Qantas plans ahead for London Heathrow lounge menu

By David Flynn , March 16 2016
Qantas plans ahead for London Heathrow lounge menu

The opening of Qantas' all-new London Heathrow lounge is still one year away but the airline's Rockpool team is already mapping out what meals will be served in the split-level space.

It's testament to how far ahead the Flying Kangaroo's menus are planned, both on the ground and in the air, with seasonal produce and variety for the traveller both taking a front seat in the process.

And in the same way that the design of the London lounge will have a rather British bent – mirroring the US West Coast and Asian influences of its siblings at Los AngelesHong Kong and Singapore – so too will the meals offered to Qantas passengers before winging their way to Australia.

"We're bouncing around ideas at the moment" says Rockpool's Roger Barstow, who oversees the planning of Qantas' lounge and inflight menus, "using some of the fantastic ingredients we can get from the UK and Europe, because there's some amazing produce that can be sourced."

Qantas' new London Heathrow lounge will also include a cocktail bar
Qantas' new London Heathrow lounge will also include a cocktail bar

The seasonal refresh of Qantas' London lounge menu should also be more marked than that of its counterparts because "the seasons are more pronounced in Europe than in Australia, you have that really true feel of seasons within the UK."

The British-born Barstow, who trained in restaurants in London and the UK before moving to Australia, also has his eye on a few old favourite dishes but adds "there are lots of ideas floating around" in this early stage.

"We will potentially have a few signature dishes," he tips, and with Qantas' A380 flights to Sydney and Melbourne leaving at different times of the day – Melbourne's QF10 at noon and Sydney's QF2 at 8.30pm – "the offering could possibly be different" to reflect lunch and dinner dining.

Enjoy a preflight tipple as you watch planes scoot around the airfield
Enjoy a preflight tipple as you watch planes scoot around the airfield

But planning the London lounge menu also takes into account what's served on the flights themselves, Barstow explains.

"We don't have any control over what Emirates is serving within their Dubai lounges, but flying out of London we need to ensure that the food will be different in the Heathrow lounge as to what will be on the first Qantas flight from London to Dubai and then on to Sydney or Melbourne."

This is an increasing area of focus right across the Qantas network, Barstow says.

"If you live in Perth and are flying business class to New York you're going to fly Perth to Sydney, Sydney to LA and then LA to New York. So you’ve got three inflight experiences and also three lounge experiences, and what we want to ensure is that you don't see the same dishes along the way."

Barstow's team has already written up the inflight menus through to February 2017.

"The next phase of menus that we will be working on in a few months' time will be the 20th anniversary of the Rockpool and Qantas partnership, so that's pretty significant, and we also have the Boeing 787 aircraft coming."

"We always have to work far in advance to ensure that upon time of delivery everything is seamless as possible."

Also read: Sampling the Autumn 2016 menu at the Qantas first class lounge

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 144

Can't wait for this lounge to open, the images look stunning.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Mar 2016

Total posts 4

Great news when in London but what about back home.

The Sydney & Melbourne business lounges food offerings are way below that of the new lounges OS

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

Totally agree. I guess the problem with the SYD and MEL lounges is that the Business lounges in those cities remain the poor cousin of First. Whereas in the new lounges in SIN HKG LAX, the merged lounge means Business passengers get more of a First dining experience with mainly made to order rather than just a buffet.

 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Feb 2015

Total posts 150

LAX has a separate first class lounge 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

Apologies. You're right.

Been years since I passed tthrough LAX.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 994

Seems an odd comment for them to make... How many people book PER-SYD-LAX-JFK on QF when they could just do, say PER-HKG-JFK?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jun 2011

Total posts 91

No, not odd. They are trying to ensure variety of meals within the QF product - flights and lounges. Sure, they used an arguably exteme example, but it's all QF. PER-HKG-JFK is not QF so they have no control over their inflight product.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 160

Does anyone know if it's been clarified that the QF LHR lounge will be accessed under usual OW rules (ie punters flying any OW airline/OW Sapphire/Emeralds) or will they go down the Qatar Airways path and limit the lounge to their own customers only?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2405

No 'clarification' needed, the Qantas London Lounge will – like its siblings in Singapore and Hong Kong – be open to all eligible Oneworld travellers.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 160

Awesome news.  Thanks David.

15 Feb 2016

Total posts 1

To give QF some credit here (and I'm not a QF fan either) good on them for thinking about how to create different experiences across their itineraries and lounges. It's a small thing but it makes a grear deal of difference. 

Meanwhile, VA serves DIY toasted sandwiches in their lounges... Anyone? No?


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