THE DINING CLUB • May 2023
Whether you’re looking for a quick sandwich or three-course extravaganza, there are plenty of food and drink options at Heathrow T5 to satisfy your pre-flight stomach…
Pilots Bar and Kitchen
We get it that sometimes all you need is home comforts. From freshly made pastries and salads to pan-seared sea bass and wood-fired pizzas, brasserie Pilots serves British and international classics with a premium twist. It’s perfect for refuelling before boarding – keep the little ones happy with all-day breakfasts, delicious mains and chocolatey desserts. Enjoy the sleek, aeronautical interiors inspired by the golden era of the 1950s while sipping cocktails at the bar. For an even fancier tipple, try its Moët & Chandon cocktails.
Top tip: Consuming a balanced meal with protein such as fish or eggs, or a salad with good fats such as avocado and nuts will ease digestion at high altitudes.
If you’ve not come across Vagabond before, you’re in for a treat. Clever self-pour machines mean you can taste your way around the (wine) world before you’ve even set foot on the plane. Simply grab a glass and choose from up to 100 wines to sample and savour (the labels on each self-pour machine, as well as staff, can help you decide). It’s not just wine either – the bar offers beers and cocktails as well as classic British bites, from breakfast until late.
Top tip: In a rush? Continue the Vagabond experience on board with Vagabond’s artisan cheese and charcuterie lunch boxes.
Starbucks, Costa and Caffè Nero
We’ve all been there. Idling through the terminal half asleep on your way to catch that early morning flight, nodding off mid-afternoon worrying you’re going to miss the last boarding call, trying to beat the jet lag by staying awake for the first leg of the flight. Thankfully, caffeination is just a short walk away in T5 – and you can pick your favourite caffeine fix from the likes of Costa, Starbucks, Caffè Nero and more.
Top tip: Make sure to balance out your caffeine hit with plenty of water, since coffee can be dehydrating at high altitude.
Gordon Ramsay Plane Food
With its ‘golden age of flying’ décor, comfy seating and stylish bar, Plane Food is the spot for discerning diners wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of departures and refuel properly before their flight. Choose from an array of dishes such as classic Caesar salad, udon noodles and rigatoni pasta (something for all palates). If you’re in a rush, you can opt for a three-course picnic to take with you. That said, with its impressive setting against the airport’s airside windows, you’ll want to stay to watch the planes.
Top tip: As with many Gordon Ramsay restaurants, children can dine for free from Matilda Ramsay’s ‘Ramsay Kids’ menu with each adult meal.
Wagamama and Itsu
Sometimes, you just don’t want to fly on a heavy stomach. Or maybe you simply fancy something a bit lighter. If that’s the case, we’d recommend a stop by Wagamama for healthy salads, rice bowls and brothy noodles. And don’t miss the fried gyoza ramen – it’s exclusive to the Heathrow Airport restaurants. Alternatively, Itsu’s classic sushi and healthy snacks are great for a light lunch on the hop.
Top tip: Opt for light, easy meals packed with vitamins before boarding to avoid feeling sluggish, as high altitude can increase bloating by 25 per cent.
Fortnum & Mason and Caviar House
Smoked salmon, caviar, Champagne. Sounding decadent enough for you? Well, sidle up to the Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar in departures and dine divinely on the world’s finest Prunier caviar and Balik smoked salmon while you channel all those ‘turn left’ vibes. Keep the spirit going by pulling up a stool at the glitzy Fortnum & Mason Bar for a cocktail or two pre-flight. You could even tuck in for a full-blown afternoon tea.
Top tip: Stay hydrated by balancing your alcohol with plenty of water as high altitude can cause dehydration.