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Tuesday 30 August 2016

A very stylish way to start your journey

If you are taking a Qantas international flight out of Sydney then you should try to beg, steal or borrow an invitation to the rather delightful Qantas First lounge. 

It may only be 8am and we are only heading to Bangkok but there is nothing more likely to lift your spirits than the offer of a selection of Champagne and a three-hat restaurant quality breakfast with service to match. 

"Mumm, Taittinger, Perrier-Jouet, or maybe some Seppelt sparkling sir?"

Theoretically, of course, you need to be flying first class, or to be a Qantas Platinum or Platinum One frequent flyer, or a high-ranked Emirates or OneWorld alliance frequent flyer. 

But, and here's the good news, these high flyers are all allowed a lounge guest, so keep your eyes peeled for someone you know heading for the lounge.

The award-winning lounge, which is about to celebrate its 10th birthday, was designed by Australian Marc Newsom, and a spectacular vertical garden - with 8,400 plants - welcomes guests at the entrance.

European oak sculptures segment the lounge into zones for dining, relaxation, business, library and entertainment - but it is breakfast time, so time to choose between options like blueberry pancakes with banana, whipped butter and maple syrup, or maybe sweet corn fritters with bacon, avocado, creme fraiche and tomato jam. 

This, of course, in addition to eggs just about any way you want them, a selection of breads, teas, coffees and other Neil Perry-inspired delights. 

The famous salt and pepper squid with green chilli sauce kicks in at 11am followed by an all-day dining menu that ranges from grass-fed Angus minute steak to stir-fried rice with king prawns. 

To tantalise your palate maybe something from Rockford, Coldstream Hills or Torbreck. 

The lounge offers an Aurora Spa featuring massages, facials and hand and foot therapies.

If you are travelling first class you will get a phone call the day before your flight to book a time and treatment. For everyone else, it is first come, first served. 

The lounge was created using Feng Shui principles, and features the opportunity for a shower should you have a long flight ahead. There are PC workstations, complimentary wireless internet access, power and data points throughout the lounge and two private work suites. If you want to get some work done, you can even book a meeting room at no cost. 

The ambience is like that of a luxury boutique hotel - except everything is free. It is rumoured many flyers arrive several hours early for their flights simply to enjoy the vibe and menu. That would not surprise me. 

For details see    

an Aurora Spa offering a range
of complimentary 20 minute treatments tailored to address
customers’ pre
flight needs.
a 48
seat open kitchen restaurant with menus by Neil Perry;
side waiter service throughout the lounge;
a library stocked with a selection of newspapers and
magazines, best
selling books and board
games including chess and backgammon;
entertainment areas with plasma screens showing local and international news, sport and weather,
and Sony Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable entertainment systems offering
a selection of
games and movies;
a vertical garden designed by international botanist Patrick Blanc featuring over 8,400 individual
luxurious individual marble
lined shower suites with individual stereo volume and lighting controls,
radiant hea
ting to reduce condensation on the mirrors, and luggage racks;
exclusive furniture and luxurious finishes including leather lounge chairs, recliners, and sofas by
Italy’s Poltrona Frau, dining chairs and tables by Cappellini, Tai Ping wool carpets from
Hong Kong,
marble from Carrara and quartzite from Switzerland; and
art business facilities with 11 PC workstations, complimentary wireless internet access,
power and data points throughout the lounge and two private work suites with conferen
ce facilities
and plasma display screens

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