The British Airways Concorde Bar Singapore Review
The Concorde Bar Singapore is one of British Airways' new super exclusive First Class lounges. Concorde Bars are strictly for the use of their first-class passengers and top-tier Executive Club frequent flyers ( Concorde Room or invitation-only black Premier cardholders). Concorde Bars are, in essence, a scaled-down version of the luxurious Concorde Rooms that British Airways keeps at both London Heathrow and JFK New York. Currently, you will find Concorde Bars in Dubai and Singapore.
The Concorde Bar Singapore is to be found within the newly re-furbished British Airways Lounge in Changi Airport's Terminal 1. When I visited the lounge, I was travelling with my family, and we were catching BA12: the 11:20 pm Singapore - London flight. We were travelling FIRST as I was keen to make our first overnight flight with our 2-year-old daughter as painless as possible—here is a link to my full Flying First Class with a Baby review of that flight. The Concorde Bar is in effect the inner sanctum of the British Airways Lounge located on Level 3 of the terminal. Having shown our boarding passes to the the front desk, we were presented with an innocuous-looking grey card that read "Concorde Bar Your Personal Invitation" and on the back of which was a four-digit security code.
The Concorde Bar is situated to the right of the lounge entrance, its name spelled out in elegant silver lettering, and is easily distinguishable by its dark wood paneling. On the left-hand side of the door is an illuminated numeric keypad on which you enter your code. Once the code has been entered (you have to push quite hard on the buttons) a heavy door swings open to reveal a peaceful retreat of fine wines, top shelf-spirits, and attentive staff.
One of the unique features of the Concorde Bar is that it has no external windows. How Honor (the designers) have managed to avoid the bar potentially feeling claustrophobic is by mounting large flatscreens to the walls, with scenes of the Singapore cityscape that act as virtual windows. The images change to reflect the time of day and seamlessly transition from full daylight to nighttime.
The bar is separated into dining alcoves and comfortable seating alcoves, with a long bar running down the centre. The bar is exceptionally well stocked; champagne, wines and water are laid out on the central island and spirits are available from the back wall. There is a good selection of whisky to choose from, with the Lagavulin 16-year-old being my favourite. The individual seating areas are very well designed, their separating walls provide privacy and each one has its own large flat screen tv for entertainment. The leather couches are a goodly size, while the winged armchair is extremely comfortable. The lighting is very subdued, with soft light reflecting off of the ceiling and pools of light originating from thoughtfully placed lamps. Needless to say, the room is very relaxing and was nice and quiet for Bub. The fact that it was empty when we arrived may have had something to do with us turning up 4 hours early for our flight. The only danger of arriving early as far as I could tell was that you could drink too much champagne, spoiling your appetite for the better fare served on board.
Upon entering, we were warmly greeted by two black-clad waitresses who showed us to a private alcove, took our drinks order and presented us with menus. The choice of food on offer was ideally suited for what we were in the mood for. Bub and Mum ordered a risotto while I opted for a bacon sandwich, washed down with a couple of glasses of Joseph Perrier bubbly.
The champagne was excellent, served in a large fluted glass (not the normal thimble), and for the remainder of our time in the bar, the lovely wait staff made sure that our glasses were never in danger of running dry. This was in stark contrast to the BA Business Class lounge in Heathrow where the champagne is now being kept under lock and key, only accessible upon request from a passing waiter—I think this may be taking cost saving to dangerous extremes.
With the arrival of the food, we moved over to one of the private dining alcoves. Bub set to with gusto and demolished her risotto; she likes Italian, and when she was finished we returned to the comfort of our private sitting area. Bub was able to stretch out on a couch and fell asleep around 9 o'clock after having spent a productive hour or so crayoning and catching up on her latest instalment of Peppa Pig. The picture below, it is there purely as evidence that I did, in fact, spend time in the bar and I have not just concocted this article from other reviews and press releases that I have come across on the web, apparently fake news is everywhere these days.
The lounge is designed to hold up to 41 passengers, however, during our visit, there were no more than half a dozen others, and that was with a BA flight heading onto Sydney as well as our flight to London. The single caveat I have in relation to the bar is that as there are no toilets within the bar itself, you will need to use the ones in the main lounge and of course to get back in you will need the code, so either memorize it or put the card somewhere safe. In summary, the Concorde Bar in Singapore is an absolutely wonderful place in which to escape from the world and enjoy some excellent refreshment. Personally, I do not feel that the word "bar" does the experience justice as with the personal seating areas, dining nooks and constant table service, this would definitely fall under my definition of a full-service lounge and then some.
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