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25 September 2017


i'm on a quest to find the best way to handle an early morning flight; i've tried a budget airport-adjacent hotel room. i'll be trying a luxury in-airport smart hotel before i jet to japan. and in this month's instalment of "things i'll definitely try once to see if it's worth the effort or not", i tried an airport lounge. well, not any old airport lounge, no no, the no 1 lounge at gatwick's north terminal. i know a few pals who've splurged on a lounge visit before a special flight (birthday, anniversary, etc) and loved it, so in my natural "i want what she's having" ways, i decided to give it a go and see what all the hype was about. well. here, is what the hype is all about:


yep. as part of your entry to the lounge, you're entitled to drink as much booze as you'd like for the two hours you're in there. well, within reason of course, because your airline are unlikely to let you board if you're as pickled as a gherkin, but you know.. a few glasses in a few hours is a pretty nice way to start your holiday, no? unless you're stood at the bar chatting with a nice older lady from aberystwyth for so long that you don't hear your final boarding call, still order another prosecco for you and your travel companion, drink said prosecco, and then have to leg it to the gate while praying they will still let you on, then it's a pretty frantic start. still, the buzz from the prosecco made it all worthwhile.. and pretty funny to us both.


you are also entitled to as much buffet-style food as you'd like (it helps to sop up the booze, too). our flight wasn't super early, but it was still breakfast time in the lounge. we had our fill of complimentary coffee (pretty good for a machine jobby, too), pastries, and mini muffins, as well as fresh fruit, cereals, and yoghurts from a "healthier options" bar. no thanks! we were issued a menu for one complimentary hot meal each that we totally forgot to take advantage of, but a hot bacon bap or crepe florence certainly doesn't hurt before a flight either, and is a really nice touch i think! needless to say, two (or four) croissants and a bowl of cereal was enough to keep the prosecco buzz at bay during the flight.


airports can be hell. there are too many people, it's noisy, there's always someone walking slowly in front of you or standing where you want to stand, and it's disruptive. the thing that's supposed to be fun - the holiday - can sometimes start on the wrong foot if the airport experience isn't very nice. well. here's what is nice: a comfy bucket seat and a marble table top next to a window that overlooks the runway. what is nice is lots of charge points, and free wifi. what is really nice, is an adults-only library that's quiet and doesn't allow children inside it's hallowed walls. and what is extra extra nice, is all of that, plus booze and food, and some excellent company for the few hours leading up to a flight. 

all of that makes the holiday start sooner, it puts you at ease when you need to be, and it doesn't even cost the earth (only £30 for all that, for two hours). so, guess what i'll be doing from now on pre-flight? go on, guess.

*i was a guest of no 1 lounges, but aaaall drunken memories are mine.

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