Passengers on one of the world's longest flights can prepare for the long haul in a luxe new lounge at Heathrow.
The two-storey Qantas London Lounge, in Terminal 3, is a new destination for first and business-class flyers on the airline's twice-daily "kangaroo route" between London and Australia's east coast, and soon the west coast when a 17-hour direct flight from Perth launches next month.
First impressions are impressive: a dramatic, down-lit staircase with brass rails leads to a curved marble cocktail bar with a pilot's view of the airfield, beneath a brass chandelier. Interiors by Woods Bagot, the Sydney studio responsible for several Qantas lounges and its new international lounge in Perth, "reflect London at twilight" in tones of deep green and blue, with finishes of brass, timber and stone.
Neil Perry, Qantas's creative director of food, beverage and service, and his team have worked on menu options "with a focus on hydration and nutrition".
À la carte service in the ground-floor dining room features dishes such as salt-and-pepper squid with green chilli sauce, a signature throughout Qantas First lounges, brunch bowls of eggs, avocado and kale, and local favourites such as ploughman's platters, shepherd's pies and scones with jam.
Beneath the staircase is a gin bar stocking Australian labels - Four Pillars and Hobart No 4 among them - alongside classic and new British gins.
From next month Qantas will operate three routes from Australia to the UK: a daily 787 Dreamliner service from Melbourne to London via Perth; daily flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to London via Singapore; and daily services from several Australian cities via Dubai with partner airline Emirates.