“Excuse me, Is this the way to the Emirates Lounge?” I asked asked an elderly lady coming down the escalator.
“Oh, I don’t know I’m from Canada!” she replied.
When my friend Bert and I reached the top of the escalator, we found not only the Emirates Lounge but the Qantas Business and First Class lounge. I dont know why the lady gave me her response, or what Canada had to do with my question, perhaps it was my Aussie accent, perhaps she’d had a few drinks, perhaps it was both?
I was travelling Business Class, and Bert First Class on an Emirates flight with a Qantas Flight number (which provides higher Qantas Frequent Flyer points/miles and status credits). The lounge is reserved for passengers flying First or Business on either an Emirates or Qantas flight number and Emirates or Qantas Gold or Platinum (and Platinum One with Qantas) when their next flight is with one of the airlines.
The lounge is quite spacious, but I imagine if the three Airbus a380’s that depart Auckland daily were at capacity the lounge would be full. As well as lounging areas, there were quiet corners, working stations and shower facilities.
“It is nice to have a decent Champagne, none of that ‘sparkling stuff'”. Said Bert as he poured his first drop. Shock horror, I don’t like bubbly, so it was a glass of New Zealands Waiheke Island Man O’ War Exiled 2015 for me.
Like something a little harder? Perhaps my Canadian friend did…There was quite an array of spirits on offer, as well as a full stocked fridge of craft beers, juices and soft drinks. Of course there needed to be something tasty to go along with our refreshments. And there was pretty much something for everyone and every craving.
Pasta Carbonara, Paneer & Vegetable Curry, Chicken Cacciatore, Fish in herb sauce…. an amazing 9 hot dishes to choose from.
Which also included Steak & Mushroom pies or traditional pasties, something the Australians, Kiwis and Brits would all love.
Then there is this stunning array of mezze platters featuring open faced sandwiches of either chicken or salmon, small plates of rare roast beef or smoked salmon, tabouli bowls and for those with a sweet tooth, chocolate Mousse or Lemon Meringue Pie .. the list simply goes on and on.
Fancy something from the Cheese Platter? Take your pick from hard and soft cheeses from France and New Zealand, two producers of some of the worlds best cheese, it was a hard choice.
Bert washed down his Verve with some of the salmon which he described as stunning (both the champers and the salmon…I think)
I chose a few appealing items from the bain-marie. The pasta carbonara was silky and full of flavour. The chicken cacciatore had springy chunks of chicken with one of the nicest sauces I’ve tasted. The fish I found a little dry, but did manage to finish it off.
The Chicken niçoise salad, wasn’t really a traditional niçoise, but it was dang fresh and tasty. The asparagus blanched perfectly and the poached chicken moist.
We enjoyed our time in the Emirates Lounge, one of the best we’ve been to. I think between us Bert and I tried everything and I’ve really only shown you a snippet for it was time to leave, not to board our flight to Sydney, but to check out the Qantas Lounge…. Stay tuned, that story coming up soon!
Flights and thus entry into lounge were paid for independently.