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Galleries First (Flounge) LHR: Dining menu and food options 2014

Old Mar 18, 2014, 6:15 am
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Last edit by: KARFA
This thread is archived - there is a Galleries First (Flounge) LHR 2015 menu thread here.

This thread gives the current catering options for the Galleries First Lounge (Flounge) in LHR Terminals 3 and 5. This lounge is open to BAEC Gold and oneworld Emerald card holders. Passengers flying BA on a First ticket can also use the Concorde Room. The catering supplier was changed on 2 May 2013 to BaxterStorey. Click here to see the former thread, which covered that turbulent period.

The current catering options in the First lounge can be found in the first post in the thread, or you can click here.

Catering options - other LHR lounges
Concorde Room (CCR) LHR : menus 2014 - T5 only
Galleries Club lounges LHR: Dining menu and food options from 2013 (n.b. no separate 2014 thread) - T3 and T5
International Lounge Terminal 1 LHR - catering options from May 2013 (n.b. no separate 2014 thread) - T1 international flights

For the First and Club lounges in Gatwick and the UK domestic lounges in Newcastle, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Leeds, and Aberdeen:
First Lounge London Gatwick (North terminal): Catering options from April 2013 (n.b. no separate 2014 thread) - see post 2 for the text of BA's leaflet on the supplier changeover
Galleries Club Lounge Gatwick (North Terminal): Catering options from April 2013 (n.b. no separate 2014 thread)
UK Domestic lounges (outside London) - catering arrangments from April 2013 (n.b. no separate 2014 thread)

For information on the BaxterStorey changeover in 2013:
New lounge catering contract : BaxterStorey replaces Compass - effective 1 May 2013
Your recent feedback on catering in our lounges - note from BA Executive Club.

BA Champagne & Wine Thread
The 2014 BA Champagne & Wine Thread - covers LHR & LGW lounges and in the air

Archived food & drink threads:
Concorde Room (CCR) LHR : menus 2013 - T5 only
Galleries First (Flounge) LHR: Dining menu and food options 2013 - T3 and T5
The 2013 BA Champagne & Wine Thread - covers LHR & LGW lounges and in the air
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Galleries First (Flounge) LHR: Dining menu and food options 2014

Old Jul 1, 2014, 7:17 am
  #136  
 
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In GF right now... Despite being normally very critical, I have to say that I am very happy with the new menu. I find the open salmon sandwich extremely good, restaurant quality also in terms of presentation. Also tried the mango sorbet; really nice.

This is helped by generous glasses of Ca' Marcanda Promis from Gaja: a very solid Italian red from what is probably the most prized wine producer in Piemonte (this is their third or fourth wine, but quite pleasant). It has been making regular appearances over the past few months.
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Old Jul 1, 2014, 9:41 am
  #137  
 
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Originally Posted by EDIflyer
Noooo - does that mean the tasty steak pies and gravy have now been replaced with fishcakes?

The other day they had 3 different pies: steak, chicken and vegetarian.
Fishcakes has been available for quite a while, but not every day.
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Old Jul 1, 2014, 12:50 pm
  #138  
 
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Originally Posted by Hannibal Lecter
The other day they had 3 different pies: steak, chicken and vegetarian.
Fishcakes has been available for quite a while, but not every day.
Phew That sounds much better, thanks - the menu was sounding a bit too fishy for my liking otherwise!
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Old Jul 1, 2014, 1:19 pm
  #139  
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Originally Posted by EDIflyer
Phew That sounds much better, thanks - the menu was sounding a bit too fishy for my liking otherwise!
Tonight it's Salmon Fish Cakes on the hot counter, but there's also "Tom's Chicken and Herb Pie" on the salad counter, so served cold. Joely's photo looks identical on the hot counter, and here's a bigger photo of the new chicken pie.



And it's CCR rendition:

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Old Jul 1, 2014, 1:34 pm
  #140  
 
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Originally Posted by Joely
I'm in the flounge right now and thought I would do a bit of scouting of the new buffet. Firstly I think the reports of a return to gloop have been greatly exaggerated. There are two bowls of "saucy" food, one with Chilli one with Portuguese spiced chicken (whatever that may be), there are also bowls of rice and one with peas and sugar snaps which is a welcome addition in my book. Also new potatoes and pasta. Hot, non gloop items, are salmon fishcakes (Contains fish!) and tomato and goat's cheese tartlets (Contains goats!). It would have been nice to see something other than carbs but it appears BA aren't very hot on that.

I tried the Portuguese spiced chicken which was pretty good, tasted like a curry to me but then what do I know, I don't even like Caviar


Salad end of things is broadly similar, addition of some sauces at the end (not sure if they were there before) and a bowl of roasted peppers which were nice. There is the aforementioned smoked mackerel and some pie things. Also tortillas on display in the bread bit, not that I ate one...


Finally I tried one of the menu items which was the pulled pork wrap with horseradish slaw. The centre of the wrap was pretty tasty, I don't eat wheat/carbs so I didn't have the tortilla bit (I'm very good at eating sandwich fillings and pizza topping!) the slaw appeared to be the same as on the counter and I couldn't taste a hint of horseradish.


Special agent Joely out.
I had a long day in GF T3 on Thursday and the menu was the same + chicken pies. I tried the Portuguese chicken and it was pretty good (don't know how it's supposed to taste like but it was nice curry with rather large chunks of meat), then the fish cake (not the best I've ever had but very far from the worst) and sampled chilli (okay) and pasta (meh). I also had the mac & cheese from menu for the first time and very good ^

Although I am a proper carnivore, I was missing some veggie option - peas and beans are not my cup of tea. They used to have very nice lentil curry. I popped in the GC in the evening and there was potato & something veggie curry (okay) and Singaporean chicken (interesting taste, something between Chinese and curry) + same chilli and Portuguese chicken. GC had usual jacket potatoes but GF had some smaller potatoes too.

Breakfast buffet in GF was good as usual (even scrambles eggs looked and tasted like eggs), Eggs Benedict was weird again.

Champagne in the morning was either Castelnau NV (?) or Taittinger Rose as they were out of stock. Prelude was delivered around noon and I was assured "promptly put in the fridge"
This Castelnau was not as bad as the vintage I had before, but it was still bad enough that I would never ever buy it myself. For any price.
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Old Jul 9, 2014, 6:45 am
  #141  
 
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Originally Posted by flying_pig
In GF right now... Despite being normally very critical, I have to say that I am very happy with the new menu. I find the open salmon sandwich extremely good, restaurant quality also in terms of presentation. Also tried the mango sorbet; really nice.
I disagree strongly. As far as I'm concerned, the new menu is the greatest leap to the bottom since I came onboard. The only remaining hot items on the menu are tomato soup, the macaroni cheese and the burger (the thing I'd be the happiest to see gone). The cold dishes that remain are equally dull. The hot smoked sandwich (hot does not refer to its current temperature, for the record) is a handful of salmon scattered over a slice of dry bread. Even one week into the new menu, the "baby watercress" has been replaced with pea shoots and the "caper berries" have been replaced with drizzles of low-grade canned supermarket pesto. The pulled pork wrap is small and cold, very inferior to the warm pulled pork sandwich they served a couple of menus ago.

Remaining "favourites" on the menu are mozzarella and tomato salad (yaaawn) and caesar salad (aka lettuce with salad cream). And the "puddings and cheese" have been reduced to two flavours of ice cream (chocolate and vanilla), two flavours of sorbet (stay away from the gin and tonic sorbet, it is truly VILE), and the new cheese plate which is no longer a selection from Neal's Yard, but just one of each of the same cheeses you can help yourself to from the buffet. Oh, and speaking of buffet, the scones with clotted cream are gone!

So in summary, the remaining food options now compare unfavourably to those of Little Chef (which at least has a marginally better burger).

Last edited by Passmethesickbag; Jul 9, 2014 at 10:43 am Reason: Typos
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Old Jul 9, 2014, 7:05 am
  #142  
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Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag
I disagree strongly. As far as I'm concerned, the new menu is the greatest leap to the bottom since I came onboard.
Agreed.

ps: Neal's yard has been out of the menu for ages though!!
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Old Jul 9, 2014, 3:05 pm
  #143  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic
Agreed.

ps: Neal's yard has been out of the menu for ages though!!
Somewhat OT. I was taken to a Neal's Yard wine and cheese tasting at their dairy in Borough Market (near London Bridge) recently. It was an excellent experience and highly recommended.
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Old Jul 9, 2014, 6:18 pm
  #144  
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Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag
... As far as I'm concerned, the new menu is the greatest leap to the bottom since I came onboard. The only remaining hot items on the menu are tomato soup, the macaroni cheese and the burger (the thing I'd be the happiest to see gone). The cold dishes that remain are equally dull. The hot smoked sandwich (hot does not refer to its current temperature, for the record) is a handful of salmon scattered over a slice of dry bread. Even one week into the new menu, the "baby watercress" has been replaced with pea shoots and the "caper berries" have been replaced with drizzles of low-grade canned supermarket pesto. The pulled pork wrap is small and cold, very inferior to the warm pulled pork sandwich they served a couple of menus ago.

Remaining "favourites" on the menu are mozzarella and tomato salad (yaaawn) and caesar salad (aka lettuce with salad cream). And the "puddings and cheese" have been reduced to two flavours of ice cream (chocolate and vanilla), two flavours of sorbet (stay away from the gin and tonic sorbet, it is truly VILE), and the new cheese plate which is no longer a selection from Neal's Yard, but just one of each of the same cheeses you can help yourself to from the buffet. Oh, and speaking of buffet, the scones with clotted cream are gone!

So in summary, the remaining food options now compare unfavourably to those of Little Chef (which at least has a marginally better burger).
I'm having my last hurrah at the F lounge tomorrow before I drop to Silver at the end of the month.. but I doubt I will be missing much. After having the experience of dining at QF Lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong (which only have one lounge), I can say that no other lounge food can beat the offerings. All the food is labelled and if its vegetarian or gluten free. At BA's T5 lounges, the gluten free options are scarce even if there are any for main meals. The curried dishes and cold cuts are usually all I can have. Everything else has wheat in it. And when asking for dessert, I was thrown, literally a brownie bar that looked so horrible that I actually threw it away. QF lounge offered gluten free penne pasta, and gluten free chocolate cake, in addition to a fantastic panna cotta with fruit colis. I guess QF lounge chefs realised that some food items can taste as delicious as 'normal' but can be made gluten free as well thereby saving the need for a separate dish for people who are gluten intolerant.

The QF F lounges in MEL and SYD are simply a class of the own. I wouldnt' even want to compare CCR to them because really, what QF has done is simply out-of-this world. Catering and staffed by Sofitel group. Oh wow. Makes me want to requalify BA Gold just to get into these lounges.

Last edited by Guy Betsy; Jul 10, 2014 at 3:20 am
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 1:31 am
  #145  
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Originally Posted by Guy Betsy
The QF F lounges in MEL and SYD are simply a class of the own. I wouldnt' even want to compare CCR to them because really, what QF has done is simply out-of-this world. Catering and staffed by Sofitel group. Oh wow. Makes me want to requalify BA Gold just to get into these lounges.
+1. I know many people on this forum are highly critical of QF but those SYD and MEL F lounges are just head and shoulders above the entire BA lounge offering including the two CCRs. A class act. Only the AF F lounge and arguably (but not certainly) the LH F terminal are even better.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 3:22 am
  #146  
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Sad that BA isn't doing anything to improve their food offerings especially for people with intolerances.

Last edited by Guy Betsy; Jul 10, 2014 at 4:16 am
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 3:38 am
  #147  
 
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Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag
I disagree strongly. As far as I'm concerned, the new menu is the greatest leap to the bottom since I came onboard. The only remaining hot items on the menu are tomato soup, the macaroni cheese and the burger (the thing I'd be the happiest to see gone). The cold dishes that remain are equally dull. The hot smoked sandwich (hot does not refer to its current temperature, for the record) is a handful of salmon scattered over a slice of dry bread. Even one week into the new menu, the "baby watercress" has been replaced with pea shoots and the "caper berries" have been replaced with drizzles of low-grade canned supermarket pesto. The pulled pork wrap is small and cold, very inferior to the warm pulled pork sandwich they served a couple of menus ago.

Remaining "favourites" on the menu are mozzarella and tomato salad (yaaawn) and caesar salad (aka lettuce with salad cream). And the "puddings and cheese" have been reduced to two flavours of ice cream (chocolate and vanilla), two flavours of sorbet (stay away from the gin and tonic sorbet, it is truly VILE), and the new cheese plate which is no longer a selection from Neal's Yard, but just one of each of the same cheeses you can help yourself to from the buffet. Oh, and speaking of buffet, the scones with clotted cream are gone!

So in summary, the remaining food options now compare unfavourably to those of Little Chef (which at least has a marginally better burger).
I was in the Flounge yesterday and I have to agree with your comments and conclusions. Most unfortunately, the quality of the food is going down even further. Most people were eating from the buffet (hot and cold) which looked miserable IMO (early afternoon) but I guess that most people eat anything as long as it is free. I have given up on the food in the Flounge and eat something at the Oyster Bar downstairs or at the (good) Sofitel restaurant before check in. The extra expense for a good meal is worth it.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 5:32 am
  #148  
 
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Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag
Oh, and speaking of buffet, the scones with clotted cream are gone!

So in summary, the remaining food options now compare unfavourably to those of Little Chef (which at least has a marginally better burger).
NOOO! The clotted cream and scones are one of the top reasons for a visit to the Flounge for me. Being an expat, just can't get clotted cream, and the occasional transit through T5 was a little patch of Blighty.

It does seem that this was a well crafted strategy to reduce costs: a) slash and burn to see what is not tolerated and what people will kick up a fuss about, b) 'make improvements' -- quell the protests, c) bring in the changes originally envisioned, perhaps with minor modifications. People too weary to care, and coupled with the new 'safety' procedures, it's never going to result in bad publicity.

Will be in T5 in a few weeks...still holding out for the scones...

tb
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 7:13 am
  #149  
 
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Originally Posted by patvan
...I guess that most people eat anything as long as it is free.
Which is probably at the heart of BA's assumptions, sadly.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 7:49 am
  #150  
 
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Originally Posted by Guy Betsy
Sad that BA isn't doing anything to improve their food offerings especially for people with intolerances.
The menu has been rewritten specially to cater for those with intolerances....
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