I just love airline lounges! Apart from being on the actual plane itself, there is no place I’d rather be than the lounge! New lounges are a special favourite of mine… its that tingly feeling of not knowing what to expect I guess! Anyway Cathay Pacific recently opened the newly renovated The Pier First Class Lounge in Hong Kong Airport. I have been to the Wing Lounge (check out the review here) before, but this is my first time checking out the newly renovated Pier Lounge.
It has everything and dare I say it… probably is as good as the British Airways Concorde Lounge or the Qantas First Lounge in Sydney – big call, but here it is.
The lounge has this beautiful understated clubhouse or apartment style feel to it as you walk in. It generates a sense of belonging… There is an uncluttered experience about this lounge, it so peaceful and has a wonderful playlist to ease your mind from worries of that connecting flight or the day full of back-to-back meetings. I stroll through lounge, with the attendants pearly white smiles greeting me with the usual warmth I have come to expect from Cathay Pacific. The furnishing of green onyx, walnut wood and bronze just add that soothing touch to the lounge experience along with lots of fresh greenery.
Inside the lounge there is a pantry of assorted snacks pastries and fruits for you to nibble on as you so wish. Its a delightful selection indeed.
I was first in the lounge during breakfast, so naturally some good cereals and fruit were on display.
The lounge has this charm and elegance as the waft of Cathay’s new bespoke fragrance places you at ease as you walk through the lounge end-to-end. The furnishings are elegant, comfortable and well spaced out reflecting the lounge’s spaciousness.
I just loved this particular chair – it had my name written all over it. It is a classic piece of furniture! It was like the chair had a hold of me, like a clingy girlfriend, and I just could leave it… thankfully my connecting flight eventually dragged me away from her “oh so comfortable” clutches!
A little trolley of port and nibbles certainly caught my attention!
The bar at the end of the lounge was such a beautiful sight! The allure of this bar is timeless indeed… It kinda transports you to a bar in the middle of Paris with a date sipping cocktails while the playlist creates just the right touch of background music to clutter your conversations. Its a beautiful setting and I could just see myself spending hours here if given the chance.
On my visit the bar is unattended as its early morning (8am). I think to myself, please do not leave me in charge of that liquor cabinet… unless you’re looking to dispose of it!
On my second visit through the lounge… when it was a more civilised and socially acceptable time to consume an alcoholic beverage – I did myself the favour of ordering a cocktail at the bar. The cocktail was the Temple Street (Bacardi Rum, Fresh Strawberry and Red Apple Juice). Its such a thrill sitting at the bar, people watching, letting the time slip away while tending to a rich fruity cocktail as its chill leaves that tingly sensation on your spine.
When I landed I was pretty tired, so I did opt for a lovely Day Suite with a full be and a view of the tarmac. The super thick curtains and an electronic screen to give you total privacy if you so desire.
The bedding is soft and comfortable with a tranquil atmosphere allowing to forget about day and just close your eyelids for some much needed rest.
They also offer 20 minute foot massages around the corner… but I didn’t feel I needed one today… my day wasn’t that bad… yet!
If you’re anything like me, I love having shower before my next flight and the shower suites here are quite classic. Lovely limestone, thick timber and classic gold plated bath furnishings are just the perfect welcome before a shower.
Classic Aesop bath gels and lotions provide the perfect tonic to skin which has been subjected to the humidity of the cabin.
The shower is lovely with a beautiful choice of a rainforest shower or hand shower wand.
I am finally feeling a little peckish, so I decide to wander down to the dining room. It appears like a simple casual club dining facility. Cathay Pacific works with the chefs at the Peninsula Hotel to produce freshly prepared made-to-order dishes which are of the standard of first grade dining establishment.
I had the pleasure of both breakfast and dinner at the Dining Room on my visits.
The Eggs Benedict is a charmer alright! The creamy hollandaise on a rustic English muffin with boned ham and tomato based beans to round out the experience. I do ask for some salmon with mine, so I ditch the ham and create and Eggs Royale instead. A glass of Veuve Clicquot is the perfect partner the eggs and throws in its wheaty brioche style refreshing flavour and mild acidity to round out the breakfast experience. Its a lovely start to the day indeed.
On my second visit, I had the pleasure of the All Day Dining Menu and here were my choices…
Smoked duck breast served with baby spinach, walnuts and citrus dressing
A lovely rich smoky dish to start. I loved the duck which had a robust and full flavour but with the balance of the smoked flavour. The crunchy caramelised walnuts were treat and it was balance by some beautiful acidity in the citrus dressing. I did avoid the citrus fruits on the plate as they were a little too sweet for my liking.
Char-grilled chicken with sun-dried tomato and cheese stuffing, cured ham avocado and corn salsa
A pure treat, with the succulent chicken with that chargrilled skin providing a beautiful tasting experience. the filling of tomato and cheese added a richness to the dish with the tangy sundried tomatoes. The corn and avocado salsa added a little crunch and mildness to balance the richness of the stuffing. The crisps on the side made the dish a little more rustic in its feel.
Crabmeat and conpoy soup with bamboo mushroom with scallop and prawn sesame toast
I opt to skip dessert and have another entrée! It was a great choice as the conpoy proved to be a masterpiece. The richness and thickness of the conpoy with the fresh flaky crabmeat and earthy bamboo mushrooms is sensuous experience indeed. The oily prawn and scallop toasts do provide a lovely crunchy texture to balance the supple softness of the conpoy.
All dishes were paired with the beautiful Chateau La Bourgette, Bordeaux (2008). A deep rich silky earthy style Bordeaux with lovely red fruit flavours! A truly wonderful dining experience indeed!