The No 1 Lounge at LGW’s North Terminal is generally regarded as the best ‘regular access’ lounge at the Terminal. By that, I mean the type of lounge that you can get access to either by paying at the door (£30, if you’re interested) or courtesy of membership of a Lounge Scheme such as Priority Pass, rather than a lounge that grants access based only on class of ticket or frequent flyer status.
It’s a popular lounge for sure. When I visited on a Sunday morning it was jammed and I struggled to get a seat, let alone a table. Perhaps it’s because it’s the start of the holiday season and it’s certainly true this lounge was packed to the gills with leisure travellers. (Others have reported limitations on access when the lounge is full for non-paying guests, but that didn’t happen today and I wouldn’t like to see how busy it would have to be before that happened!)
With all of that said, it’s a large lounge complex. There are multiple areas, some focused on dining, and others just for relaxing.
The main seating area has good views of the runway and arriving/departing aircraft. To the right of this is the main dining area. I was there at breakfast time and there was a reasonable cold buffet of fruits, cereals, and pastries, with a selection of fruit juices and tea/coffee options.
If you don’t find anything here that takes your fancy, there is a limited menu from which you can order a hot meal. The options available for breakfast were bacon rolls, porridge, beans on toast, toast and preserves, or crêpe Florentine. They make it clear on the menu you can only have one item per person. After 11.00am there’s a lunch menu with other dishes. It was unclear if you could nab a breakfast and a lunch from the menu and my schedule didn’t permit me the opportunity to try! The setup was fairly relaxed so I suspect that you could, especially if you switched seats and perhaps ordered from some else. (You order from the bar, see below.)
I went for the crêpe, and while the presentation leaves something to be desired it was edible, although it all tasted pretty bland.
There’s no self service area for alcoholic drinks, instead you can order from the bar, which has a few seats around it and some comfy-looking benches.
Despite the lounge being pretty packed, there a little Library area that is hidden away and that has escaped most people. It’s certainly much quieter than the main area, so much so that many people were sprawled out on the sofas having a sleep. To my mind, this was the most pleasant area of the lounge and where I spent most of my time with some water and browsing through the free Sunday papers. (There were several different titles and it appeared you could take them from the lounge if you wished.)
Certainly this is a nice lounge, but its main drawback, at least when I was there, was how busy it was, so much so that many of the tables hadn’t been cleared. However, there’s no doubt that it’s a much better place than the general terminal area if you need to kill a few hours before your flight.