Still a month off Lounge entry level with BA, though to be honest not trying too hard (!), and with enough time to make a visit worth while I headed for the T5 Aspire lounge.
If my bearings are correct its tucked under the Concorde Room at the south end of the Terminal. There was a friendly greeting at the door and I was given a wifi code. The Lounge is effectively arranged in a (narrow) in places L shape. It’s open to the elements of T5 on one side so feels airy and not boxed in which is welcome. It also offers good views across the apron, which for someone who still likes to see planes at an airport as opposed to shops, is a bonus.
There appears to be more upright seating than anything really comfortable to sink into, though at 7.00am in the morning that’s probably no bad thing. There is a very good breakfast selection including: bacon; sausage, scrambled egg, rolls, pastries, yoghurt, granola, fruit, mini salmon and cream cheese bagels, cookies muffins, nuts and biscuits. There is a bar, which is set up to be tended rather than self service, a machine for coffee and a good selection of teas.
I sat at a table close to the buffet, and was struck by the number of people like me who couldn’t see the napkins because they were black – it was actually quite funny – they seem to become invisible. Also there were no knives as they “were having a problem with them” – I guess too sharp.
The staff were very friendly and plates were cleared quickly, an advantage of being relatively small.
After a leisurely breakfast I went for an explore. At the far end there are a set of “rest pods” – curtained cubicles with a reclining chair, which could be useful if you had a longer stay or wanted to change. There is a room for treatments/ manicures with massage chairs next to the entrance.
Unlike the BA lounges there are no restrooms. However, as the public ones are invariably cleaner and more fragrant than their Galleries counterparts that’s probably a good thing. However, if you don’t want to leave your luggage, or have to haul it in and out with you, you may prefer to “make yourself comfortable” before you arrive.
All in all, it’s preferable to the Galleries for sure. It’s a great addition for Non-status travel/travellers, and available through Priority Pass.