British Airways Galleries Club & First lounges T3 Heathrow review

BA T3 lounge reviewChampagne bar

 

ba cocktail challenge

Roving Reporter

In an effort to review all the BA lounges at Heathrow, both Roving Reporter and I spent some time in the T3 BA lounges a couple of weeks ago. As I have mentioned before, there is a good selection of lounges at T3 including AA, Cathay and BA. In the future, once the AA lounge has been refurbished and the new Qantas one opens, you will have to allow a good few hours to enjoy them all! So is the BA lounge worth visiting or should you go straight to the Cathay Lounge? You can read my reviews of the Cathay lounges in these articles: First lounge, business lounge.

 

Opening hours and eligibility

Galleries First Lounge Zone F 05:00- 22:30
  • customers travelling in First
  • Executive Club Gold Members (plus one guest)
  • oneworld Emerald members (plus one guest)
Galleries Club Lounge Zone F 05:00-22:30
  • customers travelling in First, Club World or Club Europe
  • Executive Club Gold and Silver Members (plus one guest)
  • oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members (plus one guest)

Elemis Spa

BA T3 lounge review

Elemis Travel Spa T3

One reason to head to the BA lounge first, is if you are interested in a spa treatment. Up until a few years ago, there was no spa at T3 but there is now a similar range of treatments that you find at T5 (no grooming or shave treatments though). You can pre-book treatments within 28 days of departure if you are travelling in First. For everyone else, you will need to ask at the lounge when you arrive. If you are set on having a treatment ,I would advise arriving at least 3 hours ahead. I am rarely lucky enough to get an appointment except for a massage chair even 2.5 hours ahead of time. You can find the range of treatments to choose from here.

BA Galleries Club Lounge T3

BA T3 lounge review

Club lounge entrance

The lounge at T3 is very similar to T5 and when I visited on a Friday morning, it was pretty busy. As you enter the lounge you will walk into the food area. Most people tend to sit here to eat, so it is generally the busiest area. You are better off collecting your food and walking further into the lounge to get some peace and quiet.

 

BA T3 lounge review

Dining area looking towards the lounge entrance

As you head toward the back of the lounge it is usually much quieter. There is also plenty of natural light in these areas, plus a view of the airport.

BA T3 lounge review

BA T3 lounge review

Food

As usual the BA Club lounge breakfast was pretty dismal. Breakfast is served until 12pm apart from the bacon rolls. BA have now extended the bacon sandwiches until 11am and judging by recent surveys they have been considering improving the food at breakfast.  Given that this costs money, I doubt anything much will happen soon. The food on offer was:

 

BA T3 lounge review

Bacon or egg rolls. There was a sign for toast but none there.

 

BA T3 lounge review

Fruit salad, grapefruit, Greek yoghurt and fruit yoghurt

 

BA T3 lounge review

Pastries and Porridge

Drinks

There are the same coffee machines as T5 which I think produce a decent cup of coffee and a selection of teas with biscuits in jars. For juices they have orange, tomato, apple and cranberry which gives plenty of the options to be creative with the #loungecocktailchallenge. The choice of other soft drinks is pretty standard, apart from the fact that they have Fever Tree tonics. The alcoholic drinks selection for me is where BA triumphs over some other lounges.

BA T3 lounge review

The spirits were:

  • 2 types of gin; Bombay Sapphire and Gordon’s
  • 3 vodkas with Grey Goose, Grey Goose Lemon and Sminoff
  • Otard VSOP Cognac
  • Kahlua
  • Baileys
  • Warre’s 2011 Late Vintage Port
  • Cointreau
  • Southern Comfort
  • Glenlivet whisky
  • Johnnie Walker Red label
  • Gentleman Jack Bourbon
  • Jameson whiskey
  • Martini
  • Pimms
  • Bacardi 8 year old rum
  • Bacardi white rum
  • Tequila

 

For beer drinkers there was a choice of 4: Amstel Light, Tribute, Heineken and Tiger.

 

BA T3 lounge review

The rather attractive water bar area with butterfly crystal lights

The wines looked surprisingly good, although I didn’t get a chance to sample them this early in the morning. They could perhaps have done without 3 different chardonnays though.

BA T5 club lounge reviewRed Wines:

  • Grant Burge Barossa Shiraz
  • Rioja
  • Ramon Roqueta Garnacha
  • Chilean Carmenere

White wines:

  • Marcello’s Santa Barbara County White 85% Viognier
  • Chassagne Montrachet 2013
  • Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis 2014
  • Chilean Chardonnay

Champagne is available but you will need to ask one of the staff to get it.

Facilities

BA T3 lounge review

Business area

There was a large business area with PCs, multi function printers and head phones for working or watching entertainment. There are plenty of magazines and papers to read as well. If you have children there is a very small kids area with a few things to entertain them and high chairs. The toilets are slightly better than T5 but still have that NHS feel about them.

BA T3 lounge review

BA Galleries First Lounge T3

BA First lounge T3 review

Entrance

The Galleries First lounge is usually reasonably quiet whenever I have visited. Again, it is very similar in layout and food/drinks as T5.

As you enter, you are facing the champagne bar. This is normally the quietest seating area, as the seats aren’t overly comfortable.

BA T3 lounge review

Champagne bar

If you then turn right, it will take you to the food area or left will take you to the bar and wine area. Both of these have ample seating areas.

 

BA T3 lounge review

Wine bar area

Food

The choice in this lounge is much better than Club but the same as the other London BA lounges. A full English breakfast is served plus the same cold items as Club with the addition of a cheese selection. The cooked food is normally pretty tasty. In addition you can order a small selection from the menu.

 

BA First lounge T3 review

Full English

 

 

BA First lounge T3 review

Cold selection

There is also an assortment of breads which you don’t get in Club.

BA First lounge T3 review

Breads and porridge

 

Drinks

Champagne

On this occasion there were actually several champagnes to choose from, as BA appear to be having supply problem with the usual Henriot. As well as Henriot Rose, there were Duval Leroy 2006 Millesime Blanc de Blanc and Rose champagnes. The champagnes seem to be changing weekly at the moment, so who knows what you will get when you visit?

 

BA First lounge T3 review

Duval Leroy Rose Champagne

Red wines:

  • Château Grand-Puy Ducasse 2008 Bordeaux – Pauillac
  • Hahn Monterey Pinot Noir
  • Grant Burge Barossa Shriraz

White wines:

  • 2015 Burgundy Meursault Les Clous Bouchard Pere & Fils
  • Albarino
  • Chilean Sauvignon Blanc

I tried the Mersault. It wasn’t a particularly great Mersault but it was certainly drinkable.

The spirits selection is very similar to the Club Lounge except with a higher quality Johnnie Walker.

Facilities

BA T3 lounge review

Business area

These are pretty much the same as Club but I didn’t see a kids area. There was a smaller business area with PCs, multi function printers and head phones for working or watching entertainment. There are plenty of magazines and papers to read as well. The toilets are slightly better than T5 but still have that NHS feel about them.

Conclusion

Other than a wider selection of spirits and help yourself wines, I would normally choose the Cathay lounges Business and First over BA. However, if you wanted a spa treatment you may want to pop in here first. It is also easier if you are in a hurry as most of it is self service.

You can find more information about the British Airways lounges here.

 

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