungry, there is an à la carte dining room on the ground floor. The lounge has a capacity of 236 people and there are a lot of tables in this area so dining is a definite focus.
Alan Joyce, the current CEO of Qantas, explained the strangest lounge request was from a customer who wanted a burger and chips. Made into a smoothie! It is reported the staff obliged this unusual passenger. Sounds delicious, right?
Another video taken while everyone was upstairs, this video shows the dining room on a small walk around. It is nice and short as well, at one minute and thirteen seconds. Hopefully that gives you a nice flavour of what to expect.
Up The Stairs To The Cocktail Bar!
As I mentioned, the lounge is on two levels so there is a rather nice staircase going up to the next level. You can access it from both sides of the lounge downstairs which will prevent bottlenecks.
As soon as you reach the top of the stairs, you are directly facing a large circular cocktail bar which looks rather nice. It is also quite big so they expect a lot of business.
This was the place to be during the press event so I didn’t really get close enough to see if they had a menu. Staff are trained by Accor and wear Sofitel name tags just like in the Sydney International First Class lounge, so service will be excellent.
There Are Two VIP Rooms
Perhaps you’re a Hollywood star, a Sheikh from the Middle East or just a run of the mill politician and need to hide from the prying eyes of the crowd. Never fear, Qantas have got you covered with not one but two VIP rooms.
Each features a door marked Private and inside are a couple of seats and some coffee tables. They are not designed to be a better area than the rest of the lounge but a place for privacy before flight.
Smelly And Need To Shower?
Six shower suites are upstairs in the Qantas London Lounge and they are very chic indeed. White and green tiles plus an excellent lighting design make these spaces pop.
There are a lot of mirrors which make the place look very bright. It is also really good so you can ensure you look fine before heading back out to the lounge before your flight. I think these are superbly finished and I can’t wait to give the rain shower a try.
A variety of different types of furniture are used to create different spaces for different kinds of passengers. Single seats are available by the window for solo travellers, while there are tables for those eating.
Various other lounge chairs and benches are available. Up the back there are some work areas where laptops can be plugged in, as well as seats for groups of business or leisure travellers to sit together.
Welcome To The Toilet
Interestingly, the Qantas London Lounge has gone the way of British Airways and decided on separate toilet rooms for each passenger. This is different to the Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge next door which uses a more traditional arrangement.
Separate facilities are provided for men and women. As long as they are well ventilated and are kept clean, these should be perfectly adequate for all users.
Opening Day Menu
Sometimes I am annoying and I had the bar tender ask the kitchen to get me the menu for opening day, which is Wednesday 29 November. It was not printed yet, but I asked nicely and they printed it off especially.
Dishes cover a really nice range from hearty fare like the Lancashire Hotpot to the more eclectic such as the Quinoa kedgeree with smoked salmon and poached egg. All of it sounds delicious!
Speaking Of Food…
Here is the food that featured in the lounge during the press launch. I sampled several of the dishes and everything tasted brilliant so no complaints from me.
I wish I had more time to try more things, but I was mainly busy running around taking photos and videos for this review. Next time, I’m sure!
Tea And Quench
Dilmah are the tea of choice in the Qantas London Lounge and there are lovely little black tea pots nearby for you to use. It makes the tea experience much nicer than throwing a tea bag in a cup.
Quench is billed as a hydration station with tisane, fruit infused water and sparkling water which is designed to help you prepare for a long haul flight. Must give that a try sometime!
Food, Sweets, and Royal Albert Tea Sets
Most lounges have a selection of food that everyone can select and this one is no exception. The food has some great variety and looks quite delicious.
In the VIP rooms and in a couple of other places are some really lovely Royal Albert tea sets by Miranda Kerr. These feature colourful flowers on them and really get your attention.
This lounge also features an all day barista coffee service, Noritake crockery by David Caon and fast and free Wireless Internet. What’s not to love?
Spoilt For Choice
Frequent flyers in the oneworld alliance are spoilt for choice in Terminal 3 at Heathrow. In addition to the new Qantas London lounge, there is the fabulous Cathay Pacific first class lounge and the accompanying business class lounge.
American Airlines will be opening a new Flagship lounge sometime in 2018 and if it is anything like the new one in New York, it promises to be excellent. Last but not least, British Airways offer both a Galleries First and Galleries Club lounge for their passengers.
What else is there to say? The Qantas London lounge has it all. First and business class passengers as well as oneworld Emerald and Sapphire frequent flyers should really enjoy being here.
Representatives from Japan Airlines and El Al were at the opening, so I daresay those passengers will also be expressly using the new lounge.
Is it the best lounge in Terminal 3 for oneworld? Until I have sat and experienced the lounge food and service on a normal day, I can’t say. However, from what I have seen, it is certainly a contender to knock the Cathay Pacific lounge from its perch.
Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.