British Airways First Class (Singapore to Sydney)

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So my round the world trip has come to an end! It is pure sadness…. so I arrive at the airport leaving behind the amazing Marina Bay Sands Hotel (and their spectacular infinity pool). You can check out my review of the hotel here.

I reach the airport a little early and I find out that British Airways has this amazing early check-in service through an outsourced provider, which prints your boarding pass and holds your checked luggage until British Airways can process it when their counter is opened.

I am quite excited by this trip as it is also my first opportunity to try out the new British Airways Lounge.

British Airways Lounge and Concorde Bar

The Lounge

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The lounge is beautiful with a nice contemporary feel. There are leather sofas for those looking to chill, bar stools for those looking to sip a leisurely drink and engage in conversation with another solo traveller. There is a buffet area with Asian influenced bites and the BA’s trademark champagne bar which is very similar to the Galleries Lounge in Heathrow. At the back of the lounge there is a mini business centre with computers and printers for those workaholics out there.

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The Lounge includes a Concorde Bar which is meant to be similar to the Concorde Room in London and New York.

The Concorde Bar

Now the Concorde Bar…how would I describe the access method? I think of James Bond for a moment (and it is fitting given both British Airways and 007 have the same homeland)… as you walk into the Lounge based on your class of travel (if you’re travelling First on British Airways), you are given a card by Q (sorry the Lounge Attendant) like the one below with a PIN which you have to enter into the keypad next to the Concorde Bar. If its the right code the doors fling open to reveal what’s inside.

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So I walk up rather carefully to the door with the card and key in the PIN… it’s quite exciting I must admit, there is something espionage about it in an innocent Maxwell Smart intro scene kinda way.

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Behold… the door opens… Now given how early I am the staff are still setting-up the bar. It’s very private and is a lovely place to rest as I am the only passenger there.

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There are little booths in the corner for groups to dine together…

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A selection of afternoon tea sandwiches, cold-cuts and desserts….

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There are sort of semi private booths with a TV and sofas in an enclosed area for those who prefer a little privacy…

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What does differentiate the Concorde Bar from the rest of the Lounge is the selection of wines and spirits. I pour myself a glass (okay don’t give me that look)…. fine, I’ll admit I end up having several glasses of these lovely wines throughout the afternoon.

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The selection of spirits is okay, there are some mediocre performers on the shelf with some exceptions… however if you notice on the top right of the photo below there is a lovely bottle of Johnny Walker Blue which may have been full when I entered the lounge (just saying!).

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There are some Asian influenced tapas and pies for something a bit more substantial.

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Overall, the Concorde Bar is probably not quite there… the food was no different to what is the main lounge and was not overly appetizing. The area was not serviced by the staff for most of the time… which it really should be. The wi-fi didn’t work in the Concorde Bar and I had to keep leaving the lounge to respond to emails and the like which is just so annoying and there isn’t a lot of natural lighting in the lounge just image projections of Singapore so it doesn’t have the feel of the Concorde Room in London or New York. It’s a nice idea, but needs to be improved to become a true haven like their flagship lounge in London.

Finally with relief, the boarding call chimes and I race towards the gate for my flight… the journey home begins.

The Seat

I immediately order a glass of the Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle, Champagne.

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This is the same Champagne as the one they served on my flight from New York, so here is my view from that review: “It’s a beautiful vibrant and sensuous drinking experience with wonderful aromas of honey, hints of almond and brioche which flow with equal strength onto the palate with some nice minerality and citrus sparkle.”

I get some cute PJs and an amenity kit to prepare for the night ahead and it is such sad experience as my wonderful trip draws to a close.

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Dinner

After take-off I have a glass of wine and continue with the same wine for the duration of the flight.

Chateau Fleur Cardinale (2009) Saint Emilion, Grand Cru Classe, Bordeaux France

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The wine is lovely with good blueberry jammy notes with chocolatey notes in the finish. It is a very robust and rich red wine which complements the fruit with nice floral hints, good tannins and some mild acidity. The feel of oak does give it some good bite which is a nice little nuance, but I am suddenly just too tired to even respond to it – its just a drink I need to ease into the flight.

Amuse Bouche

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The amuse bouche is a nice prosciutto canapé to awaken the taste buds with the intense mineral salts of the prosciutto having a ball on the palate.

Entrée

Crabmeat Roulade with Lemongrass and Chilli Dressing

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This dish is lovely. It is defined by the beautiful soft silky crab meat and complimented by the bite of the lemongrass and chilli sauce and the cold zucchini wrap. A refreshing dish to start the evening.

Main Course

Roast Chicken Breast with Red Wine and Rosemary Sauce, Mashed Potatoes and Snow Peas

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This hearty dish with beautiful succulent chicken, the richness of the red wine sauce. To match are soft but crunchy vegetables and soft moist potato mash for a dish reminiscent of a relaxing lazy Sunday lunch.

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I skip dessert as I am simply full.

Sleep

Work beckons the next day for me, so I have the bed made and dive straight in for a good night sleep.

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I wake-up and pass on breakfast, I do order an espresso but alas they don’t have an espresso machine on board unlike Qantas…. so I need to wait for my morning coffee hit.

The Landing

The landing into Sydney is so beautiful (you can see full landing video in the final scenes of my video travel diary – link here).

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I arrive safe and sound in Sydney and I have to get ready and head straight into office… a day of meetings and chaos awaits me!

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