This past September, I took my first trip to Europe. Ending our trip, we made our way to the London Heathrow airport, our last stop on our way back the states. The first thing we did after checking in was to go to get a snack to eat. From that point on, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found at London Heathrow.
Where to Go
If you have a long stay at the London Heathrow airport, make your way to Terminal 5. T5 has been awarded the best airport terminal in the world for good reason. Before going through security, we stopped at the Pret A Manger to grab a light lunch. We were taken back by the low prices. They were similar to what we paid at the Pret A Manger outside the airport, which shocked us since we were accustomed to paying huge markups at the airports.
After making our way through security, we went to WH Smiths to buy some books. Once again we were met with reasonable prices. I bought a Harry Potter book to read along with some waters and snacks. I was really floored since I have never been to an airport with reasonable prices. London Heathrow is a stellar shopping destination with including luxury brands like Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Tiffanys & Co and many others present. Whether you can afford to purchase something or not, window-shopping is an easy way to pass the time. We stopped by Harrods and purchased some snacks to take home to friends. Glorious Britain is another great place for some souvenirs.
The food at London Heathrow reflects the cuisine that area is known for, including a restaurant by Gordon Ramsey and British Pubs. Gordon Ramsay Plane Food offers a range of dishes from chicken wings to braised lamb. If you have a long flight and aren’t a fan of plane food (but seriously who is?) you can purchase a three course Plane Picnic for £14.00.
The Crown Rivers Bar & Food is an English pub featuring more than a dozen beers on tap, a full dinner and breakfast menu and takeaway meals. For a quick snack, check out Pret a Manger (mentioned earlier) or Giraffe featuring sandwiches, smoothies, croissants, coffee and other quick meals. You can try a salad, sandwich, burger or some pub classics like lamb shank, scampi or the pie of the day.
If you’d rather just pull up your heels and relax check out one of the lounges at Heathrow. Priority Pass gives you access to 1000+ airport lounges worldwide including several here. You get all the same perks as any other lounge member including food, drinks, free WIFI, showers and more depending on the location and lounge.
Where to Relax
London Heathrow may be the best airport to relax in. If you would like a shower and a quick nap, there are sleep pods available for rent at Yotel in terminal 4. They range in size to fit up to 5 people and can be reserved before hand.
For the most relaxing, refreshing and rejuvenating experience available in an airport, head over to the Heathrow spa located off Terminal five in the Sofitel hotel. At the spa you can choose from over 25 treatments available or find a package deal that meets your needs. You can have a complete spa day with a vitality pool, sauna, steam room and relaxation room included with any treatment.
For a quicker stay, the be relax spa may be a better fit. Located directly in the terminal, they offer table massages, pedicures, manicures and a few other services to help you relax during your travels.
If you have the time, you can also venture out of the airport. You can make it to the heart of London in about 45 by taking the underground. Depending on how long your layover is, you can catch several of the main sights in London like Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, London Bridge, Tower Bridge and the Borough Market. For a shorter layover, grab a taxi and head to Legoland or Windsor Castle
Usually, layovers are a drag and make you feel like you are being held hostage with nothing to do but buy overpriced and mediocre food. I can say a layover at London Heathrow can be the opposite with plenty of great options without the normal airport prices.
Dan Bagby is a travel writer that believes you should never leave the honeymoon phase and experiencing travel together makes that easier. He blogs about couple’s travel at Honeymoon Always.
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