The Clubhouse at London Heathrow Terminal 3 is Virgin Atlantic’s original and most iconic lounge. All these years on, is it still the life and soul of the party?
The Clubhouse is open daily from 6.30am until 10.30pm daily (or until the last departure).
As I was travelling in Upper Class, Virgin Atlantic’s business class cabin, I had no problems getting in.
Other eligible passengers include Delta One ticket holders, Virgin’s own Flying Club Gold members, Flying Blue Platinum card holders and Singapore Airlines elite members.
To see a full list of those eligible to enter, head over to Virgin Atlantic.
From the ground floor of the terminal, it’s straight up the stairs in front of the American Airlines lounge complex. I took the lift (check out the signature Virgin Atlantic purple couch inside) and was pleased to find there was no queue to enter the lounge.
There were, however, plenty of people inside the lounge and 7.30am on a Thursday felt like rush hour. This is a funky space, but it was difficult to appreciate that with so many passengers around.
Most of the central restaurant area tables were taken, and people were queuing outside the bathrooms.
Fortunately, things got better the deeper I delved into the lounge…
The centre-piece of the lounge is the 14-m long bar, offering cocktails created by London's famous Dandelyan bar among many other drinks.
There are a couple of large, central seating areas, as well as plenty of smaller seating zones dotted all around the Clubhouse.
There’s a Deli bar, a full-service restaurant called the Brasserie, and an upstairs games and TV area called the Den, which nobody used during my visit.
If you feel like a little pampering before your flight, head to the Wellness Spa where you can book a range of hair and spa treatments.
There are a limited number of free treatments for Virgin Atlantic and Delta One passengers, including a 10-minute Radiant You facial and a Wellness hand treatment (also 10-minutes).
The treatments - most chargeable - are split into sections in the Wellness menu: skin care, gents grooming, body & soul and hands & feet.
As well as cash, frequent flyers can use their miles to pay. For example, a 25-minute Wellness manicure costs £30 or 6,000 miles. A full range of men's hair and barbering services is available at Aveda.
There are showers and additional toilet facilities near the entrance to the lounge.
The wifi was reasonable, with download speeds of 9.70 Mbps. There were a number of workstations located near the Brasserie.
Food and drink
Come hungry, because there’s no shortage of food options. First up is the Deli bar, fully stocked with fruit, meats and cheeses, salads, Bircher muesli, smoothies and hot breakfast rolls.
Just look at this gorgeous salmon…
Alternatively, there’s waiter service with a la carte service at the Brasserie, the main dining area. Although the most prominent, central seating area was full, I soon discovered there were plenty of nooks and crannies where I could enjoy a quiet breakfast and browse the breakfast options.
I found a table in a corner of the restaurant and ordered Virgin’s Clubhouse English Breakfast, complete with fried egg, sausage, bacon, tomato, mushroom and baked beans.
There was a grapefruit choice and a cappuccino to wash it down with (though sadly no teaspoon, so I stirred my coffee with my fork).
Breakfast was good, and I was checked on regularly (probably every five or so minutes) by staff asking if I wanted more drinks. I thought this was great service considering I was sitting on my own in a low-traffic corner of the restaurant.
Even when I was sitting in other parts of the lounge, a staff member would come by to ask if I wanted a drink or anything. I can’t remember the last time I had such attentive service in a lounge.
From midday onwards, the Brasserie serves light bites, lunch and dinner.
You can also go for the ‘Mile High Tea’, in association with master patissier and celebrity chef Eric Lanlard:
‘Young flyers’ and dessert menus are available, too.
Finally, there’s a large selection of teas and coffees, cordials and juices, plus wines, cocktails, beers and a selection of spirits.
Compared to some of the other business class lounges at Heathrow, Virgin Atlantic is streets ahead. The tranquil music playing in the Brasserie was relaxing while I ate breakfast and I loved all the marble incorporated into the furniture.
There’s no shortage of food options and the staff are really attentive.
I’d never taken the time to explore this large lounge complex before and it’s well worth doing so, especially during busy periods. There WILL be somewhere to sit.
Years on, the Clubhouse is still a great spot to enjoy before your flight.
How do you rate the Clubhouse at London Terminal 3?